News

Industry Leaders SPA and Tour de Force Announce Partnership

Posted on Updated on

Strategic Pricing Associates and Tour de Force to deliver a joint solution.

Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) Inc. and Tour de Force Inc., two market-leading, respected providers of technology and training solutions to the distribution and manufacturing industries, have announced a Partnership to deliver an integrated pricing/quoting solution based on their respective platforms.

Tour de Force, a leading provider of customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) software and SPA, a leading provider of pricing analytics, negotiation training and LMS to complex companies of all types have announced their intent to jointly develop and deliver a new solution offering called Tour de Force Quote to Order (QTO) Optimization powered by SPA Pricing Analytics.

“By integrating what we have developed with our Tour de Force QTO functionality and what SPA has built with their pricing analytics, the integrated solution will create tremendous shareholder value by improving our mutual clients’ work flow efficiencies and profitability by streamlining quoting, providing SPA optimized pricing recommendations and conversion to order process”, said Matt Hartman founder and CEO of Tour de Force.

Founder, President and CEO of Strategic Pricing Associates, Inc. David Bauders added, “We are extremely excited about this offering. The ability to bring pricing analytics directly into our clients’ workflow process will enable sales reps to deliver profit gains of 2-4 percent of affected sales, or $1-2 million per $50 million of affected revenue. These tools also integrate nicely with SPASIGMA’s negotiation training and other LMS offerings.”

Tour de Force and SPA Inc. will be combining the core strengths of their respected platforms to create this new offering. Through the integration to an ERP system, Tour de Force and SPA will be able to analyze and provide a SPA Pricing Cube™ pro forma that will offer customers the ability to see where they can improve profitability in their specific market. In addition to the SPA Pricing Cube™, Tour de Force and SPA will provide a QTO – SPA integration utilizing the Tour de Force Quote Manager. The SPA Pricing Bands™ from SPA will be accessible from the Tour de Force Quote Manager, allowing customers access to real-time pricing based on the SPA pricing capabilities.

The timeline for this offering is expected to hit the market in Q2 2017 and will be showcased in a joint product release by both companies.

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About Tour de Force Inc.

Tour de Force, Inc. develops, sells, implements, and supports enterprise software solutions with a focus on customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI). Tour de Force was developed for the distribution and manufacturing industries and is currently being used in a variety of B2B industries, while distributors and manufacturers continue to make up 90% of the current user base. To learn more about Tour de Force, including our cloud and on-premise solutions, visit http://www.TourdeForceInc.com.

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About Strategic Pricing Associates Inc. (SPA)

SPA is the leading provider of pricing analytics, negotiation training, and LMS systems to complex companies of all types in manufacturing, distribution, equipment, services, software and technology products. Since 1993, SPA Inc. has built a strong platform of proprietary analytics to quickly and efficiently help companies convert their own invoice data into pricing architectures that maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. To learn more about SPA Inc., visit http://www.strategicpricing.com. To learn more about SPASIGMA, SPA’s training business, visit http://www.spasigma.com.

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Contact:

Ken Ledyard
Director of Marketing
Tour de Force, Inc.
419-425-4800 ext. 2017
Ken.Ledyard@tourdeforceinc.com

Strategic Pricing Newsletter – December 2015

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Message from SPA President and CEO, David Bauders

Happy holidays!  I hope you are well!  Isn’t it amazing how fast the year has passed?  When time passes so quickly, it’s easy to slip into maintenance mode just to keep up with life.  Easy but not wise.

I personally believe now is a good time to reflect on what’s changed in the last year; and what to do differently in 2016.  I would like to invite you to consider a single answer to both questions.  You see, in 2015 SPA committed to driving profit maximization in new ways that amplify profit improvements beyond our traditional analytical approaches.  We built a new business, SPASigma, whose singular purpose is to help our clients’ sales teams to master the negotiation skills to more successfully implement strategic pricing.  In 2016, if you empower your team to negotiate more effectively, yours will be a wealthier, happier company.

Check out this funny 1-minute video to get a quick flavor of our new team members and our new offerings.  I bet you’ll laugh out loud:

https://vimeo.com/147907805

Why did we at SPA change?  It’s fair to say we live in a Buyer’s World.  For years, companies have failed to invest in negotiation training for their outside and inside sales reps.  Everyday, they face increasingly sophisticated buyers, who have learned the powerful suite of negotiation strategies and tactics to commoditize their sellers, leverage competitors against each other, and slash margins.  

