Syncron gears up as Silver sponsor at AMAN2014 !

Syncron is a global supply chain management software company, who are also growing from strength to strength with their Global Price Management software. We are very pleased to welcome them to AMAN2014!

Having recently been rated as “promising” price optimization and management software in Gartner’s MarketScope for B2B in 2013, Syncron is eager to share their systematic approach and solution with companies in the spare parts business.  We are very pleased to welcome them to AMAN2014!

EPP’s pricing and profit optimisation forums focus on bringing together an exclusive group of pricing professionals per industry to create a unique learning and networking experience.  
“At AMAN2014 we have built in ample learning and connection opportunities.  Our sessions centre around the 3D’s of Demonstrating, Discussing and Doing in order to ensure maximum retention after the event.” – Nicolene Barnard, Content Director AMAN2014

One such lively knowledge sharing session is the EPP Active Board, which Syncron is sponsoring on day 1 of the forum.
Johan Ösltin, pricing specialist, will guide participants through a well-crafted, interactive exercise, focussing on price and margin analytics, that will identify hidden revenue leakages and facilitate discussions about how these can be “plugged”, the moment they get back to their office.

Read what your fellow pricing professionals have to say about the Aftermarket and Manufacturing events at EPP.
Join EPP and Syncron for this session and get your pricing into a higher gear in 2014.
See you there!


New Bronze Sponsor: Prof. Roll & Pastuch

We are proud to announce that EPP's long-time partner, Prof. Roll & Pastuch Management Consultants, have signed up for bronze sponsorship at AMAN 2014.
Prof Roll & Pastuch
Together EPP and Prof. Oliver Roll have devoted lots of time, energy and creativity into growing the pricing community in Europe.  The focus of his team is on realising projects which achieve a sustainable increase in earnings by optimising all stages of the pricing process.
“We’re really happy to be sponsoring AMAN2014.  It’s common to be impressed by very large conferences, as size often implies status, and seemingly success.  But EPP has proven many times over, that size isn’t everything.  The AMAN forum, limited to 80 participants, allows for plenty of high quality peer-learning and connection opportunities for pricing professionals.” - Prof. Oliver Roll
During the first Think Tank on day 1, moderated by Prof. Roll, we will see a top pricing professional from the manufacturing industry (to be announced soon!) bring his business case to the table.  He will pose two challenges, that they are currently facing, to the audience.  The audience will brainstorm in small groups and construct possible solutions or advice based on their collective pricing knowledge and experience. Participative peer-learning at its best!
We look forward to welcoming participants from manufacturing sectors such as Industrial machinery & components;  Construction equipment/building machinery;  Automotive, trucking & bus;  Food processing/packing machinery;  Industrial heating & cooling equipment;  Materials handling equipment;  Agricultural machinery;  Mining equipment etc.
Read the testimonials of past participants here.
See you in Amsterdam on 19+20 March 2014!
Best regards,


Testimonials EPP Aftermarket & Manufacturing forum

You can trust in EPP as knowledge and network organisation for pricing professionals from Aftermarket and Manufacturing.  But don't believe us, this is what previous attendees to our forums have to say about it:

Photo Magnus Englund
Magnus Englund, Pricing Tools Development Manager at Alfa Laval Corporate AB 
"I believe this seminar was very interesting and carried out in a professional way. I joined it because bringing just one new good idea home or seeing a new different solution angle to an existing problem makes a difference for our future work. It is about ideas and knowledge sharing but also building a network of partners focusing on excellence in pricing and wanting deeper knowledge in best practice pricing with focus on business to business manufacturing companies."

Photo Lex van Bruggen
Lex Van Bruggen, Product Manager Spare Parts at Lely Industries NV
"This event gave me a really good insight into different pricing methodologies and how to improve pricing of spare parts in my company. Moreover, the interactive discussions with fellow attendants were very valuable."

Jozef Schulze Mengering - GEA Farm Technologies
"Thank you for your efforts. The Forum was a great opportunity to better understand how to optimize pricing for big numbers and cross border pricing."

Photo Claude Vanbeveren
Claude Vanbeveren - Sales & Marketing Manager - The Tweddle Group
"The EPP Aftermarket Forum presented an interesting mix of Automotive related Speakers as well as other industries and provide me with valuable insights in how different companies are tackling pricing and what they identified as Best Practices. Most of the parties seemed to have a consensus on the Best Practices, but the interesting part was how they implemented these concepts. All in all, a very good place to gather ideas and see peers in an open discussion environment. Definitely a keeper!"

kevin wheatland
Kevin Wheatland - Managing Partner - Service Pulse International
"The share of revenue and profit derived from product-related and non-product related services continues to increase in significance among OEMS and OESs. Ignore this trend and the potential of service business at your peril. EPP is an excellent platform for Aftermarket cross-learning and stimulation.  The value and return are superb, when compared with the cost of obtaining such leading-edge knowledge by organic means."

Neil Fryer
Neil Fryer - Co-Founder  - Price Positioning
"The Aftermarket Forum was a great opportunity to meet and network with professionals working in other industries.  The Forum content gave the opportunity to reflect on common aftermarket issues and sparked off ideas for change and new ways of doing things.  I would recommend it as an excellent way to take a step back and refresh one's thinking."

