From sales budgeting and marketing, acquisition and quote creation through to order processing - proALPHA offers the full functionality for supporting all sales-relevant tasks, including customer relationship management. This ensures redundancy-free management of all data from quotes through to invoices with a uniform user interface.
Multilingual features meet the demands of increasing market globalization. Special support is provided by the proALPHA WorkflowAutomation. All necessary documents, notes, and records are automatically placed on the personal ToDo list. The to-dos, also called tasks, can be directly processed or forwarded to other employees, the respective specialists, if required. The proALPHA Document Management System (DMS) is also available, so that the specialists can use a variety of functions for archiving and managing documents of any type.
The sales modules are fully integrated into the proALPHA business solution, which is based on a uniform functionality and data model. This guarantees constant availability of timely information on the MRP situation of a part, on the production progress for a customer order - also on the Internet -, on the contribution margins earned, on the volume and type of project costs, and on payments received.
Quotes and quote processing
Customized products - the key to success
The demands raised by the various business activities are highly varied: this requires detailed quotes to be created quickly and flexibly from a range of text blocks, even for complex production facilities. The prices from already entered master files and completed orders or assemblies should be included in quotation costing.
One-off orders in particular call for the inclusion of cost estimates - without master files. Variant or make-to-order work is also actively supported by the proALPHA Sales module. The graphic product configurator in the Sales module is a fast and reliable tool for easy creation of quotes. It automatically determines the quote texts and the quote value based on formulas and rules. Later, this information can be used directly in the Production module to produce bills of materials and routings.
A comprehensive and powerful capable-to-promise check (CTP) and the quick entry for quotes and orders are available for selling standard products. Sales staff can provide detailed information on the products' actual delivery dates already when still talking to the customer. The delivery date is determined online on the basis of the actual utilization. This results in reliable date confirmations. The probability that the date will be met is increased, and customer satisfaction is ensured. Another effect is that production planning becomes more reliable because it is no longer subject to pronounced fluctuations thanks to the stating of realistic dates.
Orders and order processing
The order has been acquired - reliable and efficient processing
After the quote has been submitted and the order has been acquired, all departments are asked to contribute to the professional processing of the order.
Make-to-order manufacturers can draw upon project management. It allows them to procure parts from suppliers or in-house production even without comprehensive master files. This saves precious time when the deadlines are tight. Later, the products that are hard to procure due to their delivery times or cycle times are assigned to the actual order lines and BOM lines. Even at this stage project management is a simple yet efficient tool for significantly reducing cycle times. Needless to say these data are already then included in financial accounting for liquidity planning.
proALPHA Intercompany maps production structures involving several plants or companies. Standard production cycles are defined there. When an order of Company A is confirmed, a purchase order is generated, which automatically creates an order at Company B. Once the production has been completed, the delivery from Company B automatically leads to the stock receipt at Company A. The values flow correspondingly in the documents. This is yet another tool that significantly reduces cycle times – in this case between plants or companies.
Particular challenges are faced in the trade with series products and in the subsupplier industry. These industries commonly work with blanket orders and releases by date or progress points. Industry and retail companies have adopted the long-proven practice of automotive suppliers to handle and monitor the entire logistics chain.
Inter-company communication of Supply Chain Managements (SCM) calls for well planned and stable technologies. In this context, proALPHA allows for the exchange of data according to EDI standards. For example, shipments can be announced and quotes submitted.
proALPHA maps the particular features of various industries without deviating from the standard. This includes the specifics of CRO business and drop shipments. Deviating invoice recipients can have payment functions, e.g. a leasing company, or only verification functions, e.g the payment verification department of a public agency.
The supply of goods to purchasing association members with a wide range of payment formalities is handled by proALPHA in its entirety through to OI settlement in financial accounting. The easy handling of partial payments, discounts, partial and final invoices is likewise part of the tried and tested standard.
Once all products have been manufactured, they have to be delivered. proALPHA supports you in this process with a variety of functions. The focus is on staging. The goods can be staged according to various procedures. Sophisticated packaging management completes the shipping process. You can always keep track of the goods and the way in which they have been shipped – be it in plant construction or for series products.
Once the shipping documents have been created, the invoices require checking. All data from sales are available in the integrated Accounting modules.
proALPHA supports you with tax determination in national, intra-community and international business activities in sales. Different taxation bases are relevant to tax determination depending on the business activity. They are automatically determined and suggested in the document header when sales documents (and service documents) are entered.
When goods are exported from your country to third countries, customs declarations have to be submitted to the customs authorities as per the official requirements. These can be created according to the customs export procedures as per ATLAS (automated tariff and local customs handling system) by means of a certified ATLAS software (external system), and transmitted electronically to the customs office. proALPHA provides the ATLAS interface to electronically transmit data.
For the cross-border trade between EU member countries, you have to issue reports for intra-EU trade statistics (shipment). proALPHA supports you in the creation of these reports.
Terms and sales commissions
Flexible pricing on the outside - transparent and simple on the inside
Prices and terms can be determined quickly and reliably as per the company-specific agreements. In general, all prices, discounts, and surcharges can be managed independently of each other in price schedules that can be freely defined. Customer-specific terms can also be defined for the Web shop.
