September 22, 2023

Pricing Pain Point #4 - Slow deployment

Whilst the modelling process is where pricing strategy begins, getting changes in front of customers is where the rubber hits the road and new pricing is tested with real customers. Moving quickly to make changes to live pricing offers pricing teams an opportunity to respond to the market, test and iterate, and roll out new products. This publishing process often involves the engineering team, who are often responsible for deploying code changes.

Through our team’s experience leading financial services businesses and our conversations with more than 100 pricing and technology leaders, we’ve identified the biggest challenges facing their teams when it comes to publishing.

  1. Limited Pricing Agility: With pricing and engineering intertwined in most modern businesses, pricing teams have lost their autonomy and must make resource requests to engineering in order to make changes. Internal tools often help automate small changes, however complex rules changes or new product lines still require support from engineering and limit a pricing teams ability to move quickly.
  2. Communication Challenges: Pricing and engineering speak two different languages, and this can lead to challenges when communicating proposed changes. The consequence of errors in the publishing process are significant, with percentage point errors having large financial implications for a business.
  3. Modelled vs Live: With differences between the modelling and production environments, anything from inconsistencies in variable names to unexpected  external API responses can cause pricing to be deployed with errors.
  4. Optimisation problems: Without dedicated data science resource to build optimisation models that can vary pricing based on demand or elasticity curves, businesses leave an opportunity to maximise margin on the table or have to spend on expensive software packages.

In financial services, there are further specific challenges:

  1. Multi-product pricing: Insurance businesses often operate multiple pricing models across product lines and underwriting partners. All these models must be managed and monitored to ensure accurate pricing is being delivered across a portfolio.
  2. Integration challenges: Distribution in financial services has improved but some areas remain out of date. For example, when selling through brokers, businesses must integrate with their systems, from PDF quote forms to inflexible legacy systems.
From our conversations with pricing and technology leaders, 67% of them talk about publishing as being a pain point for them and their team

We believe there are many opportunities to improve the publishing process. We’ve focused on 3 areas to solve with the first version of our platform:

  • Design: Simple drag & drop canvas for step-by-step price modelling. By putting a pricing engine, with its rates and rules, inside a simple low-code tool, pricing teams can make changes without asking engineering to make changes to their codebase.
  • Build: Powerful model builder that integrates directly with data and distribution. Our pricing engines can call internal data sets or external data enrichment APIs, as well as map to distribution channels such as aggregators.
  • Deploy: Serverless cloud infrastructure that can scale with your pricing volume, serving APIs for model versions, product lines and distribution channels.

Swallow Publishing is just one of 4 initial products we’re releasing on our platform, please see our other posts for more on Process, Testing and Data.

Powerful apart but awesome together. Transform how you price.

We’d love to hear more about your governance and approval process pain points, so if you’re keen to share, or would like to try out the Swallow platform - please do get in touch at