Laura Mayr, Sales - Aftersales Pricing Manager at Andreas Stihl
"It was the perfect opportunity to have daily questions answered, to meet pricing managers from other industrial sectors and learn from each other experiences. I think I will definitely keep in touch with one or another and like that benefit from the event for a long time."

Andrea Crosato
Andrea Crosato - Aftermarket Manager HFFS Division - Ilapak
"Everything was perfect in Frankfurt: great location, and all of the presentations were really engaging.   We have a lot of take-aways from the forum.  Thanks!"

Ronald Schreiber

Ronald Schreiber - Pricing Team Manager - ZF Friedrichshafen AG
"An ideal forum to share and improve your pricing skills. It would be really a waste of time, not to be there."

Massimiliano Baggiani - Pricing Manager EMEA- Ideal Standard International Belgium
"Great exchange opportunity, very helpful to improve the drive of the business."

Photo Eric van der Hammen
Eric van der Hammen, Chairman section Rotterdam of Royal Netherlands Society for Marine Technology (KNVTS)
"To spend two days focusing on an item such as "strategic pricing" was a true eye opener in the sense that it reminded me of the key role that pricing decisions (should) play in running your business successfully.” - in his capacity as Director of Alewijnse Marine B.V.

Photo Roberto Bedotto
Roberto Bedotto, Global Pricing Director - Honeywell Process Solutions
“EPP Pricing Forums are a must attend for pricing professionals.”

Photo Wim Beirens
Wim Beirens, Senior Director Pricing & Market Intelligence at Philips Healthcare
"Based on our experience, I can confirm that pricing maturity development and management effectively works in our organization.  It’s a stepped approach and we involve Sales, Product Management, Finance, Factories, and Marketing in the pricing maturity roadmap.  We track pricing maturity across all products & services businesses.  Pricing awareness, training, coaching, and change management are important drivers to reach various levels of pricing maturity."  - in his capacity as Director Strategic Pricing, Building Efficiency Europe & Africa - Johnson Controls Inc.


Homburg & Partner supports AMAN 2014!

We are happy to start the week with the positive news that we can add Homburg & Partner to our list of proud sponsors of the AMAN 2014 event. Thanks to Tobias, Mark and the rest of the team for your support. Looking forward to making this the top pricing and profit optimisation event for Aftermarket and Manufacturing professionals!
Homburg & Partner-large
Homburg & Partner, our newest bronze sponsor, offers consulting and research services for all topics affecting international markets and are especially focused on striking the right balance between growth and profitability. Pricing as a management instrument has been proven to be the strongest lever influencing profitability. Yet this is not the only reason decision makers should pay close attention to pricing. 

The increasingly international interdependence of business activities leads to rising complexity of goods and data streams.Competition for customers is becoming much stronger due to an influx of higher quality, international competitors. Cyclical economic developments are more and more decentralized and connected to markets. In order to be sustainably successful under these conditions, effective price management is necessary.

Come learn from the best practices of companies like Demag Cranes, Maserati, Federal-Mogul, SKF and Michelin.  We can’t wait to welcome you on AMAN 2014 at the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel on 19 and 20 March next year !!


Improving margins through smarter pricing

Originally posted here

For manufacturers, visibility of the elements needed to price products optimally has been relatively blurry, but emerging tools and specialists can change that.

The hospitality and travel sectors may be veteran users of sophisticated pricing tools and techniques, but for many manufacturers, price optimization is a relatively untested concept.

Pricing physical products is often complex, involving more than simply the cost of production – yet it remains a guessing game in many cases, says analyst Pierfrancesco Manenti at IDC Manufacturing Insights.

“For the average manufacturing enterprise, pricing is typically a very operational, internally focused task. The managers who do it tend to be relatively junior and they generally create prices associated with the cost of production.”

The imperatives for taking a more sophisticated approach to pricing are growing, however, thanks to keener competition and tougher economic times. According to Manenti, globalization and the rise of more informed end customers are heaping further pressure on companies to develop their pricing process.

“Manufacturers have become more internationalized, so finding the right price in different countries is extremely important. Consumers are also increasingly using social and mobility apps to get information about products before buying. This is impacting the whole supply chain. The market is moving faster, so companies need to take decisions, in respect to prices, faster.”

Niels Skov, Managing Director for Europe at Model N, which offers price optimization tools and insights to the high-tech and life sciences sectors, says larger firms face further challenges when it comes to getting prices right.

Different departments often take decisions relating to price on promotions and credit and discounts without talking to each other. “In many cases, businesses use a significant number of tools and work processes in their organization of sales, marketing and finance,” says Skov.

“But we often find these tools and processes do not collaborate well in terms of commercial strategy, they don’t share data and operate in silos. It may be that deal-making is not integrated with what’s happening in product marketing or with the finance side in terms of protecting margin.”

This might mean unwittingly charging less than cost for some products. Or some companies may price low in one market and end up jeopardizing margins with customers in others who expect to pay the same rates, says Skov.

In his view, part of the solution lies in aligning all functions relating to price in the way that enterprise resource planning systems help integrate the management of internal and external information in the back offices of large organizations. Skov continues, “Pricing by nature is difficult because of its cross-functional nature. You can’t fix it just using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, a contract-management tool or a rebate tool. [It’s about aligning] those functions to have a single view of pricing from a single platform with a cross-function and cross-process view of net margin outcomes.”

