Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Other highlights from the breakout sessions include learning the best practices to tackle the pricing challenges of emerging markets, how to use training programs to encourage evaluation of pricing strategies, and the common pricing principles that transcend different industries.
Day 3 Recap: Keynotes
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Professional Pricing Society Explores New Role of Pricers as Change Agents and Leaders at 24th Annual Spring Conference
San Francisco Workshops Highlight Change Management Trends and How to Best Leverage Technology to Achieve Pricing Excellence
The Professional Pricing Society (Pricing Society), supporting pricing education and training in 75 countries, is hosting its 24th Annual Spring Pricing Workshops & Conference from April 30, 2013 to May 3, 2013 in San Francisco at The Palace Hotel. The conference features hands-on workshops and high-level speakers from the words of business, technology and academia, building a diverse environment of pricing professionalism, networking and training.
The most comprehensive pricing training conference to-date, Pricing Society offers 36 sessions and workshops and more than 96 hours of pricing training. Important themes at this year’s conference are change management via market-changing technologies, pricing in global competition and pricing leadership; as well as exploring the components of pricing change that boost bottom lines and drive transformation.
“In a constantly changing world, pricers must learn new processes and strategies to shape and improve innovation strategies,” said Kevin Mitchell, president of the Pricing Society. “Pricers are having more input in multiple levels of the organization, transforming their traditional role into change agents and leaders. We have invited national and international pricing experts to share their experience spearheading effective change and to imbue pricers with the skills they need to succeed, like how to work with capable champions and within a culture of competitive accountability.”
The conference will feature six keynote presentations from industry leading lights. Speaking talent includes Dr. Georg Tacke, CEO, Simon-Kucher & Partners, Caspar de Bono, managing director B2B, Financial Times Ltd and Robert D. Smith, director of corporate pricing, Eastman Chemical Company.
On day three, May 2nd, Dr. Georg Tacke will present, “Pricing and Commercial Excellence – How to Make It Happen,” discussing the reasons of a poor pricing performance and how to transform an organization into a pricing champion. Dr. Tacke has more than 20 years of pricing consulting experience and specializes in developing business, marketing and pricing strategies for companies in the service and automotive industries.
Next we will hear from Caspar de De Bono. His keynote, “Making the Invisible Visible,” explores the necessity of a direct customer relationship in pricing decisions and addresses how to price digital products in a weightless world. De Bono joined the Financial Times in 1995 and has served in a variety of roles including product development, marketing, strategy and publishing.
And ending day three, Robert D. Smith will cover “Sustainability in Pricing,” enlightening attendees with the key areas of focus for developing a sustainable pricing culture and integrating acquisitions with varying pricing philosophies. Over the past twelve years, Smith’s work with Eastman has focused on margin management and developing and sustaining pricing capabilities.
Additionally attendees will hear from Paul Hunt, president of Pricing Solutions Ltd., with “The Journey to Word Class Pricing,” Larry Montan, director of pricing and profitability management practice for Deloitte Consulting, discussing “The White Elephant in the Room: Sales Compensation,” and Steve Haggett, former senior director of pricing for Philips Healthcare, presenting “Speaking in Tongues.”
These six expert keynotes headline what will be an active 24th Annual Pricing Workshops & Conference. Attendees will grow vital pricing skills in 2 two-day workshops and 7 one-day workshops, as well as 18 sessions populating three interest-specific breakout tracks – Pricing Practitioners Pricing Experts, and Tools and Techniques.
For complete information on the Annual Spring Pricing Conference in San Francisco, or for research and resources related to the profession of pricing, visit the Professional Pricing Society at http://www.pricingsociety.com.
About the Pricing Society
The Professional Pricing Society is the largest professional society dedicated solely to pricing training and education. Its mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of pricing knowledge throughout the world. The Professional Pricing Society provides pricing professionals with current strategies, market trends, analysis, research and resources from today's leading pricing experts and technology. For more information on membership or events visit the organization’s website at http://www.pricingsociety.com.
Even in a tough economy, organisations still face the same challenge each year: hitting bigger quotas.
For service parts manufacturers and distributors dealing with multiple channels, thousands of customers and millions of products, achieving sales growth can be like finding that proverbial needle in the haystack.
Then there are additional forces to contend with, such as fending off aggressive competitors, negotiating with sophisticated procurement departments, managing rebates and discounts, and keeping up with raw material cost changes.
