January 30, 2014
In my last post, I recommended that in 2013 you read some of the papers in “Innovation in Pricing,” which asserts that in comparison with other functions in the business world, pricing has undergone less overall, and certainly less intentional, innovation in the past 50 years. As I was reading that book, I found myself underlining passages and trying to figure out where I could get digital copies to forward on to my colleagues (past and present). Adam – there’s a paper on due diligence for pricing in M&A, Ben & Robert – there’s a paper on the importance of Executive Sponsorship in pricing, Jennifer – did you read the paper on measuring ROI from Pricing software yet?
After I finished reading the book, I thought back to see if I’d been involved in anything truly innovative up to this point in my career in pricing. Disappointingly, the answer is basically no. Certainly, there have been interesting analyses and productive margin gap-closure projects, all of which represent incremental improvements on current processes, but none of which was fundamentally revolutionary.
As luck would have it, true innovation has bubbled up and found me – Vendavo has launched an all new SaaS product called Vendavo Profit Advisor. And with that, I have another book recommendation for you: Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, by Christopher Steiner.
In Automate This, Steiner explores the history of how automation is infiltrating areas of our daily lives that seemed previously unimaginable. Steiner explains how everything from filling prescriptions (UCSF has an automated pharmacy), to driving, to trading on the stock market, has been automated – that machines are doing certain tasks more efficiently, more accurately, and more commonly than you’d think.
Along these lines, Vendavo Profit Advisor uses algorithm-driven profit analytics to automate the Value Realization process, enabling users to identify areas of margin leakage, evaluate profit opportunities, and take action to boost margins. Rather than training an analyst to spend weeks working through charts and exporting CSV files, you can import the data and let the algorithms handle a lot of analytical heavy-lifting.
Steiner hasn’t yet chronicled the impact of automation on B2B pricing, that task is up to you as an Innovative Pricer. Learn more about Vendavo Profit Advisor here.
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