Business as Usual

Business as Usual

By now I assume all of you know the news:

Vendavo acquired Navetti

The news is short but powerful: Intelligence Pricing made simple

 

Vendavo Acquires Navetti

 

I personally believe that when two the leading providers of intelligence pricing platforms in the market join forces, only good can come of it.

 

Navetti and Vendavo

 

Both Vendavo and Navetti have worked to generate resources that shed light on what this new partnership will look like, including an official announcement video and a webinar, to answer the questions that current users of PricePoint™ may have had. In short we, now as a single and united entity, have even more competence and resources than before, under one single roof, to support you in your pricing activities.

If there is one message I want to highlight for our clients at this point, it is the message that was communicated by our CEO, Andreas Westling, during our 2018 User Conference: “Business as usual”

 

Business as Usual

 

We will continue with the same improvement plans that we had for our SaaS environments (our cloud-based solution) before the acquisition. As a matter of fact, we have recently recruited a dedicated database administrator, Ranjana, and she has already started the improvement processes to our servers that will ensure we not only maintain the same level of performance as we grow, but also continuously improve performance in the long run.

We are currently taking advantage of the slow summer months, when the load on our servers is at its lowest, to do some housekeeping activities. We have started upgrading our SQL server, full defragmentation and re-indexing of our databases, regrouping them for daily backup process, re-evaluating and rescheduling the daily backup times to have the least interfere with normal user experience, and much more. We are convinced that the combination of these activities will excel the performance of our SaaS solution in long run. You may notice some interruption or sluggishness in your PricePoint tool during this summer as we are performing all these activities, but we promise to do our best to minimize those effects, as well as to inform you regarding any upcoming interruption.

So, rest assured that ClientCare will continue to do our “business as usual”. We will continue to provide the services and support to the users of PricePoint™ as we have up until this point, using the same tools and communicating through the same channels as before, including the Navetti Service Desk, Navetti Knowledge Center, and your Navetti Account Responsible, and we look forward to bringing you a larger, exciting array of solutions thanks to our new partners.

</p

Arsham Mazaheri
Head of ClientCare

+46 (0) 70 032 63 79

arsham.mazaheri@navetti.com

General Data Protection Rights at Navetti

General Data Protection Rights at Navetti

As most will know by now, by May 25th 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a.k.a. GDPR, will come to full enforcement. The regulation protects the fundamental right of a data subject to privacy and the protection of personal data.

We at Navetti are about people and technology. Caring about people is in our DNA. We also care about your personal data security. We care about our business partner contacts, our employees, our users, and the visitors to our website and their personal data too.

The use of the Internet pages of Navetti AB is possible without any indication of personal data; however, if a data subject wants to use special enterprise services via our website, processing of personal data could become necessary. If the processing of personal data is necessary and there is no statutory basis for such processing, we generally obtain consent from the data subject.

The processing of personal data, such as the name, address, e-mail address, or telephone number of a data subject shall always be in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and in accordance with the country-specific data protection regulations applicable to Navetti AB. By means of this data protection declaration, our enterprise would like to inform the general public of the nature, scope, and purpose of the personal data we collect, use and process. Furthermore, data subjects are informed, by means of this data protection declaration, of the rights to which they are entitled.

As the controller, Navetti AB has implemented numerous technical and organizational measures to ensure the most complete protection of personal data processed through this website. However, Internet-based data transmissions may in principle have security gaps, so absolute protection may not be guaranteed. For this reason, every data subject is free to transfer personal data to us via alternative means.

If you are an existing client of Navetti, you have already received the Personal Data Processing Agreement as part of our effort to comply with GDPR. Nevertheless, as a general relation to GDPR, we want to also inform you on how and why we are processing and storing personal data in our systems. In that regard, you can find more information in our Privacy Policy on the Navetti website.

</p

Arsham Mazaheri
Head of ClientCare

+46 (0) 70 032 63 79

arsham.mazaheri@navetti.com

Introducing Navetti Visual Analytics™

Introducing Navetti Visual Analytics™

With our next major release (4.9.0.0), we will debut Navetti Visual Analytics™, our solution to your reporting needs. We have always worked closely with our clients to design, develop and deploy customized apps and reports based on the precise needs of our clients. We are excited to announce the deployment of a new, self-service business analytics app that you can customize on your own.
As an extension of the Performance Management module, Visual Analytics lets you design and develop your own dashboards with multiple dynamic and interactive analytical reports, without needing assistance. The innovative usability and seamless performance of the app ensures that getting agile business insights from complex data has never been easier.

