Pricing software search for a logistic company

This case study is about the Pricing software search for a logistic company operating in the pharmaceutical sector.


Client’s business problem


The logistic company issues thousands of quotes every day following a very manual process and wants to fix it. Operations and Pricing teams collect key variables from suppliers to price shipment service. 


Costs are mainly:


    -Transportation lanes origin and destination

    -Local transportation company (collection pick up and delivery on site in various countries) (called “Agent”)

    -Air Freight company and airport

    -Customs clearance Brokers

    -Packaging (type (c57 standard references), weight)

    -Type of service (premium, eco premium, integrator)

    – Data Logger (Different types of articles)

    -Surcharge as percentage on different component

    The business works through a combination of recurring different factors: trade lanes (for instance Chicago to Paris), type of services and packaging used. 

    Each shipment has a specific destination and origin (i.e. different “agent” depending on countries) with different packaging and service required but most of the activity is done with the same Trade lanes, and with a defined number of solutions (type of service and packaging).

    In most cases (70% to 80% of time), and due to recurring cost patterns, cost history allows teams in charge to confidently estimate costs and define a pricing (cost + model).


    They face 2 issues:


    Standardisation:  3 spreadsheet pricing tools not documented nor standardised (different terminology for the same service) 


    Efficiency in time and cost: Historical data / costs to build the solution and the quotation to the customer are not used leading the pricing team to:

      – Delay in response to the customer due to late answer from local suppliers

      – Solution are not built in the most efficient way in terms of cost and as a consequence in terms of price


      The logistic company is looking for a solution to collect costs whenever history exists and apply an homogeneous price mechanism (cost +).

      It is a plus, that when the cost history does not exist for a given pricing drivers combination, either the solution helps predict / extrapolate historical cost or at a minimum initiate an exception process.


      Anonymized Performance Matrix


      List of relevant vendors:


      Salesforce Oracle PROS Zoho Conga ExpertLogix Odoo Epicor Bit2win Apparound Revalize Elfsquad servicePath iQuoteXpress


      In just 3 weeks, Vektiq AI-powered platform pinpointed the ideal solution for a chief financial officer.


      Ready to start your search? Link to our self-service platform here



      Vendor’s answers and insights


      Salesforce answer


      Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a robust solution that offers a wide range of features to streamline the sales process and optimize quoting and pricing. Some key features of Salesforce CPQ include:

      Product Configuration: Easily configure complex products or services based on customer needs and specifications, ensuring accurate quotes every time.

      Pricing Management: Set up and manage pricing rules, discounts, and promotions to ensure consistent and accurate pricing across all sales channels.

      Quote Generation: Automatically generate professional-looking quotes and proposals with just a few clicks, saving time and improving sales efficiency.

      Real-time Pricing and Availability: Integrate with inventory and pricing systems to provide up-to-date information on product availability and current pricing.

      Guided Selling: Offer guided selling prompts to help sales reps identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities during the configuration process.

      Quote Amendments: Easily make changes to existing quotes, allowing for quick adjustments based on customer feedback or new requirements.

      Contract Management: Integrate with contract management systems to streamline the contract creation and approval process.

      Quote Approval Workflow: Implement customizable approval workflows to ensure proper review and authorization before sending out quotes.

      Renewals and Amendments: Handle renewals, add-ons, and amendments to existing contracts with automated processes.

      Reporting and Analytics: Gain insights into sales performance, quoting metrics, and pipeline visibility to make data-driven decisions and optimize sales strategies.

      Integration with CRM: Seamlessly integrate with Salesforce CRM, allowing sales reps to access customer data, quotes, and opportunities within one platform.

      Mobile Access: Access CPQ functionalities on mobile devices, enabling sales reps to generate quotes and proposals on the go.

      Multi-Currency and Multi-Language Support: Support global sales operations with the ability to handle multiple currencies and languages

      Customizability: Tailor CPQ processes and workflows to suit unique business requirements.

      These features combine to enhance sales efficiency, accuracy, and customer experience, making Salesforce CPQ a powerful tool for organizations seeking to streamline their sales operations and quoting processes.