This complexity keeps company leaders up at night, wondering where next year’s sales growth is going to come from. Many high-performing service parts organisations are realising that the answers aren’t found with simple rule-of-thumb pricing or gut instinct.
The answers lie in effectively using the swathes of big data that these companies already have.
Cutting Through Complexity
Big data solutions unlock the insights buried within operational and transactional data so that companies can improve win rates, leave less money on the table and create more effective selling capacity.
Service parts companies typically possess plenty of data from multiple sources that can be used to see where and why sales prices are achieved and deals won:
- Products- cost, monthly volumes, product hierarchy, lifecycle stage
- Customers- geography, size, industry
- Transactions, invoices and rebates- date, price, cost, discount, salesperson, quantity, unit of measure
- Social Selling- influential decision-makers, referrals, partners, associations
Syncing Pricing With Sales
This intelligence can be passed in real time to sales teams where they can access critical information and use it as part of their work with customers.
Areas where this information can be called upon include active sales leads, pending work items, email, alerts, price approvals, work documents and the customer relationship management pipeline;all delivered in familiar user interfaces that have been tailored to specific business roles.
By: Sean Duclaux
Service Parts Industry Marketing Manager, PROS.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
|Eugene F. Zelek, Jr.Partner and Co-Chair, |
Antitrust & Trade Regulation Group,
Freeborn & Peters LLP
During the next PPS Spring Pricing Conference in San Francisco you will have a great opportunity to learn how the considerable flexibility in the law and the cutting-edge legal tools that go with it can be applied to achieve pricing excellence in three key areas of growing current interest: (1) embracing value pricing to maximize return, (2) combating resale price erosion over the Internet or elsewhere and (3) engaging in effective price signaling to avoid lowest-common-denominator pricing,
The following topics, among others, will be addressed:
- Reaping the Rewards of Value Management
- Paying for Value: Account-Specific and Channel-Specific Pricing
- Addressing Internet Price Problems
- Lawfully Setting and Enforcing Resale Prices
- Controlling Distribution: Effective Non-Price Restrictions
- Price Signaling: Using Controlled Transparency
Mr. Zelek joined Freeborn & Peters LLP after practicing marketing law at a large international law firm and The Quaker Oats Company, then becoming a Quaker Product Manager with shared responsibility for Quaker’s Cap’n Crunch cereal and Chewy granola bars. He is a partner in the firm’s Business Law Services and Litigation Practice Groups and co-chairs the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group.
After receiving an undergraduate degree in journalism with high honors from the University of Illinois, Mr. Zelek graduated cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law and, as a marketing major, with Distinction from the Kellogg School of Management. While at Northwestern, he was an Executive Editor of its law review and a Distinguished Scholar. Subsequently, Mr. Zelek has served as a member of the Kellogg marketing faculty, teaching “The Legal Aspects of Marketing Strategy” and executive programs on pricing and channel management.
Monday, February 11, 2013
For the past few months, and since leaving the corporate world, I have had the privilege to work with a few companies as a consultant, as a speaker or as a trainer. Many companies called me initially to discuss their “pricing problems”. It seemed that the focus had switched to pricing when in fact they had not done a proper diagnostic of their internal gaps. The reality of their situation was that they did have a pricing problem. Because pricing excellence is a journey and not a destination, every organization might be faced with pricing problems of different nature and different intensity.
But the reality also was that, for these companies, the pricing problems were a symptom of a greater internal problem. So trying to resolve their pricing problems might yield some positive short term developments but might not solve their internal structural issues.
- Segmentation: Perhaps the most common marketing problem is a total lack of segmentation based on user needs. Without segmentation, these firms cannot separate various types of buyers and they try to be everything for everyone. The end results of this problem is customers’ confusion with pricing, severe pricing overlap across segments, and profit leakages when customers get things they do not value and are not willing to pay for. Segmentation is one of first steps of the value-based pricing methodology. It is also the fundamental step of a sound marketing strategy.
- Business model: Another significant structural problem leading to pricing erosion is the lack of a sound and differentiated business model. I was recently in a customer’s executive suite meeting where the pricing discussion led to some serious exchanges on the organization’s business model. Let me be clear. If the business model is broken, there is a high chance that the pricing models are also broken. Therefore before working on their pricing models, business leaders should figure out what their business model is, how strong it is and what is needed to reinforce it. The same could be said about a corporate strategy that is not obsolete, internally oriented and not delivering value to customers. There is no pricing program or action that will solve this situation.