Manenti believes that manufacturers need to take a more strategic approach to pricing and assign responsibility for it much higher up the organization. “It is still perceived as a non-strategic function, but there should be another function, headed by the CFO, that can take the lead in this respect for all products.”

The article was written by:

Andrew Stone


SKP signs up as bronze sponsor at AMAN 2014

Simon-Kucher & Partners, the world’s leading pricing advisor, is to sponsor the European Pricing Platform's 3rd Annual Aftermarket and Manufacturing Forum. This pricing and profit optimisation forum will take place on 19 and 20 March 2014 in the very heart of the vibrant city of Amsterdam at the Marriott Hotel...

SKPSimon-Kucher & Partners, the world’s leading pricing advisor, is to sponsor the European Pricing Platform’s 3rd Annual Aftermarket and Manufacturing Forum.

This pricing and profit optimisation forum will take place on 19 and 20 March 2014 in the very heart of the vibrant city of Amsterdam at the Marriott Hotel.Dedicated solely to the art and science of pricing and profit optimisation, this two-day forum will be unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced!  For two full days in March 2014, an exclusive group of pricing professionals will gather together to discuss and build the best practices for price and profit optimisation in the the manufacturing industry.

The focus of this forum lies specifically on challenges faces by and between “new business” and “aftermarket” and the synergies that exist between the two.This intensive AMAN 2014 forum equips participants with the insights, tools and techniques required to release the full potential of their product and service offerings.On Tuesday, 18 March 2014, there will be a Spares and Services Pricing Master Class presented by Simon-Kucher & Partners.

In the current competitive business environment, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) and Aftermarket suppliers alike are searching for ways to unlock growth opportunities. Traditionally, the focus was put on core products, but the spare parts and services business has been put back to the spot light.  Although spare parts typically represent only 10% of a company’s revenue, it often generates between 30 and 50% of a company’s profit.

In addition, a 2013 Simon-Kucher & Partners study based on multiple projects found that the average profitability of services was up to 93% higher than a business unit’s overall manufacturing operations, and can make out up to 49% of total profit generated. Rapid advancements in technology (think of telematics in the automotive industry) and accelerated launches of more complex products are increasing demand for a wide range of services—from installation, repair and maintenance to extended warranties.

Add to this the fact that your performance on spares and services significantly impacts customers satisfaction and brand loyalty, then you have all the arguments you need to join us!The training will be split into two half days, one on spare parts pricing excellence and one on service pricing excellence. Participants will learn:
  • Why spare parts and service pricing can make the difference in your organization
  • How to achieve higher margins with spare parts and service pricing
  • Useful frameworks and approaches to optimize spare parts and service pricing
  • Do’s and dont’s, case studies, benchmarks


Martin Gehring and Danilo Zatta are both Partners at Simon-Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants, who has the world’s largest and most experienced consulting practice dedicated to pricing and smart profit growth. The company has been defined as the world’s leading pricing consultancy and thought leader by both Business Week and The Economist.
To find out more, visit www.simon-kucher.com
Get in touch with Nicolene Barnard to secure your seat.
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New EPP forum formats

We offer you specific session formats which meet your business information needs. Our sessions are aligned with best practice in unconferencing - read all about it on Wikipedia.  At EPP Forums, you are the designer of your forum : ask questions, give your opinion, get inspired, make a difference in your organisation.  Here is a taste of the new EPP AMAN 2014 Forum will look like.

Icon EPP Java Junction

EPP Java Junction

A cup of coffee after lunch is just the thing to reactivate your mind for the rest of the afternoon.  At the beginning of each forum day, topics you would like to address are gathered and structured according to themes. After lunch we tackle them in the EPP Java Junction. Per round table we discuss a separate theme. After a set time, you rotate to a new table.  The ultimate networking experience!

Icon EPP Think Tank

EPP Think Tank

Break out sessions during which a pricing practitioner brings his business case to the table in no more than 20 minutes. He poses 2 specific pricing-related challenges to the group, on which we brainstorm at round tables to come to concrete solutions and advice best on your specific industry experience. By sharing your knowledge with one another, you build a stronger pricing community and bring pricing maturity in Europe to a higher level!

Icon EPP Sound Clash

 EPP Sound Clash

Choose your side and start the debate. two opposing views pitched against each other or two opposing views discussing the same problem.  e.g. 2 companies, both successful but with diverging strategic focus.  Both have core products as well as aftermarket activities, but the one chooses to focus on profitable core product sales and delivers aftersales at very low prices or for free, while the other builds their customer base by selling core products with minimal margins and recuperating by a strong strategic aftersales pricing strategy.  Which is best for you and why?

