RK Foodland - Choosing the Right Supply Chain Pricing Model

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Navigating the complex landscape of supply chain can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to selecting the right pricing model for a Food Service or FMCG business. Research indicates that inadequate contract management can result in a loss of approximately 9% of a company’s revenue. The traditional norms of standard, one-size-fits-all contracts are being replaced by a new era of dynamic, customised agreements that reflect the evolving expectations of today’s customers. This is particularly true in the logistics sector, where despite a history of fragmentation and low digitization, a wave of technological advancements and data-driven insights have ushered in a new age of pricing sophistication. This blog explores a range of B2B supply chain pricing models. The aim is to equip food businesses with the information they need to select a model that not only reduces the likelihood of contractual disputes, but also improves service delivery, ensures smooth execution, fosters better supplier relationships, and enhances overall business performance. 


Common issues faced in a ​B2B Supply Chain Service Contract​ 

In B2B supply chain, the role of service contracts is paramount, with every detail carrying significant importance. As a business owner or CXO in the Food Service or FMCG sector, you are not just signing a document; you’re establishing a roadmap for service delivery, desired outcomes, and, most importantly, business continuity. These contracts are far from simple. They demand a keen eye for detail and a comprehensive understanding of business’s needs and market dynamics.  

  • Transparency and clarity are paramount – every term should be clearly defined and understood by all parties.  
  • The contract must also offer scope and flexibility, allowing to adapt to ever-changing market conditions.  
  • Performance alignment is another crucial aspect, reflecting service’s performance, ensuring that hard work translates into fair compensation.  
  • Furthermore, it is essential to benchmark contract against industry standards, ensuring pricing model is competitive.  
  • Pricing can be a minefield. 55% of product cost is supply chain expenses. Thus, managing them is crucial. Choosing an inappropriate pricing model leads to revenue loss, customer dissatisfaction, and operational inefficiencies. 
  • Lastly, it’s important to note that a contract should be mutually beneficial, fostering a long-term relationship that advantages both parties.  

By bearing these points in mind, one can navigate the intricacies of B2B Supply Chain Service Contracts, ensuring the chosen pricing model aligns with their business objectives and meets customer expectations. 


Various Pricing Models in B2B Supply Chain Service Contracts 

“Which pricing model is the best fit for my business?” you might be wondering at this point. 

Well, choosing the right pricing model can serve as a pivotal factor for the success of a Food Service or FMCG business. As reports indicate, when total costs remain unchanged, a 1% improvement in price can result in an impressive 11% enhancement in operating margin. Each model, with its unique characteristics and implications, can significantly influence your operational efficiency, cost management, and ultimately, your bottom line.  

Let’s delve into the four most used models, each with its own set of advantages and considerations: 


1.Cost + Management Fees 

This pricing model involves charging the actual cost of the service plus a management fee. The management fee is usually a fixed percentage of the total cost. 

Preferred Situation: This model is often used when the scope of the work is uncertain or difficult to estimate at the outset. It provides a degree of flexibility and can be adjusted as the scope of work becomes clearer. 


  • Provides flexibility in situations with uncertain scope. 
  • Allows for adjustments as the scope of work becomes clearer. 


  • Can lead to higher costs if not managed properly. 
  • Requires a high level of trust and transparency between the parties. 



2. Open Book 

In this pricing model, the supply chain partner shares all its costs and profit margins with the client. The client pays the actual costs plus a pre-agreed profit margin. 

Preferred Situation: This model is suitable when there is a high level of trust between the parties and a desire for transparency. It is often used in long-term contracts where the client and c have a strong partnership. 


  • Promotes transparency and trust. 
  • Allows the client to understand and control costs. 


  • Requires a high level of trust and openness. 
  • Can lead to disputes over costs and profit margins. 



3. Case/ Procurement% Based (Blended Cost) 

This model involves charging a fee based on the value of the goods or services procured. The fee is usually a percentage of the procurement value. 

Preferred Situation: This model is often used in procurement services where the supply chain partner is responsible for purchasing goods or services on behalf of the client. It is also commonly referred to as the trading model.   



  • Aligns the interests of the supply chain partner with those of the client. 
  • Provides an incentive for the supply chain partner to negotiate the best prices. 


  • Can lead to conflicts of interest if not managed properly. 
  • Requires a high level of trust and transparency. 



4. Outcome-Based 

In this pricing model, the supply chain partner is paid based on the outcomes or results achieved. The payment is usually a percentage of the value of the outcomes. 

Preferred Situation: This model is suitable when the outcomes can be clearly defined and measured. It is often used in performance-based contracts where the supply chain partner is incentivized to achieve specific outcomes. 


  • Aligns the interests of the supply chain partner with those of the client. 
  • Provides an incentive for the supply chain partner to deliver high performance. 


  • Can be difficult to define and measure outcomes. 
  • Can lead to disputes over performance and payment. 


By considering each pricing model’s nuances and assessing their alignment with the business’s needs, operations, and strategic goals, one can select a pricing strategy that drives value for the business and fosters a mutually beneficial relationship with the supply chain partner. 


Choosing the Right Pricing Model ​for a B2B Supply Chain Service Contract 

Choosing the right pricing model for service contracting demands a careful and strategic approach. Here’s a simplified yet comprehensive guideline to navigate this crucial decision: 

  1. Evaluation of Business Needs and Goals: Whether the focus is on cost control, transparency, or performance enhancement, these objectives will guide the pricing model selection. For example, the ‘Cost + Management Fees’ model fits well with cost control, while the ‘Outcome-Based’ model is suitable for performance-focused goals. 
  2. Consider Different Pricing Models: Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each model aids in making an informed decision. For instance, the ‘Open Book’ model encourages transparency but demands a high level of trust and open communication. 
  3. Market and Competition Analysis: Stay competitive by considering the industry standard and competitor strategies. This step ensures alignment with market trends. 
  4. Risk and Reward Sharing: The selected pricing model should balance risks and rewards between parties. For instance, the ‘Outcome-Based’ model incentivizes performance, but it requires clear, measurable objectives. 
  5. Flexibility and Scalability: The pricing model should adapt as the business grows. The ‘Case/Procurement% Based’ model, which aligns costs with business activity, scales with operations. 
  6. Long-term Viability and Profitability: A model that supports long-term growth and profitability, like the ‘Open Book’ or ‘Outcome-Based’ model, is crucial. Such models foster lasting, profitable relationships with the supply chain partner. 

By keeping these factors in mind, you can strategically choose a pricing model that aligns with your business’s unique needs and goals. 

In conclusion, choosing the right pricing model is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. Whether you value transparency with an Open Book approach, align your success with Outcome-Based pricing, prefer the straightforwardness of Cost-Plus, or seek balance with a Blended Cost model, understanding & choosing the right pricing model is crucial in fostering a sustainable, efficient, and mutually beneficial business relationship. Interested in further examining pricing strategies? 


Reach out to our expert for tailored insights and guidance that could fundamentally reshape your supply chain management. 



Related Content |Foodland’s Resources   

Supply Chain Costs: How to Manage Fluctuations 

The Importance of Contract Management & Negotiation in Supply Chain Management 

10 Challenges in Contract Management and how to overcome them 

Contract Logistics Pricing Methods 



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