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A Powerful Pairing

A Powerful Pairing

Executives from Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) and Jigsaw discuss their impending merger and how it will benefit distributors.


On October 8, Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) and Jigsaw Systems announced SPA’s acquisition of Jigsaw in a move designed to offer unified strategic pricing, strategic costing, point of sale (POS), inventory management, sales enablement, and sales training solutions and platforms to the enterprise market.

According to SPA, a 26-year-old, Cleveland, OH-based leader in pricing analytics and salesperson skills-based training for clients in the manufacturing, distribution, and equipment arena, and Jigsaw, an 11-year-old, Chicago-based leader in data analytics, price optimization, customer engagement, and inventory process improvement for manufacturers and distributors in the electrical industry, the two companies will ultimately operate under the SPA brand.

Below, tEDmag.com reached out to Gregory Smith, vice president of Strategic Accounts & Partnerships at SPA, and Mark McGready, former president and owner of Jigsaw Systems and current director of Strategic Analytics at SPA, for their perspectives on the merger and the benefits it will bring to NAED members.


tEDmag: In what ways did this merger reflect the next logical step for your companies?

McGready: Both companies saw the same opportunities and future of how data analysis can impact companies in the electrical industry. We were going in similar directions and speaking to the same companies, but Jigsaw was more focused on manufacturers, while Strategic Pricing was focused on distribution. By working together, we realized that we could cover the complete picture and help enhance our clients’ success at all stages of implementation. In the way that manufacturers and distributors benefit from working together, the same opportunity applied here.

Smith: In SPA, we discovered a partner that’s as passionate about data and pricing analytics as we are. Joining forces allows us to accelerate investments in our platforms and build new analytical and training solutions that will enable both our clients and our company to evolve and meet the unique demands of the modern, dynamic distribution marketplace.


tEDmag:  What will this merger mean for both current and prospective new customers?

Smith: SPA’s acquisition of Jigsaw provides a major growth opportunity for current Jigsaw customers. Together, through an extended service offering of diverse and complementary analytics, workflow tools, and skills training, we can build upon our existing customers’ success to further increase their own, as well as their customers’, profitability. The amalgamation of our two companies creates a point-of-sale industry hub and offers a unified approach to strategic pricing and costing, inventory management, sales enablement, and sales training solutions and platforms for new customers within the electrical distribution industry.

McGready: Current customers will benefit from having a larger support base of resources as well as the opportunity to expand the range of services they can utilize with the combined company; all previous services will continue as before with no disruption. New customers will be able to work with a service partner that can tackle a complete 360˚ analysis of their business and identify key improvements they can make to improve bottom-line results. Whether it be revenues, pricing, operations, or cost management, we’ll have the services and tools that can help potential clients improve results at all levels. Using our combined experience, we’ll be able to build up an industry knowledge of best-in-class expectations to allow companies to understand where they stand and where they need to make progress.


tEDmag: What benefits will the newly-merged company bring to NAED members?

McGready: The new company will be focused on the electrical industry to support NAED members and help them navigate future opportunities in big data analysis. Our goal will be to tailor systems and solutions that are aligned with the electrical sector and we’ll also have internal resources solely dedicated to that sector.

Smith: We’re passionate about helping our electrical distributor partners accelerate profitable growth in today’s dynamic market. Our combined resources and products improve profit margins by using analytics to drive better sales decisions focused on pricing, prospecting, and account management while introducing workflow tools to improve critical business areas such as contract management.


tEDmag: From your perspective, how will this merger change the point-of-sale/information-gathering landscape?

McGready: This merger will assist the POS hub platform by ensuring that the system will be resourced and supported on a grand scale. It will also make the implementation of the system much easier for current and potential clients, as the data required is identical to many of the other data analysis services we offer.

Smith: SPA is committed to supporting the electrical industry channel and the POS hub is just one example. We understand the importance of data, specifically as it relates to the flow of information within each channel partner. Collectively, our ability to streamline information ensures lower channel costs while improving customer outcomes.


tEDmag: Finally, what advice you can offer electrical distributors when it comes to maximizing their participation in/success with the data gathering process or with your newly-merged firm?

Smith: In today’s competitive, Amazon-era disruptive economy, electrical distributors must rely on data analytics and machine learning-AI to propel them forward. Data provides insights to grow, defend, and nurture existing accounts. Sustaining existing clients and growing your share of wallet with them is the core of any business. For example, what if your sales team got an early warning that a client may be at risk of defecting or that they’re showing signs of extraordinary growth? We provide your sales teams with more levers to drive account profitability. True account profitability is a blend of four factors/dimensions (4D) that include product mix/share of wallet, cost of goods sold (COGS) support from vendors, cost-to-serve, and of course pricing. It’s critical to identify your performance in each variable.

McGready: Those companies that learn to be great at data analysis will become the leaders of the future, and early adopters will have a significant advantage over those who wait. Unlocking your data DNA will illuminate a roadmap for future investments and initiatives that will lead to large returns on investments as well as ensure that your company is under control and expanding in the right areas.


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Susan Bloomis a 25-year veteran of the lighting and electrical products industry.Reach her at susan.bloom.chester@gmail.com.

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