In my time working across industries at Accenture, Innoware and BlackCurve, I have come across many powerful spreadsheets running business critical processes. Whether customers are using Microsoft Excel, Open Office or Google Sheets to name a few, these tools used correctly can be very powerful. But they do have their limitations...
One of the key reasons companies get in touch with BlackCurve, is because of their current excel price management process. You may have spent years developing sometimes a very sophisticated offline spreadsheet based pricing tool. It often works by taking a download of the product or service inventory from your core business or ERP system (such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Oracle, Epicor to name a few). This list may then be matched with your offline master file for discrepancies using vlookup and hlookup formulas. Where sales data is available, you may work hard crunching the numbers to assess the performance and try and relate this back to the pricing changes you made previously. The pricing administration then happens where prices are updated, promotions are set, and approval may be sought over email, before you submit the revised Master File to IT or upload it back into the system so that price changes can be communicated to the sales force or website.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
In principle the above-mentioned process works. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But what if I said to you, that this process of managing prices is holding your business back?
This article outlines some of the benefits of how you can price smarter, by moving away from a spreadsheet based pricing method, towards an online price list management tool such as BlackCurve.
1. REAL-TIME PRICING
No need to spend days and weeks on the pricing administration side of things. Make changes to your benchmark pricing, pricing rules, promotional pricing, customer pricing, exception pricing in minutes with our easy to use workflows.
2. ASSESS THE IMPACT
Anticipate the business impact of your pricing changes with our visual financial summary. Increasing prices may sound great, but what if this has a detrimental impact on sales? Vice versa, if I decrease prices, how many more to I need to sell to make up the shortfall?
3. MANAGE PRICING TESTS
The key is to optimise your pricing decisions, and get to a point where you can be sure you are achieving the highest price possible whilst still supporting revenue and profitability growth. Because you have your sales history at your fingertips, you can easily identify the areas of margin leakage within BlackCurve, and complete pricing tests to find that pricing sweet spot. BlackCurve will even flag up and rank the areas of greatest opportunity.
4. RULE CONFLICTS ARE HANDLED AUTOMATICALLY
Many of our customers previously struggled with ensuring there were no rule conflicts for example from any promotional activities that were running. BlackCurve takes away the stress, and automatically identifies conflicts that require resolving.
5. A FULL AUDIT HISTORY
Excel is often just a snapshot of what is happening now in your pricing world. BlackCurve logs all the changes behind the scenes, giving you the power to interrogate what has happened previously, and keep a record as to the rationale of individual pricing changes.
6. MOVE AWAY FROM COST PLUS PRICING
Excel is great, but it often struggles when it comes to advanced pricing methods. If you’re looking to take advantage of applying different pricing strategies across multiple product, customer, and market segments, then an online pricing solution is a must. Simply by moving away from a cost plus approach, you’re already on the journey to value based selling, which statistically is proven to support business growth.
7. THE COMMERCIAL TERMS ARE FLEXIBLE
We know your business is constantly evolving in an effort to remain competitive, and that cash flow is important to you. That is why all of our systems are available on a subscription (SaaS: Software-as-a-Service) model where you can sign-up for our standard rolling term of 12 months, and pay either on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
Still not convinced? Take a look at the 8 reasons why Excel based pricing could be hurting your business.