Howden Adopts Experlogix CPQ to Improve Customer Experience

Benefits

  • Boosts efficiency by reducing order pricing time by 83%.
  • Enhances customer communication with clearer documentation.
  • Improves sales effectiveness through guided selling features.

"Experlogix ensures there is no misunderstanding between us and our customers."

Eelko Molenhuis, QA & CI Manager

Howden Netherlands, located in Hengelo, the Netherlands, has designed and supplied industrial cooling fans worldwide for over 60 years. The company’s glass fiber, reinforced, polyester cooling fans are manufactured in Europe and China using hand lay up production technology, enabling flexibility to customer’s requirements in their vital processes.

Howden’s customer base ranges from world leaders in the power, oil and gas and petrochemical industries and energy transition. Howden Netherlands has a reputation as a pioneer and specialist in ultra-low noise applications.

Howden is part of Chart Industries Inc., a global leader in engineering and manufacturing of process technology and equipment for industrial gas, specialty and energy transition markets with almost 12,000 employees in over 30 countries. Howden’s continuous drive for improvement and responding to customer’s changing demands, resulted in the desire to evolve its sales processes and systems.

Challenge

Howden’s old processes relied significantly on manual effort. Although the company had a product configurator prior to implementing Experlogix, the software required coding, wasn’t easy to use and couldn’t effectively handle the level of customization that Howden needed to fulfill its customers’ increasingly diverse needs. This meant that the sales team still relied heavily on spreadsheets, meaning that just pricing an order took roughly half an hour.

Furthermore, the older system had no easy way to show customers what they were buying during the configuration process, increasing the risk that customers would receive products that didn’t meet their expectations due to misunderstandings in product descriptions.

As Howden enables customers’ vital processes in the production of air and gas treatment solutions, accurate specifications are crucial prior to starting the manufacturing process.

Howden recognized that it needed a more integrated system, a CPQ tool and ERP solution that would be able to handle the high level of customizability its customers needed. The company also sought to add clarity to the sales process, to avoid creating unrealistic customer expectations, and ensure customers receive exactly the product they purchased.

The company sought to implement a new ERP solution that could enable a seamless flow of information during the quote and order phase. Manual processes were becoming too cumbersome, and continuing to rely on legacy tools to handle orders would create the risk of even more errors making it into the sales process as products become more and more diversified.

Solution

Howden chose Experlogix CPQ and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to overhaul its processes, systems, and improve the customer experience. Additionally, when Howden’s team saw the capabilities of Experlogix’s Document Automation product during the sales process, it became clear that this could solve another challenge the company had – providing clear documentation throughout the customer journey.

The Howden Engineering team was helped by very able consultants that guided their Engineers to be able to create and maintain the configurator as well as the documents.

Experlogix CPQ’s seamless integration with Business Central would provide the efficiency and automation capabilities to streamline Howden’s sales operations, and Experlogix Document Automation would be able to transform basic orders into deal-winning quotes that customers could easily understand.

The ease with which Experlogix can transform orders into personalized documents meant that it would be easier to give customers a clear picture of what they were buying. Previously, customers would receive a bill of materials and detailed product specifications using technical language. This made it more difficult to get widespread buy-in when selling a product, since customers needed some engineering know-how to truly understand what they were purchasing.

With Experlogix, however, customers now receive product documentation using clearer and simpler language, in addition to more technical documents like the bill of materials.

“The bill of materials itself doesn’t really explain what the customer is getting. We now provide more comprehensive documents that show customers exactly what they’re buying. It makes it easier for sales to close deals, and it makes for a better experience for the customer — it’s a powerful combination.” – Eelko Molenhuis, QA & CI Manager Howden Netherlands.

Result

Implementing Experlogix CPQ allowed Howden to eliminate costly order errors that would emerge because a product didn’t meet customers’ expectations. With more comprehensive documentation, customers now get a clear idea of what they’re buying and are better able to pick the right product for their needs.

Just eliminating these kinds of errors justifies the investment of Experlogix CPQ software, both in terms of ROI and because of the improved customer service.

“Experlogix ensures there is no misunderstanding between us and our customers,” Molenhuis continued.

Howden also saw significant efficiency gains, reducing the time it takes to do pricing for an order by 83%.

Howden plans to continue scaling its use of Experlogix to push efficiency even further, with plans to add more product lines to the software over the coming years.

“We now provide more comprehensive documents that show customers exactly what they’re buying. It makes it easier for sales to close deals, and it makes for a better experience for the customer — it’s a powerful combination.”

Eelko Molenhuis, QA & CI Manager Howden Netherlands

In addition, the company plans to implement guided selling, which will accelerate sales team onboarding and empower team members to sell more effectively. CPQ’s color-coded highlights and selling recommendations will help to maximize the value of every order, in addition to making the overall process more efficient.

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