      What others say on Salesforce


      vs. Iquoteexpress: Salesforce CPQ offers great CPQ functionalities for users of Salesforce CRM. Salesforce customers that have decided to use IquoteXpress as a CPQ integrated to Salesforce CRM(we have SSO with Salesforce) consider IQX as a fantastic value for money alternative that in some specific industries, as could be the case with temperature-controlled logistics services, could provide a higher degree of customisation to bespoke needs and operational requirements.


      vs. Oracle: Oracle CPQ has the best ranking on CPQ solution on Salesforce marketplace. We have a specific connector to support lightening UI integration so integration of CPQ is transparent for the end user.  I invite you to read the latest Forrester around CPQ solution to confirm the power of our solution. We supports several processes with several entry points /front office applications and several back office applications. We have tree type of licences – 1)named users (so normally 50 in your case), 2) Partner or Channel users (this will enable to your suppliers or resellers to access the solution and do quotations, 3) Self-Service access to let your end customers manage their quotations by themselves.


      vs. AppAround: Mobile first approach. Fully operational both online and offline. Apparound can be used both online and offline, unlike Salesforce, which requires an Internet connection. Sales representatives always have access to data and information, with a return in terms of business continuity. Content Management System , Customer-oriented user interface, Apparound is known for its ease of use and provides an engaging and interactive environment for creating customized offerings with the customer. Easy usability:From the very first use, sales reps can create quotes and contracts through pre-set rules and previously configured guided-selling paths. Fast implementation : Compared to Salesforce, Apparound’s setup process is smoother and allows for rapid activation of the platform. High-level technical support :Apparound’s support team ensures a timely and quality customer experience. Flexible pricing models : Apparound offers flexible pricing models that can be adapted to the specific size and needs of the company.


      vs. Odoo: The main competitive advantages with regards to the creation of quotations and sales order compared to Salesforce are the following;  Odoo proposes to configure different pricelists for each of your customers, as well as different quotation templates;  With Odoo, your client will have the possibility to sign and to pay online;  Odoo enables your clients to have access to all their quotations and sales order through the Customer Portal;  Moreover, Odoo will give you the possibility to create a subscription from a quotation in case you have any recurrences. Please, find the full list of advantages Odoo has compared to Salesforce to the following link – Each software has its own functionalities and advantages. Therefore, it is key for you to compare them based on your specific needs before taking any decision. Some of them offer a free version, or free tests, which enables you to have a first overview of the system.


      Oracle answer


      First it is a multi-channel application. CPQ can be linked with any kind of front office applications. Usually, mainly CRM applications with out of the box integration with Salesforce (including a lightening UI), or through an eCommerce platform to let end customers build their quote in SelfService.

      On the Configuration part, guiding selling lets you ask questions and according to customer answers propose you the best products and services to sell with potential predefined configuration done. The ability to manage bundle of offers combining one time and recurring products and services to generate orders and subscriptions.

      On the pricing, deal management features with prescriptive, descriptive or predictive analytics and KPI to understand based on past deals and machine learning what should be the best price to optimize the win rate. Some KPIs to highlight compared to the margin to achieve if it is a good deal or not, pricing agreement for specific customers etc…

      And on the quotation process, of course Role based actions to manage quote visibility according to type of users and their related organisation, strong approvals processes, collaborative quoting and the ability to work with several people on the same quote and finally the ability to generate hyper personalised and branded documents to your end customers

      It is also pssible to use CPQ as a hub and connect to other systems to augmentand empower the process – including Sales Optimisation tools, 3D visuaisation tools, Augmented Reality, eSignature, even pulling availability or credit check from ERP. It is an open API architecture so very easily to integrate CPQ in your prospects and customers ecosystem. The data model is really flexible so it will be easy to manage your requirements


      What others say on Oracle


      vs. AppAround: Competitive pricing. Apparound offers a high-end solution at a more affordable cost than Oracle (which starts at €240/user/month). A win-win option for the customer. Mobile application : Designed with a “mobile-first” approach, Apparound provides an application optimized for mobile devices, enabling sales representatives to work on the go and access information in real time. Oracle does not have a dedicated mobile app. Improved user interface : Apparound provides a fast and responsive User Interface, maintaining high performances even with complex configurations and high data volumes. On the other hand, Oracle’s CPQ tends to slow down with larger configurations, negatively affecting productivity. Simple configuration, maintenance and deployment. Apparound is quick to configure and deploy thanks to its user-friendly interface and intuitive functionalities. This reduces the time it takes to get the platform up and running compared to Oracle CPQ.


      vs.Odoo: The main competitive advantages with regards to the creation of quotations and sales order compared to Salesforce are the following;  Odoo proposes to configure different pricelists for each of your customers, as well as different quotation templates;  With Odoo, your client will have the possibility to sign and to pay online;  Odoo enables your clients to have access to all their quotations and sales order through the Customer Portal;  Moreover, Odoo will give you the possibility to create a subscription from a quotation in case you have any recurrences. Please, find the full list of advantages Odoo has compared to Salesforce to the following link – Each software has its own functionalities and advantages. Therefore, it is key for you to compare them based on your specific needs before taking any decision. Some of them offer a free version, or free tests, which enables you to have a first overview of the system.


