In 2020, before the arrival of COVID-19 there were already 4.7 million people working remotely in the U.S, now according to recent Gallup’s research 62% of employed Americans are currently working from home during the pandemic - so this trend is showing no sign of slowing down! Even businesses that did not usually provide remote work opportunities had to quickly shift their processes to allow their team to work from home to ensure business continuity. On the finance side of things, the Gartner CFO survey revealed that 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.
For businesses seeking to continue operations, the rapid, widespread change from working in an office to a remote working environment poses challenges to processes previously taken for granted. Individuals and businesses are relying increasingly on the use of technology, forcing their processes to go even more digital and finding alternative solutions to get the most out of their rebate agreements and keep their deals on track now and in the future.
Biggest challenges remote rebate teams face
Although remote working offers operating cost reductions, as well as greater flexibility and productivity for staff, it can pose many challenges especially when managing complex rebate deals.
- Lack of access to data, files and contracts
- Unclear workflows between team members
- Absence of face-to-face communication with colleagues and suppliers
- Real-time visibility into deals
- Lack of technology
- Manual processes
- Late payments and unpaid invoices
- Audit and compliance complications
File all your rebate agreements in a secure deal repository
Organizations handling rebate management processes remotely need a centralized deal repository for the storage of their rebate agreements. Enable helps rebate professionals store, locate and organize agreements online quickly and easily, retain document version control, track approval statuses, collaborate, and much more all whilst working remotely. Meaning you don’t have to worry about accessibility or whether the contract has been signed yet.
Use electronic signatures
E-signatures are the modern alternatives to the traditional method of signing documents with paper and pen. An e-signature confirms that signers are really who they say they are, and it prevents retrospective changes to the signed document. A digitally signed rebate agreement can be signed off in seconds and sent in minutes via email. Digital signatures allow for a quick turnaround on a time sensitive rebate deal without the need to meet in person.
Regularly meet virtually with your suppliers and rebate team
Since you can’t meet face-to-face with suppliers or have impromptu office conversations with your co-workers, you need the tools to organize a virtual team that includes a representative from each department involved in the rebate process. The frequency for how often and when these teams meets will all depend on your specific business requirements. However, by scheduling meetings in advance with suppliers you can be sure to have their time and commitment in making sure your deals work out well, for both sides of the trading relationship. With Enable you can record a conversation thread alongside your rebate agreements, ensuring everyone has visibility of topics discussed which relate to a specific agreement regardless of whether you could arrange a time to discuss this together.
Be aware of important notifications
Working remotely, away from the office might cause the rebate team to forget or skip key dates and deadlines that should be followed with diligence. This insignificant human error has the potential to cause havoc on agreements since missing deadlines is not only unprofessional but can be costly. Rebate management software comes in useful in such scenarios where the system sends notifications when agreements need signing or are signed off by your trading partner. Thereby keeping the financial interests of the company safe and the remote rebate team can take action at the correct time and day.
Set up an approval workflow
Working remotely can mean that important and time sensitive tasks slip through the cracks or are forgotten about, as there isn’t someone working alongside you as a reminder. Executives and managers must oversee teams from a distance, while maintaining their own work. An approval workflow enables you to manage the approvals of your trading agreement, keeping a record of all approvals and sending notifications and reminders of actions that need to be done. This also provides the ability to generate reports, which shows the current status of all trading agreements in the rebate management system.
Access your deals from anywhere, anytime
Being able to access agreements, files and data, current or previous, while working from home or remotely is key to keeping this part of the business running. Having to wait to be granted access or for information to be sent across from others can make rebate management a long, drawn-out process, which isn’t helpful to the business or your productivity. Hence why you need a rebate management system with a centralized deal repository.
Invest in a rebate management system
Some rebate teams perform their work using Excel spreadsheets, ERPs, and other systems but depending on the tool used, it could be difficult to set up remote access. One exemplary feature of our rebate management software is that it allows the users to work remotely without any hassles because everything is located in the cloud.
The rebate team can continue their day-to-day activities of calculating, accruing and allocating rebates with the help of our rebate management software, ensuring a less stressful workload, business continuity, and a seamless rebate process.
Rebate management software also makes it easier to communicate between departments and with your trading partners because there is only one version of the truth, providing a boost in employee productivity and making it easier to collaborate efficiently in real-time without having to wait for accurate data.
Are you ready to turn remote work challenges into opportunities?
The shift to remote work has its challenges, but it also presents an opportunity for rebate teams to proactively support the future of their company. With the right tools in place, they can make more profitable deals. By leveraging rebate management software, not only can your rebate team perform their duties more efficiently by removing time-consuming manual processes, but your organization gains access to real-time rebate data that can help provide insight into how to navigate the current economic environment.