Rebate can make up the majority of profit for wholesalers, distributors, buying groups, and retailers, so effective rebate management is crucial. However, with large amounts of information and lots on people involved managing different parts of the processes inefficiently, they can become challenging and complex. This doesn’t make it easy to keep track of all your deals, develop mutually beneficial relationships and ensure profitable growth.
Most companies try to use Excel spreadsheets to manage their rebates, however they lack the functionality to manage all this information and can end up messy, with errors aplenty and missed opportunities. We have found that many companies are losing up to 4% in rebate revenue, which can have a negative effect on your bottom line.
The good news is that there is an alternative for streamlining the rebate process and making it easier to manage. That alternative is rebate management software. Here are some of our customers’ proven benefits of using a rebate management system over managing rebates manually:
1. Streamlined processes
Manually managing rebates opens the door to costly errors and lost revenue. Not to mention that trying to keep up with the amount and various deal types can be both frustrating and time-consuming.
Rebate management software virtually does away with repetitive processes. It significantly decreases the amount of information that needs to be entered manually and makes it easier and more efficient for companies to collect data, no matter what department they’re working in. Automating processes frees up finance, purchasing and commercial teams to increase productivity in other areas.
“I like that everything is now all in one place rather than across several spreadsheets or folders and how easy it is to maintain and manage the rebate deals now”.
Sally Jasper, Group Rebate Coordinator, MKM Building Supplies
2. Improved collaboration
Collaboration is an essential part of any thriving business, allowing for much more thorough visibility. But more often than not, companies find their teams working in silos simply because they don’t have the right processes in place.
Having rebate management software enables all internal communications to be stored in a single location for easy retrieval and follow-up. All teams have access to the latest data and information so they don’t need to rely on external emails or documents stored in dusty file cabinets. Everything is centralized and consistent, there is not much reason for why departments would not be able to work together.
Collaboration capabilities also extend outside the four walls of an organization so you can connect easily with key trading partners. With a truly collaborative rebate management system, external negotiation and approval can all take place in the same system, allowing you to share trading agreements and understand their potential benefit before engaging in discussions with your trading partners.
“Having a portal by which our trading partners can access their information in a central location has streamlined our communications process and improved transparency.”
Mark Gilham, Finance Director, Grafton
3. Total deal visibility
Lack of visibility is one of the biggest blockers to effective rebate management and is a strong driver for stakeholders to examine ways to improve their current processes. For example, procurement, sales, and finance functions generally work from different systems or spreadsheets, thereby causing stakeholders from each silo to inevitably make decisions that adversely affect other points in the operation.
The ability to know the details of each deal is vital for any business to make better decisions. Having a rebate management system at your disposal enables you to have access to vital information in real-time from one single application, truly providing a single source of truth. Without a single source of truth, employees can end up working from different datasets, which can increase error rates and reduce organizational efficiency.
All of this increased visibility makes it possible to make quick decisions about your deals in confidence, as you can rest assured that you’re seeing the full, complete picture at any given moment.
“The ability to identify areas where there are opportunities to make purchases and push ourselves further into different buckets is a level of detail and visibility that is extremely powerful.”
Matt Freedman, Director of Finance, General Plumbing Supply
4. Enhanced reporting and forecasting
Timely and accurate data is the key to staying competitive and reports and forecasts all need to reflect the current reality and be accurate, to make the best deals possible. However, things can change in an instant and the time it takes to manually create a new report or conduct a forecast means the information is not always relevant.
By collecting, storing, and analyzing data in one centralized location, you can be sure you have access to a single source of truth and the visibility to act more strategically. That centralized data enables a business to access real-time information and generate more useful reports and forecasts.
5. Get information in real time
For too long, organizations have had to wait days, sometimes weeks, to have real time data in their hands. For too long, organizations have had to wait days, sometimes weeks, to have real time data in their hands. However, this is not the case anymore with a rebate management system that updates itself in real time. Your team can reduce unnecessary admin and immediately access the latest information about their deals without the need to search through emails, files and documents. This facilitates quicker and more informed decision-making and eliminates the chance of errors later on.
6. Improved deal performance
Within an organization, understanding the value and importance of how your deals are performing is key to meeting your objectives and goals. By measuring performance of your deals accurately you are saving the organizations from revenue loss and poor long-term growth.
Having all your data in one centralized rebate management system improves visibility of deal performance. Enabling you to spot trends, know the better performing product/service, know when you are close to hitting a rebate tier and also to understand where you’re lacking or where your strengths are. All this nformation is critical to enable you to take immediate action where needed.
7. Better team productivity
Rebate management software can give your team a boost in productivity. For instance, for those grappling with the administrative burden involved in managing rebates they can eliminate manual processes that are time-consuming and error-prone which eventually lower employee morale and expose the company to human error. Using a rebate management software removes the need for manual processes of such, freeing your employees from repetitive tasks o that they can focus on more important things like strategizing on growing the company and making better deals.
“Enable will drastically reduce the amount of training required and allow this process to be managed intuitively going forward.”
Scott Weir, VP of Purchasing, Thos. Somerville Co.
8. Increase profitability
Traditional methods of rebate management can eventually lead to missed rebates and poor accrual accounting. By being able to model all your deals accurately and gather data from disparate business systems, a rebate management system can tell you exactly what rebate to claim, when and from whom. Although rebate management software can be a big investment, adding to your bottom line is a compelling reason to invest in a powerful and unifying system.
“The rebate management system had a positive impact on cash flow. Payments were faster, and they could now track their own potential earnings and achieve higher growth levels and targets, meaning they could stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Amanda Barnard, Systems Coordinator, Unitas Wholesale
9. Maintain compliance
With all your deals, transactions and rebates held within a rebate management system, auditing is made easy. IFRS 15 is driving auditors to review not only the amounts that are accrued for rebate income, but the process behind the calculation. A rebate management system gives you complete transparency of all rebate earnings and drills down into the finer details of the data, so you can be fully compliant.
10. Integration capabilities
If you want to continue using your ERP or accounting system, you will find that our cloud-based rebate management system can easily integrate with either of them. This provides a single source of data for your company and allows data to flow between each system. For instance, you can use SFTP to automatically import transaction data from your ERP into Enable, and you can export data from our system using Enable APIs. If you want to find out more about how Enable can seamlessly integrate with your ERP download our guide.
Successful rebate management begins here
There is no shortage of advantages when choosing a rebate management system. The potential for totally streamlined processes and profitable growth over the long-term makes the benefits of implementing a rebate management system a worthwhile investment of time and resources.
Schedule a demo with Enable to learn how easy it is to implement our rebate management software and how we can help put you on the path to profitable growth.