      vs.Salesforce CPQ is natively integrated with the Salesforce CRM platform, providing seamless data flow and a unified user experience. Oracle CPQ may require additional integration efforts to connect with other Oracle products or third-party systems. Ease of Use: Salesforce CPQ offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive setup, enabling quicker adoption and reduced training time for sales teams.Oracle CPQ may have a steeper learning curve and require more technical expertise to configure and use effectively. Scalability: Salesforce CPQ is highly scalable and can accommodate the needs of both small businesses and large enterprises. Oracle CPQ may be better suited for larger enterprises with complex sales processes and high transaction volumes. Flexibility: Salesforce CPQ is customizable, allowing businesses to tailor the solution to their specific quoting and pricing requirements. Oracle CPQ may have some customization options but might be more rigid in certain aspects. Community and Ecosystem: Salesforce has a large and active community of users and developers, providing access to a vast ecosystem of add-ons, integrations, and best practices for CPQ. Oracle CPQ also has a community, but Salesforce’s ecosystem is generally considered more extensive. Innovation: Salesforce is known for its continuous innovation and updates to its cloud-based solutions, including CPQ, with regular feature enhancements and new functionalities. Oracle CPQ also receives updates, but Salesforce’s frequency of updates is often more frequent. Implementation Time: Salesforce CPQ is often praised for its relatively faster implementation times, allowing businesses to start using the solution quickly. Oracle CPQ implementations may take longer, especially for complex use cases.


      PRO’s answer


      The PROS Platform comprises two productized solution areas, supported by a shared data processing and AI service. The two products can be used independently but bring multiplied value when combined:

      PROS Smart Price Optimization & Management: Used by the pricing and/or product management teams to define and manage prices, pricing strategies and pricing policies.

      PROS Smart Configure Price Quote: Used by the sales team to accelerate their sales cycle whilst providing a better chance to win with personalized offers and prices.

      PROS Smart CPQ is designed with one objective in mind : improve the efficiency of the sales team. The business benefits and KPI improvements that can be expected from PROS CPQ are :

      Higher adoption by the sales team: PROS Smart CPQ provides an easy to use, guided selling experience to sales users, so that they can onboard and start selling rapidly, even for new recruits.

      Faster Time-to-Quote: through a streamlined sales process and with multiple aids such as Guided Selling, Spare parts catalogue, Comparison, Configuration optimizer, Mass Upload/Updates, personalized Pricing and Document Generation, our customers have reported 75% improvement of the quote turnaround time.

      Precision configuration: thanks to the most advanced constraint engine on the market, PROS CPQ helps your sales team deliver flawless configurations, associations of products and services, long-term agreements, etc …even in the most complex environment. Additionally, PROS CPQ can maintain a commercial configuration and a technical configuration in parallel to further accelerate the Time-To-Serve by serving downstream production and logistic systems.

      Personalized pricing: backed with PROS Smart Price Optimization and Management solution, PROS CPQ transparently delivers the most appropriate Pricescount and even Negotiation envelope, all customer-specific and optimized at the transaction level

      More wins, more profitability: with advanced analytics and AI support, the salesperson is guided towards the best offer and the best price, taking all elements into consideration, such as freight, cost-to-serve, rebates, etc.


      What others say on PRO’s


      vs. Oracle: We are managing the full lifecycle of CPQ in a unique solution and we are running on our own cloudplatform. So this improve performance and security.


      vs. Salesforce: Seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CRM, providing a unified platform for sales operations. Offers a user-friendly interface familiar to Salesforce users, reducing training time and enhancing adoption. Benefits from a robust ecosystem with extensive third-party app integrations and support. Scalable for both small businesses and large enterprises within the Salesforce ecosystem. Provides mobile access for sales reps on the go.


      Zohocorp answer


      You’ll be able to build a custom quote management application on top of Zoho Creator platform and integrate the solution with Salesforce to push or fetch information.


      What others say on Zohocorp


      vs. Odoo: Zoho CRM is a complete solution of client relation management. It offers the possibility the follow-up on prospects, the creation of quotation, the contacts management, making it a comprehensive choice for businesses looking for integrated sales and customer management. Each software has its own functionalities and advantages. Therefore, it is key for you to compare them based on your specific needs before taking any decision. Some of them offer a free version, or free tests, which enables you to have a first overview of the system.


