What is SCPQ and How Does It Differ from CPQ?

Youre already familiar with the initialism CPQ—configure, price, quote—but what is that S youre seeing in front of it on our site?

The S stands for selection or selector. While manufacturers know how difficult the selection process is, oftentimes generic CPQ providers don’t understand the complexity inherent to this part of this process.

In fact, while many vendors consider configuration to be tough, it might not be the trickiest part of the equation.

Lets break it down.

Why Selection is Oh-So-Important

Lets first review the lead-to-order process for a general CPQ company; this usually consists of:

  1. A lead comes in, which defines an opportunity.
  2. That opportunity is logged. 
  3. A piece of equipment is selected based on the conditions of service.
  4. The equipment is configured.
  5. The equipment is priced.
  6. A quote package is put together.
  7. When the order is received, order entry is completed.

The problem comes into the picture at #3, when it comes to selecting the correct product based on the conditions of service.

You see, the CPQ market has historically been motivated to be very horizontal, general, and generic. That way, whether the CPQ vendor is configuring a bicycle, a contract, a pharmaceutical process, or a pump, they can argue that they have a solution that meets the customers needs. However, the only reason it meets needs” is because of the inherent general nature of the tool which, for some customers, means it doesnt meet their needs at all.

This is especially true for customers with incredibly intricate specifications or variations, like mechanical equipment manufacturers.

Selection for Mechanical Equipment Manufacturers

When mechanical equipment manufacturers come to CPQ vendors and say I need to move 100,000 gallons of X in Y seconds” or I need to move X amount of flow from point A to B, creating Y amount of pressure,” the problem is a lot more complex. This means they need an SCPQ vendor, not a CPQ vendor. Because what a selector does—and what traditional CPQ vendors dont—is try to solve that problem.

For this industry, a single, seemingly small error in the pump’s, motor's, or other part’s configuration can have major negative consequences down the road. There needs to be accountability not just for the fluid type being pumped, but also the environmental conditions and hundreds of other variables. It’s not enough to just select a pump (because there are often dozens or hundreds of options) and start configuring it.

Manufacturers need a selector to automatically sift through hundreds or thousands of options by simply entering the conditions of service, the variables, and requirements. At that point, they’ll be provided with the best options for their needs, options that highlight all the key information like efficiency; only then can they start configuring.

The specialized SCPQ vendor wins over the generic CPQ tool because they understand the industry-specific parameters. They already have all that necessary engineering and math built into their SCPQ tool in order to figure out what product can actually do whats needed.

And it works.

Whereas one customer used a homegrown selection tool and reported having a first pass yield (FPY) of 55% (the success rate at which the product would perform the task they said it would), with SCPQ, their FPY improved to 90%. (Its important for us to note that, despite FPX correctly selecting products based on the submitted conditions of service, the 10% margin of error was due to downstream manufacturing errors or the customer/user entering the wrong conditions of service.)

FPX is SCPQ Built for the Mechanical Equipment Industry

Ultimately, the S in SCPQ helps:

  1. Provide an easily accessible portal to input the conditions of service, one templated to the products being selected.
  2. Present the best product options based on the COS.
  3. Provide performance curves and additional information to select the optimal product for the job (e.g. if power is important, you can select based on the most powerful solution like a motor, but if it's efficiency you’re after, you can look for the option with the most power at the optimal level of efficiency).

Unfortunately, the majority of the CPQ market doesnt respect or appreciate the sophistication needed in mechanical equipment AND they dont have purpose-built selectors that meet the needs of the industry. Furthermore, other vendors may be able to integrate with a selector, but out of the box the selector and CPQ isn’t tightly integrated. Thankfully, FPX does—and is.

Our deep domain expertise means we have a deep understanding of our customersproducts, industry, and the problems your own customers are coming to you with. This is why we created a tool that is tightly aligned with the industry we serve, providing purpose-built selectors for pumps, valves, compressors, and more.

We take a universe of possibilities and narrow them down to the exact model that best meets your needs—thats what our S does.

This also means we provide our customers with faster lead-to-order time by quickly selecting the right product and getting a quote to the customer as soon as possible, improving your chances of being the first back with a quote.

Trygve Dahl, Ph.D. P.E.

Trygve Dahl, Ph.D. P.E.

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