Latest Event Updates

Six Sigma Pricing – 99% Good is Just Not Good Enough!

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“Basic human processes are 4 Sigma at best … 99% good is just not good enough.”

Greg Preuer – Former Pricing Director at Cooper Lighting and General Electric

 

The Power of the Last 1%

One glaring example follows about healthcare related mistakes. Using a standard process performance at 3.8 Sigma (99%) nets 200,000 wrong drug prescriptions per year. At 6.0 Sigma (99.99966%) the number is reduced to only 68 per year.

Use the following link to access a short video that highlights why 99% is just not good enough!

https://youtu.be/HWhOy2xfTkY

 

Why Six Sigma Pricing Training?

In short – graduates will improve margins by making better pricing decisions…with better processes and decision making tools. Graduates from this course will learn to chart a clear path to pricing improvement.

They will learn each of the following steps:
1) How to design and design goals which are consistent with their company’s pricing strategy.
2) How to measure and identify characteristics critical for pricing success.
3) How to analyze the current situation and steps along the way.
4) How to design an improved alternative which moves closer to the desired result.
5) How to verify that actions taken create the right results.

Click here to access more details and download our Six Sigma Pricing White Paper.

To learn how you can realize the benefits of SixSigma Pricing training online or on-site go here https://spasigma.com/pricing-mastery

 

Upcoming SPA Events

Set You and Your Team Up to Win Better Agreements at Battle For Margin

Your organization’s profits depend on the individual and collective negotiation skill of your employees – from sales to purchasing. The Battle for Margin negotiation intensive is a rare opportunity to dive deeper into negotiation strategy that will immediately drive for more profitable agreements. Don’t you and your team deserve to be set up for success? Don’t miss the Battle for Margin.

It will be held June 8-9 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, NV.

Get negotiation intelligence you’ll find nowhere else:

Revolutionize how you and your team view negotiation. Give your organization the tools and knowledge to drive more profit than ever before with compelling and eye-opening case studies, critiques, and group exercises. Instill knowledge fast. The day will fly by because our seminars are purposefully entertaining and educational; people learn more when they’re having fun.

Attendee Testimonials

Here what our clients have to say about the power of strategic pricing tools from SPASigma Negotiation Training Seminars.

“SPASIGMA breaks the standard mold of slow pace seminars. It’s engaging, fun, and interactive in a setting that feels warm and comfortable.”

     — Mitch Koepp, Marketing Manager, All World Machinery

Other SPA Events

Click here for other SPA event dates and times including our upcoming webcasts.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Paul Bickford Reveals 5 Reasons to Attend Battle for Margin and One Issue

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Paul Bickford knows world-class training, and he says that’s definitely what he found when he attended SPASIGMA’s Battle for Margin negotiation seminar, Feb. 9 and 10, in Miami. As Epicor Software’s  Senior Manager, Sales Training and Enablement, Paul is an award-winning senior learning and development professional, and selling and negotiation expert. We recently had a conversation with him about his experience at Battle for Margin. Here’s what he said makes this training stand apart…

5. Leading Training Techniques

While many negotiation seminars Paul has attended devoted most of the time to teaching theory, with a small opportunity to practice it at the very end, he was pleased SPASIGMA took the opposite approach.

“They had such high quality materials, and everything was real-world specific instead of broad-based academic techniques,” he said, noting that while what SPASIGMA teaches is academic, they showed attendees how to use this theory on the job.

“They made it bite-sized. They taught, then you practiced what they taught. And then they taught a few more techniques, and you practiced them in addition to what you touched on earlier,” he continues.

Their approach reminded him of what training professionals call “spaced learning over time” which maximizes learning retention. This is one of the reasons why everyone who attends SPASIGMA’s seminars are automatically enrolled in SPASIGMA’s 90-day online learning-management system. There is nothing like this in the industry. It uses highly professional, interactive online education to reinforce and expand on what is taught in the seminar.

 

Click here to access the full article and to learn more about SPASigma.