In addition, the new features will enable users to:

  • choose the data you want to use in your report
  • implement standard calculation and analytical functionalities
  • choose how to visualize your data
  • perform deeper analyses on your data to get better insights on your business and your pricing strategy
  • share the dashboard with your colleagues, or even set a scheduled send-out of a report with the latest data available
Visual Analytics Dashboard

Use various existing charts and graph to visualize your data and analytics in the most clear and insightful way

Visual Analytics Dashboard

Dynamic and interactive dashboards with Navetti Visual Analytics gives you deeper insights into your business and pricing strategy

With Visual Analytics you can change, modify, and tune your dashboard and reports at any time, any way you like. ***

Users also have the option of adding other, more customized functionalities by requesting a customized Navetti app based on reports already created with Visual Analytics. This could include a schedule that triggers specific outgoing prices from NPP4 to your ERP.

Our aim is to help our clients save time and money, without missing out on the insights that drive their company towards the future. With Visual Analytics, Navetti PricePoint™ users can make their business intelligence work for them, resulting in more informed decisions, delivery of ROI, and business advantage over the competition.

Visual Analytics is an optional extension to our current Performance Management module and will be available on request with the release of Navetti PricePoint™ 4.9.0.0. Watch our blog for updates! For further information please contact Navetti ClientCare™ or your account responsible at Navetti.

*** To be able to modify a report, you need to obtain developer license for Navetti Visual Analytics. For further information in this regard, please contact Navetti ClientCare™ or your account responsible at Navetti.

</p

Arsham Mazaheri
Head of ClientCare

+46 (0) 70 032 63 79

arsham.mazaheri@navetti.com

The Importance of Organizational Support

The Importance of Organizational Support

Pricing and price optimization should be viewed as a continuous process, not a project. Even with a well-functioning pricing model in place that delivers clear and substantial business value, a lot of things can be done to create even more business advantages. But at the heart of it all lies the role pricing plays in your organization.

Price as Your Value Carrier

For a pricing manager or pricing expert, pricing and price optimization is vital. But does the rest of the organization share that view – even if you have gone through a price optimization project and installed the right pricing tools? This point needs to be reiterated, repeatedly, in most client organizations. The long-term success of a pricing project does not only depend on the actual value-based prices and price adjustments themselves. It also depends on how the organization views the role prices play for their customers.

Price is more than a transaction detail. It is a symbol of perceived value. It requires at least the same level of detailed attention as the performance of the product or service. Your price carries the full history of innovation, quality and customer focus that your company stands for. Your team has invested many hours working to improve the product, and tweaking the details that deliver better performance. A natural progression with prices that reflect “you get what you pay for” and “more for more” makes sense to your customers and presents you as a trustworthy supplier. This cultivated trust can yield premium price opportunities. But it won’t work if the same view of what your prices represent does not exist at all levels in the organization.

Getting the Price You’re Setting

Increasingly, our consultants and pricing experts at Navetti Consult work on these. In the past, much of our focus has been on understanding the business logic behind price structures in a category or solution area. Today a significant part of the consulting projects looks at the role pricing plays in the client’s organization. If the different functions in the client organization share the same view, the price you set is also the price you get.

We have summarized some of these learnings in a new white paper called “How to get Full Business Advantage from Your Price Optimization Efforts”. Contact us today  for your own copy.

Mats Rönne
Marketing

mats.ronne@navetti.com

My Trip To Skopje

My Trip To Skopje

This year the winter in Sweden was surprisingly moderate! Until last month that is, when we experienced some real winter with heavy snow! That called for a trip to southern lands while Stockholm was snowy and cloudy. I arranged a trip to Skopje, Macedonia to enjoy the sun, as well as to spend some time in our development center, and have a training session with the whole team, especially our newest members. Mother Nature had other plans of course- I only managed to do the latter! Luckily enough, my team didn’t blame me for snowy Skopje, rather praised me for bringing them snow!

