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... and why it was worth waiting for the new requirements engineering solution from SAP and what important contribution SAP Enterprise Product Development can make to the quotation process.

In my many years as a management consultant, I have become very familiar with many customers and their challenges. Not infrequently I was confronted with the issue of managing the evaluation of complex customer requests in order to be able to submit a qualified offer in the shortest possible time. Typical times of several months for the preparation of a quotation in RFQ/RFP processes had to be reduced.

Leading industrial companies pride themselves on their expertise in the development, production and distribution of often highly customized products. This expertise usually spans the company's entire value chain, from development to manufacturing and assembly to service.

But this is precisely what makes the quotation process extremely complex. The sales or project staff responsible for preparing the quotation have to work their way through tricky, usually spreadsheet-based customer requirements and steer these requirements through the respective departments for evaluation in order to design and offer a competitive solution in the shortest possible time.

The typical path to a quotation - today

Customer requirements go through many individual steps and checks. Tasks are assigned and distributed according to responsibilities. Interdisciplinary feasibility studies, both functional and non-functional, are carried out. Order-specific components are conceptually elaborated, and production capability is verified and calculated. Both the customer's requirements and the company's own guidelines must be taken into account. Results and approvals are obtained, across many departments and often across company and national boundaries.

Figure 1: Typical End-to-End request for quote process

This is exactly where requirements engineering comes in. It helps to orchestrate the interdisciplinary evaluation of complex mechatronic customer requirements of a functional and non-functional nature across many departments in the shortest possible time through a controlled process. CENIT AG is currently developing an app as an add-on for SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD) specifically for the evaluation of requirements in the context of quotation processes. Indented to be worldwide available as Endorsed App in the SAP APP store at the end of the first quarter in 2023.

What will the App provide?

  • Structured preparation and evaluation of customer requirements for products with a high customer-specific content (ETO) for the prompt submission of a qualified offer.

  • Interdisciplinary evaluation of complex mechatronic customer requirements of a functional and non-functional nature across many departments in the shortest possible time through a controlled processing procedure.

  • (Partially) automated processing of requirements specifications.

  • (Partially) automated finding and assigning of responsible processors based on a keyword database.

  • Fast, process-safe evaluation of customer requirements through the controlled integration of all disciplines and departments required for the evaluation. Also possible in parallel.

  • Fast retrieval of identical or similar requirements and the corresponding solutions already implemented from the SAP backend

  • Bidirectional exchange of requirements from and with your customers and suppliers via a simplified collaboration process

  • Coordination of internal and customer requirements changes.

  • Traceability from initial requirements to the finished product by integrating requirements with your master data in SAP PLM or SAP ERP (ERP 6.0 and S/4HANA).


Figure 2: Cockpit

Figure 3: Decomposer

What benefits will the App deliver?

  • Time savings in quote creation (time to quote) through faster creation of a qualified quote.

  • Avoidance of waiting times due to parallel processing of requirements.

  • Quick retrieval of already implemented identical or similar solutions by networking requirements with existing SAP materials, bills of materials, orders and quotations

  • Controlled integration of internal and external experts

  • Controlled coordination of internal and customer changes

  • Visibility of fulfillment and completion levels throughout the assessment process

  • Support in meeting sustainability criteria through a controlled compliance process

Are you ready to hear more?

We've piqued your curiosity and you'd like to learn more about the new App and its additional features like the Creation Wizard, Collaboration Handler and Explorer? Drop me a line or stay tuned and read the next upcoming blog. I look forward to hearing from you.

I would also like to remind you about the EPD customer council on Nov 21st.  Not only SAP will be sharing the latest EPD release updates but also we will give a short overview about our App.

Make sure you follow SAP Enterprise Product Development to get notified about the latest blog posts in this area! 

About the Author

I am the Head of Business Development SAP Solutions at CENIT AG. Follow me in the SAP Community: fps#overview.