Icon EPP Pricing ClinicsPricing Clinic 1-on-1

Do you have a burning question about pricing that you would like to discuss with one of our experts?  We have reserved 2 time slots on each day of the forum for free 1-2-1 pricing clinics.  Duration of each power session is 30 minutes.  To the point, practical advice from top pricing experts.  Topics defined for the AMAN 2014 sessions are:

  1. Life cycle pricing for spare parts (EXPERT)
  2. The value calculator: how to determine your value attributes and charge for them (EXPERT)
  3. How to accommodate a mid-price point or low-price point product in your historically high-price point strategy (EXPERT)
  4. Strategic pricing for bids/proposals/tendering/contracting (EXPERT)
  5. Pricing of extended warranty packages (EXPERT)
  6. Becoming a Certified Pricing Manager (EPP)

Deep Conversations

EPP Deep Conversations

You don't want to miss this!  We have invited a pricing thought leader to share in-depth viewpoints with you.  The author of one of the latest pricing books and a long term favourite EPP pricing personality... Keen to find out who?  I'll give you a hint... A Swedish company, more than 100 years old... Watch this space ;-)


The countdown to AMAN 2014 has started!

Each day, we get closer and closer to the EPP Aftermarket & Manufacturing forum, or AMAN 2014 as we like to call it. I hope you’re as excited about it as we are!

Our team is very pleased to announce our brand new event website containing all important details along with the agenda for this top pricing forum in Amsterdam.

We have confirmed some great speakers for you already, just to mention a few :
  • Ulrike Schmidt, Strategic Pricing Director at Demag Cranes 
  • Todd Snelgrove, Global Value Manager at SKF 
  • Armando Bigliocchi, Worldwide Aftermarket Marketing Manager at Maserati
  • Benoit Rengade, Director of Pricing at Michelin
Don’t miss the chance to hear what these pricing professionals have in store for us.

Be part of the movement that will help pricing practitioners in Europe gear up their pricing maturity in 2014!

Tickets are still available at the Super Early Bird rate of 995 Euro, but not for long.

Register Here: http://www.pricingevents.eu/events/3rd-epp-manufacturing-and-aftermarket-forum/

We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam!


HighPoint Solutions new EPP Structural Partner

The European Pricing Platform (EPP) is delighted to announce that they have added HighPoint Solutions, a leading management
consulting and specialized IT consulting firm, as a new Structural Expert Partner, content provider, exhibitor and sponsor of upcoming EPP events throughout Europe. HighPoint Solutions will offer EPP participants with a focus on Pharma and Medical Devices the opportunity to discover more about business solutions in the areas of Commercial Excellence, Pricing & Contracting, Research & Development, and Quality & Compliance.

“The recent European Pricing Maturity study shows that pricing is still a lot of guesswork for many European companies. Most companies overestimate their pricing maturity level. That way, they lose a considerable revenue,“ explains Pol Vanaerde, President at European Pricing Platform. “Partnering with HighPoint Solutions  puts us in a position to address existing pricing practices even better and to show how the challenges identified in the EPP Pricing Maturity Study 2013 can be solved.”

“We were first introduced to EPP as attendees of their annual pricing conference. It’s a natural fit to partner with EPP as HighPoint expands our footprint into the European market. This strategic partnership will strengthen our knowledge of the pricing platform in Europe and help HighPoint better understand the current needs that companies are facing,” said Arnab Sikder, SVP & GM of European Operations, HighPoint Solutions.

As an expansion of the collaboration, HighPoint Solutions will also co-operate on the upcoming 4th EPP Life Sciences Forum at Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic Montreux, which is due to take place June 04th-05th 2014. Following the tremendous success of the 3rd EPP Life Sciences Forum edition, we are putting all our resources early on to make next year’s event even better and bigger. Please contact Britt Dejager on britt.dejager@pricingplatform.eu for more information.

About Highpoint Solutions
HighPoint Solutions is a premier, global provider of specialized IT services with vertically-focused business consulting, system integration, professional service, and managed hosting solutions for Life Sciences and Healthcare companies. Since 2000, our 500+ consultants have provided business consulting and technology solutions that continue to deliver business value and competitive advantage to more than 140 clients globally. www.highpoint-solutions.com 

About European Pricing Platform 
The European Pricing Platform is a 'not-for-profit' knowledge sharing platform focused on supporting business management, pricing and profit optimisation professionals and CxO-level executives with a main focus on Europe across a variety of industries. Our target is to keep the pricing and profit optimisation know-how of EPP participants up to date. Our mission is to be the number one on- and offline pricing resource for business decision makers. Interactive collecting, developing and sharing of pricing and profit optimisation knowledge are the key elements to the success of our platform. Enhance your pricing and profit optimisation know-how and be successful in it by joining this dynamic and resourceful pricing platform. www.pricingplatform.eu 

SOURCE: European Pricing Platform and HighPoint Solutions

European Pricing Platform
Project Manager & Partner Relations
Britt Dejager, 0032-473-717-669
HighPoint Solutions
Marketing Manager
Jenna Byczek, 001-484-801-0708


Value Analysis as a Foundation for Price Setting

By Roberto Bedotto, European Pricing Platform – Italian Chapter Board Leader
- Summary of an article in a current issue of the magazine L'Impresa, one of Italy's leading business magazines -

The analysis of value and of the willingness to pay are core elements of the definition of the price strategy. The impact of a proper analysis was measured in several basis points, too important to be ignored.

The rationale of this approach is simple and well known: price is function of the perceived benefits, and of the next best alternative available to customers.

The benefits come from the performance of the product or solution purchased – and this is the area, which is most frequently analyzed -.

However there are at least two other areas for benefits, which are worth investigating.