You see, we assume that sales reps know how to negotiate, but the stark fact is 99% have never had even 1 day of focused training on this critical skill (while their buyers frequently have), not to mention ongoing coaching or practice.  In 2016, you need to take responsibility for changing this imbalance.  SPA has changed, and now is your chance to change as well.  You can take a concrete step to improve in 2016 before the calendar hits January 1. 

Watch this quick 1-minute video to see how:

https://vimeo.com/147196906

For a short time, SPA is extending to you the opportunity to send one key leader (please ask if you would like to send an additional leader) of your organization (executive, pricing leader, or sales leader) to SPA’s upcoming Negotiation Training seminar on February 4-5 at the Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale.    You will need to act quickly (capacity is strictly limited to 50 such participants) to identify which individual to send to the event that will change your company’s financial future.  

You can view the agenda and register at the following link:

http://www.battleformargin.com

If you’re enjoying this digression and getting intrigued, check out these two brief video clips (each around 5 minutes) to get a quick, hard-hitting intro to what we’re talking about:

Outside Sales:

https://vimeo.com/136172398

Inside Sales

https://vimeo.com/136633408

As you may know, SPA’s pricing analytics have an important role to play in driving higher profitability, but more is needed.  SPASigma is a new SPA program, launched in conjunction with market-leading manufacturers and distributors, to dramatically and sustainably improve the negotiation skills of all your employees who negotiate prices and terms on a daily basis.  Using a unique combination of in-person seminars held in leading cities worldwide  – combined with a powerful online academy to reinforce, expand and retain that learning – SPASigma promises to truly transform your company’s bottom line, one transaction at a time, by building up the negotiation skill level of your front-line personnel.

Everyday, your organization faces tough negotiation challenges. Outside sales, inside sales, product managers, buyers, application engineers – throughout the organization, your profits are determined by the negotiating skills of your employees.  SPASigma is a new program to build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization.  Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art, the strategies, and the techniques of professional negotiation.

Finally, here’s a few minutes of me droning on about the larger program (sorry, it’s me not my witty colleagues):

https://vimeo.com/146314703

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the Ft. Lauderdale event.  You’ll look back a year from now and be glad you did!

David S. Bauders

President & CEO

Recent Articles

Inside SPA: An Interview with Tony Perzow – Negotiation Strategy Expert

Read an interview of Tony Perzow, SPASigma‘s VP of Pricing Training, who has taught negotiation strategies to literally thousands of people from companies ranging from multinational Fortune 500 organizations to main street distributors. Excerpts of the interview conducted by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales follow.

Are your salespeople headed to a knife fight with fingernail clippers?

Salespeople go into negotiations with professional buyers on a daily basis, most without real negotiation training. Further, many sellers and their managers don’t really believe negotiations play a role in their world. But they do. The following article discusses why Distributors need to revisit the lost art of negotiation.

How to Leverage Six Sigma Methodology to Drive Continuous Margin Improvements

This is the first in a six part blog series on how manufacturers and distributors can apply Six Sigma methodology to the pricing function to generate repeatable margin gains. A disciplined process is needed to create Pricing Excellence – SPA’s Six Sigma training drives real results focused on profitable growth.

SPA Featured in Industrial Supply Magazine Article on Managing Gross Margin

The Industrial Supply Magazine article, “Are you really managing gross margin?”, discusses some techniques for managing gross margin such as segmenting suppliers, setting minimum gross margin requirements for product lines, and reviewing pricing abnormalities and deviations among others.

SPA Featured in Distribution Center Magazine Article “Price Increases: the time, the place and the skills”

SPA was featured in an article in the August 2015 issue of Distribution Center Magazine. It covers how important price perception is both internally and externally in distribution and offers great tips and advice to consider when planning and executing price increases.

Pricing Process appears to be a Top Secret Strategy

Read a follow up article to “Pricing Professional – The time has come” – the piece outlined the need for distributors to consider how they run their business and develop a new position. We pushed for distributors to consider the impact of a true pricing process and the qualities of the person best equipped to make the pricing process work. Somewhere along the way, we touched a nerve. Building a pricing process is a viewed as a top secret strategy. While a number of our readers commented, it seems no one wants to go on record with their plans.  Excerpts of some of the responses follow.

Click here to read more articles.

 

Upcoming Events

SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & Pricing Strategy Seminar

Attend our complimentary Ft. Lauderdale Negotiation & Pricing Strategy Seminar to learn how to increase your competitive advantage and improve performance. You will take back valuable information on how the SPA Solution portfolio can help grow your business and improve your bottom line.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 – One Day SPASIGMA Seminar

Everyday, your organization faces tough negotiation challenges. Outside sales, inside sales, product managers, buyers, application engineers – throughout the organization, your profits are determined by the negotiating skills of your employees.

