As SPARXiQ celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023, the company and its team members are reflecting on where it has come from and where its journey is leading. From its first days, SPARXiQ (then Strategic Pricing Associates, or SPA) has been committed to driving profitable growth for industrial B2B companies across a broad diversity of markets.
When David Bauders founded the company in 1993, SPA was focused on helping companies optimize their pricing. Initially consulting to Cleveland, Ohio-based blue-chip manufacturing companies, by the year 2000 SPA was engaged with Parker Hannifin to apply its pricing strategies and analytics on a global scale, driving profit increases in over 90 manufacturing divisions and 30 trading subsidiaries around the world. The Parker mission, which lasted six years and was covered in The Wall Street Journal, rapidly expanded and scaled up SPA’s pricing analytics and implementation capabilities. In 2004, Parker launched a parallel initiative to drive strategic pricing capabilities across its distributor channel (which produced over half of Parker’s revenue).
A large share of Parker’s distributors were on ERP platforms of Activant Solutions (now Epicor). To make their pricing work faster and more impactful, Parker’s distributors encouraged Activant to form a partnership with SPA to create native price-optimization functionality inside its ERP platforms. In 2007, SPA entered an exclusive partnership with Epicor to create a native Strategic Pricing solution within Activant’s Prophet21, Eclipse and Prelude ERPs. The native integration into ERP software further solidified the SPA pricing analytics and methodology as a SaaS pricing solution, rather than a consulting service.
As the Activant partnership rapidly expanded the volume and diversity of client industries served, SPA moved to automate key processes and scale its methodologies. “We weren’t just doing one-off projects any longer. We were working on large-scale, multi-year business transformations across dozens and eventually hundreds of clients,” David said in reflection. The nature and volume of production launched an ongoing expansion of team members, with an emphasis on hiring people with critical industry experience. The partnership also launched and then accelerated SPA’s expansion into new industrial markets, such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing and a broad diversity of other markets.
Having established itself as a market leader in pricing solutions, in 2015 the company expanded its offerings into the sales training and effectiveness space, under the brand SPASIGMA. A significant innovation was developing Hollywood-produced, on-demand, episodic sales training designed to be consumed like television series. This innovation helped sellers more deeply retain, master and apply their learnings, while supporting a healthier SaaS revenue structure for the company. Starting with negotiation mastery, the company’s in-house production team continued to release complementary sales skills training, addressing personality type, relationship building, and more. The training division has won numerous industry awards, including multiple Telly’s and SellingPower Elite designations.
Sales force effectiveness services proved to be a strong complement to pricing. “The salespeople are really the key to having a successful, enduring pricing capability,” SPARXiQ COO Dolores Bauders said. “We see them invest and grow and become better versions of themselves.”
Spotting an opportunity to augment its pricing solutions with adjacent analytics, in 2019 SPA acquired Jigsaw Solutions. The acquisition expanded the company’s offerings to include point-of-sale (POS) hubs to automate transactional data gathering/transfer between manufacturers and distributors; SPA rebate-management solutions; inventory optimization solutions; and more.
With its expanded scope of solutions, the company in 2020 rebranded to SPARXiQ. During the pandemic, SPARXiQ continued relentlessly to innovate, expanding into sales analytics, SPA rebate optimization, profitability analytics, and sales talent assessments. In addition, the company produced its marquee end-to-end sales skills course, Modern Sales Foundations, attaining a full suite of sales skills solutions for its clients in complex B2B industries.
In 2022, the company acquired Material Management Software, the leading contractor purchasing marketplace in the electrical and mechanical industries. These solutions, which automate workflow and connect buyers and sellers, deepened SPARXiQ’s integration with manufacturers and distributors and brought new solutions to connect contractors and end-users with their suppliers.
Over the years, while supporting and learning from over 1,000 client partnerships, each of the company’s expansions and acquisitions has supported the company’s core mission to accelerate profitable growth through analytics, skills training, and platforms/marketplaces.
Looking ahead, SPARXiQ will continue investing in innovative solutions that support market-leading manufacturers, distributors and contractors/end-users across its core industrial B2B verticals. New solution offerings and partnerships on the horizon will deliver even more value for clients in these industries.
SPARXiQ provides analytics, tools, and training solutions that help companies accelerate sales and profitability. The company is committed to solving business challenges by enabling data-driven decisions and equipping front-line sales teams with skills to amplify results.
Market-leading industrial B2B manufacturers, distributors, and contractor/end-users partner with SPARXiQ to navigate today’s competitive markets and to maximize business performance and enterprise value.