How to Handle MAP Violations
By far the biggest benefit of PSS is pricing automation. We pull in MSRP from each distributor every morning by hitting the FTP Price File of each distributor, perform calculations, and then update the pricing of millions of marketplace listings.
Often times one or more distributors will be delayed in updating their FTP Price File for a specific brand with new pricing policies. This will cause not only MSRP to be incorrect but also pricing that is managed by Price Rules since it discounts MSRP by a percentage. We are now in a potential MAP Violation situation.
What to Know
- The MSRP that we pull each morning will be reflected in PSS no later than 7:00 am Pacific. To see what MSRP PSS pulled last night proceed to the catalog and click an MPN. Scroll down to "Distributor Parts". Each distributor MSRP will be illustrated and you can often see who the offender might be.
- The distributor FTP File and their Online Portal will often not match exactly when they are in the midst of pricing updates. The Online Portal often gets updated first with the FTP File to follow a day or two later.
- MAP Police - As soon as the brand changed its pricing, the MAP Police were tasked to begin looking for offenders. No one takes into account that it takes the distributor a few days to get their FTP Price Files updated and then a day or two for automated eCommerce platforms to ingest pricing and push out updates.
- There are different levels of violations. Initial Warnings (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and Final Warnings with Suspension imminent. Initial warnings should be treated as such. If you receive a serious threat you should contact PSS to discuss the best strategy and to ensure that you don't have another issue with your account.
- If a MAP issue is isolated to one or two distributors it is acceptable to contact the distributor and ask them to update their FTP Price File
- While PSS pulls in MSRP and manipulates pricing with Price Rules, it also allows you to perform Price Overrides. Remember that these are hard prices that you put in. PSS does not manipulate your Price Overrides based on what changes are made to MSRP.
How to Fix
1. Check to make sure that you don't have a Price Override on the SKUs. If you have an override then it doesn't matter when we update MSRP because a price override is an exact price that you have applied to the SKU. If you are getting a MAP violation on a product where you have price overrides then you need to remove the overrides so that we can just push updated MSRP or price rule adjusted pricing. See How to Quickly Remove Price Overrides
2. Check the MSRP on each SKU that feeds the MPN to determine who is off. Contact the Distributor that is off and tell them that their FTP Price File is not current with the latest MSRP.
3. Emergency/Break Glass - In PSS set a fulfillment preference for the brand to only fulfill from distributors that have the correct pricing. This will ensure that price/inventory for the problematic distributors is taken down. Once you see in PSS that the MSRP has been updated you can then remove/edit the preference.
You can always contact PSS Support or contact your Account Manager directly and they will always be glad to help you troubleshoot issues with MAP violations. Just don't be surprised if they refer you back to the distributor. We do the best we can and will always work with you to help reduce any current exposure to the risk of being shut off by a brand or distributor.