The science of the sale: re-imagining the sales experience with dynamic pricing
The manufacturing market has become extremely fragmented, with no single company owning a large enough share to be able to influence the industry's direction. Combined with the increasing cost of sales, new and disruptive competitors, evolving sales channels and low switching costs, the industry’s already thin margins are shrinking even further.
Manufacturers are facing the reality that traditional routes to growing revenue – improving quality, production efficiency, pricing and marketing – will only take them so far. Today’s buyers demand manufacturers get products to market quickly and deliver a frictionless, personalized and precision-based sales experience. To drive repeat and incremental business, manufactures need a modern commerce strategy that reduces quote turnaround time, provides fair pricing and eliminates internal price negotiations.
A recent Hanover Research survey of more than 100 manufacturing leaders, however, found that 60 percent of companies typically go through at least two or three quote iterations before they get it right. As a result, companies are losing deals because of inefficient sales processes. In fact, they’re doing serious, if not irreparable damage to the buying experience. Few customers truly understand the competitive differentiation among companies with whom they could do business. Today, manufactures need a sales strategy to help them stand out from the crowd.
In order to survive, manufacturers need to move beyond traditional, low-tech, relationship-based sales processes and wholeheartedly embrace digital innovation. Doing so can minimize internal complexity, improve sales enablement and make the sales process quicker and more efficient. More importantly, it can simply make it easier for customers to buy what they need at a fair price.
A broad set of data-driven pricing and configure, price, quote (CPQ) tools can provide a manufacturer’s sales team with actionable insights to make quoting decisions with confidence and close deals more quickly, accurately and profitably. Price optimization and guidance tools leverage data science to help manufacturers determine a customer’s true willingness-to-pay for any product at that specific moment in time. This shortens deal cycles, boosts margins and improves customer satisfaction. By generating quotes faster with fair pricing, companies can differentiate from competitors and sustain continued growth.
The cost of the status quo is greater than the cost of change. In today’s digital economy, revenue growth is unsustainable if it lacks focus on the customer sales experience. Manufacturers’ top and bottom lines will also be at risk if they fail to pinpoint revenue challenges and invest in modern solutions to stay relevant in increasingly competitive market segments. In an industry where price used to be the primary driver of revenue, companies must acknowledge a whole host of factors to achieve growth, not the least of which is providing frictionless, omni-channel experiences powered by dynamic pricing science.
By Richard Blatcher, Senior Industry Solutions Manager, Automotive & Industrial Manufacturing at PROS
Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.