The first one is linked to the Order to Delivery (and Payment) process, and the interaction between supplier and customer. Even in the most commoditized business, there are reasons why a customer buys from a certain supplier instead of another. Reasons which do not relate necessarily with the best price, but rather to the process of acquisition and fruition of the good/ service, and how this process triggers benefits (measured in money) in the customer.

The second area worth looking into is even softer, however it is well present in the purchase decision; it includes factors such as the reputation, or compliance with relevant legislations, or most importantly, the so called “brand value”.

The actual methodologies to measure value and the related price are well known, and  include for example the conjoint analysis method; they are anyway out of the scope of the present article. 
  • I'd rather instead spend few more words on the actual usage of such an analysis, namely understanding which functions benefit from it; this can help the reader “sell” this analysis internally.The first usage is clearly the verification of the value/ price ratio of the goods/ services sold. A best practice in this respect is to involve both the customers and the sales force. Sales is our face towards the market, and shall be on board of the analysis and endorse the results with confidence. The best way to make this happen is to have Sales perform the analysis as if they were themselves customers. The outcome is that all discussions and opinions and emotions are replaced by the results of the analysis. The benefit for sales consists in a more structured and granular understanding of what makes the market segment tick, hence allowing for a more effective and tailored pitch to customers;
  • Marketing Communication is another area where a proper value/price analysis allows to define relevant and impactful MarCom campaigns;
  • Finally, Product Managers need support in defining the price during the new products development phase. And on the other hand, they also will be happy to understand which specifications of the offer can be eliminated for the sake of cost saving, without impacting too much the value delivered and hence the price.
Special thanks to the Italian Chapter Board members who contributed to the article.
Danilo Zatta - Simon-Kucher and Partners; Giancarlo Curro - Enel Energia; Paolo De Angeli - Syngenta; Raffaele Vitale - ValueLab; Stefano De Angeli - Fiat. 


What keeps you awake at night?

Nicolene, our content director for AMAN 2014 has listed some of the key themes which pricing professionals from the Aftermarket and Manufacturing Industry shared with us. Can you identify with these statements? Do you have your own challenges you would like to see discussed in Amsterdam. It’s your Forum, contact us and we'll make it happen.

Every EPP Forum is developed for and by the attendees. We dedicate a lot of time and research to have a clear view of the most recent challenges in the Aftermarket and Manufacturing Industry. We talk with people who are in the field every day and know very well which issues are hot. Nicolene, our content director for AMAN 2014 has listed some of the key themes which pricing professionals from the Aftermarket and Manufacturing Industry shared with us. Can you identify with these statements? Do you have your own challenges you would like to see discussed in Amsterdam. It’s your Forum, contact us and we’ll make it happen.

“Though the market as a whole is in a slump, until this year, the decline in automotive sales meant a slight increase for us in aftermarket activities. People drive their cars longer, so they use more spare parts and need more service. Now that the market is picking up again, so the aftermarket will most likely decline. Add to this competition from low-cost countries and from the dealers themselves, and we have a challenging year ahead of us. How do we ensure that we keep our market volume when the market volume itself is declining?”
- an automotive aftermarket manufacturer

“How do we, as OEM manufacturers, ensure that we capture the full value of the opportunities presented to us by advances in technology, specifically telematics? We are always improving our offering… faster, better, smarter… how do we translate this added value to our pricing? How do we respond to large Aftermarket distributors who are now also competing for the commercial market?”
- a premium automotive manufacturer

“We work hard to hedge the impact of energy, metal and other commodity prices. How do we get more value out of our value chain, and how do we translate that to pricing?”
- a machine manufacturing firm

“Our machines need to be able to quickly adapt to diverse packaging requirements, small batch sizes etc. Customers demand energy efficient processes with reduced material use without compromising functionality. Traceability and comprehensive documentation are of utmost importance. We need to improve our value communication by focussing on issues that matter to our customers. How do we know what they are willing to pay for these features?”
- a food packaging machinery manufacturer

“Demand from developing countries increased while demand here in Europe dropped. This is great, but we are not geared towards pricing for these countries. Our pricing is determined at headquarters here in Europe in an attempt to eliminate country prices which vary too much. Isn’t it better to allow some form of local pricing power besides discounting? In India, for example, a deal is hardly ever closed without a 30% discount off list price… is this because they expect a discount regardless of price or because the price is too high? Should we consider some sort of hybrid between a global and local pricing structure?”
- a global machine manufacturer

“Our company has just undergone a major restructuring, let’s just call it downsizing. My pricing department has been cut back to a small team. My major challenge now is to re-establish the baseline. We need to check to make sure that our pricing strategy and processes are aligned to the new structure. How can I get maximum efficiency out of a much smaller team?”
- a medtech manufacturer

“We have moved from a business unit centric to a region-led strategy. In developing countries, we are shifting away from high price point western design to a mid-price point product approach in order to better serve these markets. Has anyone else been in the same situation? How did they handle it?”
- a machine tool manufacturer

“Due to legislation and funding cuts, we see our customers following one of two distinct paths: large high-yield commodity farming vs. specialised smaller scale farming. We need to start focussing on offering solutions including services which are valued by these two separate segments. This is new for us. Where do we begin? How do we move from selling everything to everyone to a more segmented, solutions-based approach? How do we effectively communicate our value to these two groups? What will they be willing to pay?”
- an agricultural equipment manufacturer

