Beat the Pricing Blues in Your Order to Cash Process
By Heather Oebel on Jul 15, 2015
I LOVE a good sale just as much as the next girl, and recently found some great deals after shopping with my sister over a holiday weekend. I picked out a shirt that I not only loved wearing, but was excited about the price tag too! When I got to the register to pay, I discovered the price was marked down incorrectly; but they decided to honor the price as marked. The nice sales associate immediately called another colleague to review the prices of similar shirts, in order to correct the mistake. I actually would have happily paid the higher price (in this case $8.00 more), but was excited to receive the additional discount. This got me thinking about how a small pricing mistake can have a huge impact on a company.
Winshuttle recently conducted some research around the order to cash process, and one of the insights we discovered through interviews was that pricing is often still handled manually. Some companies aren’t able to easily maintain prices at the master data level, and prices are manually entered for each sales order at the transactional level. This brings up various concerns like adhering to discounting policies and fraud. The issue is not only the sheer volume of prices, but also the frequent price changes due to seasonality and market demands that make it almost impossible to manually maintain prices at the master data level.
Home Meridian International, a Winshuttle customer specializing in home furnishings, has also experienced challenges with maintaining prices. HMI has recently seen a tremendous growth opportunity in the e-commerce sales arena. The rise of wayfair.com, Amazon and Costco.com has created both opportunities and challenges in the way the industry (and HMI) does business. For example, several of these online retailers provide unique selling propositions such as a 48 hour sale – which is one of wayfair.com’s approaches to generating mass interest in groupings of products.
For HMI to be competitive in this type of market requires the ability to accommodate the channel’s need for “instant sales” and thus mass data updates to pricing. HMI’s SAP environment with traditional data updates managed by VK12 could not provide instant price changes – taking several days to complete the pricing adjustments. Using Winshuttle Transaction and Runner, HMI can now update thousands of product prices and data in a much shorter time frame, usually within 2 hours.
The results? HMI’s top line revenue has accelerated over the last two years, making the company a leader in the furniture industry—both in overall sales and in year over year sales increases. HMI’s commitment to continuous improvement, operational excellence and product leadership provides the company and its partners with a competitive advantage. HMI also uses the same Winshuttle platform skills and tools to optimize other critical business processes like master data (material, customer and vendor), financial journal entries, plant maintenance and order to cash processing.
After learning about HMI’s story, I realized how much effort goes into a discount when margins are already reduced. Having an efficient process to handle this is imperative to remaining profitable in today’s competitive market conditions.
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The Winshuttle blog is written by professional thought leaders who are dedicated to providing content on a variety of topics, including industry news, best practices, software updates, continued education, tips and techniques, and much more.
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