Building Products Distributors: The Global Economy, Pricing and Commercial Realities

In this episode, Paul Kedge is our expert on deck to share his experience both as a customer success manager at Zilliant with many building products distributors, but also as the head of pricing of the plumbing and heating division at Travis Perkins, the United Kingdom’s largest building merchant. Listen as Paul and Lindsay discuss the complications and dynamics of pricing, issues responding to boom and bust economies, the complexities of customer agreements, and how to balance margin targets across the business.

Featuring
Paul Kedge

Paul Kedge

Don't take effort to do things that you could get a machine to do for you. If you choose smartly how to invest in technology, then you can take a whole lot of manual processing that's time-consuming and dull and difficult to do, and focus that time on outcomes.
- Paul Kedge, Zilliant

Episode Transcript

Lindsay Duran: Welcome to B2B Reimagined. My name is Lindsay Duran, and I'll be your host for this episode. I've spent nearly the past decade working with B2B manufacturing, distribution, and services companies on how to tackle sales and pricing challenges. For this episode, Paul Kedge is our expert on deck to discuss the building products distribution industry.

Good morning. Paul, why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself. I know you have some pretty extensive experience in this space.

Paul Kedge: Sure. Yeah. I'm working with Zilliant. I've been part of the customer success team and we have a number of building product distribution customers in Europe that the team supports, myself included.

Before that I was part of the Travis Perkins group, which is the UK’s largest [00:02:00] building merchant. And I was head of pricing for one of the divisions, plumbing and heating division. So, we had a lot of time invested in the management of pricing for the best commercial outcomes, and we shared extensively across the divisions.

We had a very good group of collaborative individuals, so we had a, quite a complex and detailed sharing. So we kind of made the best of the various initiatives that are going on across that group. And before then I was part of the pricing team for electronics distribution, which is covered extensively in your previous podcast. So will be no need to delve into that experience too much, but generally I've been around with kind of analytics and fact-based decision-making. I suppose I started working post university.

Lindsay Duran: Excellent. Thank you for joining us today. Pricing, I would imagine in the building products space can be rather complicated.

Can you talk a little bit about the relevant dynamics that you saw that contributed to that from overall complexity that might've made it a bit difficult to manage?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, sure. I mean, [00:03:00] I think to me, the complexity comes with combinations that you're trying to manage. So, within a building distribution, you had quite a diverse set of customers that you were looking after.

These range from, very large multi-million pound, dollars or euros national kind of house builders through to more regional base local firms, local one man band, and then ultimately even homeowners could purchase certain equipment for maybe, converting their garage. You overlay that with the vast amount of products that were on offer.

And then the fact that those combinations are owned by different people, typically within the business. You would have maybe a key account manager looking after your national house builders, but your local sales team or your local branch would be looking after some of the smaller ones. So when you're trying to set and importantly maintain pricing for all of those combinations which could be, being renegotiated or changed at any [00:04:00] time in the air, it requires an awful lot of focus to make sure that you're making optimal decisions for the entire time. An added layer is that the product set can be so very different.

You can have some very small parts, but you could literally send in Jiffy bags, to 100-kilogram concrete landfills, and massive rafts of timber that have a very different delivery channel. There was real kind of complexity in the product combination mix, and also the fact that the ownership could very well be different means that you have to engage with different people in order to get your pricing outcomes that you are seeking.

Lindsay Duran: Generally speaking, did you find that the economic cycles, tied to the construction market in particular, created some headaches around pricing as you're trying to respond to those kind of boom or bust times, particularly back in the 2008, 2009 times?

Paul Kedge: Yeah. I think particularly with those contracts that come up either for renewals or new contracts in those larger house builders or regional contractors, the [00:05:00] nature of the business at that point in time can be a real challenge.

If you have experienced a little bit of a famine time, then the natural tendency is to kind of want to win those deals. And that can kind of give the temptation to offer, potentially overly competitive pricing. And therefore, you end up with a very low margin that you may have to live with for a number of years.

