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Modular site furniture manufacturer Maglin eliminates two-week sales process using DriveWorks CPQ system

Maglin Site Furniture designs and manufactures quality seating, tables, waste containers, bike racks, and planters for public gathering areas. The organization has to be effective, lean, and fast-moving to meet the demands of customers who want custom configurations to suit their creative designs.

Customization usually means longer lead times, but landscape architects and site contractors can rarely afford to wait. Implementing DriveWorks, with the support of Javelin Technologies, has helped Maglin move to manufacturing – and to market – faster.

Maglin uses a DriveWorks-powered configure-price-quote (CPQ) system for three of its furniture lines – Lexicon, Ogden, and Pixel. Each line is built to order and available in different sizes, colours, materials, and layouts – there are thousands of possible configurations. In the past, getting from desired specs to approved drawings took at least two weeks; today, the entire process can be done in one online configuration session.

Maglin Product Builder

Maglin Product Builder

Customer approval on the spot

Aaron Dawson is Director of Manufacturing for Maglin. To demonstrate the impact of changing from a manual process to using DriveWorks, he points to the Ogden modular product line.

“We offer thousands of various bench radii, making it a custom product always built to order. To avoid costly errors and wasted time and materials, customer approval of the layout drawings is paramount.”

Before implementing DriveWorks, a sales rep would talk to the customer and record the specs required, then request the drawing. An engineer would create the drawing and send it to the customer for approval. Once approved, production would begin.

Even if there were no changes, working through a drawing approval process would take about two weeks. If the customer wanted changes, that timeline could double.

Using DriveWorks, this process has been eliminated. A sales rep can automatically create the drawings based on the chosen configuration or Maglin can give the landscape architect access to the system to create his or her own design and drawings.

Maglin lexicon

Maglin Product Builder – Configure Lexicon

One session provides pricing and drawings

At the beginning of a CPQ session, the sales rep or customer chooses the specs for each element – shape, dimensions, colour etc. The system continually updates in real time, including pricing, as they try different options. When the design session is over, they have drawings, a model to insert into their site drawings, and a quotation. DriveWorks is linked to Maglin’s freight partner’s database, so even the shipping cost is generated automatically – the system knows the size, weight, and number of packages.

“The engineering team is not involved in this process at all,” Aaron says. “They are entirely dedicated to the production process and new product development.”

Automation means more time to focus on new projects

Sometimes, when there is talk of automation, people fear the change or worry about the impact on their role. Aaron says DriveWorks has removed the backlog of projects in the sales process and has freed up designers to use their creativity to design new products.

“Automation tools remove day-to-day repetitive tasks. Our designers no longer have to spend time tweaking the furniture configuration because the software does that. Our designers were on board from the start. They have totally embraced it.”

Aaron also points out that because the sales process moves faster, overall business revenue is increasing. He can add more designers to the team. The sales team has been freed from their backlog as well, and can focus on creating and strengthening relationships with customers, which is critically important to Maglin.

“There is no lack of opportunity out there,” Aaron says. “And our sales people now have more time to maximize the use of our CRM. They can see who has been working on layouts online and give people a call to talk about their needs. We want new clients and new projects – that’s the most valuable use of their time.”

Skate Park Configuration - Maglin Ogden

Skate Park Configuration – Maglin Ogden

DriveWorks representatives listen to feedback

Maglin’s original reason for implementing the DriveWorks CPQ system was to get to manufacturing quicker to reduce the cash conversion cycle. As they gained experience, they started wondering, “Can the software do this?” and “What if we could make the system work like that?”

“We’ve been pushing the envelope,” Aaron says. “We continually challenge the people at Javelin and at DriveWorks. Nobody at Javelin ever says ‘no, that can’t be done’ – they are always open to trying new things. And DriveWorks representatives have listened to my feedback and have addressed my concerns. We are working directly with the developer to influence their product. That’s a win-win for us and for DriveWorks.”

Javelin is part of the team

Javelin helped Maglin design their initial online system and provided guidance on everything from hardware selection to testing, troubleshooting, and optimizing performance.

“If another company is finding DriveWorks challenging, it’s because they don’t have a technical partner like Javelin,” Aaron says. “We couldn’t have gone as far as we have on our own. Lee from Javelin is part of our team and walks freely around our plant.”

Maglin will continue to work closely with Javelin and DriveWorks to make further progress. Aaron says it’s a continual learning process for everyone and has appreciated that Javelin has pointed him to funding opportunities for resources and training; Maglin has been able to secure grants to support their investment in DriveWorks.

“Javelin helps us understand what’s coming, including the new technology that will make a difference for us and how they can help. Our CEO Ian McAskile said that DriveWorks, with Javelin’s mentoring, has been a game changer for us as we continue to be a leader in our industry.”

Maglin’s finished projects

Challenge:

Customization usually means longer lead times, but landscape architects and site contractors can rarely afford to wait. In the past, getting from desired specs to approved drawings took at least two weeks.

Solution:

Implementing a DriveWorks-powered configure-price-quote (CPQ) system with the help of technical experts at Javelin Technologies.

Benefits:

  • DriveWorks gives sales reps and landscape architects an easy-to-use online system for configuring modular site furniture, generating pricing, and creating drawings, continually updating in real time
  • Maglin’s typical two-week sales process, including customer approval of drawings, has been eliminated
  • Engineers are free to develop new products; they are no longer tied up making and tracking small tweaks to designs
  • Using CPQ automation, Maglin can meet customer demand for speed while continuing to provide customization and quality; they are also winning more projects by delivering quotations and drawings quickly
  • Effects are company-wide: overall revenue has increased; sales reps have more time to spend on relationship building with new and existing customers; the marketing team is able to promote the benefits of the DriveWorks system
  • Working directly with both Javelin and DriveWorks, Maglin has been mentored and supported and is contributing to future releases of the software that will benefit everyone

“Automation tools remove day-to-day repetitive tasks. Our designers no longer have to spend time tweaking the furniture configuration because the software does that. Our designers were on board from the start. They have totally embraced it.”

- Aaron Dawson, Director of Manufacturing

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