CPQ analyst Frank Sohn recently interviewed JP Stockton on his weekly podcast about his involvement in researching, selecting, implementing, and rolling out Powertrak 3D CPQ and Virtual Reality at Life Fitness.
JP is a senior product manager for Hammer Strength and Cybex Strength products at Life Fitness.
The company has been an Axonom customer since 2018 with roughly 150 internal users using Powertrak 3D CPQ to configure and quote Hammer Strength equipment, and design facilities for new and existing customers in the athletic market.
Axonom's Powertrak CPQ suite enables the Life Fitness team to digitally build Hammer Strength equipment using interactive 3D product models, place equipment into a customized room, generate pricing, create a quote, and even invite the customer to experience the design in virtual reality (VR).
Business leaders tasked with selecting a CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution need to listen to this podcast. JP shares his thoughts and experiences on selecting a visual configurator over a standard one, the challenges that come with it, tips on how to be successful, and business benefits received.
Novus CPQ Podcast
The Novus CPQ podcast series is a resource for business leaders exploring the idea of adding sales quoting, ordering, and product configuration automation to its business processes. In addition, current CPQ customers listen to learn the latest advancements in CPQ software.
Frank Sohn interviews industry thought leaders, solution providers, and real-world customers. They dive into everything CPQ - exploring solution types, analyzing market trends, sharing advice on implementation and processes, and providing guidance on how to be successful with the solution.
In this podcast, JP explains how the strength equipment industry had changed from the time he left Life Fitness in 2009. "The market had evolved and products became more configurable, complex, and confusing for both customers and sales reps," he said. When JP returned in 2017, he wanted a way for his sales team to quickly and efficiently 'create the vision' for their customers. This led him down the path to search for a visual CPQ solution.
Here are additional highlights from the interview.
Who uses the CPQ solution at Life Fitness?
I'm the product director for Hammer Strength products design. We build products for the athletic market and they go into all markets, including health clubs around the world.
We worked very closely with marketing, who has largely funded the effort and helps us with training and promotion...
We give access to our global sales team and our distributors so that so that they can confidently present their proposals to the customer."
Enablement is an important piece. How do you teach Powertrak 3D CPQ to your team?
"We had built a simple instruction guide. This was really bare bones, so as not to intimidate and give the whole tool box to everybody.
We also set up calls with small segments of our sales teams to give online training.
And the last piece of that puzzle is Friday afternoon Design Parties. It includes my team and some from marketing. We encourage [sales] to bring projects that they want to design for their customers. Together, we will all assist them in building out a solution."
What were the biggest challenges that you had encountered?
"I think one of the major challenges was just fitting this [solution], kind of shoe horning it into daily responsibilities. It was a challenge to carve out specific priorities so that it got the attention that it needed."
What are the biggest benefits with this tool so far?
"So, I had talked a little bit about the increase in creativity and knowledge for the customer. I think it really brings their investment to life, and that is a critical component... We can take those images and we can filter those through our operations team and our production team... Our delivery and installation teams have a visual representation of what they're putting together, so that they can be efficient."
3D Facility Configurations at Ole Miss
Life Fitness used Powertrak 3D Product Configurator to design the Ole Miss campus recreation facility filled with Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment. The image (above) is a draft rendering of the rigs and racks layout. The picture (below) is the actual implementation.
An early rendering of HD Elite racks built in Powertrak 3D CPQ for Ole Miss.
Life Fitness Selects Powertrak Visual & Virtual CPQ
Headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, Life Fitness is the global leader in commercial fitness equipment and game tables. The company's brands include Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group, SCIFIT and Brunswick Billiards.
In 2017, JP spearheaded the search for a visual product configurator solution that would give his worldwide sales team and distributors a web-based solution to interactively design and quote Hammer Strength equipment layouts within a customer’s space.
After gathering information, interviewing solution providers, watching demonstrations, and evaluating CPQ products, JP and the Life Fitness team selected Axonom's Powertrak 3D Visual Configurator.
The long play was to roll out the visual, drag-and-drop configurator to its international sales team but an immediate need came to the forefront.
In 2018, Life Fitness showcased its Hammer Strength brand equipment in a preconfigured workout environment using virtual reality at the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show in San Diego.
The company used Powertrak 3D CPQ to configure the equipment and room layout, then used Powertrak Virtual Reality to present and educate its configurable fitness equipment to conference attendees (industry analysts, gym owners, and business leaders).
Attendees wore the HTC VIVE Pro virtual reality headset to experience how Hammer Strength HD Athletic system of rigs, racks and accessory storage solutions are configured and arranged in a room.
Powertrak 3D CPQ provides a quick output to Powertrak Virtual Reality and can be experienced on commericial-grade VR headsets and smartphone-based headsets.
This gives prospective customers the flexibility to experience a customized performance training space in the trade show booth and then share the exact design with colleagues back at the office using a smartphone and Google Cardboard VR headset.
"The VR exhibit generated a lot of buzz in our booth. The attendees enjoyed how we used this technology to present Hammer Strength products in a fun, but realistic fashion. It gave them a first-person point of view how Hammer Strength HD Athletic system of rigs, racks and accessory storage solutions are configured and arranged in a training facility." -Anthony Morelli, Sr. Marketing Manager at Life Fitness.
Visual Configurations with Quoting
Because Hammer Strength rigs and racks, and accessories such as plates, medicine balls, and dumbbells are all configurable - there is an increased chance for sales reps to become confused with product combinations or inadvertently quote in error. That is where automation comes in handy.
Powertrak's rules-engine is an essential feature for sales reps to become confident in the platform and build the best, most accurate solution for the customer. It ensures that all product combinations are compatible, and product pricing and sales quotes are accurate.
Product and Layout Visualization Enables Customers to See Complex Designs Before They Buy
Reps now have a single platform to deliver a great customer experience. They can log on to the Life Fitness visual configurator from a web browser to begin building a customized solution by:
- defining and entering room dimensions
- selecting the appropriate equipment (changing colors, placing logos, etc.)
- position the equipment into specific locations in a room
- monitor BOMs and the budget in real-time
- produce an accurate quote (with images of the equipment and layout)
- export/share a visual rendering (for approval - if needed)
- experience in virtual reality (smartphone or tethered-headsets)
- and finally submit the order
Life Fitness' investment in a transformational solution will scale as they grow. Today, it serves as a visual quoting platform for 150 internal users but will eventually be exposed for public access in the future.
As Life Fitness' sales reps become more confident with Powertrak 3D CPQ, they will deliver a...
- Better Customer Experience - The customer sees a detailed and fairly exact visual representation of their equipment, layout, and spacing within the room.
- Improved Sales Process - Sales reps can provide a 3D walk-through of the configured equipment and room setup, share pricing, and generate a quote on the spot.
- Accurate Configurations and Quotes - Powertrak rules automation eliminates invalid product configurations and erroneous data entry that often leads to poor customer satisfaction, RMA, and other issues downstream.
Experience and Explore our Visual and Virtual Solutions
JP Stockton and Team Showcase Hammer Strength Products and Layout Designs in VR
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