Haybrooke launches price match feature for PDQ

Roche: The new feature benefits both printers and buyers using the system
Roche: The new feature benefits both printers and buyers using the system

Print procurement specialist Haybrooke has gone live with a new feature in its PDQ print buying platform that will allow printers to automatically match the price of their competitors.

Called PDQ Price Match, prices can be matched in the system within a percentage tolerance that printers can control themselves, which Haybrooke said will allow them to win work they might have previously marginally missed out on, while also giving print buyers a broader selection of potential suppliers to choose from for the same price.

John Roche, chief executive of Leicester-based Haybrooke, told Printweek: “We show printers the metrics and results on how they’re performing in our system, so they have access to see what the cheapest price was and what the average of the top five and top ten was. And they can see where they were positioned within those three fundamental metrics.

“They can then make an informed judgement about how they want to position themselves in terms of price in our system. We were having conversations with printers quite a lot, where they would look at the cheapest price for a given RFQ [Request For Quotation], and would say ‘we missed out on that one by £15 and if we’d known we would have matched the price’.

“But our system is fully automated so there is no way for them to match the price because it calculates the pricing and therefore the only way that the printers can affect the price is to manage the margins in the system. But of course, once the margins have been set at a certain threshold, then the system calculates their prices and those are the prices that are showing to the customer.

“So if a customer misses out on rank number one by a small amount – maybe £15 or £20 – then the printer would like the opportunity to do that job but we didn’t have a mechanism in the system for them to be able to compete for that, because generally speaking customers do choose the cheapest option.”

He added the business consulted with users to ask if it would add value to their experience of the system to have the opportunity to match a competitor’s price within a tolerance that they controlled.

“And overwhelmingly they said yes, so printers can now effectively specify a tolerance, and if their price falls within that of a competitor, then the system will automatically adjust their price to match the competitor’s price.

“If they will only move their pricing by 3% then they can put that into the system and it will only configure their price if they are within 3% of a competitor’s price. If not, then their price stays exactly the same, but it gives the printer the opportunity to win those jobs where they were close and perhaps would have considered dropping the price a bit further to win the job.

“It’s their choice whether they want to do it at all, and what value to put in if they do, but for those that are doing it, it seems to be averaging at 5% at the moment but the highest I’ve seen is 7.5%.”

This feature, he said, extends the choice for buyers, as now they are able to see the cheapest printer as well as those willing to match the cheapest price, and can then base their decision on other factors like turnaround times, manufacturing methods, or existing supplier relationships.

“There’s not going to be a race to the bottom because it doesn’t adjust the cheapest price – the price of the printer that’s ranked number one will stay the same. But for those that are ranked number two or three who are out on price by a small amount, their price will be adjusted but not below the minimum threshold.”

The aim is not to beat the cheapest price, which would lead to a downward spiral of pricing pressure, he added: “It’s not an auction – we’re not saying that if you are willing to go a percentage cheaper we’ll automatically adjust your price so it goes cheaper, that is not the case at all.

“It’s saying that if you’re happy to match a competitor’s price within a certain tolerance then we’ll allow the system to adjust your pricing automatically to match it, which prevents the race to the bottom.”

“Some printers are not willing to move on price and that’s perfectly within their prerogative to do that,” he said.

At the start of this year, Haybrooke launched a new sub-service of its 'printing as a service' (PaaS) procurement model aimed at general resellers in the office sector.

Roche said Haybrooke also won an unnamed large new client for PaaS in January that alone would add a further £1m to the company’s turnover – it is expecting revenues of between £1.7m and £1.8m in its accounts for the year ending 31 May 2023.

In its accounts last year, the company’s revenues exceeded £1m for the first time in its history after it achieved growth of 70.6% year-on-year that was attributed to the introduction of PaaS, launched in January 2021 as a trade-only outsourcing service that connects print buyers with printers.

Last year Haybrooke also added two other major new features to PaaS: built-in instant messaging between customers and suppliers, and a module for supplier ratings by customers.

Eight-staff Haybrooke currently has 50 customers on its books.