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Jan 27, 2020

Why you have to check out today’s podcast: 

  • Why it is not a good idea to use Cost-Plus pricing in the manufacturing and distribution channels 
  • Which tool to use to provide data for a favorable Pricing when you can’t obtain data from distribution channels 
  • Find out favorable arguments, from a pricing standpoint, to go direct selling rather than by way of distribution channels 


Ralph Zuponcic is the president and co-founder of PricePoint Partners, LLC., a company that enables wholesale distributors and manufacturing companies to improve margin performance through price optimization initiatives, margin management tools, and highly effective pricing training programs. He is now a national authority on strategic pricing and margin management.  Ralph has lectured at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and at associations and companies across the country. He has also been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Business, CFO Magazine, and Marketing News. 

In this episode, Ralph shares about pricing in the manufacturing and distribution channels industry.  


“Focus on smaller accounts to start with. And see what kind of improvement you can get there. And look for that price variation. And you don’t need to boil the ocean just start getting some improvement. Start small with pricing. Get some early wins. And move on from there.”  

– Ralph Zuponcic


Get COV’s Pricing Metrics:

The Most Important Pricing Decision in a Subscription Business Course at   


Topics Covered:  


01:26 – Ralph’s path to Pricing 

04:07 – Reasons why he is not for Cost-Plus Pricing 

07:08 – Why is there a lot of focus on cost in manufacturing companies 

08:33 – What happens when you use Cost-Plus Pricing and you lower your cost by a certain percentage 

09:03 – What do most distributors use other than Cost-Plus to address competitive pressures 

11:32 – What benefit can you get from Price-Variance Analysis 

12:59 – How to deal with Pricing with distribution channels who don’t have direct sales forces in the marketplace 

16:06 – How to do Pricing for distributors that is advantageous to both manufacturers and distributors 

18:18 – Ralph’s thoughts on distributors getting to choose their own prices 

21:31 – The difficulty with the manufacturer not having direct access to a distribution channel’s Pricing 

24:10 – From a pricing standpoint why is selling directly a better choice than through distribution channels 

25:26 – On the idea of manufacturers trading lower price to distributors for their data 

26:55 – Valuable pricing advice that can impact one’s business 


Key Takeaways: 

"If you are obviously pricing too high for the distributor and doesn't leave him enough margin, it disrupts what's going on in their marketplace with the final user or the final buyer. Achieving that balance is difficult. If you can have a relationship, maybe not with all the distributors, but some key distributors that are tight enough that you can have those discussions openly and honestly, it starts to give you some better insight and then you can cooperate right with each other to arrive at a pricing that's going to be meaningful both coming from the manufacturer and coming from the distributor." — Ralph Zuponcic 


"If I'm a manufacturer and I have the choice between direct and distribution, I know what I would prefer from a pricing standpoint. I'm ready to go direct. I have more control."— Ralph Zuponcic 


"What we do is we take all the data, all the price points that have been charged for a given item. We put them on a scatterplot, and we see how much variance there is. When you look at that scatter plot, we tend to think of it as market research data because it's telling us what customers are willing to pay." — Ralph Zuponcic 


“Start small with pricing, get some early wins and move on from there.” — Ralph Zuponcic 


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