Read an interview of Greg Preuer, the newest addition to the SPA team, who will be 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. Excerpts of the interview conducted by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales follow.
“I asked Greg about the concept of Six Sigma and pricing.”
“While it is true that most of the early Six Sigma work focused on manufacturing issues, all of my training and experience is commercially focused. I became a Six Sigma Master Black Belt in commercial process while working for GE. I have been involved in projects, led projects and supervised the leaders of many Six Sigma efforts over the years. All were commercially focused in nature,” commented Mr. Preuer.
“we asked Preuer to tell us what he learned during his nine year tenure in this position”
“Over time we discovered the most critical part of moving the pricing process forward came in helping people deal with change. Establishing a plan for the human reaction to all change is incredibly important.
Secondly, we discovered that if you want a process to stay in place over the longer term, you need to automate it. I know this sound counterintuitive, but think about this; if a person has to ‘crank the engine’ to make the process work, they tend to ignore the strategic and take care of the urgent. This is an elephant boneyard of projects where the process has ground to a halt because of the leadership burned out handling little urgent issues along the way. Automation solves those issues.”
“ In spite of the amazing bottom line potential of a well-run pricing process, few companies have a defined training plan for the person who makes it happen”
The soon to be released first of its kind training will train pricing leaders in applying time tested Six Sigma techniques specifically to the pricing process. This program is not an SPA add-on. Greg describes it as “nearly SPA agnostic and applicable to even those who want to try a do-it-yourself pricing tool.” However, he did go on to state, “it is Strategic Pricing Associate’s approach to providing the automation tools to make a pricing process that first attracted me to the company as a customer and later to join as one of the associates.”
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