Pricing tool at dsm-firmenich
As innovators in nutrition, health and beauty, dsm-firmenich reinvents, manufactures and combines essential nutrients, flavors and fragrances to enable the world’s growing population to thrive. With a comprehensive range of solutions, natural and renewable ingredients and leading scientific and technological skills, dsm-firmenich seeks to create what is essential for human life, desirable for consumers and more sustainable for the planet.
Animal Nutrition & Health
One of the four businesses of dsm-firmenich is ‘Animal Nutrition & Health’ (ANH). ANH helps the animal farming industry navigate – and accelerate – the all-important transition to sustainable food. Guido Vaassen is manager Pricing & Quotation within the ANH business and the product owner of the Pricing Tool. He is responsible for the roadmap of the Pricing Tool within dsm-firmenich.
Mendix and the Pricing Tool at dsm-firmenich
dsm-firmenich uses the low-code platform Mendix company-wide. Guido explains why he likes working with Mendix for the Pricing Tool: “For pricing and quotation, we’ve chosen to work with Mendix because of the rapid deployment and flexibility of low-code development. If you compare low-code with SaaS and on-premise solutions for example, you often see that the software determines the work process. That is not our intention. Instead, we know how we want to work and we need an application that facilitates that way of working. Mendix does that for us. Also, the look and feel of the application that we built with Mendix is very user-friendly. That is something where Squad Apps played a crucial role in. To illustrate this: the Pricing Tool has been indicated as best-practice within dsm-firmenich, because it is so user-friendly and workable within our landscape.”
The Pricing Tool for Animal Nutrition & Health
Within ANH, employees are continuously in contact with customers about their demand and the price that can be offered. “The Pricing Tool plays a big role in this. It provides a great overview of current and historical quotes, helps the account and commercial managers of dsm-firmenich to establish a good price and it gives insight into the pricing structure. The power of the application is that it provides transparency, a good overview of the customer, certainty of offering the right price and it indicates whether an escalation is necessary. Our main goal for the application is to allow our sales and commercial teams to spend more value added time with our customers and less time on working with our internal tools.”
There were some challenges to overcome in the pricing and quotation process at Animal Nutrition & Health within dsm-firmenich. Guido: “I think the biggest challenge was the complexity of our pricing structure created over time. The result was that the majority of our quotes required internal negotiation before reaching our customers. Also, because it was so complex to create a quote, a lot of quotes never reached our systems forcing our sales teams to have their own local solutions, like Excel, to support customer negotiations. Only the quotes that were accepted by our customers were entered into the system. That resulted in a large blind spot and we missed a lot of insights.”
Added value of the Pricing Tool
By using the Pricing Tool and simplifying the pricing structure, dsm-firmenich was able to drastically speed up the time to create a quote by reducing the need for offline alignment. In certain regions, escalations were at 90% and they are now down to 20%. Also, the usage of offline databases (Excel files) has declined enormously, providing dsm-firmenich with a lot of insights and predictions can be made. The adoption rate of the application is 80-90% globally. Guido: “And maybe the most important one is that 70% of our users indicate that they spend more time interacting with customers and less on pricing and quotations. That’s a very high percentage and I’m really proud of that. Partly, it’s because of Mendix, but personally I believe the professionals I am working with make the biggest difference. Without the right people on the job we wouldn’t have achieved the results we have today. I couldn’t have done it without the consultants of Squad Apps. I value their feedback very much. It’s a real collaboration, not a supplier-consultant relationship in which I determine what needs to be done. We’re all stakeholders and we act as a team.”