- Strategic alignment: This structural problem occurs when teams work in silos with different goal systems, different compensation structures, and different perceptions of what the business model is. This lack of alignment generally leads to internal dysfunctionalities. The sales force for example will not deploy the marketing programs while cost accountants will focus on producing report that no one reads. Strategic alignment starts at the top. If pricing and value are priories are the top, everything cascades down the organization.
Be bold. Join the pricing revolution!
Stephan Liozu (www.stephanliozu.com) is the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors and specializes in disruptive approaches in innovation, pricing and value management. He earned his PhD in Management from Case Western Reserve University and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
We recently featured the macro findings of one of our experts, the newly minted Ph.D. Stephan Liozu. Congratulations to Stephan for staying on the road to academic achievement and in doing so, expanding formal research into the role of pricers within the business organization. We all benefit when what we do is delineated, codified and quantified…
Stephan’s recent study titled “Survey on Organizational Change Capacity in Pricing” was compiled with assistance of over one thousand Pricing Society members. It reveals what many of us have witnessed but not always measured; that true pricing excellence transforms organizations.
Interestingly, the survey found that a vast majority of pricing professionals already have attended programs relating to change management. In fact, 73 percent of respondents indicated that they had already attended a dedicated formal program relating to change management at the corporate or university level.
For example, moving from a cost-basis to a value-basis is a huge shift in the DNA of the corporate structure. When total organization mobilization occurs, pricers will find the entire curriculum of their job changes with it. Pricers have to be ready to present to the entire company or C-suite, as well as collaborate more globally and persuasively on key concepts.
This engagement, while sometimes sink or swim, forces pricers to be included as leaders and change agents. When the unit of measurement is an entire organization, properly empowered pricers will deliver change by working in teams of skilled pros on revenue management, data analytics, business analysts and, yes, pricing.
Additional and counterintuitive…
It is surprising to note that the dimension of “innovation culture” was ranked by pricers in only seventh place in the “8 Dimensions of Organization Change Capacity” examined in the survey. This could indicate that change can still happen without necessarily having an innovative culture. With capable champions leading the charge, organizations can adapt and change with or without innovation leaders.
In the case of the change-educated pricing professional, this indicates that while pricing excellence doesn’t always have to include wide reaching corporate change, overall change theory is well understood and valued by a majority of pricing pros. When large-scale change is implemented, educated pricers can share the responsibility directly with company leadership to set the stage for successful implementation.
Overall, the executive summary of the report is a must-read with many interesting nuances and findings. And as we move into 2013, it gives us food for thought that can inspire us to take that high road, showing that pricers can in fact be change agents.
Good to reflect on the macro while focusing on the micro.
Professional Pricing Society
Friday, January 25, 2013
REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Two 2-Day Workshops
Twelve 1-Day Workshops
Six Keynote Speakers
Three Breakout Tracks with
Eighteen Different Sessions
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Our keynote speakers were the perfect way start the last of out three pricing-filled days in Amsterdam. Our first keynote, by Dr. Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon-Kucker & Partners, shared his recommendations for future pricing strategies and identified the most important challenges in the coming years.
Dr. Tacke highlighted the facts resulting from the 2012 Global Pricing Study conducted by Simon-Kucher &Partners in cooperation with PPS. He stated “Those Companies that have a professional pricing organization do much, much better than those who don’t” This fact-based statement brings great expectations for all of us involved in pricing. There’s a lot of work to do, lots of room for improvement and the need for professional pricers continues to increase.
We also heard from Laura Preslan, general manager of strategic practices for Microsoft, who allowed us to learn from her painful mistakes by sharing her strategies that worked, and those that did not.
Dr. Frederic Jallat from ESCP Europe shared with us compelling study results that explain why online price dispersion and price instability not only persist but have even increased over time.
Miguel Serrano, Director Global Pricing Strategy for Medtronic, Inc., told everyone in the room to become a pricing evangelist, to move, flight and talk to stakeholders in every country where your company has presence at. He also told the crowd how to achieve a long-lasting cultural change [on pricing] within the organization, which guarantees both the sustainability, as well as the returns on investment from creating a Price Management / Value Selling culture and practice.