Putting aside the story of my trip with delicious food and great & welcoming people of Macedonia, I managed to gather and meet the whole Navetti ClientCare™ team under one roof! We had two training sessions together regarding working with our Service Desk. We also reviewed and summarized the comments from our clients and discussed how we can improve our Service Desk services to meet your expectations. This included

  • communicating the progress of the tickets more frequently
  • using less technical language to explain the solution, so while it is still comprehensive and informative, it is easy to follow for users with little or no technical backgrounds

Because of these discussions, the team will now be more cautious regarding their ways of communication in our Service Desk tickets. Of course, we still appreciate your continuous feedback on how well we are managing our services, and in which aspects you would like us to improve. For example, one recent major improvement we have implemented is the expansion of the team. The need for expansion was indicated based on our KPIs as well as your comments. We at Navetti ClientCare™ are now comprised of 10 agents, compared to 4 agents one year ago. We are still in the process of recruiting.

Users of Navetti PricePoint™ who also use our Service Desk to receive support from Navetti ClientCare™ might be interested to know that our ClientCare team consists of .NET developers as well as database developers/system integrators. The .NET developers provide you support related to NPP™ and NAIS™, and database developers mostly support you with issues related to integration.

Also good to know is that we have a rotational schema in our team. This means every month 1-2 agents from the ClientCare team rotate to our development or system integration teams. This way we assure of the knowledge sharing among the team members, and make sure our developers get to know the incidents and issues our clients face and use that experience in the product development and implementation projects.

Below is a picture of a few of the people who work on our service desk:

Left to right standing: Sanja, Arsham, Johan, and Elena. Left to right sitting: Tina, Bube, Simona

</p

Arsham Mazaheri
Head of ClientCare

+46 (0) 70 032 63 79

arsham.mazaheri@navetti.com

10 Tips for a More Successful Price Optimization Project

10 Tips for a More Successful Price Optimization Project

A price optimization project is a major undertaking for any company. There are often multiple internal stakeholders, and it is likely to affect a wide range of internal systems and processes, from basic product management systems to cost and profit allocation and customer relationship programs. When done right, it can be one of the most profitable activities a company can undertake. But when done wrong, the dangers are equally significant.

Based on our experience from hundreds of price optimization projects, we have assembled some general advice for any company that is about to embark on – or is thinking of starting – a price optimization project with the target of sustainable improvements. In our experience, these 10 points are applicable irrespective of whether the aim of the price optimization project is to improve profits, increase customer satisfaction, or create better internal efficiency.

1) It Starts at the Top – C-level Support is Needed

Few things matter more to most CEOs and CFOs than their company’s revenues and profitability. And few things can impact these things faster and more positively than a successful price optimization project. Hence, it sounds like getting support from the top would be a done deal. But things are rarely that str aightforward. Pricing and price optimization represent a lot of opportunities, but there are also risks involved. Pricing has both an internal and external impact, and it must be done well in order to avoid causing frustration, problems, or both.

 

Sometimes a pricing project starts because a CEO or CFO initiates it. But more often, it originates from somewhere in the organization and eventually starts to materialize as a draft project proposal. If you are involved in the development, now is the time to prepare an executive summary of what the intended scope of the project is and what the project hopes to achieve. And of course, what resources are likely to be needed for this – including a senior executive (usually a VP/EVP/SVP, head of business, or similar) to run the steering committee that oversees the project and how well it meets its targets.

If you are on the receiving end of such a project plan, by all means question and challenge the plan and the team, but also consider the consequences of not updating your pricing strategy. And if you are a candidate for the steering committee, do try to accommodate this among your engagements. Chances are it will be one the most profitable activities you will ever overs

2) Excel is a Great Tool for Ad-hoc Analysis, but not for Operational Pricing

Some companies feel they already have control over pricing and how to set prices that optimize revenue and profits. After all, they manage the set-up today and can see the effects of price changes on the demand curve for their products and how this affects profits. Often they have developed their own business intelligence models to analyze changes in sales and profits across the product range.

 

We applaud these efforts, because they are generally done by people with a deep understanding and insight into the dynamics of their market. But invariably we find that while Excel might be a good tool for analysis, it is not optimal for managing and optimizing prices in a dynamic way, especially if a more agile and responsive pricing strategy is desired. And given the complexity of international sales, where markets, competitive situations and commercial conditions can vary immensely, a dedicated system will soon pay for itself. If we take all different permutations based on product, currency, distribution, and commercial conditions into account, the average Navetti customer manages around 28 million different price points in our system. And by manage, we mean being on top of, setting and implementing pricing strategies, doing tests to verify the strategy, and so on – rather than just coping with price management.