The number of price lists - in domestic and foreign currencies - is unlimited. Prices, discounts and surcharges always have a validity period. Since prices and discounts can be updated prior to the validity date, special terms for promotions can be prepared in time, for example. The change history is thoroughly documented. Set management enables the combination of various articles (parts) to a set that is sold based on particular terms.
Commissions can be flexibly settled based on sales or coverage contribution. Several sales agents can be assigned to the same object.
Continuous sales planning - where success can be planned
There are a variety of methods for planning sales quantities and revenue in the various lines of business and industries.
Some work with empirically derived monthly values, whilst others allocate annual figures to defined periods using distribution columns. Where large numbers permit the application of statistical methods, a wide range of forecast calculations can be used. Since figures dynamically change, the budgeted values have to be continuously updated. proALPHA can apply both lean and complex mathematical methods.
Forecasts can be made at article group level (product line level) or for individual articles (parts). The history and planning horizon can be freely defined. The various mathematical models respect seasonal fluctuations and trends. Parameters can be used for company-specific modifications.
Web shop and Web portals
Professional salesmanship - exploiting every sales channel
Personal contact between seller and purchaser is often indispensable. Nevertheless, new communications technologies help to identify potential customers, explore their needs and efficiently propagate your own offers.
proALPHA opens up a multitude of possibilities on the Internet. The Web shop interface, which can manage several Web shops per company, is a useful addition not only to the business to consumer segment (b2c). Your company's customers can compare terms and place orders 24 hours a day, without tying up their own resources. proALPHA can be connected to the shop systems of various providers. proALPHA ensures the data provision and the sales processing, whereas the appearance and the functionality are solely determined by the shop system used. This allows you to equip several Web shops with the same data stock in proALPHA with different product ranges and a different layout.
The target group-specific customer portal can be used to process business activities with business customers. This web portal allows you to include your customers in business processes by connecting them to the ERP system. Depending on their access privileges, customers may place purchase orders and check availabilities. For instance, a specialist machine manufacturer can order specific spare parts for their machinery, no matter where they are located.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRM - Designing and maintaining customer relationships
Key competitive advantages can be gained by those suppliers who best know the wishes of their existing and potential customers, guarantee comprehensive support, and maintain a close relationship with them. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) impacts practically every part of a company. Be it Marketing, Sales, Production, Shipping, Service or Dunning Management - maintaining good customer relationships affects all business processes.
proALPHA CRM comprises numerous components that are integrated elements of the proALPHA business solution. This includes service calls and complaint requirements as well as early automatic warnings about critical sales KPIs.
proALPHA also contains dedicated CRM functionalities. These are not limited to sales topics such as prospect management, tracking of sales projects, sales controlling, sales process analyses or competitor comparisons, but also provides comprehensive support in managing and tracking marketing campaigns. Another important component of CRM is the CTI module (Computer Telephone Integration), in which outgoing calls can be made by clicking a business partner in proALPHA, and where incoming calls automatically open the window for the supplier or customer who is calling you.
Customer service is a factor that becomes ever more important to customer satisfaction. The handling of service orders, complaint management, the mapping of maintenance agreements, as well as repair and spare parts management are just a few of the key elements of proALPHA Service Management. This helps to guarantee professional after sales service.
Information and controlling system
Leveraging information advantage - unlimited access via the Internet
Fast access to information tailored to the needs of the decision maker can often clinch the deal. With the integrated information and controlling system, every employee can design their own information input - be it online on screen or in a report.
No matter whether it involves statistics about customers, sales agents, industries, regions, articles (parts), article groups (product lines), serial numbers, documents, order categories, specialists or combinations of any of these; sales figures, earnings margins, or contribution margins for the selected relationships are just a click away. The information can be presented in detail for specialists or as a compact summary for corporate management.
A great asset for daily work is the continuous opportunity to view all open and archived documents. The documents are logically linked with each other, so that, for example, the user can easily navigate from the shipping document to the underlying order or the corresponding invoice.
The early warning functions in the proALPHA KPI and Early Warning System automatically notify particular specialists via WorkflowAutomation, for example if too many price discounts have been granted. The sales manager or managing director can then identify the causes and take remedial action at an early stage. The KPI itself can of course be integrated into a company-wide KPI analysis. The proALPHA Information System (Info) and KPI and Early Warning System are excellent tools for quickly generating reliable, regular reports with a wide range of parameters and complex connections. If the desired analysis is not available in the Info system even though certain pieces of information are needed immediately for a meeting, for example, proALPHA Analyzer is the right tool. It can be used to design ad hoc queries for multidimensional analyses of data – without requiring any knowledge of programming. The graphic interface guarantees an easy handling of the OLAP-based tool. You can drill down into the data with a few mouse clicks. The analysis results can be easily prepared for presentations with a reporting tool. Customized analyses on sales territories, sales agents or market potential, for example, can be easily combined with other variables such as product lines; analyzing the performance of telesales is just as easy.
Ad-hoc analyses or predefined queries - proALPHA offers the right tool for every type of analysis.
Processes in sales
Standard processes described comprehensively
By reading our process descriptions, you can easily make yourself familiar with various standard processes. Processes in sales include: