Sy.Med Development, Inc.
(10 pages of text)
In March of 2001, the president of Sy.Med Development, Inc. (Sy.Med), a small health-care software firm, was concerned about his company's sales performance in the year-to-date. Nine units were projected, but only three had been sold. As a result, Sy.Med was 66 per cent below the president's unit forecast, 210 per cent below his net income forecast, and had lost $40,000. The president wondered whether a change to the base price of the software was necessary to boost sales. The case introduces the concept of value pricing, that is, pricing on the basis of value received by customers, not pricing on the basis of the cost of providing the product or service. The concept of value pricing at Sy.Med requires the simultaneous consideration of customer segments and sales force allocation in a high-tech setting. With careful calculation, students can determine the benefit to a particular customer of using the OneApp software. Some sensitivity analysis is required because not all practice sizes are equivalent, nor do they face the same labour costs. Although the pricing decision is the focus of the case, strategy (e.g. relating to customer selection, strategic focus) and sales force issues are inextricably linked to this decision. After the class discussion is complete, students should understand that pricing decisions cannot be made in isolation; the strategy and structure of the market must be considered. The case works well in the core MBA marketing course to introduce the concept of value pricing, and equally well in a course focused on pricing to emphasize the interrelations among organizational issues, the competitive market and the pricing decision. The case can also be used in an orientation program or as an introductory case to help train students in the art of preparing a quantitative case analysis.
Health Care Services
United States, Small, 2001
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