We had a great time at Catalyze 2023! Were you able to make it?
Catalyze 2023 was THE rebate management conference of the year. With a full lineup of experts and thought leaders providing invaluable insights, hundreds of attendees from across the supply chain and limitless opportunities for learning and networking, the ultimate rebate management conference was truly an event to remember.
If you missed the conference this year (or just want to reminisce), you can catch up on the highlights and key takeaways from Catalyze 2023 in this comprehensive blog.
Creating the Future of Rebate Management
Enable CEO Andrew Butt delivered a captivating keynote on the topic of rebate management and its impact on business optimization. In his insightful speech, Butt shed light on the increasing number of transactions taking place between trading partners, emphasizing the need for collaboration between trading partners to maximize returns. Isolation between trading partners has created friction within the supply chain, causing serious problems for many strategic partnerships. It’s critical that businesses foster stronger relationships and work together to overcome these hurdles and shape a more promising future for the supply chain.
Butt then took a deep dive into the present and future landscape of rebate management, highlighting how many recent changes and challenges in the supply chain have made collaboration a necessity and turned rebates into an essential tool for businesses’ trading strategies.
This opening keynote affirmed Enable’s commitment to establishing rebate management as a distinct category. During the speech, Butt took a bold step by presenting a new and comprehensive definition of “rebate” to resolve the long-standing debate surrounding its ambiguous terminology. From now on, rebates encompass any B2B transaction where funds flow back through the supply chain.
The presentation left the audience with a clear understanding of the evolving role and importance of rebates in shaping successful business partnerships – and why rebate management is more important now than ever before.
Rebate Strategist University
At the conference, we announced the launch of our new Rebate Strategist University certification, offering rebate managers the opportunity to enhance their skills and harness the strategic power of rebates. In these informative courses, rebate managers will learn to leverage the full strategic potential of their rebates with confidence and ease, gaining key insights and best practices to become full-fledged rebate strategists.
Mark Gilham and Reggie Waterman expertly hosted the RSU Corner, where they engaged with enthusiastic attendees, sharing details about the certification and providing valuable insights. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with professionals expressing keen interest in obtaining RSU certifications for their rebate teams and even requesting to integrate the courses into their existing learning management systems.
The enthusiasm at the RSU Corner demonstrated a growing demand for professional education in rebate management, a need that Enable is ready and more than willing to fill with comprehensive learning resources.
Building a Community
The Community Corner, hosted by Enable Senior Community Manager Cale Parks, offered a much-needed place of respite amidst the bustling event, providing attendees with a peaceful place of respite to unwind and forge connections. It quickly became a popular gathering spot where participants could take a break from panels, engage in networking opportunities and gain insights into the fast-growing Rebate Strategists Community.
Day 1 Sessions
Customer-centricity: The Cornerstone of Sustainable Growth
Aamir Paul | President, North America, Schneider Electric
During his thought-provoking keynote, Schneider Electric President, North America Aamir Paul focused on the evolving nature of business and the crucial role of customer-centric practices. He emphasized that the unprecedented pace of change in the industry is driven by the evolving needs and expectations of customers, specifically in areas such as delivery, personalization and experience.
Paul highlighted the importance of digital technologies, agility and effective communication in cultivating strong customer relationships and fostering sustainable business growth. Paul’s insightful discussion shed light on the essential strategies required for companies to not only survive, but thrive in the rapidly transforming business landscape.
Product Keynote: What’s Next for Enable’s Rebate Management
David Hunt | COO, Enable
Meraj Imani | Director of Product Management, Enable
Enable Director of Product Management Meraj Imani joined COO David Hunt to provide a sneak peek into the future of Enable’s rebate management solution. In their informative product keynote, they provided an exclusive preview of Enable’s ongoing developments and a comprehensive recap of the software’s existing features.
Hunt and Imani offered valuable insights into the current state and future of this groundbreaking software. They announced three exciting new features in Enable’s rebate management solution:
- Inventory Rebate Accounting enables users to accurately assess the value of rebates held in inventory.
- The new Claims Management feature offers end-to-end management of the claims process, from claim generation to dispute resolution and final settlement with trading partners.
- The Special Pricing Agreements (SPAs) feature is aimed at enhancing the profitability and efficiency of managing these complex deals.
These new features showcased Enable’s commitment to empowering users with innovative tools for optimizing rebate management processes and driving success in their businesses.
Driving Behavior with Incentives
Kerry Atlas | VP Finance, NetPlus Alliance
Nick Rose | CFO, Enable
Revolutionizing the Supply Chain Journey
Andy Kearney | Senior VP Customer Success, Veriforce
Next up, attendees faced a tough choice between two insightful sessions. In “Driving Behavior with Incentives,” NetPlus Alliance VP Finance Kerry Atlas and Enable CFO Nick Rose shared their insights and expertise in utilizing incentives to drive desired partner behaviors. The audience gained valuable tactical methods and learnings from these experienced rebate strategists to help them achieve targeted strategic goals.
Meanwhile, Veriforce Senior VP Customer Success Andy Kearney hosted the thought-provoking session “Revolutionizing the Supply Chain Journey,” where he presented solutions and strategies to transform the supply chain process into a repeatable and scalable customer journey. By leveraging data, analytics and peer benchmarking, Kearney guided attendees in developing a roadmap focused on key initiatives and KPIs to improve supply chain practices and overall health. This interactive session encouraged active dialogue, facilitating an enriching learning experience for all.
