In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, pricing optimization has become an essential component for companies striving to maintain a competitive edge. However, pricing project execution is not without its challenges. Delays in implementing pricing software can lead to revenue losses, increased costs, and missed opportunities. The worst-case scenario is being left behind by competitors who have successfully implemented pricing optimization software while you struggle to catch up. Fortunately, partnering with a reliable pricing software partner can help ensure successful on-time project execution within budget. In this article, we will explore the best practices for achieving successful on-time pricing project execution.
For more than a decade now, Pricefx has been working with hundreds of businesses assisting them in the discovery of their unique pricing niches using innovative pricing software technology. On many occasions, Pricefx customers are paired with pricing industry partners to help them accomplish their specific business objectives, integrate their software, and swiftly achieve a return-on-investment (ROI).
In this article, Pricefx and Bloomkeys team up for you to examine the best practices for achieving successful on-time pricing project execution and how a quality pricing software partner can help your organization bring it home.
Why Is Important to Complete My Pricing Software Project On-Time & What Can Happen If I Don’t?
Completing any project on time is important for any organization, as it instills confidence and a sense of success. The more stakeholders and management levels involved, the more important it is to maintain momentum.
Moreover, it helps to keep the project within budget (delays are most often associated with cost overrun).
Being more specific on Pricing Software projects, one can cite two points, by increasing order of importance:
Get the expected results on time – The key point of software pricing projects is to deliver economical value through margin improvement and revenue growth. A six-month delay may result in a missing value that by far exceeds the total project cost!
Maintain the momentum and the pace of the pricing journey – It is now obvious for many of us that Pricing excellence is crucial to any company. But building pricing capabilities is a long and complex journey. As a pricing software project is one of its fundamental enablers, failure to deliver on time may negatively impact the journey itself.
In short, delivering on time makes the entire pricing journey more robust, increases the confidence of all stakeholders and secures the value expected from it.
Failure to do so may on the contrary put the project at risk: excessive delay may lead to abandonment, the consequences going well beyond the cost overrun and the missing value opportunities.
The Top 3 Tips to Completing a Pricing Software Project On-Time
We think there are three areas that strongly influence the ability to complete a pricing software project on-time:
Pricing excellence often requires digitalizing several critical activities of a company (price-list management, rebates & discounts, quoting, added value channel rewards etc.). It also entails significant changes in pricing architecture or the introduction of new methods such as value pricing, dynamic pricing, or AI-based optimization.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to absorb all this at once.
A company needs a well-thought roadmap articulating a sequence of sub-projects that make sense for the business.
Planning is, to our mind, a prerequisite to deliver pricing software projects on time, through the identification of sub-projects whose reasonable scope makes them achievable within a short time frame.
The second condition is to dedicate time, resources, and appropriate skills to the functional design of the pricing software project, and to start the work well before the integration & configuration works.
Companies often overlook the required effort and struggle to properly anticipate and organize this essential phase.
Pricing projects are very often transformative: they aim at digitalizing manual processes or introducing innovative ways to set and manage prices. Companies expect to take a big step forward from where they are now to where they want to be.
A careful and detailed design of the ‘To Be’ is a significant effort that companies must accept to make.
A robust design requires specific expertise such as solution and application design, data models, pricing, process streamlining, methodologies.
It also necessitates time. The design phase should begin months prior to the start of the configuration and be seen as a sustained effort even after the start of the configuration works.
3. Effective Project Management
The third and final tip is to have effective project management, with a strong collaboration between the integration partner and the customer’s team.
A thorough application of the now “classic” agile project management is a must. But there are some areas that require attention:
Anticipate on the detailed design of the user stories in advance of the configuration sprint timeline (in other words: make sure the business requirements are clear, detailed & consistent before solution developers start working on it)
Make sure the customer’s team actively test the elementary functionalities as they are available and deployed, not waiting for the UAT (User Acceptance Testing) phase. Not doing so can increase the risk of delays.