I think the nature of the market effect are kind of an intangible, but I think maybe we'll come and discuss across the conversation, but that is kind of confidence that your teams have within the pricing and the likelihood of winning that deal. I do think that the market dynamics can play a real important part in very large contracts.

Lindsay Duran: And I would imagine that once you lower the price to just maintain some level of volume and be competitive in the market, that it can be rather difficult to get that price back up to profitable levels once the economy turns back around.

Paul Kedge: Yes, absolutely. I think, both in business and personally, we all take exception to being asked to pay more or do [00:06:00] we not?

I think certainly when you've got commercial teams involved and then people who are used to buying it does become a very difficult thing. So absolutely. When you make a decision to go with a sharp price, you'll be living with the consequence of that, more than probably just the immediate future, that could also affect the next deal starting points.

Yeah, you've got to be very careful about allowing, I guess, external factors to make you overly sensitive to pricing levels.

Lindsay Duran: Right. One of the big trends that we're seeing in the U S and I'm not sure if you can speak to how this is playing out in the UK, is that consumers in particular are really shifting away from DIY projects.

I think some of the skillsets to perform those types of projects at home aren't as prevalent as they used to be, and really moving towards the, do it for me base. I was reading an interesting article. According to CB insights, startups connecting people with on-demand home services received 1.5 [00:07:00] billion in funding from 2013 to 2016.

I found that particularly interesting. I know I'm one of those folks that uses the on-demand home services in my personal life. And kind of another fun fact here is that more than 50% of homeowners would actually give up social media for a year to have a professional contractor complete all of their DIY home improvement projects, which I found to be astounding.

Are you seeing similar trends in the UK and in Europe more broadly?

Paul Kedge: Yes, absolutely. But I think maybe we're not a correct representation between those lenses because I'm the man who put shelves up with no nails. So, I'm not I'm not a great exponent of the do it yourself. But I think it's interesting that it's even got a name now.

Do it for me is now become a set of initials, a shorthand for something that has been observed. And I think that kind of says something. So, definitely in the UK and also in Europe, we've seen the same trend. And it effectively pushes an [00:08:00] amount of work and a set of business into that lower section of that customer base we were talking about earlier.

Either those are one-man bands or small local berms which then shifts the dynamic of the pricing that you're able to, overall in your business, because you might be able to kind of harvest a little bit more from those end-users. Now it's actually going into places where they're perhaps more sensitive about the purchasing.

It's absolutely something that I think, maybe not so much over here or over there, just a general trend, that time has a value as well as the other factor. I think the skills being, millennials, how much of that observed DIY is going on in people's homes and being passed down through children.

I certainly wasn't in my home and therefore, I think it's probably a skill deficit we have in there for a trend that's unlikely to revert.

Lindsay Duran: Sure. What other consumption dynamics are you seeing outside of that kind of shift to the smaller trade players from the consumers.

Paul Kedge: I think we perhaps [00:09:00] oversimplifying, but you could say there's kind of two types of I suppose, consumption.

There's those larger projects that we talk about that are typically more spiky in demand - maybe more exposed to the cycles of the economy - and then those small and maybe repair replace or enhance jobs that are probably a little bit more consistent. And certainly, again, UK reference books, but there is a shortage of homes, but the average house, is just kind of getting older.

I think that plays to a very different set of requirements. You'll have those large-scale projects are often utilizing purchasing teams. So, they are just very clear about what price they're going to pay. And they will probably have help and kind of understand what for the margins they're willing to accept.

And then those smaller teams, they will be kind of getting more with the branches where discounting is a massive cultural norm. I think the list price, and then how much discount are we going to give away effectively? Not so much [00:10:00] whether we are, but how much? And are we going to vote for simplify those discounting deals and switch, so I’ll get 30% off everything, or we're going to be a little bit more targeted. And there is margin sitting in those decisions to give a 40% overall versus a much more targeted. You could get 50 somewhere, but by getting 30 elsewhere you'll do better for the business. I think that dynamic of discounting is still very relevant .

