Compact Earthmoving Equipment Manufacturer Cuts Order Creation Time for Dealers from Hours to Minutes
Founded in 1963, Takeuchi developed the world’s first compact excavator in 1971 and our innovation continued again in the mid-80’s with the introduction of the first compact track loader. These two products have transformed the North American construction equipment markets and have positioned Takeuchi as a leading provider of compact equipment.
Takeuchi was poised to launch several new, compact equipment models but recognized that its time-to-market was seriously constrained. Takeuchi’s existing enterprise technology platform was over-taxed – especially its labor-intensive product configurator.
Takeuchi’s existing product configurator was entirely menu-driven. Every feature selected in one menu had to be properly linked to desired items in other menus. It was common to end up with thousands of permutations – with numerous errors. Those had to be found and corrected before the configuration could be released to production. The process took hours.
The company also lacked a state-of-art customer portal where dealers and customers could access real time pricing and configure their own orders. “Takeuchi is a premium product, and we wanted customers to also know that we are very competitive,” says Jonathan Pollard, IT Manager
“The company was at a crossroads. We were faced with either adding more programmers (to rectify system deficiencies) or find a new product,” Pollard says. “We run very lean, and adding more programmers went against that.” Long term, the existing configurator simply didn’t provide the foundation needed to scale with company growth.
“As a twenty year technology veteran, I immediately spotted the level of support, confidence, and knowledge that Experlogix offered. It really stood out.”
Jonathan Pollard, IT Manager at Takeuchi
Takeuchi started by selecting Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP as the base of its new technology platform. When Pollard searched for configurators that integrated with it, Experlogix Configurator always came up top of the list.
“As a twenty year technology veteran, I immediately appreciated the level of support, confidence, and knowledge that Experlogix offered. It really stood out,” Pollard states.
The company invited a short list of vendors to showcase their products. They asked other providers how their products handled certain requirements, and “they told us they didn’t really know.” This was a situation, Pollard knew, made for a high potential of implementation cost overruns.
“Experlogix came in and wanted to know to how we run our business. They wanted to understand what our requirements were. They listened. And then they told us how much it would cost. They molded their product around our needs,” he says. “They did some pretty interesting integration work to make it all work.”
“I wish all my vendors were like that.”
By implementing Experlogix CPQ for Dynamics NAV, Takeuchi is seeing immediate benefits internally and externally. From an administration perspective, Takeuchi was able to shift responsibility for, new product configurations, and maintenance of existing models to the sales department. Instead of requiring programmers to handle configurator maintenance, one product specialist trained in Experlogix now easily manages it all.
Externally, customers and dealers now create all quotes and orders using Experlogix CPQ through a portal. Previously, According to Pollard, it used to take three hours to configure an order. Today, it takes 10 minutes.
Pricing is also simplified. All equipment and component prices are maintained online, rather than on paper-based price sheets. This makes it easy for end users to look at pricing via the customer portal. The single system sign-on ensures that customers are directed to the proper pricing schema for the class they’re in. In this way, pricing is more tightly controlled. The company’s website typically receives more than 1,000-1,500 daily log-ins. All customers visiting have direct access to configure their own orders using Experlogix CPQ.
Experlogix CPQ also helps Takeuchi control and monitor the critically important issue of product branding. Fonts, colors, and logos can be changed, added, or deleted through a common tool set. This also helps Takeuchi ensure that products are going to market as advertised.
“We received excellent support throughout the Experlogix implementation – and continue to receive excellent support,” says Pollard. “There’s never been an issue that they’ve not been able to resolve. From a business, budget, and engineering perspective, I couldn’t be happier.”