It’s even more complicated when dealing with manufacturing, which has thousands upon thousands of variables, including components, additional parts, price structures, specs, and raw materials.
Many manufacturers, when trying to organize their products into an e-commerce system, don’t know where to start. Either that, or their prices and products are so complex that they can’t imagine having it all organized in one place.
This is the issue that Solidify, an e-commerce solutions company, addresses every day.
Solidify offers a number of different e-commerce solutions, with a focus on B2B sales and a specialization in the manufacturing sector. According to CEO Kevin Colletti, the company has multiple offerings for their customers ranging from public-facing e-commerce sites to sales portals and product configurators.
While they provide many unique solutions, including website design, Solidify’s overall goal is to enhance the online operations of a B2B company that needs e-commerce solutions.
One of the top solutions that Solidify offers is the CPQ, or Configure Price Quote system, which automates the quoting process, speeds up sales, and reduces errors. Creating quotes used to take days or even weeks, but using this system, customers can create accurate quotes in minutes.
A top advantage of Solidify’s system is that it’s a cloud-based platform not tied to a specific solution. “We’re agnostic,” as Colletti puts it. Some providers in the CPQ industry are built on specific platforms, but Solidify remains independent from any specific system, allowing them to integrate with any CRM or ERP solution seamlessly. Being able to use one system and have everything automated is a major selling point for Solidify.
Personalized service and customized solutions are at the core of Solidify’s business model. Customers can come to them with specific goals, and using their consultative approach, Solidify will craft tailored solutions.
Solidify offers a number of different e-commerce solutions, with a focus on B2B sales and a specialization in the manufacturing sector
Typically Solidify will work with their customers to develop a roadmap or phased approach. This makes it easier on the customer to focus on one phase at a time with initial success to build upon. They may also start by addressing what Colletti calls the customer’s “biggest pain point,” which could be configuring products or direct selling online.
Global manufacturer AMETEK, Inc. is a large client of Solidify, who works with a number of divisions. One of AMETEK’s divisions needed a public solution that allowed website visitors to search and query with greater convenience and clarity. They didn’t want a direct sales platform, but rather wanted to allow their customer to send an RFQ from the website that the sales force could act on. Solidify was able to analyze their needs and create a single configurator that was usable in two different views: one for the customer facing website and another for the sales rep to utilize in the Solidify CPQ system. This created a streamlined workflow of efficiencies so that sales reps can quickly convert an RFQ to quote and send directly from the CPQ view.
Solidify’s innovation is based on a ‘checks and validations’ approach, not on a single data point. Colletti says they certainly talk with analysts and study industry trends, but a main source of innovation comes from conversations with their clients.
In the future, Solidify plans to further evolve their technology and remain, as Colletti puts it, “open in nature.” This includes enhancing the look and feel of their systems to increasing the flexibility of the backend. With an innovative, intuitive, and creative approach, it’s easy to imagine Solidify as a long-term leader in e-commerce.