3) Distribute Central and Local Responsibilities Within a Common Framework

In a large organization, there are likely to be many parties that want to be involved in setting and optimizing prices. Often there is a central pricing team working with product and category management, but the local sales organization who faces the customer should also be involved. And then there are a host of other central and local functions – controlling and finance, IT, communications, customer support, etc.

 

Some companies believe that all business decisions should be made as close to the customer as possible – and we tend to agree. But when it comes to pricing, that means working within the pricing framework, not defining it. Hence, our experience shows that successful pricing projects rely on a good balance between central and local resources. It needs a hub: a central team that can establish the project structure, manage the framework, and give each market relevant recommendations. And it needs local teams that provide input to the project team and can optimize prices against local conditions and manage exceptions.

The world is certainly getting more transparent, with data and information available across the globe instantaneously. This is also a compelling argument for why a price optimization project needs to have a certain degree of central project management – because there are fewer and fewer instances of truly local prices. In addition, more companies are also standardizing their operations on a number of core IT platforms, systems, and processes – so it would only be natural for pricing and price management to be one of these core central approaches.

4) It Is a Change Management Project, not a Price List Project

Pricing and price optimization is a process that has implications well beyond the product and market dimension. While the outcome might be defined as a revised price list based on customer-perceived value and competitive adjustments, the consequences for processes and systems tend to extend in many dimensions. The end result is often a change of working processes and approaches as much as it is an adjustment of prices.

 

For example, by adopting a value-based pricing model that is anchored to customer-perceived values, a company can establish a value-based sales strategy as well. Understanding how market conditions impact price levels means better handling of different distribution channels and customer segments, not to mention reduced trading risks. And with better price management tools, there are also opportunities to review how costs and profits should be allocated and which accounting methods the company should follow.

This means that a price optimization project should be treated as a change management project. As with all change issues, different parts and functions in the company will view these changes differently, including the need for any change at all. It means that an important part of the success of the project lies in defining and communicating key strategic issues such as:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What are the consequences of not doing this?
  • What are the goals of the project (how do we define success)?
  • What are some of the key success factors in the project?

And for each function, to have an understanding for each person’s key concern: “How is this going to affect my role and my way of working?”

5) Communication, Communication, Communication

As anyone who has been involved in a change management project will tell you, it is impossible to communicate too much. Price optimization will affect many different functions internally, and hence the communication needs to be both regular and wide. And it needs to target both your own staff as well as your customers.

 

A good approach is to think of the need as two levels of communication. One level is about communication around the project itself and the changes it involves: why it has been started, what it should achieve, what progress it makes, and so on. The other, and even more important level, is to communicate about the results: why the revised prices are set the way they are. This is something that must be communicated and understood internally by all people who face customers, so that prices can be explained and defended. In that way, the revised prices can trusted by the sales organisation, and unnecessary discounts avoided. The approach also needs to be communicated to customers, so that they understand, can accept, and trust these prices.

A general recommendation is that communication about a change project like this should be regular and reasonably frequent. Don’t wait until you feel you have enough information for a full newsletter – and as a consequence only feel comfortable communicating when the project is almost finished. Another general recommendation is to divide the communication flow into two or three streams: One that is more frequent and which goes to a smaller group of recipients that are more closely related to the project (but not directly part of the project team). And one that is more condensed and not quite so frequent, which goes to recipients that are more in the “nice-to-know” than the “need-to-know” category. If needed, additional tiers of communication content and distribution can also be added.

6) Focus on Desired Outcome Rather than a Specific Platform or Technology

It is certainly rare that a price optimization project takes place without any expected deliverable and/ or results at the end of the project. But at the same time, we would advise for some caution in already defining the deliverables in too much detail in the initial request for proposal. In our experience, the most successful projects focus on highlighting the key issues and problems, and identifying the expectations of what the desired solution should deliver, but have a fairly open view on exactly how that end solution should look or the technology on which it should be based. Clearly there are restrictions and considerations for the delivery, based on aspects such as organizational structures, existing IT systems and platforms, current operating procedures and so forth. However, being too definitive in already identifying the solution specifications in the RFP risks overlooking possible additional features and deliverables that could further enhance the performance of the system.

