Elematic Oyj, a notable supplier of precast concrete plants and production lines, wanted to develop its quotation activities. In sales situations, this internationally operating company often faces prospective buyers with very different levels of understanding of technical solutions. Although precast construction has been practised in Finland for a long time, it is still a rather poorly known method in many other countries.
"We wanted to develop our quotation activities and provide our clients with a new way of looking at and understanding the solution models we present", Head of Quotations Seppo Säynäväjärvi from Elematic Oyj says about the initial situation. "The aim was to increase ease and clarity, which are necessary in the highly hectic environment related to quotation activities."
The importance of concretising things is highlighted in sales situations. Elematic previously used things such as 2D images in its quotations. Photographs of actual factory environments were added to support them and increase understandability. However, looking at 2D images and comprehending things was not as easy for all clients. International activity brought its own challenges to sales: although precast construction has been practised in Finland for a long time, it is still a poorly known method in many other countries.
Cooperation was launched in August 2018, when Sweco set out to solve its client’s wish to have a more agile quotation process with the help of the virtual SmartDrawings™ tool. The launch had also been preceded by a presentation of the service to Elematic’s sales network, which approved it. "Sweco’s model works well in mobile phones, tablets as well as computers. Anyone can use this easily in presentations given around the world", Säynäväjärvi says, describing how the solution came to be. Illustrative images facilitate the processing of things and support the explaining of the solution.
An essential part of the cooperation have been the regular, weekly meetings of the project group that were led by the project manager and developer of SmartDrawings™, Technology Manager at Sweco Jyri Tuori. Both parties praised that the interaction was open and increased trust. "Communication has been smooth in this project, which has been of paramount importance", Säynäväjärvi says.
Technically, SmartDrawings™ enables a 3D model and 360ᴼ images to be produced easily from a 2D image and even without a BIM. "Building a 3D model by hand could very well multiply the amount of work needed, which is not an option in an agile quotation process", Tuori says, summarising the benefit of the technical solution.
The project was initially time-consuming and required close commitment from both parties, as they were largely creating something that did not exist. "It was a great moment when we got to see and twiddle with the first functional and usable SmartDrawings images,’ Säynäväjärvi says, recalling the half-year-long development process. ‘At present, we already have the preconditions for our own experts to be able to develop the use of this technology further."
"All in all, we are satisfied with Sweco’s tool. It has made it easier to make production line images, and it also allows us to make the images more visual and easier to understand.’ The company has even achieved the wow effect among its clients. “We recently had a client for whom the seller from our quotation team presented this solution. The client simply couldn’t believe it at first! But we showed them the QR code and told them to grab it and check their phone. The client’s mouth fell open in surprise, realising that this might actually be real", Säynäväjärvi recalls, amused.
"We believe that the use of this solution will facilitate trade. We feel that these activities put us ahead of our competitors. At least I’m not aware of a similar solution being offered elsewhere. We’re forerunners", Säynäväjärvi sums up.