Implementing a new pricing solution isn’t something that happens overnight, and it’s not a decision that’s made lightly – especially for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that have been running manual processes for decades. That’s why one of the key components of a pricing project’s success is partnering with a provider that is equipped to handle the implementation process from start to finish. And while, of course, it takes virtually every resource within a SaaS company to truly make an OEM’s pricing implementation successful, the number one resource that it’s crucial to include early in the relationship between OEM and partner is your I.T. team.
Why it’s Crucial to Involve Your I.T. Team from the Start
Simply put: I.T. is a major stakeholder in the pricing process. The most important step in the eyes of the I.T. organizations is the integration process – meaning they need to know that a solution can transfer data from the ERP or data source, as well as receive data from the newly implemented pricing solution. This integration process is required to be formalized in a straight-forward, standardized pattern, which can sometimes pose as a challenge. First of all, they need to identify where the data exists, then write a program based on that data flow. This period is relatively confined to the implementation stage the pricing project, which is why it’s crucial to involve I.T. from the start.
In addition to serving as a major stakeholder, I.T. also can fall into the roll of gatekeeper for pricing projects. If, for whatever reason, they see a limitation in the pricing solution’s connectivity capability or data transfer, they can step in to either help implementation teams understand whether or not there are significant roadblocks before continuing down a certain path, or to call it off before the project even takes off.
Pitfalls of Excluding I.T. from the Pricing Journey
It’s easy to get caught up in the nuance of a pricing project, forgetting that short-term focus can provide better long-term results. Some of the common pitfalls of pricing teams implementing a new solution without including your I.T. team from the start include productivity disruption, lack of data buy-in and, ultimately, higher cost to the OEM. Below are some examples of how excluding I.T. from the pricing journey can hurt the success of a pricing project:
- Productivity disruption. From a time-management standpoint, it’s important for I.T. to have a pricing project of this magnitude on their radar so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to them, causing more disruption and a lack of productivity down the line. So, by letting I.T. in on the project early, both the OEM and the solution provider can prevent the roadblock from being IT itself.
- Lack of data buy-in. Typically, one of the big challenges for the OEM is understanding if they have all the data available in order to successfully implement an intelligent pricing solution. That’s why it’s key to include the I.T. at an early stage in the sales cycle in order to have the right people in place to define these criteria early, deciding whether or not the OEM has the right data available in order to really implement a new solution.
- Higher cost. If I.T. already knows, based on any potential missing data, that they aren’t prepared to implement an intelligent pricing project, it wouldn’t make sense to invest time and money into a project that’s not set up for success.
Each of these reasons are why your I.T. team should be heavily involved in the sales and implementation process; but thankfully, for efficiency’s sake, they can be further removed when it comes to managing the solution later on in the process. With data for all of the pricing equations available in the ERP system, input initially by a business user, the pricing application can run long-term based on the users who continue to input data into the system.
Ultimately, taking on a new pricing journey can be a big commitment upfront, but once it’s properly implemented, the OEM’s ability to garner success from an intelligent pricing solution are endless, with I.T. simply ensuring that the data flow between systems is accurate along the way.
Simply put: the better implemented an intelligent pricing solution is from the start, the more successful OEMs will be on their pricing journey. Keeping I.T. satisfied with a smart solution is vital to this success, and by working together to create an exceptional solution implementation, OEMs will be empowered to partner with their providers to share best practices among a team of industry experts.
Interested in learning more about how to start your journey toward a better pricing process for your organization? Reach out to us to speak to an expert about how you can get started today with an intelligent pricing solution that meets the needs of your business today and will evolve with you into the future.