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How B2B e-commerce makes manufacturing sustainable and helps reducing waste

B2B E-Commerce with CPQ functionality enables manufacturers to offer sustainable product variants and keep an eye on waste reduction.

A guest article by Michael Brassea from our CPQ technology partner Tacton.

Manufacturers alone contribute over 12% of the total CO2 emissions across the globe yearly. This number raises global awareness and creates urgency to find ways to become more sustainable either by company choice or by government mandates. With these global imperatives, many corporations are searching for and investing in sustainable technologies.  

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions are a big part of many companies’ sustainability practices. Being able to provide digital transformative efforts can reduce waste, keep lean manufacturing goals, and more. At Tacton we’ve built our CPQ system to incorporate the environmental impact into our configuration process. While we recognize we have a long way to combat climate change, a meaningful digital strategy powered by CPQ is an integral part of that process.  

What is sustainable manufacturing? 

Sustainable manufacturing is a way of making products that minimize their negative environmental impact and conserves energy, and resources. 

It also considers the employees, communities, and buyers the product effects. This can come from optimizing the product and lifecycle management, leading to a smaller environmental footprint and social benefits. 

Some firms have been setting up sustainable practices and productions over the past decade or so. Consumers probably noticed this first in their everyday purchases of environmentally friendly products such as hand soaps, clothing, and packaging.  

The topic quickly began taking hold in more industrial areas, too, as it became clear that the environment was changing at a rapid pace. Reducing harmful emissions while making products and at the same time helping employees as well as the local and global community has made manufacturers rethink their efforts.  

How does B2B e-commerce with CPQ help manufacturers become more sustainable? 

CPQ, in general, is a way to put together a valid configuration with approved pricing, using a combination of rules and workflows.  

Tacton CPQ is a unique solution in the CPQ space, as it allows users to optimize the configuration of eco-friendly products without compromising the customer’s needs. In addition, it gives them a full picture of the impact any product will have once it rolls off the production line.  

E-commerce with CPQ also enables manufacturers to offer an optimized product that is in line with local regulations on emissions and other sustainability demands in their specific region.  With CPQ-supported e-commerce, it’s even possible to allow faster product introductions that are aligned with a changing market.  

What role does B2B e-commerce with CPQ play in manufacturers’ digital strategies? 

CPQ will bring efficiency gains in the sales process and result in much lower cost-of-sales and higher win rates for its adopters. Here I would like to focus on some of the Tacton specific benefits made possible by its unique combination of constraint-based configuration and its solver technology. 

Tacton CPQ finds its strength in optimizing the configured products around customer-specific needs rather than just being a validator of technical combinations. As such, it is helping manufacturers make and deliver what their customers need at optimized costs, price, margins, speed, and resource consumption. 

CPQ is also a key accelerator in the new product Introduction or new variance introduction process:

Imagine being first to market with a sustainable product variant and or being able to react to competition, regulations, and market changes. 

What business value have manufacturers seen from their sustainability efforts? 

When we apply Tacton’s unique features to manufacturers’ sustainability efforts, manufacturers can track certain parameters such as resource consumption and materials to ensure the most sustainable options are provided during the configuration process around the criteria that really matter to their end customers. 

By showing such responsibility, manufacturers have also observed some “soft” benefits such as more demand as customers are more and more looking to work with responsible organizations.  Constraints and data management also provide a much faster time to market for manufacturers using CPQ which allows them to better adapt to regulatory changes and innovation, which will translate into a larger volume of sales and a reduction in sales lead time.

In closing 

Change is coming for manufacturing across the globe. As new environmental requirements from local governments roll out and demands for sustainability from communities and employees, manufacturers must take notice. Creating sustainable products and reducing waste is possible using e-commerce with CPQ to ensure every requirement is met before even making a product. Schedule your personalized demo today to learn more about B2B e-commerce with CPQ.


Why manufacturers count on Tacton CPQ  

The experts of Gartner have not only placed Tacton as a "Visionary" in the current edition of the Magic Quadrant for CPQ. According to Gartner, Tacton has powerful interfaces to integrate the CPQ system into relevant company applications, such as CAD, CRM, PLM, and ERP. That’s why Tacton CPQ is an ideal extension for Intershop's commerce platform.  

See for yourself: https://www.intershop.com/en/solution/tacton-cpq