There are tangible benefits to exerting greater control over pricing, particularly when it comes to selling beverages via the 3-tier system. But, just what does that mean to “exert greater control” over pricing? Some say maintaining records using desktop-based spreadsheets (as has been the favored practice for some time) is a solid method for exerting control over the pricing process. Maybe compared to having no standardized pricing process in place at all. Yet, there’s a far better option available for dramatically improving control over pricing; one that can significantly add to the bottom line. We’re talking about taking pricing processes into the cloud with a secure and proven-effective pricing solution. This contemporary pricing best-practice centralizes information and is way more effective than using spreadsheets alone. But for those who subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, let us make the case for why a cloud solution is superior to the old fashioned spreadsheets.
Data Centralization and Scalability
One of the most exciting benefits of any cloud-based pricing solution, like the one offered by GreatVines, is having your pricing data within a secure centralized repository. Enabling all sales users in the field access to central pricing data and documents means no more challenging version control issues as spreadsheets are modified and passed between users, and no more information “locked” away on someone’s hard drive leaving key team members out in the cold. Does your product enjoy national distribution? If so, wouldn’t one, web-accessible secure data source be easier to manage than 50 spreadsheets when it comes to servicing distributor requirements in divergent states with different pricing models? Our solution eliminates multiple layers of redundancy and dramatically reduces the probability for errors in pricing.
Integrated Business Intelligence
The traditional spreadsheet isn’t designed to quickly or easily generate summaries or reporting on the data they contain. Without some additional visualization software and the custom integration that would be required, the spreadsheet simply cannot provide easily visualized pricing data to help sales personnel determine optimal pricing, quickly and easily. Want to drill down into the data to determine things like, “average front line price” or “deep deal” in any given market? You’ll have to first locate the individual spreadsheet for each market before you can even begin to look for the data you’re seeking. A cloud solution puts all the centralized data – even as it is being modified by other users in real time – at every authorized user’s fingertips. Spend time analyzing the data, not searching for it.
Visualizing pricing data on reports and dashboards is critical to understanding the big picture. Too many sales managers responsible for pricing are missing the big picture! How can you negotiate with a distributor if you don’t understand the weighted margins and profits your pricing is delivering? Pricing negotiations with distributors is a big boys game with huge ramifications. An extra dollar in price support on one deal can cost you thousands in profit. Negotiate from a position of strength by having the big picture in clear view while tweaking pricing models to deliver against specific strategic retail pricing opportunities and distributor margin requirements.
Compliance and Approvals
Highlighting and correcting pricing that falls outside a strategic range using Excel is difficult to say the least. Relying on sales teams to comply with established business rules doesn’t exactly ensure approvals will be honored consistently, even if sales teams do their best to adhere to the rules. A cloud solution for pricing eliminates the margin for error which exists with spreadsheet-based management. This means improved operational efficiency, no more redundant efforts and better protection of crucial business relationships which all translate into better bottom lines.
Change Control and Version Management
Taken from our educational white paper, The Case for Implementing a Technology Solution to Manage Pricing, the following quote sums up the issues with a spreadsheet solution.
“If you aren’t in custody of the latest version of the Excel file, you simply don’t have access to the most current pricing figures. If pricing is modified for any reason, at any point in the process, others on the team will not necessarily be made aware of the change. The spreadsheet does not support a workflow nor does it provide automation to alert relevant stakeholders when changes are made after their involvement.”
Because our cloud pricing solution provides the ability to process change orders on the fly and all users can see the latest in real time, we overcome these spreadsheet limitations. Download and read our white paper and you’ll be convinced. Taking pricing into the cloud is the right thing to do for any growing beverage producer.