SPASIGMA is a new program to build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization. Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art and science of negotiation.

SPA Battle for Margin Event Feb 4-5 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Presentation Topics

  • Introduction and Overview of Program, Main Themes, and Format
  • Limo Negotiation Case (One-on-One Negotiation)
  • Tactics to Uncover Pressure
  • Buyer Tactics and Countermeasures
  • Concessions Making Strategy (Comic Video and Examples)
  • Surf Case (One-on-One Negotiation)
  • Fuzzy Money (Video Skit and Discussion)
  • Aristotle’s 3 Pillars of Persuasion (Video Sketch)
  • Satisfaction (Video and Excercise)
  • Stud Case (Team Negotiation)

Watch the SPASIGMA trailer to get a quick, hard-hitting introduction to todays challenges, and the opportunity for Outside and Inside Sales organizations.

Friday, February 5, 2016 – Pricing Strategy Seminar

Learn how leading manufacturing and distribution executives have unlocked the keys to faster growth, stronger customer relationships, and market-leading profitability with SPA’s proven strategic pricing processes and technology.

Equal parts strategy and practical tactics, the seminar will address key topics that are focused on protecting and improving manufacturers and distributors’ margins.

This event brings together an outstanding group of industry experts to offer strategies on driving shareholder value.

SPA’s David Bauders, President & CEO; Dolores Bauders, COO; Tony Perzow, VP Pricing Training; and Greg Preuer, VP of Strategic Accounts as well as Jason Kliewer, Director, Robert W. Baird & Co; Jim Miller, Managing Partner, Supply Chain Equity; and Paul Tieger, Senior Advisor, SPA ESPWizard will lead presentations and a panel of experts will share industry leading practices.

Presentation Topics

  • Maximizing Profits: The SPA Solutions Portfolio
    David Bauders and Dolores Bauders of SPA will present the integrated, actionable program that drives sustainable improvements in pricing effectiveness.
  • Moderated Panel on Capital Markets
    How do best-in-class companies find ways to improve shareholder value in tough times? How do you maximize your company’s valuation? What are the pivot points of acquisition success? Our expert panel discusses the best capital markets opportunities now.
  • Tools in Practice Case Study: Buyer-Seller Negotiations
    A 30-minute negotiation using interactive role play.
  • Tools in Practice
    Teams work with case studies and utilize SPA tools to achieve better deals.
  • Putting it all Together
    Negotiation Case Study Using SPA Tools
  • Moderated Best Practices Panel Discussion: Change Management and Sales Culture: Execution on the Drivers That Matter
    Greg Preuer and principals of leading manufacturing and distribution companies
  • Speed Reading People: Insights to Improve Negotiation Effectiveness – Deploying Personality Type Theory to Accelerate Effectiveness
    Wouldn’t it be great to have x-ray vision into other people’s personalities – to know what they are thinking, what they care deeply about, their likes and dislikes? With x-ray vision you’d know how to best approach people, how to pique their interest in your ideas, how to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal, resolve conflicts, or simply help others feel more at ease relating to you.
  • Capitalizing on Lessons Learned – Sharpening and Accelerating Pricing Tools and Negotiation Skills
    David Bauders and Tony Perzow will discuss how you can increase your organization’s ability to deploy and communicate superior customer value, negotiate your fair share, and therefore increase shareholder value? How do you sharpen your company’s pricing leverage? How do you quantify and communicate customer value? What is the role of tools and training? David Bauders and Tony Perzow present a case study on the development, validation, and execution of profit maximization initiatives.
  • Call to Action – Tools and Training for Negotiation & Pricing Mastery
    Best-in-Class companies will define and execute the programs that maximize enterprise value. These companies will strategically combine analytical tools, behavioral and change management excellence, sharpened negotiation skills, and information excellence to dramatically increase enterprise value. David discusses the integrated approach to winning.

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. For questions about this seminar, hotel reservations or for additional information, please contact us at: info@strategicpricing.com or 216-455-1544.

Register Now

 

Webcasts

Join us as we discuss how SPA’s Strategic Pricing Program offers significant margin improvement opportunities and can lead your company to pricing excellence. A SPA client will also share their experiences and advice that will provide you with a wealth of practical knowledge!