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

 

SPA Featured in The Distributor Channel article “Applying Black Belt Principles to the Pricing Process”

Posted on Updated on

SPA was featured in a recent The Distributor Channel article, “Applying Black Belt Principles to the Pricing Process”, which discusses how distributors can apply Six Sigma methodology to the pricing function to generate repeatable margin gains and why a solid pricing process is an essential part of any strategic initiative.

Excerpts of the article follow.

“Initially, Black Belts worked entirely within the manufacturing process”

One person saw the advantage of putting the same principle to work on the pricing process.  Enter Greg Preuer of SPASigma.  Greg was certified as a Master Black Belt DMAK by General Electric.  He saw an opportunity to apply the same Black Belt methodology to the pricing used by companies.

The goal:  better pricing programs.

“Pricing is a big deal”

In an age when most companies find themselves facing competitive pressures, pricing policies have fallen into disrepair: special pricing abounds, discounting has grown rampant and operating margins have been pushed and squeezed.  Here’s where Six Sigma (Black Belt) efforts come into play.  Black Belts work to understand and leverage each specific customer’s willingness to pay a price slightly different from their peers.  Simply put, they focus on already existing price sensitivity variances between customers.

Most companies rely heavily on their sales teams for what little direction they may have.  But the reality of the situation is very few sales teams have the proper training or tools to determine price.  Because they place priority on closing the order at any cost (or price,) they tend to underestimate the proper price level.  With this approach in mind, it’s no wonder that pricing has fallen in to disarray.  What sales teams crave is an advanced scouting report on what each specific customer would be willing to pay for every (specific) product in the portfolio; real data that kills the guessing game they currently must play.

“One wholesaler described pricing in his organization as a visit to the wild west.”

Lone Ranger salespeople set pricing for their customers mostly without firm understanding of costs associated with handling or servicing the customer.  Gross margin numbers are used for the same customer regardless of order size or difficulty in providing the products.  Reviews of the pricing used by hundreds of distributors reveals sell prices using familiar numbers which predictably end in zero or five.  Profitability suffers.

“Quoting Greg Preuer:”

“While most formal Black Belt training uses case studies pulled from academia, we apply exercises using the student’s own company’s data.  We’re talking about real actions with real people and dynamic environments.  It’s not just busy work to flesh out the course material, our exercises are tasks developed to make an impact on your companies pricing organization.”  The Black Belt makes a real impact even before certification is achieved.

Click here to read the complete article.

About SPASigma Six Sigma Pricing Training

“Basic human processes are 4 Sigma at best … 99% good is just not good enough.”

Greg Preuer – Former Pricing Director at Cooper Lighting and General Electric

Click here to learn how manufacturers and distributors can apply Six Sigma methodology to the pricing function to generate repeatable margin gains.

Click here to read an interview of Greg about developing a program for training others in a Six Sigma Black Belt of Pricing program. Greg applied the same concepts while successfully serving as the Director of Pricing at Cooper Lighting.

Click here to learn how you can realize the benefits of SixSigma Pricing training online.

To learn how you can realize the benefits of Six Sigma Pricing Training on-site for your team, contact SPA today at info@strategicpricing.com or 216.455.1545.

 

Upcoming SPA Events

Set You and Your Team Up to Win Better Agreements at Battle For Margin

Your organization’s profits depend on the individual and collective negotiation skill of your employees – from sales to purchasing. The Battle for Margin negotiation intensive is a rare opportunity to dive deeper into negotiation strategy that will immediately drive for more profitable agreements. Don’t you and your team deserve to be set up for success? Don’t miss the Battle for Margin.

It will be held June 8-9 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, NV.

Get negotiation intelligence you’ll find nowhere else:

Revolutionize how you and your team view negotiation. Give your organization the tools and knowledge to drive more profit than ever before with compelling and eye-opening case studies, critiques, and group exercises. Instill knowledge fast. The day will fly by because our seminars are purposefully entertaining and educational; people learn more when they’re having fun.

Attendee Testimonials

Here what our clients have to say about the power of strategic pricing tools from SPASigma Negotiation Training Seminars.

“SPASIGMA breaks the standard mold of slow pace seminars. It’s engaging, fun, and interactive in a setting that feels warm and comfortable.”

