5.7. Utilizing Knowledge: Sustaining the Benefits

Jane's project was initiated by Bill in response to frustration over a consistent Polymat price decline during an extended period due to:

  • Increasing commoditization of products.

  • Increasing competition from low-cost, far-eastern suppliers.

Bill had a hunch that sales representatives were weak in pricing negotiations, and Jane was able to clearly show that this was the case. She was also able to target specific areas where those negotiation skills could be improved. Exploiting the insights from a Visual Six Sigma analysis of failed attempts to increase price unilaterally, Jane adapted and promoted a practical and simple tool that was better able to capture the value proposition of products to customers. Using this tool allowed sales representatives to become better prepared for specific price negotiations and to receive support if necessary. The pricing management process was redesigned as an ongoing, data-driven business process to be triggered periodically when market or business conditions were deemed conducive to price changes. The results from the pilot indicate yearly revenue increases on the order of 2 million British pounds for Polymat's current operations.

In line with the price management process redesign, Bill now wants a monitoring mechanism that allows the Polymat leadership team to easily track what is happening to their prices over time, picking up early shifts and patterns that might give another means to trigger their ...

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