Before transitioning to digital pricing processes, companies often run into a familiar obstacle: needing significant resources for coding their pricing strategies and related processes. Beyond taking up costly overheads, a manual approach can lead to configuration errors that cause needless delays in price adjustments and approvals, and at worst, diminish the efficacy of pricing strategies.
Enter Pricefx’s Visual Configuration, a visual tool that allows companies to design their pricing strategies and workflows in a few clicks. The best part? There’s zero coding involved.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what our Visual Configuration tool does, key benefits to expect, and core uses before offering a case study of a customer that used the tool to transform their pricing processes to keep up with market demands.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Pricefx’s Visual Configuration: At a Glance
Visual Configuration is an approach to system configuration that uses a simple drag-and-drop editor instead of coding. Intuitive and easy to use by design, Visual Configuration’s main appeal is that anyone can sit in the designer chair – saving precious coding resources for non-pricing activities and reducing time to deploy new system configuration.
(Note: currently this feature is available to configure pricing strategies and approval workflows and is being introduced into more areas of the platform with every major release.)
How Visual Configuration Helps: Key Benefits to Expect
1. Manage Your Processes Quickly and Visually
Above all, Visual Configuration provides a user-friendly visual interface embedded directly in the Pricefx platform that enables users to intuitively view and modify their pricing strategies and approval workflows.
As a vehicle for quick configuration across all corners of the platform, Visual Configuration empowers businesses to deploy configuration changes in real time. With the design tools placed directly in their own hands, gone are the days where demanding coding projects needlessly obstructed a team’s reactivity to the market.
Visual Configuration’s “visual” nature comes from its simple drag-and-drop functionality. Users simply select and arrange the blocks – color-coded for simplicity according to categories like product attributes, pricing parameters, and data lookups – to define their company’s custom strategies and workflows.
2. Mitigate Errors in Configuration
Beyond simplifying the configuration process, Visual Configuration provides configuration guidance, reducing the likelihood of misconfigurations that would undermine the efficacy of a company’s pricing strategies or approval workflows.
In practice, this means that while arranging blocks, users can’t connect blocks that aren’t a logical fit. When this happens, the code generated will contain errors, preventing users from continuing further.
This instant signaling to error allows companies to detect errors ahead of time, in effect speeding up the design process.
3. Real-Time Visual Feedback on Configuration Changes
Before finalizing changes, users can also enjoy instant feedback on their configurations and how they affect their pricing strategies or workflows.
What does this look like, exactly? After selecting and ordering the blocks that make up a given process, users can go in and check how the generated code appears in the final product.
By getting a preview of how the chosen parameters populate in the resulting tables in the “backend”, users can make adjustments on the fly if their original choices don’t produce the outcomes they’re looking for.
By working in our supplied QA environments, customers are also able to deploy and test all changes before they impact live data.
Use Cases for Visual Configuration
Visual Configuration provides companies with a fuss-free tool to configure and deploy changes without the need for coding. To date, the use cases that we have introduced into our platform are our Strategy Designer and Workflow Designer tools.
Here’s how companies use Visual Configuration to simplify those processes:
Once your company has designed the “icing” on top of its Pricefx solution – or the configuration layer – it’s time to move on to developing a custom pricing strategy.
Housed in our Price Setting accelerator, the Strategy Designer tool allows companies to modify ready-made strategy templates (e.g., for competitive or cost-plus strategies) or build one themselves.
To do that, in the Visual Configuration interface, simply drag and drop the components that make up your custom pricing strategy, including relevant parameters and calculation logic, and those decisions will be reflected automatically in Strategy Designer.Take a competition-based pricing strategy, for example – one of the many pricing strategies available to choose from. In Strategy Designer, companies have the option to either choose an existing cost-plus strategy and modify it for a different customer or create one from scratch (however, when using our strategy templates, they’ll never truly be from scratch).
Workflow Designer is another tool made simple with the help of Visual Configuration. First, simply arrange the blocks representing each step of an approval workflow. At the start, there won’t be any pre-made workflows; you can either create new ones or import configurations from your files.
In the tool, you’ll have the option to choose from a wide range of workflow types like Quotes, Price Lists, and so on. Later, these can be easily duplicated or deleted depending on your company’s needs.
Workflow Designer ensures your work is safe by allowing you to export your workflows into files for future use. Conversely, you can import these files back into the tool.
What’s more, Visual Configuration offers the ability to view how your selected parameters appear in the tables (just make sure that the items you select correspond to a price, quote, or contract item that already exists in your system).
How Pricefx’s Visual Configuration Is Used in the Real World – A Case Study
With the primary uses and benefits of Visual Configuration in mind, you may be left wondering how real people use it. And more important still, how much of an impact does it have on the organization.
To answer that question, consider this case study from one of our customers.
After expanding its global online presence and merging with a major brand group, this European retailer needed a way to adapt its strategies quickly to keep pace with a dynamic marketplace.
Under their past system, the e-commerce team needed to continually pull in coding resources to adjust their pricing strategies, costing significant overhead spend. Now, stepping into a period of unprecedented growth, the retailer knew it needed to introduce a more intuitive alternative to navigate the exciting but demanding times ahead.
After introducing Visual Configuration to their pricing process, the company was able to bypass the need for coding and adapt the critical components of their pricing strategies easily and in record time.
This integration streamlined and simplified their processes and facilitated real-time configuration testing and comparison, leading to expected time savings of around 70%. This, combined with enhanced sales and improved customer satisfaction, are just a few benefits the company looks forward to while navigating the ongoing challenges in market forecasts.
Visual Configuration offered an intuitive platform that scaled back the time required to create and adjust strategies. Its real-time testing capabilities enabled quicker decision-making, reserving coding and testing efforts for other activities.
Now, the retailer attests to having more dexterity, efficiency, and simplicity in their pricing strategy design process – solidifying themselves as industry leaders.
Unlock the Power of Visual Configuration for Your Business
In this article, we walked you through a few ways our Visual Configuration tool can streamline your company’s pricing process with its easy no-code design features for all your pricing strategies and workflows.
Still have questions about whether Visual Configuration is right for your business? Consider scheduling an appointment with one of our experts for a quick demo:
Andrew Donaldson is a Product Marketing Specialist at Pricefx. Andrew shares knowledge that enables people to succeed in their organizations. Andrew has a wealth of experience in human resource development, digital technologies and content management. On the weekends you’ll find Andrew cheering on his budding 7-year-old football star and trail running through the woods.