The Deal Economy

A 5-step process to increasing operational efficiency around your rebates

As the supply chain faces increasing competition, a dedicated rebate management solution is an effective way of taking control of your business and ensuring you always have accuracy and visibility on every aspect of your rebates and deals. The right system can improve decision-making, break down data silos, and eliminate any human errors; helping you to increase operational efficiency, mitigate risk and boost financial performance.

Whether you’re introducing a process for rebate management to your operations for the first time or replacing legacy software, you’ll need to address the specific circumstances of your operations before making a decision. That means working out exactly what your company needs from the rebate management system and establishing how it can increase operational efficiency. Plus, finding the right vendor is key so that the rebate management system is properly implemented, supported, and your team can start reaping the benefits from day one.

Ask yourself these 5 questions before researching software vendors so you can determine the steps you need to take to increase operational efficiency across your organization. This should end up reducing operating costs while improving the effectiveness and profitability of their operation.

1. Is your organization hindered by outdated rebate management processes?

Is some of your organization becoming bogged down with paperwork, human dependency and manual processes like spreadsheets? It’s likely that some of the departments involved in rebate management such as finance and procurement can have their processes automated. This should in turn save them time, improve rebate accuracy and speed up decision-making about deals.

Take your time to review the manual processes taking place across your organization, paying close attention to whether they can be automated and whether they hinder operational efficiency.

2. Can your organization improve its handling of rebate data and visibility?

One of the challenges that organizations face is the tendency of departments to operate in ‘silos’, instead of working collaboratively, toward a common goal. This issue is worsened when it becomes difficult to access data and information from various parts of the organization especially when filed away in someone’s drawer or situated on a desktop.

The key value of operational efficiency is the ability to make use of up-to-date data and draw valuable insights from them. That means it needs to be accessible quickly and in a format that is suitable for all departments. Analyze how your business currently collates and shares its information, with a view to producing useful data that can help increase operation efficiency.

3. Are you making decisions based on assumptions rather than facts?

When it comes to analyzing your deal performance and forecasting rebates, you’ll want to think about whether your organization is basing its important decisions on assumptions or verifiable information.

If you’re regularly having to take a guess at exactly where you are at with your deals, then errors are likely to creep in and affect your operational efficiency. An effective rebate management system will help ensure that you’ve got an accurate picture of your deals and that the insights you derive from your data are robust.

Audit your rebate management processes, with a view to identifying where assumptions can be replaced with concrete and actionable information.

4. Is lack of deal visibility creating supplier disputes and payment delays?

When managing your deals, you’ll be accustomed to constantly reviewing their performance and seeing where you can negotiate and boost profits. But if you have a lack of visibility, both you and your trading partner will not have a clear picture of what is going on and could end up in disputes of who is owed what or even delays in payment.

Examine closely where inefficiencies, disputes and payment delays have arisen in your organization, in order to not only improve operational efficiency but determine whether difficulties could have been identified earlier if the correct data and information had been more quickly available.

5. Can you establish a single source of truth?

Having a ‘single source of truth’ simply means that the rebate data your business generates is collated accurately, rapidly, and in a format you can interpret and use to your advantage. This goal is undermined if your system is dependent upon key people, manual data inputs, or retrieving data from filing cabinets.

Assess whether the different departments in your organization could be working in a more collaborative fashion and whether the rebate data they collect is feeding into a single, dedicated source. This alone will put you on the path to increasing operational efficiency.

Increase operational efficiency with Enable today

With Enable’s rebate management platform, you can automate all of your deals and gain instant deal visibility. Our software also aids collaboration internally to free up valuable resource across the organization and also externally with your trading partners so you can streamline deal approval and avoid any costly disputes.

Want to learn more? Take a free trial.