After refueling energies the afternoon was packed with 12 breakout track options, lots of activity, learning and networking among the best in pricing in Europe and the World!
We shared some fun and laughs with all our exhibiting sponsors while they handed out fun and valuable prizes to the lucky winners, many walked out with iPad Minis, 3D Cameras, Vintage Champagne, and several other great prices.
We thank all our speakers for sharing such valuable pricing strategy knowledge.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Day Two, Pricing Workshops and 4th Annual Global Pricing for Executives Summit
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Guest Post by Stephan Liozu
A recent survey conducted with 557 CEO’s and Business Owners around the world showed they pay little attention to pricing. When asked how they would allocated 100 points of attention between cost cutting, growth programs and pricing initiatives, pricing received an average of 16 points. A vast majority of the time is spend on fixed and variable cost control (54%). Clearly, and even though they realize the power of strategic pricing, top executives do not pay enough attention to it. So what is behind this lack of interest and attention paid to pricing by top executives? I conjecture that this lack of attention primarily comes from the fact that the pricing function does not excel at identifying, measuring and communicating the business pains of poor or non-existent pricing management. The pricing function also has a hard time measuring the gains generated by pricing activities as well as calculating the ROI of pricing activities.
So here are some tips on how to get started and make progress with this difficult exercise.
1) Show the pains
Pricing professionals should spend more time up front identifying and articulating the pains relating to pricing. That can be done by conducting a pricing capability assessment and performing the fundamental pricing analysis: cost-to-serve, waterfall, pricing cloud, etc. These pains then have to packaged in a dramatic fashion with one or two critical numbers that might turn into a story hook. These numbers have then to be communicated inside the marketing and pricing organization without created tensions and rejection.
2) Articulate the gains
Obviously, once the financial and efficiency related pains are identified, measured and articulated, the next step is to evaluate the potential gains of investing in pricing. This remains a very difficult exercise. A focus on short term gains might be necessary to get some initial attention. Like in the Lean Six Sigma methodologies, quick wins are greatly appreciated by top executives as they have a tendency to focus on short term impact. That gives pricers an opportunity to get a foot in the door, to tell their story and to come back for more "face time" later.
3) Create a story
Once pains and gains are identified and somehow measured, the next step is to create a story. That story has to be adapted to the business context, the dynamics of the external environment, the culture of the organization and the management style of the top leaders. Story starts with a strong hook which in this case is the pains: “every year, our organization loses $1 million in profit due to poor pricing.” The hook grabs attention and creates the opportunity to give your one minute non-technical elevator speech. The message is to convince top executives what you can deliver for them in gains to help reduce the pains. That story should be repeated in business meetings, in pricing discussions, and might be translated into goals and objectives for the pricing team. The story has to be crisp, credible, well articulated and somewhat dramatic.
4) Be ready to compete internally
In an organization, you compete for attention. You also compete for human and financial resources. This competition is internal and consists of functions that are in the mainstream and are able to calculate their ROI very well. That includes R&D, operations, innovation, technology and IT for example. For them, calculating ROI and demonstrating payback is expected and second nature. It is therefore very critical for the pricing function to be able to do the same.
5) Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS principle)
Top executives are busy people who have a very short attention span. Therefore you might have to talk to them like as if they were a two-year old child suffering from ADD. It is recommended to keep the message simple, well articulated, and business like. If you manage to get 30 minutes of top executive attention, do not bore them with long analytical explanations, super technical pricing methods, or 30 pages of PowerPoint. Work on a very simple story line using plain terms. That might sound like: "We are currently leaving $2.5 million on the table by not managing our profit leakages and not fully capturing pricing opportunities. With an investment of $150,000, we could get some quick wins, get our company on the path towards pricing excellence while getting a payback for it under 2 years."
I do find it paradoxical that pricing is a very analytically focused function which is not able to calculate and articulate the ROI of programs and activities. This is why Dr. Hinterhuber and I are launching another short survey to explore more information about how the ROI of pricing might be better calculated and communicated. Please support our initiative by taking this short survey.
Here is the link: http://weatherhead.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ezWVJUBYxXpYTiZ
An executive summary will be sent to you if you choose to participate. Thanks for the support.
Stephan Liozu (www.stephanliozu.com) is the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors. He specializes in disruptive approaches in strategy, innovation and value management. He is also a PhD candidate in Management at Case Western Reserve University and can be reached at email@example.com.