To build or not to build, that is the question! Shakespearean quotes updated for the 21st century aside, the decision to buy vs custom build software for enterprise pricing is a heavy one to weigh. It is a dilemma that many pricing departments and C-level managers are generally forced to face at some point in their pricing software journey.
Amidst this conundrum, the choice between investing in a mostly ready-made pricing software (with some configuration) like Pricefx or crafting a custom-built solution remains a pivotal decision for companies aiming to maximize profitability.
Let’s embark on a head-to-head comparison between Pricefx pricing software, and the allure of crafting bespoke pricing software. To clarify the comparison, we will examine it through the lens of considering the most critical factors that may influence the decision-making direction that your company might finally fall on such as costs, time to value, control, flexibility, and support and maintenance.
But first, let’s understand why the decision is important.
Why the Decision is Important – Setting the Scene
Congratulations, you have landed the challenge of spearheading your company’s pricing digital metamorphosis—a daunting task in the best of times, but is it a double-edged sword or even a curse to be hit with the responsibility? In this “new” business landscape where adaptability is paramount, achieving digital maturity in pricing and moving away from the bad old days of Excel spreadsheets and manual pricing has surged to the forefront of urgency.
Your role demands steering the company through a pricing revolution that not only ramps up ROI (Return On Investment) and agility but also ensures an exceptional Time to Value (TTV) while maintaining a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The pivotal question at the helm of this journey – Custom Build or Buy Pricing Software? — concerns weighing up the decision to construct custom software aligned with your processes or invest in professional pricing software that can be tailored/configured to your specific needs.
Let’s dig into the weeds of what really matters to your decision-making process.
Pricefx vs Custom Built Pricing Software: Weighing Up the Factors
Cost Conundrum: Custom-Build vs Buy
When mulling over the cost implications, the dichotomy between building and buying pricing software emerges as a critical consideration.
Custom-Building Pricing Software
Keep in mind the common misconception that a pre-built software solution will always be the most financially sound one, even though it may appear purely on paper that a custom build will most often be the lower upfront figure.
The allure of lower initial costs in the building phase often disguises the intricate expenses entangled in developing an application.
Integrating, supporting, enhancing, and fortifying the software with additional features (think about Single Sign On (SSO)are significant endeavors that stealthily augment expenses.
Thus, urging businesses to delve deeper into the multitude of facets beyond mere functionalities to ascertain the true cost balance between building and buying.
Choosing to invest in specialized pricing software like Pricefx rather than embarking on a custom-built option could offer long-term financial benefits and value for your company. At face value, the subscription costs of a warrant deeper consideration.
With a custom-built solution, a often masks the complex and ongoing expenses inherent across the life cycle of the software. If the SaaS subscription price is greater than running your own team, then you can tend to look at that as a lifetime cost advantage. However, other long-term costs over the life cycle also need to be considered. Post-build integrations, continual support, feature enhancements, and security reinforcements can all swiftly accumulate unforeseen costs, tipping the financial scales unfavorably.
In contrast, an established software like Pricefx provides a comprehensive suite of features, ongoing support, and regular updates without the additional expense and uncertainty of continual development. Check out the article below for Pricefx cost guidelines:
Pricefx, as pre-built software, offers a proven and tested platform, minimizing the uncertainties and financial risks associated with development while providing immediate access to robust pricing capabilities and ongoing innovation.
Time to Value: A Race Against Opportunity Cost
In the race to derive value from pricing software, time assumes a pivotal role.
Custom-Building Pricing Software
Building a bespoke pricing software solution, tailored for a large enterprise organization, demands a considerable chunk of time—typically spanning nine to twelve months. Of course, while that is ongoing your business is not reaping its benefits and not adding to the company’s bottom line.
Conversely, adopting a Pricefx pricing software solution (or indeed that of most pricing software vendors to be fair) will generally offer a swifter implementation window, sometimes as brief as three months. It is also important to note that Pricefx also offers a range of Accelerators that can be up and working to help you drive pricing insights and make better pricing decisions within 6 to 12 weeks.
