New System Delivers Accurate Customer Quotes Faster

Photo by Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

Delphi’s Packard division needed to improve the turnaround time in providing quotes to automotive OEMs for vehicle electronic systems while providing more consistency in their responses. They also need the ability to respond to feedback and quickly provide changes to customers. Quotations were for large, multi-year manufacturing projects, so a lot was at stake in both revenue and costs.

Delphi set the goal of implementing a new system to improve efficiency and standardization of the quoting process using IBM BPM. The plan was to quickly deliver an initial iteration of the application and then continually add value through iterative releases. This project would deal with the complexity and challenges that come with a global team, for example dealing with different laws and regulations in different countries.

Apex worked with Delphi’s business teams, from sales to manufacturing, to envision the quoting process and develop initial models in IBM BPM. Process models and UI mockups were reviewed with the teams and refined through the envisioning process. The solution developed was the Business Pursuit process application. Apex worked with the Delphi teams using an agile development approach and IBM BPM to quickly deliver the initial release.

The quoting process had to support a complex set of interactions between sales, finance, engineering, manufacturing and procurement to provide accurate estimates. The first release covered the complete breadth of the process and enforced process adherence, as well as incorporating user guidance into the UIs. Document management was standardized and incorporated into the process, including a Sharepoint integration for document archiving.

Once the initial release was deployed, the team got to work on developing a set of incremental improvements to the solution. During the envisioning and development of the application, the teams had had the opportunity to discuss each step of the process in great depth. This resulted in a list of improvement items ranging from documenting previously undocumented steps in the process, to building additional checklists, to minor process changes. With the Agile BPM team established, several further releases were able to be completed over the next few weeks.

The Business Pursuit application is now used to develop quotations for all new business for these large-scale projects. With the first release, the application reduced the time required to provide quotations to customers by over 25%.

Delphi and Apex presented this project as a case study at the IBM Impact conference in 2013. Apex has continued to support Delphi (now Aptiv) in their implementation of IBM BPM.

Nick Laughton

Nick Laughton