Proposals will remain free for 75% of our users, but the rest of our users will be charged a monthly fee.
Who does this affect:
Users that are using the Proposal tool, but not the PO tool. Read on for more info.
How we got here:
When we started Portal six years ago, we were a SaaS (software as a service) business. We built a sophisticated data engine that ingested all the product data and pricing for the entire industry and organized it in a single catalog. The catalog was accompanied by a purchase order tool (there were no proposals back then) and dealers paid us monthly for the service. It’s very expensive to maintain a live catalog of 2M+ items with custom pricing, so of course we had to charge - free wasn’t even a thought back then. Then something cool happened… As manufacturers started receiving more and more purchase orders, they came to us and said, “We’re desperately trying to figure out how to better serve dealers on the web and you guys have built an incredible site, why don’t we pay you instead, whenever you send us orders?” This was a dream scenario, a win-win-win. Manufacturers win because they get a world-class website overnight without any upfront investment, we win because we still get paid and dealers win because, well, manufacturers are now picking up the tab! Then... Dealers requested that we build a proposal tool, and things changed.
Today we have two primary groups of users; Those who ‘create proposals and send orders’ and those who ‘just create proposals’. We didn’t anticipate the group of ‘proposal only’ users becoming as large as it has. The problem we are faced with now is that we have a significant number of proposal-only users, whom we want to continue to support, but we have no way to cover our costs for this support. So, we have decided to charge those proposal-only users each month. In fact, we’ve had many dealers say to us, “I know you guys get paid on orders, but we aren’t supporting you in that way yet, so just charge me for the proposal tool, I don’t want you to go away.”
How it will work:
There will never be a charge to use our catalog or purchase order tool. This change only affects our proposal tool.
If you are a new or Casual Proposal User your company can use Portal to work on up to four proposals per month for Free.
If your company is a Power User (you work on more than four proposals each month and you submit $5k* or more in purchase orders) your proposal tool will remain Free.
If your company works on Proposals Only (and don’t send more than $5k* in monthly orders) then you will be charged $49 per month per active proposal user
Later this month you will notice an update to our site where we will show you the status of your proposal plan. You will be asked to enter a credit card which we will store for monthly billing. On the 1st of August (and each subsequent month) we will run a report, calculate your order volume and proposal usage for the previous month, and email you a statement. If your company has submitted more than $5k* in orders, you will see a cost of $0. If your company has not submitted more than $5k* and you have worked on more than four proposals, you will be billed $49 per proposal user (users who don’t edit proposals are not charged).
**We realize that some months are slow and you may not be able to submit $5k in orders, so if you have a slow month we will look at your last 3 months and if you have placed $15k or more in orders you wan't pay for proposals. This helps smaller dealers who's ordering patterns are more sporadic.
With this new model, every dealer has a “path to Free” and those who don’t order from us still have a competitively priced industry proposal tool. We appreciate your understanding and are looking forward to supporting you for many years to come!