This swift implementation time not only accelerates the deployment of revenue-boosting strategies. The shortened implementation period also helps expedite finding pockets of value and profit for your business that you never knew previously existed, while also mitigating the total opportunity costs associated with prolonged development cycles.
Support, Training and Maintenance: Who Bears the Burden?
The responsibilities encapsulating support, training, and maintenance cast contrasting shadows on custom building versus buying software.
Custom-Building Pricing Software
Building software equates to bearing the onus of maintenance, support, training, and continuous enhancement—a potential burden on both business and IT operations.
Contrastingly, making the decision to purchasing pricing software from a vendor like Pricefx ensures seamless functionality, smooth day-to-day operations, and a steady influx of enhanced features and updates, alleviating the support and maintenance burden.
What’s more, Pricefx will allow for use of the pricing software without prescriptive input from us as the vendor should your company prefer. Get your staff involved in whatever training you wish to make any changes your organization requires to become pricing self-sufficient.
Control vs. Flexibility: A Balancing Act
The dichotomy between control and flexibility unfolds as a trade-off in the build versus buy conundrum.
Custom-Building Pricing Software
Yes, it is totally true that a custom-built pricing solution allows for 100% control over functionalities but places the onus on the business user to articulate their vision to the IT team. Trust in the IT team’s prowess, understanding the needs of the pricing team and timeliness becomes imperative in materializing the envisioned software.
Conversely, while a purchased pricing software solution like Pricefx might feel like giving away some control, it assures flexibility and access to ongoing innovations on the SaaS platform as the software is continuously updated and improved by the vendor.
This means that customers can benefit from the latest features and innovations in pricing software without having to invest in costly upgrades or new software. As Pricefx’s pricing software is designed to be flexible and adaptable, it allows customers to configure the tool to meet their specific needs with their internal pricing teams being able to independently adjust the settings and no IT support required for pricing changes.
Get a Viable & Smooth Operating Pricing Solution – Not a Tech Stack Puzzle
Opting to custom build pricing software may seem like a bespoke solution tailored to your needs, yet it often leads to a convoluted and intricate pricing tech stack puzzle. The allure of tailor-made solutions sometimes obscures the complexities and challenges that arise in the long run. Custom development often initiates a domino effect, compelling businesses to continually add layers of integration, patches, and updates, transforming a seemingly personalized system into a labyrinth of disjointed components. This intricate web of custom features and integrations can quickly escalate into a logistical nightmare, hindering operational efficiency and creating a tech stack more akin to a tangled knot than a streamlined solution.
Moreover, the process of custom-building inadvertently places the burden of upkeep, security, and compatibility squarely on the shoulders of the internal IT team. This constant need for monitoring, updating, and troubleshooting detracts from their focus on core business functions. The ensuing complexity not only hampers the agility of pricing operations but also amplifies the risks of errors and system vulnerabilities. Ultimately, what may have seemed like a tailored solution devolves into a complicated and unwieldy pricing tech stack, impeding functionality and hindering the very efficiency it aimed to enhance.
In contrast, Pricefx offers a seamless alternative, providing an integrated and comprehensive pricing software that bypasses the intricate web of custom-built systems.
With a focus on flexibility, scalability, and user-friendly interfaces, Pricefx streamlines pricing operations without the complexities of a fragmented tech stack. Its out-of-the-box features and configurability cater to diverse business needs, ensuring a smoother and more agile pricing solution.
By eliminating the need for piecemeal integrations and constant upkeep, Pricefx enables businesses to concentrate on optimizing pricing strategies and maximizing returns rather than navigating a labyrinth of customized complexities.
For those wanting to dive deeper into the pricing software ‘build vs buy’ comparison and conversation, please check out the comprehensive article below to learn more:
Sean Missingham is our APAC Solution Strategist with Pricefx, based in Brisbane, Australia. Sean has worked in software architecture and engineering on projects for 8+ years specializing in ERP, Price, Quotation, Rebate and Logistics that entire time. As a programmer and data scientist at heart, Sean enjoys spending his spare time writing programs to analyze market trends and push boundaries of the applications of software into business. When he's not coding or analyzing, Sean can be found with his hands dirty on projects in the workshop, or deep in the Australian bush by a fire beneath the stars.