In the best of times, the rebate management process can be challenging. Navigating hundreds of agreements, suppliers and negotiations while staying compliant and simultaneously appealing to numerous stakeholders and decision makers, is not always a simple task.
Over the course of 2020, as businesses around the world learned to adjust to remote working, one thing became abundantly clear. Proper rebate management has never been more important.
In response to the pandemic, the companies that have prepared themselves to not only be more resilient and robust internally, but also able to account for future changes that will take place as supply chains are re-defined, will fare far better in the long run.
As we move towards a post pandemic world, three emerging trends shed light on why rebate management must be a top priority for organizations seeking long-term success.
1. Rebates are more complex than ever
Rebates can be offered to certain locations, on certain products or product groups and on certain types of transaction. This means that they can get rather complex.
At Enable we have come across over 300 different types of deals from simple examples like loyalty rebates where you get a percentage off a product or to more complex where specific behaviours are trying to be incentivised like promoting a particular product range. The large number and complexity of agreement types, the variety of scenarios from the different vendors, missing data, changing agreements, tight margins, all mean that rebate management can become problematic for many finance and procurement departments.
The main issue that companies have with complex deals is the management side of them, as it can become very labour intensive with lots of room for error and it can be difficult to cross reference the data especially if using spreadsheets. They are also a very manual process meaning you can end up relying on key people in your team to manage them. All of this can be solved with the implementation of rebate management software which does all the hard work for you and can support many types of deals, however complex.
2. The power of collaboration
If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is that the supply chain can be fragile. In the current environment, companies are faced with numerous challenges such as supply chain disruption, short product life cycle, natural and man-made disasters. However, firms cannot respond to such challenges on their own. They need to work with their supply chain partners and stakeholders in order to be better equipped in dealing with such challenges. Entering into alliances and collaborating with supply chain partners can help reinforce the resiliency of supply chains. At the heart of this collaboration is the sharing of information and data.
A study by Ivalua found improving collaboration was a priority for 77% of respondents.
The majority of respondents say they have improved collaboration with most strategic suppliers (90%) and their broader supply base (91%) in the last two years. However, there are still a number of areas for improvement. This includes collaboration processes; there was no mechanism in place for many organizations to collaborate effectively with the broader supply base (42%), finance (41%), IT (40%), or their most strategic suppliers (39%).
We know that effective supply chains are built on healthy relationships, and companies need access to digital tools to forge and maintain these relationships more than ever before. If companies move towards introducing platforms like our collaboration platform that support tight collaborative workflows between suppliers, distributors, and customers they will come out the other side more agile and profitable.
3. The acceleration of SaaS
Many IT departments have been slow to adopt SaaS, preferring to use legacy solutions, but with supply chain challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and Gartner predicting that the SaaS market is forecast to grow to $117.7 billion in 2021, this is all about to change. Companies are going to be increasingly focused on SaaS because it’s user-friendly, cost effective, reliable and accessible. SaaS makes it possible to keep systems available and running without the need for dedicated resources.
In particular a SaaS rebate management solution offers significant benefits such as access to a centralized and automated deal repository hosted in a secure cloud environment. Thus, providing trading partners with complete visibility of their deals, eliminating wasted time and errors. Additionally, it optimizes the rebate management process, ensuring optimal performance of your B2B deals while improving financial transparency and operational efficiency.
Rebate management going forward
As it’s clear with these trends, the future of rebate management looks to be more automated, collaborative, and efficient than ever before. This can only mean positive changes for your organization, provided they’re willing to put in the time and effort to make these streamlined processes work to their advantage.