      Experlogix answer


      We studied Logistic company’s website. Experlogix CPQ solution can optimize the pricing of Logistic company’s logistic service through calculations based pn rules. CPQ can be used internally (Logistic company’s sales team) and/or directly by their customers. Following the generated pricing, a series of different documents can automatically be generated such as an order or a quote.


      What others say on Experlogix


      vs. Iquoteexpress: Experlogix is known as the CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users and it also integrates with Salesforce. It offers most of the required CPQ functionalities for Enterprise level companies. We also have Microsoft Dynamics users who chose IQX. They found that we could offer a similar level of functionalities with a considerable advantage in cost of ownership. We also enable the option to customise the software for special needs for Enterprise level customers.


      vs. ConfigureIT: Mainly focussed on visualisation with bloc logic which struggles with complex configuration requirements.


      Odoo answer


      Based on the information we received, and at a first sight, we can highlight 2 different solutions in Odoo.

      1) The first one will be to use the Sales application to manually create new quotations based on quotations template and specific price lists.

      2) The second one will be to use the Helpdesk application followed by the Sales application. The Helpdesk could be use by your team to treat any tickets received from your clients (through an alias e-mail). Each ticket can have a different SLA defined such as “To be answered in 3H00”. Your sales team will be able to ensure an answer to the client within the maximum period of time with the help of the Sales application then. 

      In both scenarios, we would need to analyze more into details your needs to ensure that we propose the right solution for you


      Conga answer


      Conga can define and manage different cost models by storing different cost types depending on the sold product or service. Cost types can be defined based on the cost types specific to your business, and they can be aggregated at the line-item level into a parent cost field. For example, the total cost may be derived from production costs of raw material, labor, and overheads of commission and taxes. A single line item’s total cost can also be derived from aggregating direct, indirect, and variable costs. These costs could be manufacturing, sales, administrative, volume-based, or any other miscellaneous cost. Conga can also integrate to other external systems to be fed the various costs (typically ERP).


      Revalize answer


      We specialise in delivering a guided selling experience for our clients. We are a standalone solution with extensive experience of integration with our clients existing and future business systems. As a low code / no code solution we commonly train our clients on our easy-to-use administration environment to provide our clients the self sufficiency to update their products, rules, logic and product pricing.


      Elfsquad answer


      Solving the technicalities of your configurator is one topic. And we’re confident we know about those details with our domain experience.

      The challenge for Logistic company is the go live date by the end of this year. Since we’ve done over 150 implementations, we have streamlined and standardized our implementation process in order for our customers to efficiently go live. See and read about it here:


      iQuoteExpress answer


      Logistic company needs to create around 1000 quotes daily and each one of them needs to consider the specific requirements of each customer.

      From an architectural perspective, IquoteXpress will sit on top of the TMS Unity system, Salesforce CRM & rate management tools currently (or future) used by Logistic company. The quote inputs are a combination of real time & historical data that comes in varied formats and interfaces. IQX will facilitate the display & use of this information to create accurate quotes in a reduced time.

      In addition to generating a PDF quote for a customer, with a link that could enable Cryo PDPs customers to add or remove services set as optional, your customers could also kickstart the quoting process online through the Logistic company Portal powered by the IQXeCOMM. The added value of this portal is that it works in conjunction to IquoteXpress CPQ and would have access to the Data in the background servicing that Portal.

      Depending on the specific needs of Logistic company we can set an approval process before certain quotes that don’t fulfil margin requirements are sent and our system can also provide information of margin and profit of the specific business while the quote is being prepared.       IquoteXpress CPQ is our core CPQ Offering and the IQXeCOMM was created to streamline the quoting process even further by involving your customers in the process by submitting the base relevant information to prepare the quote. The IquoteXpress value offer for Logistic company will depend on the Scope of Work meeting where we will learn in detail Logistic company requirements, current quoting process and systems used in the process.

      Our vision is that companies like Logistic company need to keep that up to date in a world where rates & pricing can change literally from one moment to the next. And the way to support Logistic company is through smart & easy to use integrations, bespoke configuration tools and a smart process to make the best use of historical data.


      Apparound answer


      Apparound can help Logistic company in standardize and digitize the sales journey across the international sales team in order to improve sales performance your way. The core solution is the CPQ (Configure, Price and Quote) that allows to show and share contents, build quotes in real time, collect electronic or remote signature and track sales activity. Sales representatives can easily review quotes made in a custom time period and analyze cost history using an intuitive dashborad. This can be easily customized to Logistic company business needs to eliminate manual processes and create quotes in minutes.

