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The effort and commitment required by a firm to effect deep and durable change to its pricing philosophy, strategy and execution can't be underestimated. The scale of that change often does not become fully apparent to partners and senior management until we are well into a pricing project. For this reason, we have developed a number of retainer support options that will provide comfort and practical assistance to the firm's management, and partners implementing pricing on an ongoing basis.

The problems:

One of the major concerns expressed by many firms revolves around how to maintain momentum across the firm after the implementation of a pricing project. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Any firm that wants to ensure that a new initiative does not merely provide short-term gains needs to look at ways to embed the changes to a point where they become part of the firm's operational DNA.

The solutions:

Mindful of these concerns, we have created a number of support solutions, all of which can be customised to the needs of the particular firm. Essentially, they revolve around two identified needs.

The first is to provide the firms' management and senior executive with support around the practicalities of implementation.

This can include, for example, issues around how the firm's existing practice management system and IT functionality can support the new pricing framework. Other common aspects include integration with the firms' client engagement processes and documentation, the development of basic pricing policies and the controlled devolution of pricing responsibility to individual departments within an agreed framework.

Second, partners and bids and proposal personnel require assistance on specific pricing initiatives. This can involve anything from brainstorming the pricing aspect of a particular proposal from the outset, through to casting an eye over a final draft to see if there is anything else that can be added or improved.

The level and duration of support and the way in which that support is provided will depend on the firm's needs and any logistical constraints. A lot of the support is by telephone and email but where it is felt to be of potential additional benefit, we can arrange to attend your office regularly.

Independently of any specific ongoing retainer arrangement, firms also find it beneficial to have regular refresher days for partners and associates. The number and cycle of these is something that we discuss with the firm and customise to its needs.

The benefits:

(a) the peace of mind from knowing that there is ongoing support for management and partners

(b) improved success on specific proposals

(c) greater pricing confidence and reassurance while the skills are being mastered

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