Supplier rebate deals should be a win-win, benefiting manufacturers and distributors alike. But too often they lead to distributors losing revenue, and suppliers losing trust…
DealTrack Blog — Rebate Management System
While spreadsheets are undeniably easy to use, widely available and highly adaptable much has been written about the danger of using them in contexts where there is just too much information, or where that information is too important to risk to human error. A prime candidate is the case of rebates: both customer rebates and supplier rebates, where even the smallest error can result in losses of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since spreadsheets are so easy to use it is also easy to make mistakes, to change data, make errors and worse, not spot the errors and carry on with business as usual. The result is that incorrect information can cause issues when you are trying to understand your business’s financial position down the line.
When it is done well, customer rebate management improves partner relationships, provides financial compliance and reduces audit risk, eases cash flow for customers, improves rebate accuracy and predictability and helps grow business through true partnerships between manufacturers and their customers.
When it comes to modernizing business practices, technology in general and software in particular is essential for business growth. How are manufacturers and suppliers who deal with millions of dollars’ worth of customer rebates each month adapting to the challenges faced by a historic lack of suitable software? Andy James, Chief Product Officer at Enable, shared a few stories about how their clients have changed for the better and what drove their decisions.
Ah yes, rebate claims. An evil necessary in the land of SPAs (special price agreements). While they’re inherently necessary to realize intended profit on the sales transaction, they’re a pain in our side when it comes to handling the issues that plague the reconciliation process.
But the process of reconciling product rebate claims is full of information that is largely dismissed, not getting any attention to the voice that tells us the very issues we continue to tolerate rather than fix. Let’s take a look at a couple of these issues…
SPAs (Special Pricing Agreements) are a common vendor program in many industry sectors. The program gives a special product discount for verified sales to an ultra-competitive event where in-stock discounts can’t secure the order.
SPAs trace their roots back to the 1970’s but have shown significant growth in the past decade. As B2B e-commerce now counts for an estimated 15% of all orders and grows at 8% per year, SPAs have grown significantly as price and availability are easily and quickly researched.
SPAs are now used by 77% of all distribution firms in North America; second only to volume rebates which are used by 90% of distributors.
Topics: Rebate Management, Rebate Accounting, Industry Sector: Building Materials, Industry Sector: Wholesale Distribution, Industry Sector: Retail, Industry Sector: Buying Groups, Rebate Management System, Special Price Agreements SPAs
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.
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.
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.
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.