October 7, 2013
Ok, let’s just get it on the record – using spreadsheets to manage your enterprise B2B pricing is not sustainable. If you’re reading this, you probably already suspect Excel is limiting the return you and your pricing team deliver to your company. Let’s go through some of the top reasons why:
1. Speed & Completeness: You cannot easily and quickly set prices for a complex business with multiple levels of customer and product hierarchies. Today, you have to go line by line to make a price change. And, who has time to do that with ALL the prices? You end up focusing on getting the high-volume line items right and defer analysis of the rest. What if you could ripple a price change across your hierarchies from the highest level down in a matter of moments? Would that give you time to look at all the line items? And, what could that mean for your business in terms of more quickly reacting to raw material costs or a competitor’s price change?
2. Accuracy: You cannot easily integrate your Excel price list into your ERP system. Manually keying in changes is fraught with risk of error. What if you could automatically update your ERP system moments after you rippled a price change through your complex hierarchies, instantly ensuring the correct price is available for newly placed orders?
3. Deal Approvals: You simply cannot manage a deal quote process or even a deal desk using Excel and email. We all know the pitfalls of email-based approval processes, with long arguments about deal profitability, who needs to approve, my data vs. your data, “sharpening our pencils” because the deal is “strategic.” What if you were all looking at the same data, with agreed metrics, and clear ownership by decision-makers – all executed in a centralized repository? Even better, what if that data armed your sales people to negotiate confidently and win each deal at higher margins?
4. Price Optimization: You cannot easily incorporate “pricing science” math into your data by yourself, and even if you could create the world’s best macros, it would not be sustainable because models change with new segmentation approaches, updated competitor price list information, or supply and demand information. What if you could easily change your segmentation model in your B2B pricing approach through a simple user interface and then could model the impact of that change before you “took it live?”
5. Process Control: You cannot easily manage the policies and programs required for great price setting or deal negotiation in Excel. When a policy changes, how do you manage that change for everyone in the organization who uses that spreadsheet on a daily basis? Imagine having one repository of global price setting policies in an enterprise software solution that your teams and peers accessed instead of emailing a “please use this version #22” spreadsheet. Imagine how much simpler your work life would be.
Of course, the list could go on. You probably could add a couple of your own! So, why are you still using Excel? Breaking away from Excel is easier than you might think. B2B enterprise pricing software has come a long way in recent years, becoming a must-have technology at leading Fortune 500 companies. Learn more about how we can help you at webdev.vendavo.com.