Industry 4.0 is more than production optimization

Published on 18 March 2021

Published in advance in BB - Bauelemente Bau 03/2021

In order to assert themselves successfully on the market, companies want to examine their sales channels more precisely and optimize them. New sales channels make the path to the customer shorter and create true added value for all participating partners.

This insight is one of the most important prerequisites for creating a true "Smart Factory." Anyone who dreams of self-controlled production while stacks of e-mails or even faxed orders - frequently requiring time-consuming clarifications on the telephone - still determine the course of everyday business won't be able to make the leap. And order processing will become a bottleneck.

The digitalization of quotations, POs, and orders between market partners is the highest priority because it mirrors customers' changed purchasing habits in their private lives. You order online around the clock, and increasingly on mobile devices. Why not in the commercial sector too?

 A+W iQuote: from the Webshop directly to production
Many innovative companies in the window industry understand this and have started to construct webshops for mobile online ordering with A+W iQuote. For online ordering via webshop offers customers the greatest flexibility, mobility, and time savings.
iQuote_NotebookThey do not need any installed ordering software or an office terminal, but rather only a mobile end user device on which they can use a Web browser. Together with the end customer, users can play through product variants, prices, and other options on-site and create correct quotations, for they are always working with current data in the producer's ERP system: products, prices, conditions – everything fits.

Smaller dealers and dealers who previously shunned the "effort" required for classic order entry can have easy and guided access to more complex variant configuration with the A+W iQuote Webshop. Orders can be entered online in user-friendly fashion and without previous training. A+W iQuote can be embedded in a producer's existing homepage and adapted individually to the producer's design and layout requirements.

And the best thing is that A+W iQuote does not need its own master data; instead, it works seamlessly with the master data that the producer already uses for order entry! Therefore, all technical product checks are included in the online entry.

With extensive use, incorporation into suppliers' Webshops brings many advantages. For a long while, A+W has been cooperating with well-known manufacturers of shutters and front door inserts and has incorporated the online configurators of Schlotterer, adeco, dpi, OBUK, Rodenberg, ROMA, and WAREMA into A+W iQuote and A+W Cantor. If dealers enter an exterior door online using A+W iQuote, they can call up the appropriate configurator directly and order the desired insert there; it is then displayed correctly in the graphic. The price is also calculated and displayed.

 A+W iQuote as external online configurator
The networking with partners via the cloud expands the possibilities of A+W iQuote. The Webshop can be called up from another A+W iQuote operated by the market partner or from the quotation and order entry of A+W Cantor or from a third-party ERP window construction program. It enables a construction element dealer to call up the integrated A+W iQuote Webshop of a supplier (e.g. roller shutter manufacturer) and configure roller shutters for the window already entered as desired, together with the customer and in the familiar software environment. As soon as an order has been placed via A+W iQuote, it is visible in the manufacturer's A+W Cantor system and it can be scheduled for production without any additional work or doubled orders.

To enhance A+W iQuote, A+W has worked closely with the Austrian company Schlotterer. As a leading manufacturer of non-textile privacy screens and sunshades, Schlotterer is extremely interested in having window builders be able to integrate Schlotterer products into their orders easily and intuitively. Martin Harold, IT Manager at Schlotterer: "With the A+W Cantor iQuote Connector, our customers can use A+W Cantor, KLAES or ProLogic software to process their orders. We therefore offer you an additional service with which you can configure your products together with the Schlotterer line of insect screens and sunshades directly in your order processing system. The orders generated this way are generally confirmed immediately after order receipt and are provided to production planning without additional intervention. Our customers thus have our complete, up-to-date product line with minimal master data effort."

 Production-ready ordering
The products that a dealer configures through A+W iQuote follow the same rules and include the same plausibility checks that are stored in the manufacturer's A+W Cantor system. That makes it easy to ensure that the products that a dealer configures are ready for production and transferred with correct prices.

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