If you’re ready to switch your manufacturing business over to CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software, you’re poised to experience efficiency and growth like never before. Something we’ve found to be vital to the success of the implementation of such robust software is a dedicated position to oversee and handle the details as you set up the software and get it ready for everyday use.
That’s why it is so important that you find a quality CPQ administrator who can manage the switchover, implementation, and eventual day-to-day use of the system. This admin’s skills and qualities will be key to the success of your new business endeavor.
Here’s what to look for when choosing your CPQ admin:
Internal vs. External Resource
First, you need to make the decision whether you should give the job of CPQ administrator to someone in-house, or look for an outside expert. The good news is that either can work, and they both carry their own advantages.
If you promote from within, you’ll have someone who is familiar with the company and knows the ins-and-outs of the business and personalities. However, hiring someone from outside the company can bring a fresh perspective and make it easier to identify ways to improve existing workflows.
Investment in the Organization
Regardless of whom you pick, you need to ensure that the person you hire is committed to the success of the organization. They need to be the type of person who truly wants the company to succeed and will stay with you for years to come instead of simply looking at this job as a stepping-stone to employment outside the company.
Dedicated Resource and Time Allocation
You want the admin to spend the majority of their time working on projects that are CPQ-related. To ensure success, the admin needs to be a dedicated resource, and that means they shouldn’t have unrelated tasks eating up most of their time. The person in the admin role needs to become an expert at using and administering the software.
Knowing When to Ask for Implementation Help
Ideally, you want a CPQ admin who can work independently and doesn’t need a lot of micro-management or close supervision. But you also want someone who knows their own limitations. They should be the type who can admit when they don’t know something and are willing to reach out to others (either inside the company or outside) who can provide help and support, especially with the switchover and implementation.
Using Resources Effectively
You’ll need an admin who knows how to use the resources available to them. While CPQ providers will have tech support teams, you need someone who’s able to troubleshoot and figure things out on their own as much as possible. An admin should know how to use the resources provided with the software, and also know when to reach out to the tech support team when the solution is not apparent.
Assembling a Team of Subject Matter Experts
Your new CPQ admin needs to be someone who knows how to assemble and regularly communicate with an internal team of experts and stakeholders. At a minimum, this should include representatives from sales, engineering, and production. This will help make sure that you’re getting the most out of your CPQ software and creates buy-in across the company.
Involving End Users
Your admin should have the ability to work with the end-users throughout the implementation process. Getting input from your sales team and customer base helps ensure that the newly implemented CPQ system is designed for the people who will actually be using it.
This is a new prospect with a new paradigm for your entire business, so your admin should be eager to learn and good at researching information and synthesizing what they need. They need to be organized and not afraid to ask questions as they need to. There will be some in any business who are opposed to new ways of doing things. As such, your admin will need lots of positive energy and the ability to create excitement about the CPQ solution within the organization. You’ll also want to be sure they’re able to collaborate well with others, have a goal-oriented mentality as well as a creative spirit, so they can think outside the box.
At a minimum, your CPQ admin should be comfortable with web applications and tools. They also need to have strong analytical, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills.
It would be a good idea to have an admin who has a background in industrial or mechanical engineering, so they will know how this will impact that department. Lastly, look at those who have manufacturing environment experience so that you don’t have to completely train someone on what you do as a manufacturer.
Switching over to a CPQ solution can be a tall order that is daunting to some. That’s why you need a strong leader to serve as your admin to steer your business through this switchover and implementation.