DealTrack Blog — Andrew Butt

Excel errors: why spreadsheets are so dangerous for rebate accounting

Posted by Andrew Butt on April 30, 2019 02:04:44

A few years ago news about Excel miscalculations at JP Morgan rocked spreadsheet users’ worlds. A simple cut and paste error cost JP Morgan $6 billion and resulted in dramatic headlines like “Why Excel is the Most Dangerous Software in the World”, but it wasn’t the first time spreadsheets had caused massive business disruption, nor will it be the last. A similar cut and paste error had previously cost TransAlta $24 million and another Excel mishap – hiding cells instead of deleting them – cost Barclays bank millions during the 2008 meltdown. And when a flawed Department for Transport (DfT) forecast model was blamed for the botched bidding process on the £9bn West Coast Main Line rail franchise contract, similar headlines brought the danger of spreadsheets to mind once again.

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Topics: Rebate Accounting

Supplier collaboration in the building materials sector

Posted by Andrew Butt on December 12, 2018 10:41:00

We learn about collaboration from an early age.  As children we quickly learn that we need to collaborate with teachers, classmates and team players in order to be successful.  "There's no 'i' in 'team' is a common mantra in sports and work teams.  And "supply chain collaboration" has been a hot topic for decades.  

Despite that, there are very few systems that enable wholesale distribution companies and their suppliers in the building materials sector to truly collaborate on their trade agreements.

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Topics: Supplier collaboration

7 key elements of successful trade negotiations

Posted by Andrew Butt on November 27, 2018 10:15:00

The phrase win-win is probably over-used, but I am going to use it anyway to describe the situation where both parties come out of a negotiation feeling like they have won. Let’s be honest. If you think you won and the other party (your supplier or your customer) feels they lost, then it’s not really a good situation.

Price is important, but (particularly in industries like building materials distributors and grocery retailers where margins are tight) time to market, supply chain reliability, innovation, quality and flexibility are elements that contribute significantly towards a company’s competitive edge.

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Topics: Procurement Excellence, Supplier collaboration

SIG selects Enable's DealTrack rebate management software

Posted by Andrew Butt on November 13, 2018 15:17:00

SIG is a leading European provider of specialist building materials, with close to £3bn of annual revenues and around 9,000 employees across the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe. As a specialist distributor, SIG plays a critical role in the construction supply chain, bringing value to its customer base across major European markets.

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Topics: Client Stories, Press Articles, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Rebate Management System

Managing SPAs, ship & debit, claimbacks, MDFs and more

Posted by Andrew Butt on November 7, 2018 09:22:42

Rebates, SPAs, claim-backs, contract support are all very similar and at the same time quite different to each other. In essence they are all terms for the money that wholesalers claim from suppliers and manufacturers for selling their products. Some of the key differences lie in how the agreements are formed, whether goods are actually ever handled by the wholesaler, and how the claims are made.

Collectively, they are sometimes referred to as “vendor monies”. It is estimated that, annually, these amount to $600bn in North America and perhaps as much as $500bn in Europe.

In a world where margins are tight, wholesale distributors across nearly 50 sectors rely so much on vendor monies that their absence would be a serious dent in their profit margin.

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Topics: Rebate Management

Buyers’ guide to rebate program management systems

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 29, 2018 16:01:21

Whilst many core business systems have some functionality to help monitor trading agreements that involve vendor rebates, most have neither the flexibility nor the extensive range of functionality that is needed to support the increasingly complex world of rebate management.

For many, that lack of functionality has resulted in missed rebates and poor accrual accounting.

But worse than that, if your business systems don’t support rebate management fully, then the whole purpose behind creating deals involving rebates – a means to influence business growth – is missed.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Rebate Management System

Best practice: systematising rebate & special pricing deals

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 22, 2018 20:12:46

In this blog, we are going to focus on the system requirements for configuring, storing, monitoring, reviewing and operating rebate deals or special pricing agreements. 

For the sake of efficiency and audit tracking, and to avoid unnecessary disputes, all elements of pricing agreements should be stored in one place.  A cloud based solution is ideal for multi-centred operations.

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Topics: ERP Vendor Rebate Modules, Rebate Management System

Why wholesalers should invest in a rebate management system

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 17, 2018 16:07:29

Companies tend to look for specialist rebate management software when they reach a point where their core business systems are proven to be inadequate.

This particularly affects builders' merchants, plumbing distributors, electrical distributors, HVAC distributors and others who operate in the building materials industry.  These businesses usually have to deal with a large number of complex trading agreements involving rebates, special pricing agreements, retrospective discounts, over-riders and more across many thousands of stock items.

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Topics: Rebate Management, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Rebate Management System

12 things your rebate management system must do

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 11, 2018 09:23:00

We have a buyers' guide that outlines everything you should look for in a Rebate Management System, but I wanted to outline my top 12 features in this blog.

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Topics: Rebate Management System

How distributors manage “ship and debit” rebate agreements

Posted by Andrew Butt on October 3, 2018 07:53:00

A ship and debit agreement enables suppliers to sell their goods at a uniform price, while distributors can react to local market conditions and lower the price they use to sell to customers without losing all of their margin.

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Topics: Rebate Management & Growth