January 9, 2017, 4:03 PM

A space and defense manufacturer launches a web portal

Moog signs a deal to build a web portal following a successful rollout of a similar website in its industrial products group.

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Moog Inc. is counting on success to breed success. The industrial products manufacturer’s space and defense products unit signed a deal with Solidify Inc. for an online sales portal late last year, about two years after Moog’s industrial products group launched configure-price-quote technology, followed by a web portal where distributors could obtain quotes on complex products.

Configure-price-quote, or CPQ, software lets online buyers configure products while choosing from many component variables, view the seller’s pricing, and, if necessary, request a new price quote.

Moog, a manufacturer of precision control components and systems for aircraft, satellites, industry and medical equipment, signed with Solidify in November to provide an online sales portal for its space and defense division. The portal isn’t live yet, but is expected to provide customer order and shipping status and update stock levels. The space and defense unit also is using the CPQ technology.

Moog’s space and defense unit expects to mirror the company’s industrial products group’s CPQ and sales portal technology launch in 2014, which resulted in $20 million of sales now going through the sales portal rather than being handled manually, says Tim Niewczyk, director of business relationship management for the industrial group.

“The basic need for us was for CPQ, to configure products for our distributors to get them to a price,” Niewczyk says. “The distributor can log in and configure an order and our internal sales team has full visibility of it all.”

For example, an industrial group customer that wants to order a valve used for controlling flaps on an aircraft can configure the parts needed and the CPQ tool can also show related parts and products, and their availability. The CPQ technology has made the ordering process more efficient for both Moog and its clients, Niewczyk says. “Before, distributors had to call our internal sales app engineers who walked them through what they needed and gave them a list of products,” he says. “It was labor-intensive. Now the distributor can go online and create the product order, get the list price and their price—they do it all themselves.”

Solidify provides CPQ and portal technology in a software-as-a-service format to Moog’s business units, says Kevin Colletti, Solidify’s president and CEO. The vendor also offers a SaaS-based e-commerce platform. Software as a service, or SaaS, lets companies access through a web browser software that a vendor hosts on the internet, rather than operating it on their own servers.

“What we’ve done for Moog ishelp their customers log in, configure a product they want and then order what they want. It takes the onus off the service center,” Colletti says.

Moog’s industrial group doesn’t have an e-commerce site per se, Niewczyk says, because its products are custom-made per its clients’ specifications. “Our products are not really off-the-shelf,” he says. “We’re not mass manufacturing.” But that might change because one of its manufacturing units is looking to offer certain types of commonly ordered motors, he adds.

Moog pays Solidify an annual hosting fee for the technology, plus a one-time fee for each configuration. Niewczyk declined to disclose specific fees, but noted “it’s very inexpensive.”

Moog reported $2.41 billion in total 2016 sales for the fiscal year ended Oct. 1, down 4.4% from $2.52 billion in 2015.

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