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Elevate your CPQ project with seamless integrations

Integrations play a crucial role in ensuring the success of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) projects. Connecting your CPQ software to other IT systems facilitates seamless communication and data flow, optimizing data accuracy and establishing a higher adoption rate by your team. But what exactly do these integrations entail? Which systems should you connect to your CPQ, and which data should they be exchanging? Let’s take a look.

Vera
December 15, 2023 Written by
Vera Vingerhoets

Integration setup at our customers

To get the most out of your Configure Price Quote software, you need to connect it to your current IT structure so you can create seamless and automated processes. So the first step is to analyze your system architecture and to consider what might change in the next five years. The most common applications in a business’ IT landscape are:

  • Customer Relationship Management or CRM
  • Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP
  • Product Information Management or PIM
  • Product Lifecycle Management or PLM
  • Website
  • Webshop

You might currently not have all six systems in place, but below I’ll be discussing how each of these can connect to a CPQ.

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Connecting CRM to CPQ

Connecting CPQ to your CRM platform accelerates your sales process, and therefore enhances customer relationships.

Once the two are integrated, your sales teams can follow up on the opportunities in the CRM. To create a new quote, sales reps start from the CRM by creating a contact and an opportunity. Then, they’re presented with the option to open the CPQ tool to configure the products the customer wants. After configuration, the line items are sent back to the CRM together with a fully automated quote. This means a sales rep can follow up on his deal in the CRM as well.

When working with dealers, this connection is even more crucial. It ensures that your sales teams can find an overview in the CRM of all projects and quotes that are being made by dealers. Keeping all data in one place ensures consistency and efficiency.

The Hive CPQ standard integrations with CRM systems enables transferring data seamlessly. Hive CPQ will receive contact and opportunity information from the CRM and will send line items, prices, and quote documents back to the CRM.

Connecting ERP to CPQ

Masterdata integration

Your ERP contains what we like to call “masterdata”, a lot of important (product) information that a CPQ needs to function. To set up your configurators inside the CPQ, you will need as much of this masterdata as possible. For example, to build a gate configurator, you’ll need the maximum width, maximum height, material, and other product options from the ERP. These building blocks, or “components”, will form the basis of your configurator.

Even after the configurator has been built, it is important to have the integration up and running. Say, for example, that your product rules change, and a gate can now be max. 5000 mm wide instead of the previous 4000, you only have to adjust your data one time in the ERP. The information will automatically be updated in the CPQ with a functioning integration.

Orderflow integration

In case you also give your distributors access to the CPQ platform, they can start creating their own configurations, quotes, and orders in the system. This means you’ll need an integration with the ERP to retrieve these orders. In the ERP, you should find the dealer’s name, contact information, and the configured products they have ordered. With this data, the ERP can instantly create invoice information, BOMs, BOLs, routing etc.

Open the configurator in ERP

Some companies wish to use the configurator without having to open the CPQ every time. In that case an integration between ERP and CPQ can create a new seamless flow: From within your ERP system, you’ll be able to make quick edits with article numbers. The CPQ will run in the background and send the configuration back to the ERP, without no need for opening the CPQ.

Take a look at how this feature works in our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance integration video here.

Data exchange

Both CPQ and ERP contain a lot of data so it’s crucial that these systems can talk to one another to exchange information. But what kind of information gets transmitted?

The Hive CPQ standard integration with ERP systems will exchange the following data:

  • Prices
  • Article numbers
  • Product options
  • Configurations

Connecting PIM to CPQ

Some companies also have a Product Information Management system in their architecture. PIM, like the name suggests, combines all product information in one platform that drives websites, web shops, dealer portals, and CPQs with the same imagery and product data across all platforms. If you have a PIM, most of the masterdata we have just talked about will come from the PIM instead of the ERP.

Hive CPQ’s standard PIM connectors will retrieve the following product information:

  • Components
  • Properties
  • Features
  • Translations
  • Images
  • Product descriptions
  • ...

And of course, Hive CPQ will send back its finished configurations to the PIM as well.

Connecting PLM to CPQ

If you are a manufacturer of complex products, chances are big that you have a Product Lifecycle Management system in place for your R&D department. PLM contains all product data from its initial concept, through design and manufacturing, to service and disposal. It is however not a tool for sales reps. Connecting your PLM to your CPQ can therefore close the gap between engineering and sales knowledge.

The sales configuration follows PLM rules and can be used by sales reps and by distributors. The standard integration for Hive CPQ with a PLM system exchanges the following data:

  • Options and option sets
  • Product rules
  • BOMs
  • Variants

Our standard connector with PTC Windchill is a great illustration of this. Below you’ll find an example of what a system architecture with Hive CPQ and PTC Windchill might look like:

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Connecting your website to CPQ

Your website is the face of your company. Let your website visitors discover your products in excruciating detail by adding a user-friendly configurator to your website. This will attract end users and let you generate qualified leads straight from the website.

At Hive CPQ, we have an experience configurator module, allowing you to plug the configurator into your website. This uses the same configurator engine as in the CPQ platform, ensuring that data stays up-to-date and consistent across these channels. A configuration made on the website can also easily be transmitted to the CPQ platform using a unique configuration code. See how it works in this video.

Connecting your webshop to CPQ

And last but not least, some companies already have an existing webshop or dealer portal. However, most of these systems are not a great fit for complex products. That’s when an integration between a product configurator and a webshop could be incredibly interesting.

Users will log into the webshop and click on a “configure” button. The configurator will then pop up. Once the configuration has been made, the user’s online shopping cart will contain the configured product and will take the user to the order phase.

At Hive CPQ, we use the same experience configurator module here as we do with websites.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can elevate your Configure, Price, Quote or CPQ project to new heights by building integrations with the IT systems that you’re already using. To get the most out of your CPQ, you need to connect it with software like CRM, ERP, PIM, PLM, your website and webshop to automate processes and to create a more efficient environment.

Seamless integration between CPQ and CRM accelerates the sales process and fosters better customer relationships, while connecting with ERP guarantees a faster and more robust setup of the configurators. Integration with PIM and PLM ensures consistent and centralized product information and bridges the gap between engineering and sales knowledge.

Furthermore, integrating your website and webshop with CPQ empowers your online presence by attracting end-users and generating qualified leads. Hive CPQ’s standard connectors make all these integrations seamless, ensuring that your data stays up-to-date and consistent across all channels. Elevate your CPQ project by embracing these integrations and unlocking a new level of efficiency!

More information on our integrations? Want to know which standard connectors we already have?

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