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

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


Harnessing Big Data for the Service Parts Industry

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
By mining this torrent of digital data with automated sales effectiveness solutions, companies are able to understand their customers’ buying patterns based on real-time data science and analytics.

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.

For example, to coach their teams and drive performance, sales executives can access charts to reign in over-discounting and identify underperforming accounts. They can quickly drill down into transaction data by customer, product or sales region to identify hidden sales opportunities ranked by the greatest potential impact on their business strategies.
Meanwhile, salespeople can initiate price and quote requests, and receive scientifically generated price recommendations with suggested cross-sell and up-sell recommendations based on what similar customers are buying.

What’s more, since the process can be automated, they no longer have to juggle multiple spreadsheets or worry whether they have the most updated prices.

One of the big benefits of using big data is to link different groups within organisations such as pricing and sales. Let’s face it: internal teams often operate in their own silos. For example, consider a pricing manager who sets a strategy to improve margins by 15 percent on a particular product category, only to have a salesperson use rebates or discounts to unknowingly erase all of the gain.

Driving Results

Many companies want to turn their data into something actionable – whether it’s identifying market opportunities, understanding the true impact of promotions and concessions, or targeting prices, volume and product mix – so  their sales teams can better serve their customers at the point of negotiations.

By leveraging the power of informed pricing, coupled with familiar and easy-to-use tools, sales teams are able to drive improved financial performance and more fully realise their company’s market potential.

By: Sean Duclaux
Service Parts Industry Marketing Manager, PROS.

Consider attending PROS Outperform 2013 The Big Data Event for Sales and  Pricing.
For more information go to: 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Least Understood Pricing Parameter Among Business People!

An uncertain global economy, ever-increasing competition and relentless demands from traditional and new channel partners have placed more pressure on pricing well. Fortunately, changes in the law of pricing—particularly in the United States and Canada—have resulted a great deal of freedom that effectively narrows or eliminates formerly convenient legal rules of thumb.

Eugene F. Zelek, Jr.Partner and Co-Chair,
Antitrust & Trade Regulation Group,
Freeborn & Peters LLP
"Legal issues are probably the least understood pricing parameter among business people," but often significantly affect pricing strategy and its implementation. Indeed, lingering misperceptions may block the use of powerful tools that help achieve improved pricing performance.

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
Learn how to take the legal fear out of being assertive; Why the law is not a roadblock to smart pricing;  The relevant standards, what they really mean and their implications for pricers; And, practical approaches that can be readily implemented.

Eugene F. Zelek, Jr. focuses on marketing-related law, applying extensive counseling, transactional, and litigation expertise on behalf of leading consumer and industrial businesses and consulting firms throughout the world. His areas of emphasis include antitrust, pricing, and distribution, as well as branding, licensing, entertainment, strategic alliances, supply relationships, complex contracts, advertising, and new product development.

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.