Track and address the potential complexities. Some business requirements may prove more difficult and time-consuming than anticipated. Making decisions on how to cover them as soon as possible also contributes to delivering a project on time (for instance with several releases over time).
How Can a Pricing Software Partner Help in Getting my Project Completed On-time?
Two points may be highlighted on how a Pricing Software Partner may help a customer to get the Project completed on time:
Help in the Design Phase (Before the Configuration Phase Starts)
The partner may bring crucial skills, expertise, and knowledge in this critical phase to help you team deliver consistent business requirements.
Expertise in solution design and experience with the integration of pricing software within the overall IT landscape (CRM, ERP).
Deep knowledge of the Vendor solution and its use cases applied to the company’s challenges.
Familiarity and experience with methodologies to organize efficient teamwork with the stakeholders.
Team Up with Your Project Leaders in the Overall Project Management
Project management should not focus only on the configuration and integration works.
Building and managing a global planning that encompasses actions, works and deliverables from both sides to deliver the project in time is a powerful way of collaboration.
The Nitty Gritty – How Long will a Pricing Project Implementation Take?
Pricing projects can be complex and often come with a common question of how long the implementation will take.
Whereas a full pricing journey can take several years, we believe that having a project timeline of 6 to 8 months to deliver a relevant functional scope is a good practice.
When the full digitalization (or adoption of innovative price management models) requires more time, then one can break it down in several software projects.
This allows the customer’s team to stay focused and alternate between the phases of software configuration and phases of use and execution, which enables to build and fine tune the non-software pricing capabilities (pricing culture & skills, governance & management, pricing strategies, organization & processes etc.)
The whole organization (pricing, marketing, sales, finance, top management) gains confidence with the repeated successes and value gains.
Other than the timeline topic, the most common question that arises during pricing software projects is how to ensure full adoption and get results.
Delivering the project on time is part of the answer. Communication, change management and training are also especially important and must be planned and developed to stay on course.
However, our experience is that the critical factor still is the initial functional design.
It drives success, especially when conducted with enough attention paid to how much value and ease one can bring to users in their daily works and processes while keeping in mind the overall business requirements and ambition.
For Best Results – Know What You Want from Your Pricing Project
Pricing projects can be complex and challenge the company’s processes and the people’s mindset, from salesforce to top management.
Keep your business objectives top of mind, put enough effort into both design & change management and you will be much more likely to achieve what you want from your pricing software project and get there faster.
While failing to deliver a pricing software project on time can severely impact a company’s performance and journey to pricing excellence, it usually appears as a symptom and consequence of weaknesses outside the software project itself.
Respect for the timeline is not sufficient either. Each project must deliver a significant value to both the users and the company compared to the status quo or current solution. If you are on time but have no adoption, you will not achieve the margin and revenue promised by the project.
The good news is that both topics (time and adoption) heavily depends on one factor, where we see large opportunities for improvement and where a partner can really provide support.
It can bring the right resources and skills, closely associated to the design of the Business Requirements and to address the change management challenges ahead of and during the configuration of the software itself.
However, it is also important to not lose sight of the value delivered by the solution in terms of adoption. Even if you have several MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), it is important to ensure that each one delivers value compared to the status quo or current solution. If you are on time but have no adoption, you will not achieve the margin and revenue promised by the project.
The value offered by a quality pricing software solution like Pricefx is a key issue, and it is important to ensure that the project delivers value to the customer and organization. To learn more about how to determine the value of pricing software to your company, check out this handy article below:
Founder of Bloomkeys, Philippe Plunian is a graduate of HEC Paris. He worked as a senior sales and marketing executive for a global automotive parts manufacturer, before embarking on a career as a commercial excellence consultant in various industries (automotive, utilities, construction materials and equipment, B2B leasing).
He has developed a strong expertise in pricing and quoting, combining software development with a deep understanding of pricing and sales matters.