Review of the M+E Forum 2021

Experts provided valuable insights into how digitalization is revolutionizing production.

At the M+E Forum on September 16, 2021, which concentrated on the key topic “Digitalization in Production,” experts from the industry explained how Manufacturing 4.0 can be made a reality. In a series of five presentations, a holistic view was taken of the entire process, from materials procurement to sales. The clear trend here is the cross-functional merging of different business and organizational areas.
The experts agreed that digitalization requires a holistic approach and thus creates the opportunity not only to transform business areas, but to revolutionize them.

Susanne Henkel explained why digital sales is essential for digital production.

Digital production needs digital sales. Sales processes act as the starting point for subsequent production processes. Sales, as the customer’s direct point of contact, operates as the first element in the chain and establishes the foundation for the products that will later be produced.

Susanne Henkel presenting at the ME Forum

Image: bayme vbm

Many companies with sophisticated products still have mainly manual sales processes, which are often very time-consuming and lengthy. It often takes weeks or even months from the first contact between the customer and the sales department until the final order is placed. Numerous iterations with the customer regarding the product specification, internal coordination with engineering, and pricing require a lot of time. This manual process is vulnerable for errors and in the worst case the quoted product is not buildable at all. This is exactly where the SAE CPQ solution steps in: The platform bundles company data such as prices, texts, images and the set of rules, and communicates bidirectionally with other systems such as CRM, ERP, PLM, PIM and CAD. Technical know-how can be scaled through the platform and is thereby available around all around the world 24/7, so that sales teams, distributors and subsidiaries & customers are perfectly supported and empowered to configure products correctly and create quotations. The data and technical knowledge can therefore be used across all sales channels. Consistency matters – from sales to production. You can find more information here.