Oris acts as enforcer

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Patrolling and enforcing prices online is an around-the-clock job, says Pam Springer, CEO of Oris Intelligence, a company that helps manufacturers enforce their minimum advertised pricing (MAP) programs.

That’s why Oris’ Prowl Software-as-a-Service tool monitors online sellers every three hours, every day.

“You have some sellers who try to play games after 5 p.m. or on weekends,” Springer said. “With Prowl, no one gets away with that.”

Why you never want to stop watching

When Oris starts working with manufacturers, it typically finds that 25% to 40% of their products are being sold in violation of their MAP programs, Springer says.

“We’ve gotten some companies down to zero,” she said. “But you never want to stop watching, because that’s when they creep up on you.”

Who’s creeping up on you

While the first step in enforcing a MAP program is identifying and tracking authorized sellers, a manufacturer also wants to keep an eye on unauthorized sellers, Springer says. That’s why Prowl also searches using databases loaded with customer information on unauthorized sellers, she says.

“They may be standalone websites or anonymous websites that are rolled up under Amazon,” she said. “You have to keep your channel clean from every angle.”

Why it’s mission critical

Enforcing MAP programs is serious business, Springer says.

“When you think of a brand, you don’t want inconsistencies in price, you want your channel organized, and you want to work with retailers that are reputable,” she said. “We’re seeing, increasingly, that some of the better retailers won’t even work with a brand unless there’s a MAP. The act of enforcing MAP is critical.”