What's interesting, I think is a role that may be more transparency in this space will play in terms of how it's more likely to be. Something's bought on web. You're not necessarily going to be expecting it to be discounted in the same way as you would buy over the counter. I think there's an interesting interplay there between not historic expectation of discount and maybe a shift more towards a kind of a net price, visible price model.

Lindsay Duran: I could imagine that the accuracy of the price that's provided to the salesperson versus web price or a shelf price, if you will, where it's [00:11:00] more of a self-service by the contractor or the customer. The price itself needs to be much more relevant and tailored in the instance where you don't have a salesperson at the counter filtering that price to make it applicable to that customer and in that selling circumstance. Are you beginning to see much of a shift to focus in that area and really enable self-service?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, I think we, it's certainly something that in my last role, I was a major part of what we were trying to do to try and get an overall balance to the prices and to make sure there was consistency.

And I think what happens if you're going to put a web price up there, you're ultimately going to cap the amount that anyone will ever pay, which can be a good thing because it can help remove, potentially what you might describe as offensive or rude pricing that's visible to your customers and doesn't give them confidence in your pricing. But there's also a challenge there with regards to the [00:12:00] revenue you may lose. I think there's something here about having an overall strategy in place for your pricing. How do you want to reach your particular customers?

What's the best channel for that? And how would you create consistency to those prices so that you're not disenfranchising any one particular set of customers? I think if it's kind of going into the whole pricing around e-commerce I think that's a very interesting topic because it's something you could say generally has been a little bit behind the curve.

I think the building distribution, certainly in the UK and Europe, I don't know if that would be a fair statement to play back for the U S.

Lindsay Duran: Would you say Paul, that is due in some ways to the types of products that are sold, as you mentioned before there, nails and screws and things of that nature, and it's all packaged relatively easily by Amazon or others.

But when you start getting into very large, difficult to pack the types, then e-commerce and the [00:13:00] feasibility of an easy delivery there becomes considerably more and more challenging - although I would imagine that Amazon and others with their logistics expertise - are starting to really make some headway in this particular market.

Are you seeing that same trend?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, I think that's a very true statement. I think if you were to go back in sort of two- or three-year increments and say, what, for example, Amazon work capable of doing, you probably have a lot of statements being saying that they won't be able to do that. And so I think it'd be a brave person to bet against what Amazon are or are not capable of delivering within the next two years.

I think it would be prudent to think about the potential challenge that would come with being able to move some of those bigger items easily in a way that you can for the smaller and therefore, I you think it's an important aspect to consider. But I do think that is one of the reasons why it's not been as important for businesses in this space to think about e-commerce in the way that maybe [00:14:00] it would have been for electrical distribution.

For example, I think there's possibly another trend that plays out here. Which is, certainly in my experience, a lot of the businesses in this space tend to have older ERP systems and that can make it very challenging to have true multi-channel offers and trying to kind of sync and develop home systems to be able to cope with the display of kind of e-commerce pricing could also be one of those reasons why there's a lack of appetite. There's no burning platform in the way they might have been for other industries and you've got these potential extra complexities because of system challenges. Probably there's a couple of reasons why, therefore it might not have them accelerated in the way it has in other areas.

But I suspect that may need to change. And it might have to change faster in certain areas and for certain product groups than others. But if Amazon can supply 80% of the things easily, I suggest that would be quite a worrying development for the traditional building distributors.

Lindsay Duran: Absolutely. Are there any other [00:15:00] internal factors or limitations that you feel like are holding distributors back from entering e-commerce in a more intentional manner?

Paul Kedge: One thing that I certainly experienced is, and I think we've touched on it briefly, is if you can imagine a normal distribution of price that happens within the B2B world, you are going to get some customers paying very cheap price.