Attendees will learn how to address the following all too common issues and opportunities for increasing profitability:

  • Customer relationships focused on product/service value, not price
  • Identifying and capturing available margin premiums
  • Identifying price-sensitive products and services
  • Improving sales reps’ confidence in prices
  • Stopping undisciplined discounting
  • Tracking metrics for sales force accountability
  • Improving pricing consistency and fairness

These webcasts draw on SPA’s experience working with hundreds of companies to drive 2-4 margin point improvements on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback.

Click here to learn about specific dates and to register.

Client Testimonials

Here what some of our clients have to say about the power of strategic pricing tools from SPA. Conference attendees will have the chance to hear real ROI stories from real clients.

“Strategic Pricing is the single bottom-line program…in my 35-year career! It allows us an opportunity to reinvest in the growth of our business.”

“Strategic Pricing is now a way of life at our company. We have embraced SPA’s principles and strategies and the financial impact will be everlasting.”

“A big benefit we have received from Strategic Pricing is having a strategy for our pricing. It was difficult to say exactly how we decided on pricing for our customers before Strategic Pricing. Today we are three margin points ahead of last year.”

“Strategic Pricing is having a very positive impact on our bottom line. Not only is it helping us increase our margins, but is has pushed us to look at other areas and operations within our business that are also impacting our bottom line.”

Click here to read more testimonials.

 

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.

CIO Review Selects SPA as one of 20 Most Promising Epicor Solutions Providers

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CIO Review has named Strategic Pricing Associates to its list based on its high-ROI Strategic Pricing Module within Epicor’s P21/Eclipse/Prelude software.

Cleveland, OH (SPA) July 8, 2015 > CIO Review has named Strategic Pricing Associates to its “20 Most Promising Epicor Solutions Providers 2015” list. SPA’s selection is based on its high-ROI Strategic Pricing Module within Epicor’s P21/Eclipse/Prelude software.

The CIO Review editorial research team analyzed hundreds of companies that provide Epicor Solutions to identify the companies that are at the forefront of tackling customer challenges based on merit to be part of the list. The annual list of companies is selected by a panel of experts and members of CIO Review’s editorial board to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship.

“SPA is honored to be recognized by CIO Review’s panel of experts and thought leaders for our Strategic Pricing technology. The partnership between SPA and Epicor makes the analytics behind our proven approach to strategic pricing easily accessible to Epicor customers,” said David Bauders, President, Strategic Pricing Associates.

SPA’s flagship product, the SPA Pricing Cube™, combines your understanding of markets with SPA’s powerful analytics, to identify the optimal pricing architecture for your business, focusing discounts on the most price-sensitive products and customers, where it will have the biggest payoff in competitive positioning; and extracting small premiums on less-sensitive products and customers.

The software also takes the guesswork out of optimizing pricing in complex environments, allowing your sales force to focus on serving the customer and driving value. Our process provides for flexibility and discipline in pricing, to create a balance that works in your business.

Learn more about The Epicor-SPA Program and watch some short videos on the Epicor-SPA Partnership.

About SPA

SPA is the leading provider of pricing analytics to 100’s of complex companies of all types: manufacturing, distribution, equipment, services, and software/technology products. Since 1993, we’ve built a strong platform of proprietary analytics to quickly and efficiently help companies convert their own invoice data into pricing architectures that maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. Our typical client applies our pricing architecture and improves profitability by two to four percent of sales: $2 to $4 million per $100 million of affected revenue. The benefits are staggering; and they are typically accomplished in less than 90 days. SPA Clients include over 200 manufacturing companies including Parker Hannifin, Rockwell, GE, Exxon Mobil, Caterpillar as well as over 400 distributors including Harry Cooper Supply Company, Industrial Distribution Group, AH Harris, and ThermoFisher Scientific.

Visit us at www.strategicpricing.com to learn more about us and our approach to helping our clients maximize the benefits of their strategic pricing initiatives.

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.

Strategic Pricing Newsletter – June 2015

Posted on Updated on

SPA - LinkedIn Group Hero Image3Inside this edition:

  • President’s Message
  • Recent Articles
  • Case Studies
  • Upcoming Events
  • Featured Content

Message from SPA President, David Bauders

“Price Completion” is the Top Concern Amongst Distributors This Year

A recent article in Industrial Distribution’s 68th Annual Survey of Distributor Operations reports “Price” as the top concern amongst distributors this year.  The price concerned came in at 54 percent outpacing economic conditions, increased operating costs and even new distributor competition.  Thinking about this topic, makes one pause.  Clearly, margin pressures are real, but distributor association benchmarking reports don’t demonstrate a massive negative trend.  Could it be “Price” concerns are instead deeply rooted in the way we learn about competitive price points?