Automating Processes to Improve Financial Management
Jerry Brooner | President, Global Field Operations, Enable
Angela Wallenberger | CFO, Rexel Germany
Andrew Yull | Director of Procurement, Johnstone Supply
Understanding Special Pricing Agreements
Mark McGready | Director of Channel Analytics, SPARXiQ
Michelle Langford | Financial Services Manager, Keystone Group
In “Automating Processes to Improve Financial Management,” Jerry Brooner, President of Global Field Operations at Enable, joined forces with Angela Wallenberger from Rexel Germany and Andrew Yull from Johnstone Supply to discuss the significance of automation in rebate management. They explored essential tools and shared practical tips for improving automated processes, empowering attendees to streamline their own financial processes, accelerate their accruals and enhance their accuracy in critical tasks such as reconciliations.
In their session on “Understanding Special Pricing Agreements,” SPARXiQ Director of Channel Analytics Mark McGready and Keystone Group Financial Services Manager Michelle Langford provided a comprehensive overview of SPAs, addressing the complexities and challenges associated with managing these unique and powerful deals. Drawing on their experiences from both North American and UK perspectives, they emphasized the importance of SPAs and how businesses can effectively utilize them to drive success. This session equipped attendees with a solid foundational understanding of SPAs and their potential benefit to businesses and their trading partners.
What’s Next in Rebate Management
Jeffrey Moyle | Vice President, Supplier & Digital Strategy, Rexel Canada Electrical
Mark Gilham | Director & Evangelist, Enable
“What’s Next in Rebate Management” presented attendees with a wide range of valuable insights into the future of rebates. Jeffrey Moyle, Vice President of Supplier & Digital Strategy at Rexel Canada Electrical, and Mark Gilham, Director & Evangelist at Enable, led this forward-looking discussion. They shared invaluable knowledge on the latest industry trends, what to expect in the evolving rebate landscape and how to effectively prepare for upcoming changes. This session provided a valuable glimpse into the future of rebate management, empowering attendees to stay ahead of the curve and strategically adapt to the evolving rebate landscape.
Day 2 Sessions
Closing the Collaboration Gap Through Data Management
Andrew Butt | CEO, Enable
David Oldfather | President & CEO, IDEA
Manufacturers and Distributors: A Dual Perspective on SPAs
Gareth Twohey | Commercial Director, ACS Stainless Steel Fixings Ltd
Maureen “Mo” Barsema | Industry Principal, Enable
To start off the second day of Catalyze, we had two great sessions for attendees to choose from. Enable CEO Andrew Butt returned with IDEA President & CEO David Oldfather to discuss how implementing and improving critical data management practices can help businesses close critical collaboration gaps that hinder productivity and weaken trading relationships. Meanwhile, Enable Industry Principal Maureen “Mo” Barsema and ACS Stainless Steel Fixings Ltd. Commercial Director Gareth Twohey shared their unique experiences on both sides of a Special Pricing Agreement: the manufacturer and the distributor, highlighting the benefits, responsibilities and challenges associated with each.
Getting Your Rebate Numbers Right the First Time
Mark Gilham | Director & Evangelist, Enable
Overcoming Rebate Management Challenges
Kris Burgoon | Chief Marketing Officer, Vallen USA
Colleen Kennedy | Marketing Analyst, STEMCO
Ben Nitz | Director of Strategic Vendor Management, Werner Electric
Mitchell Koureas | CFO, Barbeques Galore
Jerry Brooner | President, Global Field Operations, Enable
Mark Gilham led a session titled “Getting Your Rebate Numbers Right the First Time.” Attendees gained insights into the mathematics behind rebate calculations, enabling them to minimize disputes and ensure accurate calculations from the outset. Gilham emphasized the importance of taking a holistic approach, combining pricing with rebates to protect margins. Additionally, he touched upon the role of AI in rebate calculation management, offering valuable insights into leveraging technology for accuracy and efficiency.
One of the highlights of the conference was an insightful panel discussion on “Overcoming Rebate Management Challenges.” Industry experts – including Kris Burgoon from Vallen USA, Colleen Kennedy from Stemco, Mitchell Koureas from Barbeques Galore and Ben Nitz from Werner Electric – shared their experiences and strategies for overcoming the challenges associated with rebates. They provided tactical advice based on real-world examples, equipping attendees with practical insights to tackle various rebate-related obstacles in their own organizations.
The Copernican Shift
Grad Conn | Chief Marketing Officer, PROS
In this fascinating session, Grad Conn, CMO of PROS, discussed the monumental shifts happening all around us, underscoring Andrew’s keynote from the previous day. He covered the “PRM, or Profit + Revenue Management” Copernican shift facing the supply chain now, defining what this shift looks like for both customers and suppliers as well as how to tackle it.
Blockchain and AI for Rebate and Trading Agreement Optimization
Jack Shaw | Technology Futurist
In his brilliant closing keynote, technology futurist Jack Shaw provided valuable insights into the transformative potential of blockchain and AI in supply chain management. Shaw highlighted the benefits of leveraging cutting-edge technologies in rebate management, emphasizing how they can enhance transparency, efficiency and cost savings for manufacturing, distribution and retail companies. This enlightening session provided attendees with a vision of how these technologies can revolutionize rebate management and trading agreements, empowering businesses to unlock new levels of optimization and efficiency in their operations.
Closing Out the Conference
Catalyze 2023 proved to be a transformative event, bringing together business leaders and rebate strategists from various sectors of the supply chain. The conference was a bustling nexus of knowledge, providing valuable insights and fostering new connections among attendees. As we reflect on the success of this year’s event, we are eager to leverage the wealth of insights and learnings gained to drive meaningful changes and improvements in our respective fields. With great anticipation, we now set our sights on Catalyze 2024, where we aim to build upon the momentum and deliver an even more impactful experience.
Keep an eye out for the official video recordings of our panel sessions coming soon!