How are leading companies getting pricing done? I interviewed Robert Smith, director of corporate pricing at Eastman Chemical Company, to hear this leader's perspective on organizing pricing to perform: What kind of challenges should the pricing function address? Who should be engaged in pricing? And what kind of tools and techniques can be used to make the pricing function more effective and efficient?
In 2013, Eastman operating earnings hit a healthy $1.59 billion on $9.35 billion in revenue. From headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman operates in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa with over 50 percent of revenue from international operations. Eastman has five business segments serving more than 11 diversified markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. It offers a broad spectrum of products ranging from highly engineered new-to-the-world products and services to relatively commoditized products.
That is, from a pricing perspective, Eastman is big and complex: complexity in product mix, market segments, geographies, and customer base.
Robert Smith has been successfully managing this challenge at Eastman as director, corporate pricing, since 2009 and, along with members of his team, is a regular attender at the Professional Pricing Society's conferences and workshops, and his team members are regular attendees of the ...