“How can we counter the growing threat from Chinese competition? What part can pricing play? This year a large Swedish state-owned mining group bought a new crusher for it’s open-pit mine from a Chinese supplier. Usually their supplier was one of the two European market leaders who supply more than half of the global market for underground mining gear. How do we stay ahead of the lower priced, but comparable or improving quality competition?”
- a mining equipment manufacturer

“One of my biggest headaches is internal politics. Sometimes this steers us away from the best interests of the company, it erases all rationale. Often there are more important things than pricing, and our projects get moved to the side. How do we increase visibility at top management level for what we do and what we are worth?”
- a medtech manufacturer

“Sometimes short term objectives such as reaching minimum sales targets in terms of volume take the upper hand. This is clearly not aligned with our goal of profit maximisation. I guess it’s a trade-off, sometimes volume wins, sometimes margin, depending a lot on the country… but how can we embed profit maximisation into the company culture? How do we change peoples’ attitudes towards pricing?”
- a building industry manufacturer

“How do we increase the perceived product quality in order to lead to higher willingness to pay? What actually leads to higher willingness to pay – is it only higher product quality, is it better aftersales service, is it stronger value communication, what about the effect of a second price point? Will more features help?”
- an automotive manufacturer

“The nature of pricing for aftermarket parts and services vs. pricing the actual core product of a company differ significantly. Amongst others, aftermarket handles more SKU’s than manufacturing; it delivers people, parts and infrastructure, as opposed to raw materials or finished products; it has to deal with reverse logistics of failed parts, which is per definition a foreign concept to ‘new business’. However, if these two distinct business could pay attention to a more cohesive way of working together, there are so many opportunities to be found. Precisely for this reason, our company recently appointed a pricing director overseeing both aftermarket and core products. How can we leverage the synergies between ‘new business’ and ‘aftermarket’?”
- a construction equipment manufacturer


New gold sponsor at AMAN 2014: Navetti

Logo NavettiThe European Pricing Platform (EPP) is pleased to announce that we have added pricing software vendor, Navetti, as gold sponsor on our upcoming Aftermarket and Manufacturing pricing forum (AMAN 2014) in Amsterdam.  One of the most important criteria for practitioners when selecting a software vendor is the pricing competence of the people delivering the solution.  Navetti provides full support on pricing projects, from high level project planning together with their client’s strategy team to daily queries of people working with their pricing software.  By sharing their knowledge and expertise, EPP and Navetti look forward to bringing the pricing maturity of Aftermarket and Manufacturing firms across Europe to the next level.
Mature economies, like Europe, are likely to grow slowly for many years to come, as volumes and margins remain under pressure.  However, an abundance of opportunities still exist for unlocking profit optimisation potential by paying closer attention to our pricing practices.
Organisations often fail to take advantage of the obvious benefits that strategic pricing practices can bring, listing reasons such as:
  • The lack of manpower and resources in pricing teams.
  • Limited, frequently inaccurate benchmark information on competition.
  • No access to reliable, clear and structured cost to serve info and other data.
  • Fear of losing market share when adapting prices.
  • Lack of understanding of value drivers per segment.
  • Price execution and sales operations are too loosely controlled.
At the AMAN Forum in Amsterdam, on 19+20 March, pricing experts from companies like Demag Cranes, Federal Mogul, and Maserati will help attendees set up a plan of action for steering these and other typical Aftermarket and Manufacturing issues into a new direction.


Pricing is still too much guesswork for European companies, study proves

A European Pricing Platform (EPP) study shows that pricing is still a lot of guesswork for many European companies.  Most companies overestimate their pricing maturity level. That way, they lose a considerable revenue. 

The 2013 European Pricing Maturity study represents the opinions of 121 pricing executives from different companies and industries across Europe. They were surveyed by means of an online questionnaire (the Pricing Maturity Indicator). The questions are designed to indicate the level of pricing maturity of an organisation by evaluating the performance across the elements of the EPP Pricing Framework.

Most companies  are stuck on the first level of pricing: the price list maintenance. They'll sell any goods or services to any customer at any price. Some corporations have reached level two, transactional control. At this level, the right goods are sold to the right customers at the right prices. This is achieved by means of a number of successful margin optimisation projects. Rare are the enterprises that reach Full Value Capture (level 3). This involves greater segmentation of the customer base and seeing overall solutions at value-based prices. Here, the pricing process is fully integrated in the commercial organisation. An absolute minority of companies has reached level 4, Profit Optimisation. This includes rethinking the solutions and revenue model in order to capture more value for the customer and increase profitability for the company.

Pol Vanaerde, EPP president: "Pricing, one of the most important sales and profit drivers, spans multiple business areas and functions, including sales, marketing, finance and product management.  Unfortunately it is not always equally well integrated and managed. European companies would benefit from investing in developing their pricing maturity.  They will perform better in their markets, capture more value from their innovations and increase their profitability."

Pricing is still handled in an immature way by most companies. There is a big contrast in the different kinds of the industries. High Tech respondents have the highest actual pricing maturity. 43% already work on level 3. Machinery and equipment, the most represented industry in this study, have the most realistic perception of pricing maturity with the vast majority performing on level 2. The Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Retail on the other hand are working 100% on level 1. Their two biggest challenges lie in gaining control over discount practices and in making optimal use of the large amount of data gathered from customer transactions.

