Many businesses around the world have integrated various rebate management processes to get a better grasp of their B2B deals. These businesses quickly found the benefits of having a rebate management platform, inspiring other businesses to look for software of their own. While businesses stand to benefit from rebate management processes, some companies might have reservations of what these processes and platforms can do for them, and whether their businesses should make the investment. They often go into the software selection process with misguided presumptions and tend to stumble upon outdated information. Such “myths” can be misleading and discouraging to potential software users and fail to communicate the significant benefits businesses make, causing them to resign the chance to maximize the value of their rebate agreements.
Myth 1: Excel spreadsheets are just as effective for managing rebates
Excel has come a long way, but it is still far from being a substitute for a rebate management system. Being a manual process, it can not only waste time and money, but Excel spreadsheets were not designed for multi-user collaboration or enterprise-wide visibility. You also can’t measure operational and financial performance against agreed upon rebates when using spreadsheets.
Rebates today also tend to be highly complex, meaning the system used to manage these rebates needs to be specialized, robust and offer the centralized capabilities of an enterprise rebate management system.
Myth 2: An ERP solution provides all the rebate management capabilities a business needs
While an ERP system is an important business tool and very effective at what it does, it is not always designed to handle the range of tasks associated with an effective rebate management system. In general, an ERP system focuses on transactions related to the product or service of the company, whereas only a rebate management system can calculate and provide visibility into all of your rebates and ensure compliance. Enable’s rebate management system can integrate to work alongside your ERP system.
Myth 3: Manual rebate management processes are better
Piles of papers scattered on desks, dusty file boxes or cabinets and misplaced rebate agreements all present the potential for disaster or, at the very least, a headache. Manual processes may be effective in managing rebates that aren’t very complex, or a smaller amount of them but they rarely scale with company growth, and without a centralized solution can still leave employees scrambling to find the rebate agreements they need. Whereas, with a cloud rebate management system which is accessible from anywhere via a web browser, this ensures your rebate agreements won’t get lost or become untraceable.
Myth 4: Rebate management only impacts a few people within the organization
With a lack of collaboration in many companies, many employees may not be aware or told where to look for rebate agreements or people who control the rebates don’t think other departments and functions throughout the business need to know about them. However, this is not the case, various functions of the business like legal, sales, finance and procurement want access to various elements of the rebate agreement that are relevant to them. So, by implementing a rebate management system that stores the rebate in a centralized repository with role-based access, you can increase the accessibility across the wider business.
Myth 5: I will have less control over my rebate processes
The prospect of automating your rebate management processes and managing your rebates in a shared rebate management platform that were previously performed in a manual way, may bring about feelings of lost control but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Streamlining your rebate processes with a cloud-based rebate management system actually increases the control you have over your rebates because it standardizes processes. Not only are your agreements stored in a structured way, but you can define workflows and can assign who is responsible for which rebate agreements. This leads to more accountability and reduces risk. Rebate managers will have more control and governance over their rebates.
Myth 6: Visibility and access of my rebate agreements is compromised
Businesses think it’s easier and safer to pass an agreement to all necessary parties via email. But with all the information scattered in different files that are “out of sight, out of mind”, businesses can easily miss deadlines or fail to fulfil obligations, exposing themselves to financial and legal risks.
You may think that having your rebate agreements in the cloud, will be harder to locate and access. But this isn’t the case. One of the best things about cloud-based rebate management software is that information is centralised, allowing employees to find the information they need quickly and easily. It offers insights into the responsible party, alerts for renewal dates and e-signatures, all facilitating better rebate performance.
Cloud rebate management creates a trail to any rebate agreement so you can find exactly what you need. The underlying data or history for each contract is right there with the contract itself for context, and for your easy access and reference.
Myth 7: Our rebate data and agreements will not be secure in the cloud
Security is a top priority when it comes to rebate management and the storing of sensitive data. Cloud-based software can raise red flags regarding security and storage, so it is important to choose a rebate management system that protects access, valuable business data, and confidentiality.
At Enable no part of the development process is taken more seriously. This is reflected throughout our business from the training that we give our developers to our IT infrastructure and the technologies that we use on a daily basis. Organizations can rest assured that our platform supports high-level security. Our dedication to ensuring all customer information is secure and robust has helped us to achieve and maintain ISO 27001 Information Security accreditation. Coupled with this we regularly test our systems by asking a separate third-party security provider to undertake various penetration tests and provide us with a detailed report of their findings.
Our cloud rebate management offers a secure deal repository, along with the ability to put access controls on your rebate agreements to ensure that only certain people should be accessing or altering them. Suddenly, the manual paper trail disappears and is replaced with a digital trail that can be accessed from anywhere and is strong and auditable.
Myth 8: Rebate management software takes too much training
Not everyone in your organization will understand how the software works straight away, and they don’t necessarily need to. With just a few training sessions lasting a handful of hours, even the least tech-savvy employees will have a firm grasp on how to use the software. While some rebate management features are more complex than others, great support and implementation teams like ours won’t leave your staff empty handed and will make sure you can leverage the most out of your new rebate management system.
Myth 9: Rebate management software takes too long to deploy
Whatever your business’ timeline may be, when you want to implement a rebate management system of some sort, chances are you’re looking for information now to make an educated decision and understand how long it will take to actually deploy. With Enable, we make deployment simple and less of a hassle for your team.
Once we have undertaken the launch step where we look to understand how your trading agreements are drafted, approved and executed in your business, plus understand the roles and relationships between the business functions involved, we can then assess whether it would be possible to deploy Enable using pure configuration, or whether customisation via our 6-week development cycle is required. This will usually depend on the complexity of business needs and the level of integration required with other business systems.
Myth 10: Our business is too small to benefit from rebate management software
Though it may seem as though spreadsheets and other manual solutions – such as those involving emails, and shared drives - may initially serve smaller businesses, the high price of low-cost rebate management is significant – in fact we have found 4% of rebate revenue goes unclaimed. This is mainly due to spreadsheet-based rebate management which presents other damaging challenges regarding security, transparency, compliance, productivity, and accountability.
At Enable we offer various software packages at different price points to suit your business, so even the smallest of business can benefit from rebate management software and can collaborate better internally and externally going forward.
Now that the myths have been debunked and with the shortcomings of manual rebate management solutions kept in mind, hopefully choosing cloud-based rebate management doesn’t seem so intimidating. Armed with the correct information about what rebate management offers, organizations can streamline their rebate tasks, saving time, reducing risk, and maximizing the value of their rebate agreements.