The Quote to Order for Configurable Products ES bundle allows businesses to build composite applications that handle the business processes involved in the quote to order process for configurable products such as computers or other equipment that comes with different ordering options.
The bundle includes enterprise services for quotations and orders including data for product configuration as well as services for technical document connectivity, enabling complex schematics, CAD drawings, proposals to be created and referenced by the quotation.
The enterprise services in this ES bundle allow companies and partners to build individual composite applications with a custom process flow and custom user interface for quotation and order processing and configuration. Further, the ES bundle allows companies to extend the SAP process towards custom or partner functions for product selection and guided selling, graphical configuration, drawing, and proposal generation. The services are designed to enable innovative integration scenarios of quote and order configuration between suppliers, manufacturers, and dealers or resellers.
The Quote to Order for Configurable Products ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA by providing service-based communications between SAP ERP and a product configuration engine such as SAP Internet Pricing and Configurator (IPC) component. The enterprise services provided in this ES bundle can also be used to service-enable guided selling activities, using the resulting selection to create a quote in SAP ERP.
Quote to Order for Configurable Products (click to enlarge)
This ES bundle is of interest to any industry that sells products that require configuration or option selection in order to generate quotes. It also supports organizations that must generate complex proposal documents for their customers.
For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.
How To Use This ES Bundle
Companies frequently want to offer guided selling to their customers. This ES bundle provides enterprise services that enable them to integrate their guided selling process with SAP ERP. This ES bundle overlaps with the related ES bundle Order to Cash in the area of sales orders.
Another application is generating complex proposals that incorporate documents of various types, such as specifications or schematics. This ES bundle incorporates services from the related bundle, Technical Document Management Connectivity, so that companies can incorporate documents into their proposal generation composite applications.
Use Case 1: Using SAP IPC for product configuration
A customer is interested in buying a hydraulic pump. He selects the product, and specifies the options he needs using the IPC to do so. He selects a two-speed pump with low operating noise. After he selects all the desired options, he invokes the Check Customer Quote Creation enterprise service. This high-end pump is too expensive, so the customer repeats the process, this time selecting a single-speed pump. He then invokes Check Customer Quote Creation again. Since the amount displayed by this service is more in keeping with his budgetary requirements, he decides to request a quote by invoking Create Customer Quote. He takes the quote to his supervisor to show him the pump he wants to purchase.
Use Case 2: Using a Visual Product Configuration Tool
Purchasing a custom aircraft requires the use of a 3D visualization tool to show the customer all the options and their impact on the overall design of the aircraft. For example, the aircraft could be set up to cater to luxury transport for a single person or small group or it could be configured to transport a larger group. Additionally, many other options in terms of the engine, subassemblies, navigational systems, and amenities can be configured.
A custom 3D interface has been developed to help customers choose their options when purchasing an aircraft. At the end of the process, the configuration application calls Check Customer Quote Creation to simulate a quote and return it to the customer with pricing information. The customer can then back up and reconfigure the aircraft and repeat the process to see how it impacts the quote's bottom line. When the customer is satisfied with the quote, he invokes Create Customer Quote to generate a quote for the aircraft.
Use Case 3: Assembling Technical Drawings
Since this ES bundle is designed to handle configurable products, it makes sense that such products often require customized specifications that reflect the exact configuration referenced in the quote. To link such drawings to the quote, the sales representative first invokes Find Customer Quote Basic Data by Elements to locate the quote. He selects the quote from the search results, which invokes Read Customer Quote_V2. The composite application then reads the product structure, which represents the bill of materials for assembling the drawing (this integration is currently handled using an RFC). For each element of the product structure, the composite application invokes Read Document_V1. After repeatedly calling this service and reading in all the elements, the document is assembled and stored in the document management system by invoking Create Document; the quote now includes a link to these technical drawings or CAD documents. Using services in the Technical Document Management Connectivity ES bundle, the salesperson can invoke viewers for any of the specialized document types, such as CAD drawings, to verify the product's configuration.
Use Case 4: Proposal Generation
A quote might be a simple document, but proposals and more formal quotation documents can be very lengthy and if printed, can amount to hundreds of pages of documents, technical specifications, and addendums.
Some proposals can be generated based on templates. The sales representative starts by finding the quote from which the proposal should be generated using Find Customer Quote Basic Data by Elements. He then selects the quote from the list of search results, which invokes Read Customer Quote_V2. The composite application for proposal generation asks the salesperson answers a series of questions regarding the level of detail required. For example, should short or long descriptions be used? Are technical specifications required? Should user documentation or training materials be included in the proposal? Should detailed pricing information be included? Warranty and repair information? Each piece of the proposal is stored as a document template, into which information can be merged as needed.
Based on the salesperson's answers, the composite application invokes Read Document_V1 as many times as necessary, systematically assembling all the documentation required to compile the proposal. Once the complex proposal document is generated, the composite application invokes Create Document to create the document and store it in the document management system. A link to the document is added to the quotation.
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Some possible future directions for this ES bundle include enhancements of the services so that they can handle multilevel configurations. Additional services could be provided to allow for integrating the quotation systems of suppliers. Furthermore, currently product configuration is handled using SAP IPC. In the future, the variant configuration component of ERP might be supported as an alternative.
- SAP ERP 6.0
- SAP enhancement package 3 for SAP ERP 6.0
- SAP Document Management System or a third-party document management system (for use cases 3 and 4)