5 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time to Upgrade your RfQ Process
January 14, 2022
It’s never too late to change and improve a certain way of doing things. What’s crucial, is to come to the realisation that progress is necessary, especially in a sector such as electronics.
This article has been updated in May 2023.
From “I have too many other priorities” to “there is no tool that solves my challenges”, several are the arguments in favour of sticking to the status quo during our conversations with companies from the electronics industry. We always have a good counterargument because this discussion is our reason to exist – the time has come for electronics development processes to enter the modern and digital age. Here are five of our most relevant reasons why this progress should be a priority and how it’s actually feasible.
#1: Change is scary, but inevitable
If your current processes work for you, it’s understandable that you won’t prioritise changing them. However, you can’t stop time: things have evolved and will always evolve. In order for your business to keep up with time, adapting and reviewing also what works is essential, as there will always be new technologies that make it even better. Moreover, a process doesn’t only need to “work”, it can be optimised for efficiency, too.
Think of this everyday life example: years ago, one would go to a travel agency to get plane tickets for their holidays, whereas now, everyone can do it on the internet with a simple click. Similarly, when it comes to quoting processes, what an employee does manually in days, technology can do automatically in just a few hours. You’d only need to find the right tool for you.
#2: Long-term gains weigh out short-term losses
People tend to favour immediate gratification above long-term gains. We could call this an “evolutionary legacy” that we’ve been carrying with us since the times when humans were hunter-gatherers and the likelihood to survive another year didn’t justify losing out on immediate pleasures.
Being far from that today, it might make sense to think twice when saying “I have no time for this now”. It’s true that times are tough and world-wide crises such as the supply shortage are taking up a lot of our days, but no crisis lasts forever. Investing a bit more time and resources on streamlining your workflows now when demand is high and supply is low, would give you a considerable competitive advantage when demand and supply return in balance in the near future. Your competitors might be already doing it!
#3: Go step by step, not all in
If you’re already working on a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software or changing on other ends, you might want to take advantage of the change you’ve initiated and consider adding other new tools that would bring even more functionalities and value to your current infrastructure. Tools in the market have never been easier to implement, connect to other tools and use, while at the same time requiring minimal IT effort thanks to modern cloud-based solutions.
But it doesn’t have to happen all at once – you can decide the level of change that’s most suitable to your company and which steps come first, and, at the end of the journey, you’ll find yourself with version 2.0 of your business: still the same at heart, but greatly improved on different levels.
#4: Ask for custom functionalities
You might think there is no tool or solution out there that offers exactly the functionalities or features you need for your own Request for Quotation (RfQ) process. Fair enough, we know that RfQ processes differ a lot from company to company, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
In this case, Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses could be a very viable option for you, as they’re built on flexibility and continuous improvement and are extremely customer-centric. This means that you can usually choose the part of the software you want to use (and pay for) and, most importantly, give feedback and ask for specific features – there’s a high chance that they’ll find their way into the product.
#5: Modern process = modern security standards
Adopting a new RfQ process involves new software, and it’s totally normal to be sceptical at first – it’s probably a good sign, actually! We should always be wary of potential scams. However, we’d like to stress one fundamental point: “new” doesn’t equal “insecure” or “untrustworthy”.
Modern software is run with cloud technologies that are backed by companies like Microsoft with dedicated security specialists. They keep sensitive data way more secure than old-school storage solutions that are vulnerable to cyberattacks or even simple human error. Moreover, cloud applications have a direct positive impact on costs and turnover, such as increased productivity through a more flexible and digital way of working, hardware savings as well as better data analysis options.
Where to start now?
We hope our five reasons to revolutionise your quoting process have cleared some doubts and motivated you to tackle those old company practices. If you're wondering what it means for an EMS provider to use a modern quoting tool in practice, check out this other article.
At Luminovo, we have developed our very own way to rethink the RfQ process for EMS providers, OEMs, PCB suppliers and the whole value chain including all the benefits mentioned above: flexibility of implementation, constant addition of features, modern security standards and a streamlined workflow. Take a look at it here or see it live in a product demo session. We also offer get-to-know calls to discuss further uncertainties and individual needs – do not hesitate to reach out to us!