Auto Pricing

A Brief Description of Auto-Pricing in ServiceDeskCurrent as of 2/18/08

This document was created to help you understand how ServiceDesk pricesparts.

The ultimate purpose is to help you get precisely the prices you want in everycircumstance, and with minimum fuss and muss.

We’ve gone to great pains to create a pricing system that will accommodateevery situation, every user preference, and make actual usage simple.

The “Catch 22” is that, to accomplish the above, the underlying system has toembrace a bit of complication.

Here are some of the facts it has to deal with:

  1. ‍Many if not most users prefer to price special order parts differentlythan stocking parts;
  2. ‍Many (but not all) stocking parts are “commodity items,” and regularlyfeature markups many times greater than is otherwise typical;
  3. ‍While it’s nice to have “fixed” internal prices for stocking parts, it’s alsonice to be able to change those prices via some automated (or semiautomated)mechanism;
  4. ‍Most servicers find that “Published Prices” (aka manufacturerssuggested retail, or List) do not provide sufficient markup, and regularlyprice their parts higher;
  5. ‍A minority of servicers prefer to price at List;
  6. ‍Many servicers (and dealers) wish to give differing levels of preferentialpricing to particular customers;
  7. ‍There are several different operational circumstances where autopricingis potentially involved, each with its own unique concerns; and
  8. ‍Warranty service is a whole other ball game.

There are four pricing inputs available in ServiceDesk:

A. The MarginPlanner System.

This system creates a sell-for price on the basis of a formula-basedmarkup from wholesale/cost. The MarginPlanner form (Shift-F10) is usedto specify the markup curve that’s wanted for each of six “Tiers.”

The idea of Tiers is to accommodate different customers, for whom youmay wish to give varying levels of preferred pricing. If you wish to price forany customer for an other-than-default Tier, you’ll need to have aQuickEntryTemplate for the customer in order to do so. Each QuickEntryTemplate includes a box where you may specify the Tier thatyou wish to have used for that customer. You may also use this box(instructions are right next to it) to specify a markup basis other thanMarginPlanner Tier, such as straight-percent markup from cost, forexample, or straight-percent discount from otherwise standard retail.

In the absence of any explicitly-designated markup scheme for a customer(and in any circumstance where price is to be calculated on the basis ofmarkup from cost), the system defaults to MarginPlanner Tier 1 curve forSpecialOrder parts, and MarginPlanner Tier 6 curve for Stocking parts.

B. MasterPartsPlan-Listed Standard Retail Price

For stocking parts, the MasterPartsPlan includes a column wherein you’reexpected to provide the price you intend to charge in standard retail sales.

It’s considered important to have these as independent listings (i.e,. notjust rely on the MarginPlanner), because so many stock parts need humaninput (based on knowledge of market conditions, etc.) in order to priceoptimally. In addition, servicers often receive huge discounts bypurchasing stocking parts in volume, and most likely wish to pocket theincreased margin, rather than whittling it away via an auto-price system.

When adding new listings to the MasterPartsPlan, users (in the applianceservice industry) may take advantage of a drop-down that pulls data fromour SmartParts system. Upon selecting items from the drop-down, thesystem can include a retail price insertion. Depending on circumstances,the price as inserted may or may not be optimum.

New in 2008, the MasterPartsPlan also includes mechanisms to autoinsertand/or auto-update all of its price boxes. Items can be specificallyincluded or excluded in the action, updating can be based on percentchanges or on new published SmartParts data, and according to any ofthe Tiered MarginPlanner curves.

C. Published Price Data.

At present, “Published Price Data” refers exclusively to SmartParts. If inthe future we are able to acquire similar data for industries outside theappliance area, we are most anxious to do so.

SmartParts data includes exhaustive parts/prices listings for all the majorappliance manufacturers, and several in the less-major category, includingThermador/Bosch, Sub Zero/Viking, Dacor and Fisher Paykel.

The data is kept quite current.

D. Your Own Manual Input.

In some cases, there’s no one better to determine a sell-for price than theowner/manager. While seeking to relieve you of the burden of regularlydoing this (via the pricing engines above-discussed), we don’t take theoption away from here. There are still mechanisms that will allow you toprice, on the basis of immediate judgment, any time you wish.

Now that you know what the pricing inputs are, the next question is how, whereand in what manner are they applied?

To communicate this, we’ll use a chart (as per the next page).

Before you look at the chart, one more note: As prior discussed, though mostservicers feel that published list prices are too low, there’s a minority that want tocharge just that. To accommodate those “low priced nice guys,” we’ve addedcheckbox in the MarginPlanner form. It’s labeled “Where possible (and where aMarkup Tier or MasterPartsPlan price is not explicitly indicated) defer toPublished Price.”

On the chart, you’ll notice several sections that show different treatment,depending on whether it’s “Standard Scheme” or “DeferToPublishedPricing” thatapplies. This difference, simply, depends on whether the above-describedcheckbox, in the MarginPlanner form, has been checked, or not.