So, a lot in the middle. And then some who are paying quite high. And the consequence of being setting a credible web or credible price on the shelf is that you are potentially going to lose some revenue short term. And that's going to be a very difficult decision or an executive committee to make on the basis of non-guaranteed volume uplift, which is ultimately what you'd be left with.

I think there may be a bit of a hesitancy there to suggest, well, why would I want to put something in, that's just going to cap the price I can charge customers? And I think the answer to that probably is that's only one part of how you create [00:16:00] an integrated, unfair - and by that - I mean to customers and to the business pricing strategy, because that distribution has the challenge of the top end by capping the price.

But the chances are, you'll be selling too low to a certain group of customers or certain groups of products as well. I think it's about positioning the e-commerce, not that challenge of pricing alone, but it's part of a wider approach to your pricing, and therefore, not that issue of potentially capping a price could be offset by making sure that you're not underselling and not getting the appropriate margin, but the other end of that distribution. So you're managing both aspects of that will take away potentially about challenge. But it would be a brave decision to go forward and just drop or put a cap on to a price if you haven't got an offset for that. I think having some integrations for how you plan for your questions. With the commerce as part of that we would take away that particular pain point.

Lindsay Duran: Right. On the [00:17:00] topic of pricing challenges more broadly in the U.S. in particular, we know that at a high level, tariffs are having a pretty significant impact on many of the companies within the sector, particularly those that have a heavy reliance on steel.

We're feeling the effects over the past two years. Now, those tariffs may be coming to an end at least for what is applicable in the building products, distribution space. I think those in the wine and alcoholic beverage space will, we'll just start to begin to feel the pain in 2020. But you know, you guys aren't necessarily as impacted by that over in the UK and in Europe.

But I would imagine that Brexit and the uncertainty around that has had some impact on consumer or commercial confidence in terms of investment and building. Can you speak to that?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, I think it would be a very bad thing to say that Brexit is quite a [00:18:00] divisive topic. I almost think of a reference I once asked the managing director about how pricing works in his world and his answer was many and varied. So I think I'd start by saying the answer is many and varied because how that impact has happened depends a little bit on, where you are and what particular business you're dealing with.

But I think there's certainly been a real big impact on confidence. you've mentioned that there is data from various sources about confidence, indexes, both for business and for consumers. And if you track that there was a massive downturn in the middle of 2016 when the Brexit referendum results happened.

And it's slowly climbed back from the business point of view, but consumer confidence is still a lot lower than it was beforehand. So a bit difficult to quantify exactly what that has made, but I think certainly my experience, what happened was there were much more challenges on non-essential expenditure.[00:19:00]

And I think that's an understandable thing, from a household point of view, if you weren't sure about where your income was coming, would you invest in that new car? Probably not. And I think if it's non nonessential investment that has had an impact. I would say it's difficult to quantify exactly what that would be.

What's a little easier to say is that if you were a company in the UK and you were purchasing outside of the UK, then the effect that the Brexit had on Sterling and therefore the foreign exchange levels has basically made purchasing products in euros or dollars or any currency in Far East a lot more challenging. It introduced - particularly relevant to the building sector - a lot more cost increases because of having to buy these products. And in currencies that were effectively inflated because of the Sterling and Poland. That impact particularly was felt within the industry that we're talking about and has led to quite significant cost increases being [00:20:00] passed through.

And that's been a real challenge. Well, the margin levels, because you can imagine how willing businesses would have been to take those increases. They weren't particularly.

Lindsay Duran: I would also imagine that the confidence impacts your sales teams as well in this space and that, if their customers don't feel necessarily confident, they're not necessarily confident in taking a price that you just raised in the face of uncertainty, because you've had a cost increase, whether that's due to exchange rates or otherwise. All business in this industry is local.

Would you say that's fair? Power of the field sales rep must be a hard internal inertia to overcome. Was that your experience?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, very much so. I think it's arguably a benefit and a strength of those close working relationships between the local sales teams or the branch teams.

