“AGCO is now providing both the new products and the business tools to compete in today’s changed marketplace.” — Doug Griffin, vice president of marketing, AGCO
A move to e-commerce keeps AGCO one step ahead of the competition
AGCO Corp.’s products are made for this earth—tilling and harvesting. But when it comes to selling its tractors, the company found that it needed to rely on the virtual world of the Internet.
It was a lesson learned the hard way. Until recently, the maker of agricultural equipment was shuffling paper and sending CD copies of price lists to its network of dealers, while one of its major competitors was leveraging the Web to generate inquires, configurations, and dealer quotes. AGCO found that deals were being lost to vendors that offered e-commerce transactions.
AGCO executives decided that the company had to move to an e-commerce model to remain competitive.
In 2009, AGCO turned to BigMachines, a vendor offering a cloud-based sales tool that includes a product configurator, e-commerce, quoting, and proposal capabilities. Using BigMachines software, AGCO sales teams today can quickly configure products, generate quotes and proposals, manage complex pricing, and oversee orders. The software has also enabled AGCO to open up its extensive product inventory for configuration and quoting to more than 800 channel partners in the United States and Canada.
In addition, internal processes have been streamlined. Specifically, quote-to-order cycle times, order entry processing times, errors on orders, and special-order processing have all been reduced, as have legacy software maintenance support costs. Meanwhile, discount auditing and enforcement through the use of promotional codes have been improved. AGCO has also been able to reduce head count of personnel doing manual order entry. As a result of all of this, the company expects the system to pay for itself by the end of this year.
“By introducing new, state-of-the-art business tools like our new On Line Ordering Tool and new Build and Quote tools, AGCO is now providing both the new products and the business tools to compete in today’s changed marketplace,” said Doug Griffin, AGCO’s vice president of marketing.
When first rolled out, the implementation had an immediate impact on sales, marketing, and distribution, according to the company. Soon thereafter, dealers benefited from having visibility into available, on-hand inventory, and the majority of orders are now automated with a verification step for approval.