Electronic Price Update Standard

One small step for our industry

As astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped to the surface of the moon in July 1969, he said the historic words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” A paraphrase might be: “While this step is a small one, it will ultimately affect mankind in ways few people could possibly imagine.”

While in no way trying to compare the work of the GAWDA Management Information Committee with the space program, a seemingly small recent event has the potential to impact welding supply distributors in some pretty significant ways.

Vendors can send out their pricing information in one format regardless of whom they are sending it to.

The GAWDA Management Information Committee recently finished a revision to the Electronic Price Update Standard. At first glance, this event does not seem to be much of a reason to start waving flags and shooting off fireworks. But when you realize what the price update standard does, you can quickly see why vendors, software companies and distributors all have reason to start a huge celebration.

Format Consistency — One of the biggest benefits of the Electronic Price Update Standard is that now all vendors can send out their pricing information in one format regardless of whom they are sending it to. On the receiving side, software vendors and distributors will spend less time and effort programming because the pricing information can come to them in one consistent format, regardless of who the vendor is. They can have one price update program that will work with any vendor who adopts the price update standard. Vendors, software companies and distributors will all benefit from these efficiencies.

Pricing Update — Another major benefit is that prices and costs get updated to your inventory file in a matter of minutes, compared to manual data entry of pricing information that may take hours, days or even weeks in some extreme cases. As a distributor, you not only save time, but your data are more accurate because you have eliminated the many mistakes that are often created as a result of manual data entry.

POS Bar Coding — If you have been putting off the move to point of sale bar coding, the electronic price updates from your vendors can remove one of your major objections because the price update standard contains the vendors’ UPC number. While you are updating your prices and costs, you can also make sure the UPC codes you use for reading bar codes are correct. The Electronic Price Update Standard will help make your move to point of sale bar coding a lot less painful.

Accounts Payable — When you use electronic price updates to update your inventory costs, the purchase orders you issue to your vendors are more accurate. If you have the right costs in your inventory records, the costs on your purchase orders will match the vendors’ costs. When the invoice comes in from your vendor, everything matches up properly, reducing calls to the vendor and speeding up the entire Accounts Payable process.

Gross Profit Margins — Since customers are often quoted prices as a percentage discount off the list price, if list prices are incorrect, your discounted prices are incorrect and your profit margins will be incorrect. Using the electronic price updates helps to protect your gross margins by making sure the list prices you are using are current and correct.

The newly revised Electronic Price Update Standard may be just one small step on behalf of the GAWDA Management Information Committee, but it is one giant step for the welding supply distributor.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Jim Broughton Meet the Author
Jim Broughton, a member of GAWDA’s Management Information Committee, is president of DataWeld Incorporated, located in Bossier City, Louisiana, and on the Web at www.dataweld.com.