     — Mitch Koepp, Marketing Manager, All World Machinery

Other SPA Events

Click here for other SPA event dates and times including our upcoming webcasts.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Webcast: SPA Customer Panel Discussion: Top Strategic Pricing Opportunities in Fluid Power

Posted on

During this 60-minute webcast Frank E. Hurtte Jr. will host a panel of SPA Fluid Power industry clients who will share their experiences and advice on how they SET optimal prices and GET improved profit margins through more effective price tools and strategies.

Fluid Power companies make millions of decisions each day and the goal is to maximize their goals and objectives with each decision. The decision, which is usually made more than any other, is how to price a product for each customer.

Often times the only variables which are included in making this pricing decision are – cost and a targeted margin percentage. Thus there is a huge opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these pricing decisions.

Click here to learn more about what SPA has to offer Fluid Power companies and to download our “Top Strategic Pricing Opportunities in Fluid PowerWhite Paper.

 

Webcast Description

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Click here to register

Attendees of this customer panel moderated by Distribution industry expert Frank E. Hurtte Jr. will learn how to:

  • Properly price products to capture the value of your services such as assembling components into finished goods.
  • Optimize prices in your manufacturer mandated price ranges product segments.
  • Price optimally as different customers have different cost-to-serve, you can stop your sales people needlessly giving away margin on some orders.

For example, the Strategic Pricing team at Livingston & shared with SPA an example of the power of implementing a strategic pricing tool has on controlling exception pricing follows:

“Prior to applying the SPA process, exception pricing – deviating from the system standard – was over 67% of our business and we only counted price drops greater than 10Prior to applying the SPA process, exception pricing – deviating from the system standard – was over 67% of our business and we only counted price drops greater than 10%.

This created issues with consistency and really complicated the job of our inside sales team. Today this practice has dropped to nearly zero. The system does not allow downward pricing adjustments, the inside sales team can only adjust upwards.”

Webinar panelists include Joe Strausbaugh (Kaman Fluid Power) and Todd Kesler (AirHydro Power). They will share how they introduced new tools and strategies in their businesses to drive margin improvement and grow their Fluid Power businesses profitably.

Join us for this informative webinar where you will learn about the top benefits of adopting a Strategic Pricing initiative in Fluid Power such as.

  • Creates volume lift opportunities
  • Fuels profitable growth
  • Identify margin lift opportunities
  • Adapt to the competitive threats
  • Leverages your market strengths and value differentiators

 

Other SPA Events

Set You and Your Team Up to Win Better Agreements at Battle For Margin

Your organization’s profits depend on the individual and collective negotiation skill of your employees – from sales to purchasing. The Battle for Margin negotiation intensive is a rare opportunity to dive deeper into negotiation strategy that will immediately drive for more profitable agreements. Don’t you and your team deserve to be set up for success?

Don’t miss the Battle for Margin – it will be held June 8-9 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas.

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Learn the Keys to Setting and Getting Optimal Prices at Battle For Margin in Las Vegas June 8-9, 2017

Posted on

Watch a short video about the “Battle for Margin” two day event in Las Vegas, NV. Attendees will learn valuable lessons on how to increase their competitive advantage and improve financial performance with the SPA Solution portfolio and negotiation training services.  


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This big-picture seminar is focused on strategic topics of importance to the owners, CEOs, CFOs, and general managers of distribution, manufacturing, technology and services companies.

Experts will address the topics essential to accelerating the customer value proposition, competitive positioning and market value of any distribution or manufacturing business.

The seminar addresses the strategic, analytical, process and cultural issues that are fundamental to maximizing shareholder value.

The seminar will focus on the high-level, strategic and structural issues that are easily neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily business demands. It will help you to re-focus your organization on the drivers of economic value.

Watch the following short video to learn more about the upcoming Battle for Margin event in Las Vegas.