Most companies rely on their sales team for pricing-centric feedback.  And, very few of these sales organizations have hard data.  Instead, they rely on anecdotal pricing feedback; things like “We lost the big order to the other guy on price” or “The new prospect told us our prices were too high.”

Here’s the rub, customers have a vested interest in telling you “your price is too high.”  Whether they seriously consider you as a supplier or nay, passing along a high price message sets the stage for even lower pricing into the future.  Price levels that can be used to leverage current suppliers and receive even greater discounts if you ever end up with an order.  Further, feedback from the purchasing side points to “price level” excuses as sugar-coated camouflage for issues with service, trust and loyalty to incumbent suppliers.

Additional pricing issues arise when distributors fail to understand the concept of price sensitivity.  One example from our daily life is the bread and milk loss leader strategy.  Here’s how it works.  Grocery and convenience stores all recognize most families are closely tuned to the market price of the most commonly purchased products (in this case bread and milk).  This creates price sensitivity.  Advertising very low prices on these and a few other commodities, which have high price sensitivity, gives the impression of low prices throughout the store.  Consequently, the margins of a short list of high sensitivity items are far lower than the rest of the shopping basket.

The theory applies to every industry, yet few distributors consider price sensitivity in setting their pricing strategy.  The “price competition” may very well be coming from a savvy competitor who understands the concept.

The short answer to addressing at least a portion of this top concern comes via a data-driven pricing process.  Strategic Pricing Associates has assisted over 400 distributors in developing a proven system for understanding price sensitivity and establishing fair margins for the products and services they provide.  We’ve discovered the typical distributor using SPA adds over two full points to their gross margin.   What’s more, these same distributors report top line sales growth commensurate with the markets they serve.

The whole SPA team invites you to explore our time tested process, eliminate the “price concern” and hopefully sleep better.

Articles

A Pricing Tale: Old Joe
Read an article that highlights how important it is for distributors to realize the power of a solid, scientific pricing process that will stop unnecessary discounting by sales people.

Kris Kringle’s Executive Meeting
Read part one of a two part series of fun articles that highlight how important it is for customers to focus on the value added by distributors to their operation’s supply chain efforts and why paying a premium is worth it to Santa and his executive team.

Knowledge-based Distributors Save Santa
Read part two of a two part series of fun articles that highlight how important it is for customers to focus on the value added by distributors to their operation’s supply chain efforts and why paying a premium is worth it to Santa and his executive team.

Why do they buy?
Read our article about the keys to effectively communicating the value of your products and associated services and pricing them accordingly.

What do your people believe about your company’s profitability?
Read our article about the importance of educating your sales reps on the actual profit margins your company makes and the value you provide to your customers. This will go a long way towards reducing their inclination to offer discounts as a matter of course.

Click here to read more articles.

Case Studies

Torrington Supply Company, a successful New England plumbing/ HVAC distributor, selected Strategic Pricing Associates to help retain and improve margin in an increasingly competitive market.
“For us, Strategic Pricing was the most effective, systematic way to improve our margins.”

          – Joel Becker, President/CEO | TSC Distribution Group

Philip Rosenau Co. Inc. selected Strategic Pricing Associates to save time in managing manufacturer price increases and provide flexibility to modify and customize forms, screens, and fields in the system.
“…The Strategic Pricing module essentially paid for the whole Prophet 21 implementation process in about a year.

      – Scott Holland, Executive Vice President | Philip Rosenau Co. Inc.

General Electric’s Consumer, Commercial and Industrial Channels selected Strategic Pricing Associates to lead them away from an undisciplined, non-strategic “cost-plus” approach to a market value-based, strategic architecture with improved internal processes and controls.

Click here to read more Case Studies.

Upcoming Events

June 12

SPA Strategic Pricing Conference | Las Vegas, NV

Equal parts strategy and practical tactics, this full-day complimentary Strategic Pricing Conference in Las Vegas, NV will address key topics that are particularly relevant in a recovering economy. This seminar will bring together an outstanding group of industry experts that will offer strategies on driving shareholder value – register soon as space is limited.

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

David Bauders of SPA, Dolores Bauders of SPA, Jonathan Bein of Real Result Marketing and Frank Hurtte of River Heights Consulting will lead presentations and best-practices panels with executives of leading manufacturing and distribution businesses.

Space is extremely limited for this event. It is not necessary to stay at Vdara Hotel and Spa at Aria, as there are many other fine hotels in the area. There is no fee to participate in this event.