Is a [00:21:00] very, it's quite a powerful thing. It's almost like a value driver for the business because you have these personal relationships and you kind of know the business. And it really helps actually, in setting the right level of deal. So there is a positive. But there also is a challenge because there you think you've got that closeness and you're a bit concerned potentially about what the impact will be.

One of the things that we would observe is we would pass a cost increase through that would affect the list price. And then we would see almost an exact counterbalance and the level of discount that was being given so that the net price being paid by the customer was the same. As in, they were protecting them from those increases because they were concerned about whether or not they would go to a competitor and that's a very understandable reaction.

But it is one of the downsides that came through Brexit and generally the overall challenge of potentially the increase in frequency of cost increases coming through. But I would absolutely say that there's a [00:22:00] lot of power at the branch level. I go as far as the power to discount, but it's not uncommon that you could create your own product line.

So you could just choose to buy outside of the product range that's offered. And so you'd create a brand new skew that may never be used again. So the price will just be out of market. Now, it's that, we talked about the complexity of managing prices when the whole product hierarchy can be added to, by the branch teams that does make keeping track of all prices being appropriate and very difficult.

Lindsay Duran: I can imagine. You touched a little bit on this already, but there's a tension and I'll call it a healthy tension between the pricing and sales organization. What other challenges did you find in your pricing role in particular, when it came to getting the sales team to trust the prices that you were providing, that they couldn't use those and still win the deal?

Paul Kedge: Yeah. I think so if we take just [00:23:00] general problems for the pricing team, the passing on cost is a massive one. Because of the complexity that we talked about earlier in the number of customer types there are, and the number of ways the deals could be set, they could be set as a discount from list that could be set as a net price.

And therefore, you've got to have mechanisms in place to understand the nature of those deals and make sure that they're passed on accordingly. And ideally you would also not be passing things on a blanket level at a cost increase of five to ten. And you may know from history, there's no possible to pass 5% onto this particular customer, but you're going to try because it's the easiest way of doing it.

So, passing costs was a massive challenge. I think also, getting compliance and getting the prices action at the right level at the branch teams was challenging because I think there's an element of them on those. So, you've got a central pricing team - the challenge will be what do they know versus me and the branch who has had 20 years’ experience.

And I know my customers intimately, and I think that's a [00:24:00] fair tension. But don't, we talked already about some of the behavior that, might be witnessed for good intentions, but ultimately it is not helping the business. So, I think what you've got to try and do is it's a difficult concept, but, we might call it something like pricing in community.

A lot of people touch pricing and the more people who are involved and we can't have everybody involved, but the more teams who were impacted, who are involved to get what you're trying to achieve, and you understand why you're doing it and can recognize that you're pushing in the same way as they are.

You want to help them make sales. You want to help them beat their profit targets because they'll probably get bonus on it. I think. You're probably all aligned in the same direction, but it might not feel that way. So, we have used the word confidence quite a lot during this conversation, and I think the teams need to have confidence that their central pricing team is on board.

That they’re kind of an extension of the teams in branch. They're all trying to do the same thing. That's not an easy thing to achieve. And it takes a real dedicated effort. But I [00:25:00] personally believe it's well worth it because if there is that disconnect then it could be, you have really great prices, the potential to add real value to the branch teams.

But if they don't believe it, you're not going to see that value. I think that's the kind of it's less about the numbers and the technology. It's just more about people and trust.

Lindsay Duran: People and trust indeed. Do you find that tackling a certain area of pricing - pricing is obviously very complicated - and in this industry, and so is it helpful to start with system prices or to try to get control of deviations or reduce the number of agreement prices or improve upon those?

What do you find is the best place for companies to start to try to make meaningful improvements and actually give those people prices they can trust?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, I'm not sure there's probably a right answer to that question. So, I kind of reference the experience that I've seen both within Zilliant and then when I was at Travis.