      The solution also provides a powerful configuration environment (back-end) for managing users, products or services, pricing and all sales policies, for rapid low-code development, as well as ensuring integration with CRM (Integration to Salesforce is through Apparound’s standard connector as part of the Salesforce app exchange) and other systems – like TMS Unity – through connectors and with API and WS. From the administrator’s portal, it is easy to keep track of the CPQ engine’s quote and cost history, and it is possible to download this data in bulk for statistical price analysis and forecasting purposes.


      Servicepath answer


      Our product is CPQ+ in addition to our robust CPQ+ capabilities.   We have integrations with solutions to calculate tax and tariffs like Avalara and in addition to calculating transports and timelines in order to address how pricing should be calculated properly. ServicePath CPQ offers a range of capabilities to streamline the Configure, Price, Quote process and enhance efficiency. Some of its key capabilities include:

      Configuration Management: servicePath CPQ+ allows users to define and manage product configurations based on various parameters, options, and features. It supports complex product configurations and ensures accurate and consistent quotes based on customer requirements.

      Pricing and Discount Management: The CPQ solution enables users to define pricing rules, discount structures, and promotional offers. It supports dynamic pricing calculations based on factors such as quantity, volume, contract terms, and customer segmentation. This ensures accurate pricing and helps maximize profitability.

      Quoting and Proposal Generation: servicePath CPQ simplifies the quoting process by providing a user-friendly interface to create professional and customized quotes. It allows users to select products, configure options, and automatically generate accurate quotes based on predefined rules and pricing logic. Users can also create visually appealing proposals to present to customers.

      Guided Selling: The CPQ solution offers guided selling capabilities, helping sales representatives navigate through product options and configurations based on customer needs. It provides interactive tools and recommendations to guide the sales process, ensuring accurate and tailored quotes.

      Integration with CRM and ERP Systems: ServicePath CPQ seamlessly integrates with existing CRM and ERP systems, enabling data synchronization and flow between platforms. This integration ensures that product information, pricing, and customer data are up to date across systems, eliminating manual data entry and reducing errors.

      Analytics and Reporting: The CPQ solution provides powerful analytics and reporting tools to track sales performance, quote conversion rates, pricing trends, and other key metrics. It offers insights into sales effectiveness, identifies opportunities for improvement, and helps make data-driven decisions.

      Workflow Automation: ServicePath CPQ automates approval workflows and ensures that quotes follow predefined processes. It streamlines the quote approval process, reducing manual intervention and improving efficiency.

      Scalability and Multi-Channel Support: The CPQ solution is designed to handle high quote volumes and can scale to accommodate business growth. It supports multi-channel quoting, allowing users to generate quotes across various channels, including online portals, mobile devices, and in-person interactions.

      Compliance and Security: servicePath CPQ ensures compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR. It provides robust security measures to protect sensitive customer data and offers data privacy controls.

      These are some of the key capabilities of servicePath CPQ that help businesses automate and streamline their quoting processes, improve accuracy, and enhance sales effectiveness.


      Bit2win answer


      Gartner is ranking Bit2win as best CPQ solution for “price” mgmt; we can manage high complexity with a very configurable solution, totally point and click without needs to write any code and this will reduce time to market for both admin and sales reps


      Epicor Answer


      Epicor CPQ has an extremely powerful configuration, pricing, and rules engine called SNAP, which is at the heart of the platform. One of our key differentiators is that SNAP is a visual, no-code rules engine, which means that someone who is not very technical can learn how to use it. SNAP is a robust configuration and rules engine that can handle the most complex product configurations, costing, and pricing structures. You can define rules, logic, dependencies and add constraints to ensure quotes are accurate and error free. Customers can reuse logic across product options, components and entire product lines. Epicor CPQ’s unique approach, called Nested Configurators, dramatically simplifies the creation and maintenance of your multi-layered costing rules. Epicor CPQ provides a serverless cloud architecture hosted on Microsoft Azure. Our user interface is fully customizable and designed with an easy-to-use approach. The platform is highly flexible and scales with your business.

      Epicor CPQ staff have extensive industry expertise, with several staff members having worked with the platform since the launch of Epicor CPQ (formerly KBMax) in 2009. As a result of our expertise, we have encountered almost every challenge and are able to incorporate best practices and deliver tailored solutions to meet unique customer requirements such as Logistic company.


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