Presentation Topics

  • Introduction: Driving Change That Matters in a Rebound Economy
  • Best Practices Panel Discussion: Strategic Pricing in a Rebound Economy
  • The SPA Pricing Cube™ Reporting Tool
  • Making Money with E-Commerce in a Multi-Channel World
  • Best Practices Panel Discussion: Change Management and Sales Culture – Execution on the Drivers That Matter
  • Six Sigma Pricing Process and Reporting
  • Summary: Execution Excellence in a Rebound Economy

Click here for complete agenda

Click here to register

July 15

Webcast: Improving Margins Through a More Strategic Approach to Pricing

A SPA client will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to improve margins through a more strategic approach to pricing.

August 12

Webcast: Increasing Prices and Margins Without Sacrificing Sales Volume

A SPA client will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to increase prices and margins without sacrificing sales volume.

September 23

Webcast: How to Change the Pricing Culture in Your Company

A SPA client will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to change the pricing culture in their company.

Featured Content

SPA Videos

The following videos provide valuable perspective for all companies that would like to improve their performance through strategic pricing. We work with your team to think strategically about pricing; segment your markets; analyze your invoice data; and rebuild your pricing structures to maximize your profitability. We help you build the guidelines and process metrics to ensure effective execution. We help you train your sales force in the practical and cultural dimensions of this process.

SPA Overview

 Inside the SPA Program

Click here to watch these videos on our YouTube Channel

Archived Webcasts

You can sign in or click here to register on our website to view our library of past webinars which covers a variety of strategic pricing topics.

About SPA

SPA is the leading provider of pricing analytics to complex companies of all types: manufacturing, distribution, equipment, services, and software/technology products. Since 1993, we’ve built a strong platform of proprietary analytics to quickly and efficiently help companies convert their own invoice data into pricing architectures that maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. Our typical client applies our pricing architecture and improves profitability by two to four percent of sales: $2 to $4 million per $100 million of affected revenue. The benefits are staggering; and they are typically accomplished in less than 90 days.

SPA Clients include over 200 manufacturing companies including Parker Hannifin, Rockwell, GEExxon Mobil, Caterpillar as well as over 400 distributors including Harry Cooper Supply Company, Industrial Distribution Group, AH Harris, and ThermoFisher Scientific.

Click here to read SPA Client Testimonials.

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.

Strategic Pricing Newsletter – August 2014

Posted on Updated on

Inside this edition:

  • President’s Message
  • Recent Articles
  • Case Studies
  • Upcoming Events
  • Past Event Highlights

SPA - LinkedIn Group Hero Image3

Message from SPA President, David Bauders

What happens when a salesperson does not capture price increase?

Lately distributors are reporting a new flurry of price increases from their supply-partners. Each iteration requires a decision. Do we risk rocking the boat and pass the price increase on to the customer? Or, do we hold the customer price and absorb a meager couple of percent hit to our margin? Whether you realize it or not this decision is a pivotal moment in profitability.

For just a moment let’s think about the decision to absorb the price increase. First, it requires no action of the seller; do nothing, margin drops a just a couple of bucks and the salesperson goes on with routine sales activity. Further, absorbing the increase maintains the status quo. The purchasing folks aren’t riled. Nobody questions past performance. And, the competition is held at bay. But, just below the surface, bad things happen.

Distribution is a 2-4 percent net income business. Absorbing just a small price increase negates a portion of your hard won profitability. It’s not just about gross margin, “holding the price line” at a customer is akin to handing over a slice of shareholder equity. Let me state this harshly for effect: your company is subsidizing the customer. Absorbing a vendor’s 2 percent increase, if done pervasively, reduces operating profit by 50 percent for the average distributor. Adding insult to injury, a salesperson compensated via GM-based commission is still rewarded (though slightly less) for a transaction that reduced his company’s profits. SPA’s experience with hundreds of clients shows that, far from being a rare event, absorbing vendor price increases is a major drain on profitability for most organizations.

How does one come to grips with the practice? By establishing a high-quality pricing process based on tools, metrics, and incentives. Salespeople must be trained to understand the real value their company provides, and the tools to manage pricing effectively. Measuring and incenting the effectiveness of pricing decision-makers is crucial. And, everybody in the organization has to understand the financial impact of price cutting.

Strategic Pricing Associates has helped over 400 distributors build a profit-boosting pricing process. Our clients have gone on record with statements like, “SPA is the best investment in distribution.” We at SPA would love to talk about how you could join the ranks of progressive distributors enjoying higher gross margins and more robust bottom lines. We can help you drive greater effectiveness at capturing vendor increases while sharpening your competitive position.

The following are recent articles, case studies, upcoming strategic pricing events, and highlights from our recent seminars that will help you on your way to achieving pricing excellence in your organization.

