Road to Digitalization - Virtual Configurator Optimizes Process Valve Selection
If the corona pandemic has advanced anything, then virtual communication. This applies to team meetings as well as e-commerce in the B-to-B area. There are good reasons for the latter: the virtual “shop” is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, worldwide. With the previous communication, on the other hand, there were only a few effective hours in some cases due to the time zones. Second, a standardized process speeds up finding the right solution while reducing the potential for error. Thirdly, all the necessary information can be clearly stored, which can be easily retrieved using search functions and is always up to date. Last but not least, extensive print products do not have to be transported around the world - keyword sustainability.
A current and exemplary example of this modern B-to-B communication is the product configurator "mySüdmo", with which the customer can quickly and reliably select the right process valve for his personal requirements and needs. This configurator is a browser-based application. No app or program needs to be installed. The configurator can be accessed via its Internet address at any time and with little effort, both as a guest and with your own account.
Questions guide you through the selection process
Through the selection process itself, the customer is guided through specific questions. These were developed together with the sales and construction specialists. The approach was: What questions will consumers ask, which ones do we have to answer, what interests them? Each answer to the respective question narrows the possible options further and further until an individual solution proposal is offered.
Specifically, the configurator starts with "I need help with my selection" or "I already know my valve type." If the first way is chosen, the selective steps already mentioned follow. For example, these could be: brewery, production, aseptic valve, switching valve, tank bottom valve, activator, and housing. At the end of this process there is a valve proposal including all practice-relevant data, documentation and a 3D animation. The customer therefore knows exactly what he is getting. This also applies to the second way, if the basic valve type is already known. Here the selection is made via the stored product series or product families.
Goal: Individual offer within one to two working days
Using a common shopping cart function, the customer then reaches the responsible department, which checks the plausibility of the request and then prepares and sends an individual offer. The customer does not communicate with an artificial intelligence, but with "physical" contact persons. Due to the pre-selection, they are able to submit a very precise and detailed offer within three to a maximum of five working days. However, the declared goal is to speed up the process to one or two working days. Customers and specialist departments can also access the offer at the same time and clarify individual points together and in direct contact. This also shortens the response and processing times.
Double seat, single seat and butterfly valves are currently mapped
In the current version, the configurator maps the three most important product groups. Namely, these are double seat, single seat and butterfly valves. The ultimate goal is to make the more than 100,000 products in the portfolio available virtually. Furthermore, the documentation is to be expanded, for example by adding spare parts lists or operating instructions. Videos are also being considered, in which, for example, service work is shown in detail, or the networking of practice and configurator via barcode on the valve, as well as the expansion of the language range. The final step is to store prices. It is important for this process that the configurator is a genuine in-house development and not based on a standard solution. The necessary know-how is therefore available internally, so the defined goals can be implemented as planned and new needs of the market can be addressed at any time. And always according to the directive: higher speed plus higher efficiency plus more security equals more customer benefit.
mySüdmo can be reached via: mysudmo.pentair.com