 

 

EVENT AGENDA

Thursday, June 8

7:00 – 7:45 am: Breakfast

7:45 – 8:00 am: Registration

8:00 – 8:15 am: Welcome to BFM Vegas

  • Overview, Agenda, Introductions

8:15 – 9:15 am: Keynote Address

9:15 – 9:30 AM: Introduction to Group Activity

9:30 – 9:45 AM: Break

9:45 – 11:30 am: Group Activity 1: Tactical Negotiations

Participants will tackle an entertaining negotiation case designed to provide a deeper understanding of the negotiating process. Once completed, the case will be critiqued based on class outcomes.

  • Identify typical negotiating blind spots
  • How to increase power
  • Tactics and countermeasures

11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Thought Provoking Planning Session

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 pm: SPASIGMA Personality Quotient (PQ)

Learn hands-on tools for quickly and easily recognizing personality types. Employs the Jung Myers-Briggs “MBTI” model used by 89 of the Fortune 100.

  • Quickly identify different personality profiles
  • Communicate naturally and effectively with each personality type
  • Win over and earn the trust of various personalities in the workplace
  • Tailor your negotiation tactics based on personality type

2:30 – 2:45 PM: Break

2:45 – 4:30 pm: SPA Analytics and Tools

  • SPA Overview
  • SET vs. GET Tools
  • SPA Analytics Concepts: Core Status, Visibility, Cost-to-Serve, Price Environment Score, Price Bands
  • SPA Tools: SPA BI, SPA Contract Management, SPA Price Bands

4:30 – 5:30 pm: Roundtable – The Power of Analytics

  • Conversation with existing SPA customers
  • The scoop on how to get the most out of SPA tools and training

7:00 – 8:00 pm: Cocktails and Networking

8:00 – 10:00 pm: Dinner – LAGO at The Bellagio

 

Friday, June 9

7:15 – 8:00 am: Breakfast

8:00 – 8:05 am: Welcome Back

9:00 – 10:30 am: Group Activity 2 – Relationship-Focused Negotiations

Use what you have learned from the Tactical Negotiations workshop. Dive into a fun, complex, multiple-issue negotiation.

  • Discover the difference between Transactional and Win-Win bargaining
  • Strategies for crafting better long-term agreements
  • How Personality Quotient relates negotiation

10:30 – 10:45 AM: Break

10:45 am – 12:00 pm: Group Activity 3 – Strategic and Long-term Negotiations

What’s after Win-Win? Take a look at leveraging your power and working through disputes in long-term relationships:

  • Use analytics and scoring to identify your best-case scenario and most effective concessions
  • Apply personality theory when framing your persuasive argument
  • Deepen your conflict resolution skills

12:00 am – 12:30 pm: Conclusion and Wrap Up

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 – 4:30 pm: Breakout #1 – SPA Existing Client Demos

  • “What’s App” Discover what’s in store for existing clients

1:30 – 4:30 pm: Breakout #2 – SPASigma Clients/Seminars

  • “Show and Tell” Experience the future of learning with the SPASIGMA creative team

1:30 – 4:30 pm: Breakout #3 – Prospective Clients Demos/Sales Networking

  • “Ask Me Anything” Q & A plus demos with the SPA business development team

4:30 – 5:30 pm: Cocktails

 

Registration

If you are responsible for sales, profits, or pricing related decisions at your company you will benefit from this seminar. Register soon as enrollment is limited.

You will receive additional information once you enroll.

 

Other SPA Events

Click here for other SPA event dates and times including our upcoming webcasts.

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Price Increase: If Not Now, When?

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Read excerpts of an article that highlights how important it is for distributors to be able to implement price increases given a backdrop of continually rising input costs and a strong economy with some forecasting 3.7 percent growth.  Now is the time for distributors to raise their prices.

“Why we’ve got low margins today…”

Downward pressure on margins is the universal distributor complaint. New competitors, supplier sales teams setting prices at unsustainable levels, the internet and customer pushback are all finding their way into the discussion. Further, in spite of some major productivity advancements, operating costs continue to rise. One distributor, who closely monitors operational costs, commented costs have risen nearly 25 percent faster than offsetting gross margin gains over the post-recession era. Clearly, we need to do something.