[00:26:00] And I think that there seemed to be quite a sense to starting with just removing some of those some of those tail end prices that get charged to customers. So, whether that there's a tendency in a particular area to discount particular ranges or whether there's some deals that are just, that's just not at the level where we can realistically be expecting to make money, that feels like a good starting point because what you're able to do then is introduce the concepts that sit with intelligent price guidance aligned to something that will benefit the branch teams, because ultimately they'll stop on the selling, which will help their figures. But it's a manageable level of sophistication you're effectively just saying, “we'll give you some levels, please don't go below these because we're trying to protect your margin” and then maybe not enforce so we can still go below, but they get the idea then that they'll also see where they are, vis-a-vis to their peers within the local area. So, you introduced something that's a little bit easier to [00:27:00] understand. Hopefully they can also, because it's a relatively simplistic probably grasp what it is that you're doing and you can get them involved.

And I think that probably just sets a positive tone around the benefit that you could have. It gives you a little bit of interaction between the center the branch teams. So, we would maybe call that sort of setting a floor price and trying that as the first point. And then I think from there, if they kind of agree with that, and then the next thing might be, look at your deals that are in and around those prices.

And I think then just, then it becomes much more about what's particularly challenging or where are the big wins within each business properly, then it's a little bit more difficult. So, what the logical next step would be. But I think the aspect of taking some things small and building trust and building confidence, both in terms of the interaction between central teams and local teams, but also in the nature of how you come about how the numbers have come about.

If you created them through an intelligent, in segmented manner, then they can start to understand that. [00:28:00] So I think there's definitely something about, don't go too complicated too. Because you've got a journey to go on to make sure you realize these. I think starting small feels logical, so I'd probably say something like a pricing floor would be a good place to start.

Lindsay Duran: So, you're describing really a crawl to run approach. Now I'll put you on the spot all and that, this podcast called B2B Reimagined. And so, for forward-looking distributors, how are you seeing companies that are really thinking about the forefront and the future and looking to let's say disrupt themselves, reimagining how they think about pricing, how they go to market with pricing, how they enable their sales organization?

Paul Kedge: Yeah, I think so. I guess the easy answer would be to say, use technology because so I live with teenagers, and I often get quoted as “That it's just too much effort.” Right? Pricing is complicated.

So don't take effort to do things that you could get, something that, a machine to do for you. [00:29:00] I think if you choose smartly how to invest in technology, then you can take a whole lot of manual processing - that not just take a lot of time - but just grinding and dull and difficult to do, and focus then that time on outcomes and on understanding what it is that you've got and utilizing what you've got.

And I know that sounds ridiculously straightforward, but actually there's plenty that you can do to get better prices, to get more insight into what is being bought by particular customers and what else you might be able to sell to them, or how easy it is to apply sort of a deal management approach and get authorization done within your salesforce to connect and make sure they're making the right decisions and supporting them in doing so.

That technology exists. So, it's difficult when you see businesses struggle with some of these basic processes that really, I think should be just given to technology to sort out for you. So, I think where you're kind of re-imagining or you reimagine within your business. Reimagine [00:30:00] where might it be brilliant just not to have these pain points anymore? It will be a solution that will allow you to get rid of those pain points. So, we use a word, crawl, walk, run, so, start with the most difficult one and do one of those and then move on to the next one. And I think just take away the difficulty, the heavy lifting away from the people, because if you take away a massive amount of analysis from the salesperson, which probably isn't their natural gifting, anyway, you'll free them up to go and talk to customers, which is probably their natural gifting anyway, they'll probably be happier and more effective as a result. I just think there's such an opportunity to take away some of that really monotonous and difficult to apply yourself to work. And kind of, we're using the phrase “reimagine.” Just reimagine what it would be like to not to have this and effectively you're empowered to go and do your job more effectively. I think the customers who've kind of taken that on board and are putting that into place. So they have invested in getting an understanding of what is a good price.[00:31:00]

And then rather than spending the time to do that, then now taking that and explaining it to their teams so that they can use it. And then there's no more time been spent within that business. They've just reallocated the time based on being able to free up through the use of appropriate technology.

