August 2, 2016
Pricing software and mattresses have more in common than you might think. They’re both expensive, purchases are infrequent, and it’s unclear how well they work until tested. Rather than spending hours going store to store looking for the perfect mattress, many buyers would rather buy an upgraded version of what they had before, or spring for a cheaper online option that is backed by positive reviews. Perhaps any old mattress may work (which personally, I am still finding true at the age of 31).
Similarly, many companies stick with what they know and rely on gut feel and experience to set their prices. If they do enter the market for a pricing solution, they will see more advanced ones as too complicated, fall back on Excel, and ignore the gaps in profit realization that come as a result.
But there has to be a reason for buying a new mattress or pricing solution. These purchases don’t happen on a whim.
For mattresses, one of the most common purchases is when a person grows, either from child to adult, or adult to later in life. From child to adult, the most obvious change is growing taller and getting heavier, so you need a mattress that supports your new body shape. From adult to later in life, you may start to experience pain in the shoulder, neck and back, or simply have trouble falling asleep.
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When a company grows in size, new challenges arise that fall on the pricing software, Just like body weight and height, an organization’s number of SKUs and regions served can increase. When mature companies grow older—just as our bodies feel old and creaky—old SKUs are retired or swapped for newer versions and the markets served change through pruning and acquisitions. Like that new mattress with extra lower back support, a robust pricing software provides the team with insights so they can feel more confident working towards corporate objectives.
Now, there is a time in between, when the adult body isn’t changing. In this period, you start looking for a new mattress because your current model just wears out. After sleeping on it for 5-10 years, it begins to form a body impression, or sag, leading to sleep discomfort. This causes your body to toss and turn, which can result in waking up not feeling refreshed and prepared for the day.
Companies with pricing software in place deal with a similar sag. The quantity of data increases, or the UI becomes outdated, in which case, you should pay a visit to your vendor for a solution. A vendor’s software updates, maintenance packs, or refreshed / added capabilities can sometimes alleviate the wearing out effect.
What if you didn’t change mattresses when you needed to? Imagine the adult who sleeps in a child-sized bed, or the older adult who sleeps on something too soft or too firm. Imagine the growing company who prices over 100,000 items in Excel, or the mature company who needs to change their prices as they shift from serving the oil and gas industry to mining and agriculture. Or worse, a pricing team without pricing software—it’s like sleeping on a hardwood floor with your sweatshirt as a pillow!
The key reason for needing a new mattress or pricing software is change. Your body grows, habits come and go, your schedule shifts, and so on. You need a pricing solution that supports changes in your company—whether that is growth, new corporate initiatives, or any other shifts that may occur. Don’t let poor support bring more pain to your back or bottom line.