When times are tough, margins get another squeeze. During “The Recession,” many suppliers instructed their field teams and distributors “not to let price be an issue” while grabbing what little business was available. We responded. Pricing levels extended on projects and ongoing flow business took a gross margin nose dive for manufacturers and distributors alike. The problem lies in the fundamental difference in the distributor and manufacturer business model. The distributor slice of the total “supply chain” gross margin is much smaller than that of their supply partners. For example, Manufacturers make 45-60 percent gross margin and the Distributors receive 20-30 percent. Simply put, we distributors have less wiggle room.

Once The Recession ended, we found ourselves stuck with the lower prices and lower margins. On the customer side, customers discovered new base-line low prices and latched onto the savings. With this fact freshly planted in their minds, many pushed/negotiated to extend the lower level.

“Good times are the right time to ask for a little more.”

Fortunately, most of our customers are out of their own financial crisis. They no longer need to squeeze their suppliers just to survive. The new sellers pumped into our territory are mostly settled into position. They have discovered enough accounts to justify the meager commissions needed to survive. More importantly, customers are busy. They, along with their purchasing/procurement departments, are relying on you for expanded services and dependable deliveries, not record setting prices.

If ever a time existed to push margin to a new level it is now. The window, however, is narrow. Business cycles, by their very nature, move from great to poor. According to economists, this growth spurt will extend into mid-2018. Time is short. We cannot and should not procrastinate our plan.

“Strangely, many distributors have long term pricing agreements without expiration dates.”

The customer asked for longer range pricing stability and the distributor pushed competitors out of the way with a pricing agreement. Some of these are well crafted, while others ask the question: Exactly when will the distributor ever be able to execute a price increase?

Any agreement over one year old is ripe for a price increase, regardless of your current margin. With exception given to a limited number of commodities, it’s just not reasonable to assume the cost of anything has remained the same for over a year. I recommend a proposed price increase of 2-3 points here.

When establishing new agreements, put in openings for new price increases in the future. Ideally, these would be tied to a six or twelve month cycle.

“Review all Manufacturer extended Special Pricing Agreements”

These pricing agreements negotiated trilaterally with the manufacturer, distributor and customer. Typically, distributors raise the price only when the manufacturer raises the price. Sometimes, the manufacturer price increases are not passed along to the customer. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Whatever the manufacturer’s increase, move the gross margin up at least full point. To illustrate, the manufacturer increases the distributor price by 2.75 percent, the distributor increases the customer price by 3.75 percent.

Click here to read the complete article.

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

Webcast: SPA Customer Panel Discussion: Driving Profit Improvement Through Better Pricing and Negotiation Strategies

Posted on

During this 60-minute webcast a panel of SPA clients will share their experiences and advice on how they SET optimal prices and GET improved profit margins through more effective price negotiations.

Program Description

Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Click here to register

Improving profit margins in today’s distribution environment is a priority for every leader in business. Pricing optimization and improved negotiation capability are two elements of an effective profit margin improvement strategy.

Webinar attendees will hear from leading distribution organizations who are leveraging solutions from SPA and SPASIGMA to SET optimal prices and GET improved profit margins through more effective price negotiations.

You’ll hear how our customers have been able to quickly implement pricing tools and strategies that have improved margins as well as how they strengthened their inside and outside sales teams by undertaking negotiation training that build sales skills to sustain the margin improvement.

Webinar panelists include Rich Chadwick (United Electric), Tom Flater (Echo Group), Bob Decker (Livingston & Haven), and Jerry Molaver (Torrington Supply). They will share how they introduced new tools and strategies in their businesses to drive margin improvement and grow their businesses profitably.

Other SPA Events

Set You and Your Team Up to Win Better Agreements at Battle For Margin

Your organization’s profits depend on the individual and collective negotiation skill of your employees – from sales to purchasing. The Battle for Margin negotiation intensive is a rare opportunity to dive deeper into negotiation strategy that will immediately drive for more profitable agreements. Don’t you and your team deserve to be set up for success?

Don’t miss the Battle for Margin – it will be held June 8-9 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas.

 

Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.