The business process optimization of offer management for investment goods in individual production – the case of a German medium-sized company


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The article examines a typical offer management process of a medium-sized tool manufacturing company using a qualitative, explorative research design. The objective is to explore characteristic improvement measures for optimizing the offer process on three levels: process efficiency, process effectiveness and customer orientation. The case study’s basis is a series of interviews conducted with any company employee who is in touch with the offer process. The interviews are analyzed using theoretical methods, such as benchmarking, the 7R method, the Deming cycle and the Ishikawa diagram. The purpose of the analysis is to provide results that are shaped into an action recommendation plan. The results show that creating an online product configurator (customer orientation), updating the calculation program (process efficiency) and creating a consistent offer follow-up system, will provide the highest potential for the process optimization.

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    • Figure 1. The BPM life cycle
    • Figure 2. The 7R method applied to the offer process
    • Figure 3. Ishikawa diagram on transparency of offer prices
    • Figure 4. Ishikawa diagram on the multitude of software programs in the offer process
    • Figure 5. Ishikawa diagram on the duration of technical examinations
    • Figure 6. The process optimization requirements tree
    • Table 1. Key figures of offer management
    • Table 2. Evaluation of potential BPO methods
    • Table 3. Offer process success factors identified by the company
    • Table 4. Offer success rate in previous period
    • Table 5. Offer success rate in current period
    • Table 6. The process performance measurement system