Lindsay Duran: You touched on something really important there, Paul in that helping salespeople understand the ‘what's in it for them’ is really the key and that they are able to spend more time talking to customers, worrying less about what price they're charging, worry less about analysis, and really help them make their numbers and be more successful overall.

And on that same topic for companies that do this well, what does success look like?

Paul Kedge: A couple of ways to look at this, I guess you could look at it sort of objectively and say, if you have, so if you take price, guidance, if you have planned exactly what you are wanting to achieve through your pricing what kind of margin levels, what kind of [00:32:00] adoption to these prices.

Then you can measure whether or not you're ultimately being successful because that pricing strategy will give you a set of business outcomes that hopefully is what you may be committed to your shareholders or your owners. So, objectively, it gives you a measure and an understanding about how you're going to get that measure.

So your guidance hopefully put guard rails in to stop over-discounting. You've done some work to remove unnecessary, specific deals that are, that the customer. So, you kind of understand what you're aiming for you. You've aligned to your business outcomes and you can monitor it. But I think there's this other level of what does it feel like to be successful?

If you were to ask your customers what they felt about pricing, hopefully you would hear the word ‘fair.’ You're unlikely to hear the word ‘great.’ But if your customers and your staff, both of those feel like you've got a fair price, then you’ve really managed your price perception well. And I think that is a really important thing because it plays into the [00:33:00] recurring theme here, which is about confidence.

If your teams feel confident that you have equipped them appropriately, then we're likely to kind of have those right conversations with the customer. And cI think that confidence, ultimately, will spill over. If you're really hesitant about giving a price, if you're setting up almost a recipe for a challenge.

Whereas I think if you genuinely built up the technology the belief and the confidence in that technology, then I think you just got a better chance of landing it and achieving that confidence with your staff, which I think is going to wash over them. So, onto the customer. So, you get the objective thing and the subjective thing right. And then I think that's powerful combination.

Lindsay Duran: I think you summed it up well, Paul, when you used the term pricing and community, lots of people are touching pricing in an organization and for any kind of technology project to be successful, it has to be really a collective activity. It's not just a pricing team or just a sales team.

It's really the cooperation between the two that end up driving the most [00:34:00] success for a business.

Paul Kedge: That's absolutely my experience. Yeah, I think, and I think it's only a, it's a very natural thing. If you kind of think about it, to be told, to do something well, understanding why you're doing or how that thing has been created, it just naturally gives you a kind of a reason not to trust it.

So, I think by working in that kind of almost communal way, it breaks down those barriers. I see we'd all naturally put off about something new, there is a change management issue with any change that you make and it can be very large, it would be very small, but it can also be different between people.

So, it gives - you've got an effective community kind of being involved in. And then you're more likely to kind of pick up some of those challenges. And there's a benefit to doing it because ultimately there will be some insights that come out of feedback that you will want to utilize, that you will want to apply.

And I think when people see you listening and taking that in actioning - it only serves to help that kind of community spirit. That's a really positive thing. About whether it's managing [00:35:00] whatever it is that you're trying to change, whether it's trying to action and support your sales teams with greater insights to their customers or whether it's a pure pricing plate, I think the same principle holds that it's just about people and it's about kind of understanding how to communicate effectively with them and keep them feeling like they're involved in this process, which I think they should be for very good reasons.

Lindsay Duran: Absolutely. Paul I'd like to thank you for being part of our episode today, covering the building products distribution space. For anyone interested in learning more about how Zilliant can help companies in this space, please visit zilliant.com and I hope that you will tune into our episode next month.

Are you ready to learn how Zilliant can help you overcome your pricing challenges?

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help!