Pricing is a matter too serious to be handled by guesswork. It is too much regarded as a project rather than an embedded function in the commercial organisation. The power of pricing as a profit driver still seems to be underestimated. Therefore it is crucial for companies to invest in developing awareness of pricing across their organisation. Crossing the pricing chasm remains the biggest challenge for European companies and organisations.

Download the full report here.

For more information or to arrange an informal discussion on the issues raised in the EPP European Pricing Maturity study, please contact project manager, Nicolene Barnard : Nicolene.Barnard@pricingplatform.eu or Pol Vanaerde, president & founder of EPP pva@pricingplatform.eu.


Müller Martini Selects EPP Structural Partner Syncron Solution for Improved Service Parts Pricing

Stockholm and Zofingen, 17 October 2013 – Syncron International AB – Syncron, the supply chain and price optimization software company, confirmed today that Müller Martini has selected its Global Price Management solution to improve service parts pricing. Müller Martini aims to restructure its current parts pricing processes and capabilities as part of a strategic after-sales initiative.

The first phase of the project starts immediately at their Switzerland, Germany and the United States businesses, before a global rollout of the Syncron solution takes place to support over 30 company-owned sales and service locations worldwide.

Müller Martini searched for a solution partner that could implement best-practice pricing processes for its after-sales business, and importantly, could deliver a proven software solution that would enable them to operate a self-sufficient parts pricing process. Syncron was selected due the demonstrated results of its Global Price Management solution, their expertise in best-practice strategies for service parts pricing, and their ability to deliver on a global basis with a lower TCO. Other companies already running Syncron Global Price Management include Hitachi, Konecranes, Metso and Volvo.

“Parts pricing is a key feature in our strategy to become closer to the customer in after-sales and service, and being better placed to support their needs for aftermarket parts” commented Felix Stirnimann, Member of the Executive Board, Müller Martini Marketing AG.

“Few companies take full advantage of the opportunity that service parts pricing offers. Progressive companies like Müller Martini that implement sustainable price optimization solutions can achieve world-class after-sales and service businesses that delivers value to the company and its customers,” commented Christian Anders at Syncron. “We are delighted to work with Müller Martini and help them achieve their pricing objectives.”

About Syncron
Syncron is a global software company focused on supporting corporations in the manufacturing and distribution industries with leading edge, process centric applications to make significant improvements to customer experience and financial performance. Syncron’s ERP-independent software solutions for global inventory management, global price management, global order management and master data management are implemented faster and at lower cost than other solutions. Syncron has offices around the world. www.syncron.com 

About Müller Martini
Müller Martini is a global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing print finishing systems and machines for variable size web-offset printing presses. Our objective is to meet our customers’ high demands by offering them innovative products and services in line with market requirements. Our extensive product and service offering ranges from variable-size web-offset printing presses, saddle stitchers, perfect binders, hardcover systems, and newspaper mailroom systems to state-of-the-art technology for manufacturing digitally printed products in saddle stitching, perfect binding or hardcover production. Müller Martini systems are developed and manufactured in ultramodern production facilities in Switzerland, Germany, China and the USA. www.mullermartini.com 

For more information, please contact:
Christian Anders, Sales Manager DACH, Syncron International AB
Tel: +49 89 99536770
E-mail: christian.anders@syncron.com 

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Media Contact
Daniel Aston, Syncron UK
Tel: +44 (0)121 503 2650
E-Mail: daniel.aston@syncron.com


EPP is proud to announce Syncron as a New Structural Partner

BRUSSELS & DÜSSELDORF, September 23, 2013

The European Pricing Platform (EPP) is pleased to announce that they have added Syncron, a global supply chain management and price optimisation software company for manufacturing and distribution industries, as a new Technology Expert Partner, content provider, exhibitor and sponsor of upcoming EPP events throughout Europe. Syncron will offer EPP participants the opportunity to discover more about value-centric pricing strategies, and how they can prevent revenue leakage and optimise profitability.

Many European organisations have only just begun to realise how significant the effect of pricing on shareholder value creation really is. Until now, the focus was mainly on innovation, sales and marketing – and justly so. But in today’s economic environment, value capturing (effective pricing) is increasingly being discussed at the boardroom table as one of the main shareholder value drivers. According to Pol Vanaerde, President European Pricing Platform, “Deploying the right pricing strategy is essential to help drive business growth and improving profitability. Our aim is to support and promote pricing excellence so that it takes its rightful place as a strategic enabler for businesses. We are very pleased to welcome Syncron to our partner community. It is great to know that they share the same ambition to bring pricing maturity in Europe to a higher level. We will work close together to help organisations discover how to achieve sustainable value capturing which results in full profit optimisation.“

“Applying the right price is one of the most effective methods for manufacturing and distribution companies to optimise revenue and profitability” said Ulrika Olsson, Head of Marketing at Syncron. “Partnering with EPP puts us in a position to help educate and raise awareness of the latest pricing processes and strategies, and to better support those organisations that are looking proactively address their existing pricing practices”

As start of the collaboration, Pol Vanaerde will speak on The Economic Value Calculator at Syncron’s upcoming Pricing Seminar. The event, scheduled for October 17th, will present the very latest thinking and best practices on Unlocking the Secrets behind Value Based Pricing. Registration is free, so we hope to welcome and meet you all on October 17th 2013 at the Ardencote Manor Hotel Country Club & Spa in Warwick (close to Birmingham Airport) ! Please contact Lisa Corbett on lisa.corbett@syncron.com for more information.

