Tacton, a provider of configure price quote (CPQ) and design-automation solutions for the manufacturing industry, is expanding operations in the United States. The Sweden-based company is investing $12 million over the next three years to establish joint headquarters in Chicago.
Tacton CEO Frederic Laziou said the expansion will enable the solutions provider tailor its services for the Americas customer base and provide localized support. “To provide a true value-added solution requires interaction with a customer’s operations and engineering teams to understand their products and processes,” he said. “We understand the customer’s journey begins at the web, but we believe a local team is essential to articulate our message to North American buyers.”\
Tacton CEO Frederic Laziou
“Our intention is four-fold,” he added. “We want to get closer to the addressable market and interact directly with customers. And rather than engage remotely, we want to create a North American headquarters that can help develop our leadership in this space. We don’t just want to focus on sales—we want to build on our customers’ success.”
Large industrial companies are seeking smart commerce solutions that, among other improvements, help them remain price-competitive in the global market, Laziou explained. The company’s manufacturing software solutions connect customers, products and factories, enabling better sales and more efficient operations. In conjunction with its expansion, Tacton has announced new capabilities in its cloud-based CPQ platform. New features include augmented reality (AR)-powered visualization and expanded integration with Salesforce, making it easy for manufacturers to design, configure and sell complex products.
For example, the Industrial Power division at Siemens uses Tacton’s sales configuration software to slash the time it takes to prepare price quotes and simplify product configuration of custom solutions. It used to take Siemens eight weeks to produce a custom quote for its gas turbine units, With Tacton’s CPQ, the sales team now produces the same quote in a matter of minutes, without requiring any help from product specialists.
“The beauty of the Tacton Configurator is that it will guide the sales representative and get the product configuration for an accurate price quote each time. It now takes us only five minutes to generate a complete budget offer including pricing. This saves us tremendous amounts of time and money,” said Siemens Senior Engineer CRM process & IT Development Jan Nilsson.
Tacton enlists both AI and machine-learning capabilities to provide schematics and data most relevant to the customer. Tacton CPQ now includes visual product configuration, including real time, interactive 3D drag-and-drop functionality. Sales engineers can interact directly with a sophisticated configuration tool, powered by AI to visualize the configuration within the actual environment.
For example, through Tacton’s experience in the trucking industry, components common to all vehicles—such as gear boxes-- are identified and optimized. Many customers, however, prefer customization. “There are considerations such as a truck’s load or long-haul truckers’ need for a space to sleep in. We can recommend the best truck possible,” Laziou said.
Tacton’s solutions runs a variety of configurations using specific characteristics such as cost of ownership or optimum emission standards. Trucks used in Canada, Laziou explained, need bigger fuel tanks because of the vast territory they cover. Various characteristics are weighed against one another before a final design is recommended. “This is where AI starts—we can provide optimization like no one else can in our space,” Laziou said. “We can create a customer’s ‘perfect truck.’”
Tacton’s systems allow customers to manage their customization and determine a realistic pricing structure. “AI helps us provide a smarter, verified solution,” Laziou said. “We also analyze data from a multitude of inputs and we can address issues such as errors in the quoting process. If you remove those errors, then you know how a project should be quoted. The more data you put in, the smarter the system,” he added.
Other new capabilities extend Tacton’s integration with Salesforce to boost sales with features including needs-based configuration. Salesforce Sales Cloud customers can connect to Tacton CPQ to leverage its AI-driven configurator for the manufacturing industry. Tacton CPQ for Salesforce features automated CAD drawing and engineer-to-order (ETO) processes with out-of-the-box integration to all leading CAD solutions.
“We experienced significant customer adoption for Tacton CPQ solutions among European manufacturers over the last two years, making it the ideal time to meet a similar demand in the United States,” said Laziou. “By continuing to add breakthrough enhancements like AR-powered visual configuration to our CPQ solution, we can drive even greater efficiency for manufacturers, making it even simpler and faster to sell complex products.”
Tacton, founded in 1998, helps manufacturers such as Bosch, Siemens and Caterpillar manage the complexities traditionally associated with product customization. The company also manages products through end-of-life.
“Over time we’ve seen business model change from customer support to how to put the customer in the middle of a digital transformation,” Laziou concluded.