The birthplace of any digital journey is at the point of data creation, collection and exchange: think of any interactions in citizen service, business serving consumer, employer hiring employee, and so on. Regardless of the nature of the interaction, business model or the setting, all interactions have some binary footprint – and this is where the possibility of transformation stems from.
Recording this interactional data gives you the ability to verify, analyse and validate all the decisions that influence business processes, and eventually reflect on the bottom line of your balance sheet.
So, what has the biggest influence on your bottom line? It is the top line, would you agree?
Top Line Transformation for Bottom Line Results
Business process automation is in fact a synonym for digital transformation. Until now, many organisations have focused primarily on automating processes such as procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, record-to-report, issue-to-resolution, etc. Any efficiency gain in those business processes is going to result in cost savings, be it in the form of time, resources or money.
However, there is another vital business function that holds a massive influence on your customers, both new and existing: how you set, deploy and update the prices of your offerings.
All academic definitions aside, the purpose of pricing is to secure trust, fulfil purpose, be repeatable and offer value to your client base. Of course, there are other key roles it plays including signalling, rationing and preferences, and most importantly, to avoid market failure.
Applying automation (or digital transformation) to your pricing process will equip your business with the agility and capability to proactively control all the key functions listed above, and in so doing, build your brand perception, improve key margins and eventually, drive up that critical top line revenue.
New Technology Drives New Possibilities
Technology has been evolving since the days of the industrial revolution. Over the centuries, every progressive advancement and improvement in productivity is the result of early pioneers adopting new methods and technologies. Today, as technology continues to open up more and more possibilities, it can be a challenge to keep abreast of what’s out there; what is no longer just wishful thinking or a theory, but a practical business tool with the potential to drive performance and profitability to the next level.
Just a decade ago, if your core business was in industrial manufacturing, wholesale distribution, or food and beverage, for example, you might have had dozens of software developers and scientists creating and maintaining your software platforms in-house. But what happens when the administrator of your bespoke software walks out?
And while spreadsheets have been the go-to tool for pricing for decades, and many professionals are experts on macros that are kind of mini-programs themselves, this technology, too, is nearing its ‘best-before’ date as the technological landscape changes. Spreadsheet-based approaches, even if they worked in the past, will no longer meet the need for agility, responsiveness, and scale. To compete in today’s environment, businesses should leverage data science and machine learning that can adapt quickly enough to the rapid changes in the market — in terms of both supplier cost and customer expectations.
As these new pricing technologies become available, which are optimised for use in today’s business landscape and to meet customers’ evolving expectations, smart organisations will be proactive about implementing them. Prioritising your digital transformation journey and leveraging the possibilities of dynamic pricing systems will shift performance up a gear, and help you secure the competitive edge over those who persist with outdated, cumbersome pricing strategies.
Not sure where to begin? Start by establishing how much of your IT resource will be required, and what datasets your team will need to prepare if they don’t already have them. But rest assured, your undertaking to implement a digital transformation strategy to improve margin and revenue is going to be nowhere near as hard as your ERP or CRM implementation or upgrade. Look for a better partner and you will get one.
To find out more about implementing a digital transformation in your pricing systems, visit www.pros.com.
About the AuthorMore Content by Akshaya Shrestha