About Syncron
Syncron is a global software company focused on supporting corporations in the manufacturing and distribution industries with leading edge, process centric applications to make significant improvements to customer experience and financial performance. Syncron’s ERP-independent software solutions for global inventory management, global order management, global price management and master data management are implemented faster and at lower cost than other solutions. Syncron clients are market-leading companies within the industries of aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer and industrial products, industrial equipment, and mining and construction equipment. Syncron has offices around the world. www.syncron.com 

About European Pricing Platform
The European Pricing Platform is a not-for-profit knowledge sharing platform focused on supporting business management, pricing and profit optimisation professionals and CxO-level executives with a main focus on Europe across a variety of industries. Our target is to keep the pricing and profit optimisation know-how of EPP participants up to date. Our mission is to be the number one on- and offline pricing resource for business decision makers. Interactive collecting, developing and sharing of pricing and profit optimisation knowledge are the key elements to the success of our platform. Enhance your pricing and profit optimisation know-how and be successful in it by joining this dynamic and resourceful pricing platform. www.pricingplatform.eu 

SOURCE: European Pricing Platform and Syncron

European Pricing Platform
Britt Dejager, +32/(0)473.717.669
Syncron EU
Dan Aston, +44 (0)7917 764 623


How to drive a successful pricing initiative in the MedTech industry (part 3)

Practitioner Point of View:  5 things to do, to ensure success in your global pricing initiative, in just 100 days!

Marc Konieczny started his sales and marketing career in medical supply industry after his PhD (Natural Sciences) in 2000. Until 2003, he was product manager at Becton Dickinson (BD), Diagnostic Systems for Eastern Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMA). Until 2008 he took over increasing responsibilities in Marketing and Sales in EMA and Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH), respectively. In February 2008, he decided to leave BD for B.Braun Melsungen for development challenges in Marketing and Sales for Hospital Care (HC) division. Until 06/2013 he was Global Pricing Manager within HC Global Marketing and Sales. Today, he is leading the sales management team for Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) focussing on Cataract Business in Germany.

Marc has a number of successful pricing initiatives under his belt and will share his 5 rules to ensure success with the 32 attendees of tomorrow's Pricing Workshop in Düsseldorf (organised by EPP and the DACH Chapter Board).  You can read his 1st, 2nd and 3rd rules on the European Pricing Blog.  This blog post highlights the 4th and 5th rule to apply in order to see a positive effect in your profit after only 100 days!

RULE No. 4: Focus, focus, focus is the basis for success

Make sure that all people know which goals and projects are essential for the success of the company and which are "nice to have". Too many parallel projects and multi-tasking are often cited as a reason for inefficiency and for failure of change projects which were initially announced and received very "euphorically".

Start by focussing on a pilot project that will be accepted as a good showcase for others later on. Choosing a pilot country/division to initiate a project will not only gather experience in the respective country/division but also lead to a customised company-specific approach that can be used as a template for the later roll-out.  The right decision on the pilot country/division is crucial for further success.  The following checklist might help:

  1. Does the country/division contribute significantly to the revenue share?
  2. Is there a real need identified for a pricing improving initiative?
  3. Does the management of the country/division realise that there is a need to work on the pricing?
  4. Are there sufficient resources and capabilities available?
  5. Is the management fully supporting this approach and will they actively promote the successful completion of the project in the future?

The pilot division's success significantly depends on the engagement of the local/divisional management in allocating the resources, providing the necessary leadership to the team and convincing the organization of the value of this project even though there is a high likelihood of extra-work and high pressure to succeed. For the management itself, it might be not only a lever to increase performance and profitability but also a great opportunity to position the pilot division's organisation as a model for the entire organisation.

Once the project is initiated, start with an analysis phase to identify the market/division-specific profit waterfall leakages.  This will help you to decide where to focus and shed light on where new concepts, e.g. a new pricing system, might be needed. Make sure that you always keep to the 80:20-rule : do not invest to much resources in "academic" analysis and details - only enough to show the people in a convincing and pragmatic way how to go forward successfully.

RULE No. 5: Create the mindset and momentum for the necessary change by allowing self-responsibility and freedom of action and establish the new measures in the daily routine

Take the time to understand the organisation and its strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of the employees, customers and partners. Name issues often, and openly, and create a real "sense of urgency" for the change.

Encourage the people to create own ideas, start own initiatives and to take personal risk. Don't be afraid to reform structures on the short-term if they prove to hinder the implementation of the strategy.  Show that you will do what is necessary to make the project a success.

Make sure that the project is not tailored to a single person or a small group of people, but create structures that support the change to be implemented on a broad basis.  Important is to win support in the organisation. A good way to achieve this is by bringing certain employees forward (into the spotlight) so that they serve as a "living example" for the new routine.

Dr. Marc Konieczny is a speaker at the 2nd Annual DACH Chapter Workshop to be held in Düsseldorf on Thursday, 19 September.  The language of this workshop is German.