The use of price lists and discount structures, particularly in B2B environments, can be a powerful tool to drive sales and gain customers yet present a multitude of issues around management and implementation. The problem many businesses find is that while simple and limited pricing is easy to apply it often doesn’t closely match customer expectations or commercial sales strategy. A more flexible and varied customer specific approach to pricing structures provides the tools to win more business but can be time consuming to apply, difficult to monitor and result in pricing errors that damage relationships.
Extensive existing price management
OrderWise already provides extensive price management functionality allowing the creation of multiple price lists with a wide variety of methods for calculating the price applied, from percentage discounts to fixed values, mark-ups to modifiers and more. Additional functionality also allows customer special pricing to be used, quantity breaks, discount groups based on products and product categories along with special offer pricing. The simple yet powerful discount calculation order feature means even with multiple pricing structures and discounts in place, managing which price takes precedent over another is handled with a few clicks.
In competitive trading environments price provides essential leverage to win contracts, offer trials of products, entice uptake of items a customer normally buys elsewhere and promote long term buying behaviour. In many cases companies are happy to forfeit margin on products for specific customers, whether that be for a short periods or long term, if the net overall benefit is capturing profitable sales of other items or attracting long term customers. The process of time restricted discounting on selected products or products groups adds further complexity to price implementation and management.
Additional pricing control to win and maintain customers
In the 2014 v9.1 release there has been a significant addition to our already extensive price list and discount control features. Called Additional Price Lists, this feature can be activated from System Settings > Customer > General. Once activated users will then see that against the Use Price List option within Customer settings there is a new button available beside the price list drop down. With the Use Price List option activated and a price list assigned to the customer users are then able to assign additional price lists.
Using additional price lists provides extensive flexibility on how pricing is managed. Although a main price lists must be applied to a customer in order to use additional price lists, this main price list could be simply a blank list. This means additional price lists could be used stand alone to manage pricing, discounts and use dates, or layer over an existing pricing structure.
When an additional price list has been selected options are available to determine a percentage discount (negative or positive) against the list selected and also set a start and end date and time. Users could create additional price lists based on product category and any range of criteria that meet their needs. A customer may be offered a discount on a particular product range until the end of the month and by using the start and expiry date functionality these additional price lists can be configured to be applied and retracted automatically.
Pricing management & monitoring
In conjunction with the new Additional Price Lists functionality there has also been development in the 2014 v9.1 release to make applying and managing these simple and straightforward.
- Customer defaults can now be set to include additional price lists to make price list management on customer creation fast and easy.
- Additional Price lists can now be imported and edited using the Import Data utility for effective setting up and maintenance.
- More than one price list can now be applied via the Customer Price List form with subsequent price lists assigned as Additional price lists.
- A new report has been added found in the Sales module to show Expiring Customer Price Lists within chosen dates and for all or selected customers to ensure efficient monitoring is achieved.
Many existing customers may find that using Additional Price lists provides greater scope than their currently used price structure and could result in certain methods of price management becoming redundant. This new price list management structure opens a new depth to the way business are able to manage, apply and utilise pricing for maximum commercial advantage whilst reducing maintenance time and pricing accuracy errors.
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