2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Rolls-Royce Energy Systems creates quote-generating "machine"

MOST INNOVATIVE PROCESS ¦ FIRST PLACE In early 2008, the sales and marketing department at Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. was struggling to keep up with customer requests for quotes on the company's oil and gas and power generation equipment. Even worse, many of the quotes that eventually went to customers contained inaccurate costing information, a situation that was eating into the com...

07/01/2009


MOST INNOVATIVE PROCESS

In early 2008, the sales and marketing department at Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. was struggling to keep up with customer requests for quotes on the company's oil and gas and power generation equipment. Even worse, many of the quotes that eventually went to customers contained inaccurate costing information, a situation that was eating into the company's profit margins.

To solve these problems, Rolls-Royce Energy developed a Web-based solution that it dubbed Product Proposal Configurator (PPC). This solution gives the sales team instant access to all of the information needed to generate quotes containing accurate cost information.

Since installing this solution in July 2008, Rolls-Royce Energy has drastically reduced the time it takes to create quotes, and has determined that it's on track to realize a ROI of more than $4.5 million on this project over the next three years. Those facts earned Rolls-Royce Energy top honors for the Most Innovative Process in MBT's 2009 Innovation Insight Award competition.

The Rolls-Royce Energy PPC system was built on top of a product configuration platform from software vendor Big Machines, Deerfield, Illinois. Its software as a service (SaaS) solution is used by manufacturers including Siemens, Kubota and Ingersoll Rand to create sophisticated sales support tools.

The Rolls-Royce Energy solution includes functionality for configuring products to customer specifications, and attaching the appropriate pricing to those configurations. It also alerts users about potential up-sell opportunities during the quote preparation process. In addition, the system has embedded workflow capabilities for routing quotes to appropriate parties within the company who need to add pertinent information or approve a quote before it goes to a customer.

With this solution, Rolls-Royce Energy can generate quotes for standard products in a matter of minutes. Proposals for custom products take two to four weeks—still far less than the seven weeks it typically took with the previous method.

This transformation was possible because the new solution contains full information on standard product structures, including cost, design specifications, commercial terms, and other proposal-specific documentation. This enables the Rolls-Royce sales team to select a standard configuration, add any required engineered options, and present an accurate proposal to the customer.

The solution also provides a standard template for all proposals, so that each submission to the customer has the same look and feel, regardless of which salesperson produced the quote.

Because the solution is Web-based, sales people are able to log in and generate quotes at any time from any location—even at a customer site—something that was impossible under the previous method. The new solution also holds all of the company's cost and proposal information in a single location, with each piece of information having a nominated 'owner' and review schedule to ensure that only the latest information is used.

In terms of labor savings, the new automated proposal process requires a single administrative support person, while the previous process required three. All told this new process is projected to:

  • Reduce Bid Support department time to produce bids, up to 5,712 hours per year;

  • Reduce Marketing department time to produce bids, up to 5,677 hours per year; and

  • Reduce engineering time, by making it easier to sell standard products, up to 13,000 hours per year.

www.rolls-royce.com/northamerica/facilities/energy_systems.htm

bigmachines.com





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.