Missed It By That Much

Thanks to Sheri Blaho from CS3 Technology for passing Three Ways Brush Factories Are Surviving In America from Planet Money on NPR on to me today. Audio here.

There is much with which to agree here.

However, the whole thing unravels for me with this sentence, “This allows Cheney to set prices based not on how much the bristle and block cost, but on how much time and effort went into it and how much it’s worth to the customer.”

So close!

It would have been perfect if they had said, “This allows Cheney to set prices based not on how much the bristle and block cost, and on how much time and effort went into it, but how much it’s worth to the customer.”

It never ceases to amaze me that we humans can make the same category mistake when the language involves labor as compared to materials.

There is no difference from a cost accounting perspective between the components and the labor and, therefore it effect on price, but for some reason, our brains just sometimes do not let us see that.

TGO Consulting Joins Ed’s List

Screenshot_2_6_13_1_34_PMI am thrilled to announce another addition to the tongue-in-cheek-eponymous Ed’s ListTGO Consulting.

I have had the honor of knowing the principals Tracy, George, and Orgad for almost 20 years. We were all Great Plains Software partners back in the day.

TGO Consulting is the largest organization in the information technology consulting business that has eliminated timesheets. In fact, other than the advertising agency of Ogilvy and Mather, they are the largest known professional firm to go timeless across the entire professional sector.

In celebration of this, I thought it would be beneficial to have them share their story, and they graciously agreed to record this podcast for me. (I apologize for the echo at the beginning. It self corrected and I hope you don’t find it too distracting.)

Enjoy!

Firm of the Future at DFW

Attention my fellow Dallasites and Fort Worthians. Ron Baker and I are delivering our famous (well, in our minds anyway) Firm of the Future Symposium at the Hilton DFW Lakes hotel on February 12 and 13.

This class is for all professionals: accountants, lawyers, IT consultants, architects, engineers, advertising agencies, we have even had a doctor attend.

 

If you are interested here are the details:

Firm of the Future Symposium

The Firm of the Future Symposium coming to a city near you will feature Ron Baker of the Vera Sage Institute. The symposium will feature Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute and Ed Kless, Sage senior director, partner strategy and development. This experience is dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone, as it requires partners to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

The registration fee for the first attendee is $2,000. The fee for additional attendees is $1,000.

Download the agenda for this event .

Location

Date

Sage University

Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center
1800 Highway 26 East
Grapevine, TX 76051

Feb. 12-13

Register Today
Path: Login >
select Academies & Workshops >
Mid-Market ERP

 

The registration site is not the friendliest, so if you have any problems, please just let me know and I will take care of it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

 

Pricing That Makes You Go, “Huh?”

images-4So this morning I called to renew my, errr, son’s subscription to the MLB Insiders Club. It gets us him some “free” stuff as well as a monthly baseball magazine. Overall, I think it is a good deal.

I called because the letter I received had no place where I could renew on-line and, well, filling out a form and sending via the USPS is beneath me. I found it odd that you can join the program on-line, but not renew. So be it.

On the mail-in form the prices for renewal were listed thusly:

  • Three years – $59.00
  • Two years – $44.00
  • One year – $24.00

Not bad. This is pretty standard term-based preferred pricing, but here is where is gets weird.

When I called, the representative took my member number and said she would be happy to renew me at the following “rates:”

  • One year – $9.00
  • Two years – $18.00
  • Three years – $27.00

I renewed for three years, but now I am totally confused.

First, why is it cheaper, significantly cheaper, to call to renew as opposed to sending in the form?

Second, why did they present the prices highest to lowest on the mail piece, but lowest to highest over the phone?

Third, in both cases they used even dollar “9” pricing as the base, yet the form used the three-year price as the base and the call-in used the one-year price as the base. Why is that?

Fourth, why is it that via mail, I get a preferred price for a longer subscription, but via the phone, the price is less, but there is no preferred price for multiple years?

Fifth, is this an example of a great price discrimination strategy – charging more to the people who just renew using old technology (i.e., the mail) or an example of a company without a fricking clue as to pricing?

Sixth, why do I even care about this?

Sorry, that last question was my inside voice.

Your thoughts on the first five questions would be appreciated. I’ll reserve the last one for my shrink.

New Addition to Ed’s List

During Sage Summit 2012, I received the following email from Tom White of the Florida Office of WAC.

Ed,

With the signing up of my last holdout client to a SLA,  have been now
able to totally discontinue hourly billing. At no time, no how, no where do we bill by the hour.

100% of my client list is on Service Level Agreements. All other billings are either from out fixed price schedule or from
custom fixed price projects.

Regards,

Tom White

This, of course qualifies Tom for Ed’s List.

Tom and his team were previously featured in this space a few years ago.

If you think your firm should be on Ed’s List, please feel free to email me.

Plumbing Prose

I recently retweeted a post about Al the Plumber who is clearly a Firm of the Future.

Early this week I received an email from Kirsten Austin of DCSC Inc. about an experience that she recently had with a plumber who decidedly is not a Firm of the Future.

In order to justify his hourly rate, he has had to become a short story teller of Dickensian proportion. Here is what he come up with to justify a 1.75 hour engagement.

PlumbingProse

“Painstakingly, adjusted the linkage…” I love it!

Clarification to post on subscription pricing and the FotF

During the session I posted yesterday I chatted with Dennis Karus of Software-Link. My intention was to have a conversation about the business model of subscription pricing that they have embraced, and not to just be a commercial for their offering.

For the most part I think I succeeded. However, we did get some questions about their offering and I allowed Dennis to answer which may have undermined the original intent.

That said, I want to state that Sage has many hosting partners who have embraced subscription-based pricing. One such partner is Gary Feldman of I-Business Network. Gary is also an occasional commenter on this blog as well.

MyOnlineMASInformation about their hosted subscription-based pricing can be found on their website.