Recent Articles

Inside SPA – An Interview with Brad Mack

Gain valuable pricing process insights from SPA’s Implementation Leader, Brad Mack, a distribution industry veteran who knows the business needs of a distributor. Brad has leveraged his project management and process building skill-set to help hundreds of distribution businesses improve their pricing function.

Are We Crazy or What? 2014 Pricing Strategy

Now is the time for distributors to put some discipline into their pricing process. If you don’t have a scientifically developed and well defined pricing process, you need one. The process you select should feature not only analytics, but documentation, training and ongoing metrics.

Are You a Discount Shop?

Read our article about the keys to not being pressured into using discounting for all customers to appease your price-sensitive ones.

Strategic Pricing Tools Unlock Significant Hidden Profits

Are you interested to learn about the Strategic Pricing approach to increasing margins and the strategy that can lead to pricing excellence? Are you new on the journey to pricing excellence and need more information on how to leverage science-based tools to increase margins significantly?

The Best Payback in the Distribution World

SPA was featured in an article authored by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales. It describes how strategic pricing initiatives can have a very fast ROI.

Product Training, Sales Training, Price Training?

SPA was featured in the latest article on The Distributor Channel blog – “Product Training, Sales Training, Price Training?”. It describes how the way distributors view training is skewed.

Click here to read more articles.

Case Studies

IEC Supply – Pricing Process and the Specialty Distributor

After considering a number of options, IEC Supply selected Strategic Pricing Associates based on what they considered to be one of the smoothest implementation processes on the market. In just slightly over 90 days from signing the initial agreement, SPA came live with the IEC organization.

In distribution, the most innovative companies are quite often the best connected. They share best practices with a cadre of others. They build de facto cartels for exploring new concepts. Read how Livingston & Haven literally radiates the attitude of networking, innovation and teamwork and how it lead to implementing strategic pricing processes and tools that improved their margins.

Upcoming Events

August 19 

Learn How Strategic Pricing Tools Can Help You Improve Sales Reps’ Confidence in Prices

Register to attend our webcast that starts at 2:00 PM EST where SPA Client Livingston & Haven will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to increase prices and margins without losing sales.Bob Decker, Vice-President of Product & Technology, will discuss their change management lessons learned, benefits realized by implementing strategic pricing, and their success in getting the sales team to focus on selling value and increasing their confidence in the prices they present to clients.To help maximize profits, they turned to SPA to implement a proven strategic pricing initiative founded on SPA’s powerful pricing analytics tools. During this 60-minute webcast, they will share their experiences and advice that will provide you with a wealth of practical knowledge!

Click here to register 

September 11

Learn How Strategic Pricing Tools Can Help You Identify and Capture Available Margin Premiums

Register to attend our webcast that starts at 2:00 PM EST where an SPA Client will share their journey to pricing excellence and how they are leveraging science-based strategic pricing tools to increase prices and margins without losing sales. During this 60-minute webcast, they will share their experiences and advice that will provide you with a wealth of practical knowledge!SPA’s Dave Lienert will also discuss how our solutions, which leverage experience from working with hundreds of companies to drive 2-4 margin point gains on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback, can help your company.

Click here to register

September 17-19

SPA will be participating in the Eclipse User Group Conference in Atlanta, GA.

September 21-23

SPA will be participating in the Prophet 21 User Group  Connect 2014 Conference in Dallas, TX.

Event Highlights

June 6

SPA Mastering Strategic Pricing in a New Economy Seminar in Chicago, IL

We have compiled highlights and data points shared by distribution and manufacturing leaders as well as industry experts for those of you that were not able to attend this informative event.

The event focused on strategic topics of importance to the owners, CEOs, CFOs, and general managers of distribution and manufacturing companies. Experts addressed the topics essential to accelerating the customer value proposition, competitive positioning and market value of any distribution or manufacturing business. Their presentations addressed the strategic, analytical, process and cultural issues that are fundamental to maximizing shareholder value and on the high-level, strategic and structural issues that are easily neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily business demands.

Attendees learned best-practice strategies and tactics to:

  • Achieve faster growth and market-leading profitability
  • Develop stronger customer relationships
  • Maximize your company’s valuation
  • Drive real change in sales force culture
  • Break the cycle of undisciplined pricing
  • Build a sales process based on customer value
  • Quantify and Communicate Customer Value
  • Achieve pricing flexibility with discipline
  • Improve operational efficiency with reporting and analytics

May 1

SPA Strategic Pricing Conference in Las Vegas, NV

We have compiled highlights, comments, and data points shared by distribution and manufacturing leaders as well as industry experts for those of you that were not able to attend this informative event. The no cost sessions are focused on distribution and manufacturing leaders’ concerns and conducted in a way that encourages networking. If you haven’t been to one, we encourage you to do so.

