One of our favourite features in Fusebill 2014 is the Product Catalog, which is where you describe your product and services.
Designed with a hierarchical structure – plans are built from combinations of products.
- Products define “what” is sold.
- Plans bundle together products and define “How” and “How Much”.
- Customers subscribe to Plans.
Products and Plans act as a template for setting pricing, so you define how you want to charge, (one-time, usage, or recurring) as well as your default pricing. However, as products and plans are assigned to a particular customer you also have the opportunity to override the default pricing to create customer specific pricing.
Important Points about Plans
- Plans have prices of their own, as well as any pricing specified with the included products.
- Plans specify an initial (setup) fee and a recurring charge;
- A single plan can include pricing for different payment schedules (monthly, quarterly, annual) so you don’t need to create a new plan for each variation.
Products? Do I have to?
No, you don’t. Products are optional so you don’t have to create any if you don’t want to. In fact, if you have a straightforward pricing model that only contains a setup fee and a recurring fee, then a plan is sufficient.
When Should I Create a Product?
While you don’t need to create products, they do of course have their place, below are various scenarios for when products should be used.
- You want to report on them;
- They are an optional offering;
- There are charges associated with them;
- The invoice needs to display a line item;
- Customers can buy multiple instances;
- You want to control revenue recognition;
- To link a purchase to an option in the provisioning system;
- Inventory tracking.
Best Practice Guidelines
There is a natural tendency for products and plans to proliferate to accommodate special offers, promotions or client needs. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a large product catalog, a smaller catalog is easier to manage, understand, and report on. You’ll find that with a little planning, the versatility of Products and Plans allow you to keep your product catalog simple and uncluttered and resist the tendency to grow.
Keep the following in mind as you plan your catalog – and feel free to consult with your Fusebill team for advice.
- Products can be used in multiple plans.
- Products can be optional components in a plan. Use optional products to create upgrade paths or special offers.
- Plans can have their own charges, which are added to the product charges. These Plan Charges can be zero.
- Plans contain pricing for multiple time intervals. Don’t create one plan for a monthly charge and another for an annual. Just add an interval to the plan.
- Similarly, plans contain pricing information for each currency. Don’t create a different price plan for each currency.
- To give different pricing to a specific client, use price overrides.
- Create a ‘Super Plan’ that contains all of your products (as optional). This makes it easy to satisfy a la carte purchases.
If you’d like to see more of Fusebill, join Fusebill CEO Steve Adams for a live Product Demo via webcast, today at 2:00 PM Eastern. You can register here.
Or, if you prefer to explore Fusebill on your own, take a fully featured free trial and see for yourself how easy it is to build your price catalog!