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December 16th, 2020 (Updated 09/15/2021) | 5 min. read

How Valin Corporation Digitized Pricing Lightning-Fast Under Challenging Conditions

Valin Corporation, founded in 1974, is the leading technical solutions provider for the technology, energy, life sciences, natural resources and transportation industries. The corporation offers personalized order management, on-site field support, training, and applied expert engineering services, utilizing automation, fluid management, precision measurement, process heating and filtration products. Headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in 14 additional locations, Valin’s team of world-leading professional engineers collectively holds over 150 years of expertise. As CEO Joseph Nettemeyer says: “If you are going to put something through a pipe – liquid, gases, fluids – we can help you manage the process.”


Valin Wanted an Innovative Pricing Solution to Provide Visibility and Speed

Valin’s pricing system was powered by their ERP. The solution’s basic functionality and poor visibility made it complicated. Adjusting prices was a manual process, and finding the latest prices meant sales reps contacting the pricing team directly, which could result in wait times of up to an hour.

Valin wanted a tool that could adjust prices automatically, on the fly and in bulk, and distribute them instantaneously to sales teams on the frontline. Their three-tiered pricing logic, 1,000 discount groups, and some 300 suppliers meant any new solution would have to be robust enough to handle genuine pricing complexity.

Valin’s executive team was keen to digitize pricing with Pricefx, but in the wake of COVID-19, they decided to adopt a flexible stance. Rather than committing to a large-scale Pricefx project immediately, they wanted first to experience the solution and its capabilities. Lightning afforded Valin rapid access to a range of out-of-the-box tools across several powerful Accelerators.

Lightning Provides Access to Powerful Tools in Record Time for an Affordable Cost

Valin’s Lightning project includes Accelerators for Price Setting, Price Flexibility, Approval Workflow, QuoteConfigurator, and PlatformManager. Still, it’s the Sales Insights Accelerator that has proved most valuable for now, generating the critical data needed to build best practices and helping the company focus on areas of existing pricing strategy that could be optimized better.

Before Valin’s Lightning project could go live, all of Valin’s master product, customer and transactional data had to be imported into the new pricing architecture. This information served as the foundation for all ongoing pricing analysis. Verifying data accuracy and mapping it to Pricefx’s tool is now no problem and automated integration keeps the data flowing post-go-live.

Adoption is one of the crucial challenges facing any digital transformation initiative, and Valin understood this well. The Valin team was keen to ensure employees felt confident in their abilities and the tool’s competency post-go-live. To this end, the Pricefx team was very hands-on, supplying recorded demo sessions throughout the project and encouraged the creation of a reference guide that will serve Valin long into the future.

In addition to the above, Pricefx gave Valin access to Confluence – Pricefx’s internal Wiki, which grants further training in navigating Accelerators – and the new LMS site, where visitors can undergo a range of Applications Basics courses. Finally, Superusers received a two-hour custom training session to close out the project, ensuring any remaining questions were answered in full.

Sales Insights Pinpoints the Strengths and Possibilities in Valin’s Pricing Strategies

With Lightning, Valin has received a solid introduction to the Pricefx solution, allowing pricers to experience various out-of-the-box capabilities and learn new ways to handle pricing strategies and processes. The company is now enjoying reporting from the Sales Insights Package, addressing many protentional pain points in the process.

From the outset, Valin wanted an improved, automated process for dealing with supplier price increases, allowing snap decisions to be made and then implemented immediately. Pricefx demonstrated that price increases at the supplier level could be filtered down into customer prices automatically and mass-edited as required.

Valin also needed greater visibility over exception prices. By having a single source of truth for pricing, the sales team would no longer need to call on the pricing department’s help or wait for a response with all data stored in one place. Pricefx showed that Valin could view the outcomes of all pricing strategies inside price lists and immediately identify which one has been selected.

By tying price lists in PriceBuilder to strategies in Pricing Parameters, sales reps can simply add a customer and product to a new quote, and a price will be pulled in automatically with all attribute-specific adjustments factored in. It’s an entirely automated process available to the sales team at any time, saving a vast amount of valuable selling hours.

“This CPQ tool is going to decrease the price-to-quote time substantially. Having historical data at our fingertips within this tool will close a large gap in our pricing process,” says Craig Mace, Sr Pricing Analyst. “Being able to look at Margin and Revenue Breakdown charts, comparing Q2 to the previous year, is a visibility we did not have before.”

Pricefx and Valin Have Forged a Bond That’s Built to Last Through the Most Challenging Times

Pricefx and Valin’s relationship was formed under the most exceptional of circumstances. First, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted business the world over. Then, the California wildfires, which threatened to derail the project, but remarkably only paused it for one short week – a testament to the resilience of Valin’s team. A lot happened over those two short months, but still, the project was delivered. Tough times have brought us closer together, creating a fast, friendly, and flexible relationship that Pricefx can’t wait to continue.