 

There are two reasons for this. One is the ever-increasing performance and capabilities of modern pricing systems, so that defining the deliverables in terms of a finite system specification might mean that a range of existing features and functions are neither included nor considered, perhaps not even as optional deliverables. Consequently, inviting the system providers to inform and educate their potential customer about new opportunities and pricing strategies is often a smarter approach than already having a fully defined system specification in the RFP. The other is that an RFP is generally written with an inside-out perspective, whereas an important skill of a good pricing system provider is their ability to analyze the existing pricing structure from an outside perspective. This might mean that there are additional opportunities for price optimization results that emerge from the supplier’s analysis in their response to the RFP than were apparent from the start.

7) Pilot + Full Implementation Rather than Step-Wise Approach

You may be familiar with the expression “the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” Some people view pricing projects in the same way: by carefully adding incremental pieces of price optimization technology and processes in a step-wise approach, often evaluating each step before moving on to the next, they hope for a slow but steady improvement in their revenue and profit levels.

 

We think this approach works – in one aspect. But we also know that there are ways of speeding up the process. For example, by setting up a well-planned pilot where results can be evaluated quickly and comprehensively, the lessons of the pilot can be applied in full, rapid implementation across markets. Doing so repeatedly, adding modules and features in sequenced new pilots, is a tried and tested way to optimize prices and increase profits faster.

The key is to have a well-planned pilot, so that all key functions can be tested in a small-scale, but fully scoped, project. Once the “pressure test” has been performed and analyzed, and the approach verified, a full roll-out should be planned and implemented. A key part of this roll-out concerns training and transfer of knowledge to all functions that will be working in the system, so that the new resources can be fully utilized. Even in a step-wise approach, each step should also include a pilot to test the potential implications – which of course adds more time to the full implementation cycle.

8) The Right Cross-Functional Competences on the Team

In order to run a successful price optimization project according to the method described in section 6, our experience indicates that there are a couple of key success criteria that will help ensure that the project meets its intended goals. One of these is the composition of the core project team.

A good cross-functional project team contains a balance of people along two different dimensions. One is the range of different professional expertise areas needed, and the other is the personalities of the people involved. As a minimum, the following experiences and fields of expertise should be represented on the core team:

 

  • Pricing management – someone who knows how prices have been set, managed and optimized
  • Product/sales – someone who understands the category in question and the customers that buy these products
  • Business analysis/intelligence – someone who has experience in analyzing supply and demand changes and the external and internal factors that influence this
  • IT – someone who knows how pricing systems interact – or need to interact – with other systems such as ERP and/or production, sales and financial reporting

Equally important, but often overlooked, is the type of personalities of the people involved. In the same way that different professional competences are needed, it is also important to balance personalities in the team composition. Some people are driven by change and development, whereas others are more motivated by clear goals and structures, and yet others focus on the interaction between people and strive to foster good relations.

Having people with different personalities on the team will ensure a more balanced approach in how the project is run, and it means that the project will have a higher chance of long-term success than if all project team members are cut from the same mould.

9) It Is a Full-Time Job

Another important success criterium for a price optimization project is that the people on the core team are allowed to focus their attention on the project itself, and the numerous tasks that the project entails. Whilst it may be tempting from a cost perspective to assemble the team and let them manage the project in addition to their regular operative functions, our experience is that at least the overall project manager (or managers in the case of shared leadership) should be allowed to focus their attention on running the project and little else.

 

This is especially true if there are expectations for a speedy implementation and evaluation process. This will require a lot of communication and involvement across different parts of the company, which in turn puts high demands on the team’s availability and ability to interact with all relevant functions along the way.

10) Create a Reference Framework in Order to Understand Local/Segment Differences

A key challenge in many price optimization projects is how to cater for local market variations. What works well in one market will not be the ideal solution in another – and vice versa. In our experience, the best way to manage this is to go beyond “how things are today” in order to create a separate definition of “this is what we want to achieve,” i.e. how we believe the ideal situation should look. This also means defining what the different challenges are that have prevented us from achieving this so far. With such a reference model, including relevant price structures, analysis tools, etc., it is also possible to both identify the challenges and opportunities that exist in each local market and to develop practical solutions for how to implement the desired system and price optimization methods.

 

Mats Rönne
Marketing

mats.ronne@navetti.com