Normally, the catch phrase is, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But this time, we thought we would share a few words of wisdom that were shared during one of the panel discussions at the event. The panel consisted of executives from four high profile wholesalers representing the Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing Supply industry.

We also share some key insights for you to think about that were shared by Tom Gale, President of Gale Media and Publisher of Modern Distribution Management magazine, who shared data from the latest MDM/NetSuite Wholesale Distribution Outlook Report. According to the survey respondents nearly 66% of the Distributors surveyed are optimistic about the coming year. And, they are investing in technology. The investments will rev up your own thoughts on this whole growth thing.

Archived Webcasts

You can sign in or click here to register on our website to view our library of past webinars which covers a variety of strategic pricing topics.

About SPA

SPA is the leading provider of pricing analytics to complex companies of all types: manufacturing, distribution, equipment, services, and software/technology products. Since 1993, we’ve built a strong platform of proprietary analytics to quickly and efficiently help companies convert their own invoice data into pricing architectures that maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. Our typical client applies our pricing architecture and improves profitability by two to four percent of sales: $2 to $4 million per $100 million of affected revenue. The benefits are staggering; and they are typically accomplished in less than 90 days.

SPA Clients include over 200 manufacturing companies including Parker Hannifin, Rockwell,GEExxon Mobil, Caterpillar as well as over 400 distributors including Harry Cooper Supply Company, Industrial Distribution Group, AH Harris, and ThermoFisher Scientific.Click here to read SPA Client Testimonials.

Follow SPA

To easily keep us 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 Client – New South Construction Supply – is Featured in Contractor Supply Magazine Cover Story

Posted on Updated on

The following is excerpted from the cover story article of the current issue of Contractor Supply Magazine which is titled “At New South Construction Supply, only the best is good enough” and was authored by Tom Hammel.

The piece highlights New South’s implementation of state-of-the-art business intelligence tools to improve margin performance. Jimmy Sobeck, their VP, Finance and Administration discusses the benefits they have received since embracing strategic pricing technology through implementing the SPA add-on to Epicor’s Prophet 21 software.

Contractor Supply Magazine, February/March 2014: New South Construction Supply
L-R, David Hodgin, Dexter Goodwin, Jim Sobeck and Jimmy Sobeck drive New South Construction Supply with Fortune 500 best practices and state-of-the-art business intelligence tools.

Business Intelligence

“I had studied computer science at Georgia Tech and got my degree in business finance,” Jim’s son, Jimmy, says. “New South was looking at putting in Epicor Prophet 21 and I had some experience with ERP, databases, programming and business so I came in and got involved with that implementation. I’ve been here since 2006 when we went live with the system.”

Today, Jimmy is New South’s vice president of finance and administration, but he still loves computers.

“I really enjoy providing information and giving our people the tools they need to make decisions,” Jimmy adds. “If we think we need to add more people or a new truck to a branch, we may do an analysis of how many transactions they run through the day or how many customer pick-ups versus deliveries they make per day or month versus the other branches. I can go into the database and create custom queries at will and provide information that the system might not have as a canned report. For just about any question that comes up, I can have hard data within 20 minutes.”

Jimmy also took the lead in New South’s implementation of strategic pricing.  

“We use Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA), which offers an add-on to Epicor’s Prophet 21,” Jimmy explains. “SPA analyses the vendors and types of products you sell to try to identify your core and non-core products. The idea is that you should be able to get a higher margin for your non-core items.”

That product data is put into a matrix that plots a distributor’s customers by market segment, for example, resellers, the government or regular contractors; and by size — small, medium, large or huge. Combined, these three factors create a “cube” of possible pricing combinations.

“They take all that information and build a complex pricing library for you that integrates with Prophet 21. It gives you a custom price for every customer and every item — based on your own historical data.”

“Why give a tiny customer the same price for a particular item that you do to somebody who buys 20 times more? SPA enables you to tighten up these variances and increase your margins. In the products we have added so far to the program, we have seen about a 2.5 percent margin increase year-over-year in our first year with SPA.”

Click here for the full article

Related Resources:

Click here for other SPA clients testimonials

Click here to learn about the Epicor-SPA Program

Click here to register for our March 26 Strategic Pricing Webcast for Plumbing, HVAC and PVF Distributors

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.