At Enable, we’re pioneering a software category to help our customers succeed with rebate management in a way that enables them to better serve their customers while also accelerating profitable growth. We have already seen many of our existing customers be successful and transform their rebate management processes, here they tell us the reasons why they chose Enable.
United Aqua Group were excited about the prospect of having calculations made automatically and having data flow automatically and regularly into Enable. Scott Ferguson, Vice-President, UAG says “Enable has a lot of capabilities. Therefore, there is a lot to it. There’s a lot of substance there. Once we worked with the Enable team to get all of the programs or trading programs set up. We saw that everything was calculating the way we expected. We realized that we had achieved what we wanted to achieve.”
We have seen time and time again how poorly managing the rebates process can also have a calamitous impact on a company’s internal resources. In the early days at Grafton, Mark Gilham says, “It required three employees three days to calculate our rebate earnings on a monthly basis. In addition to being a complicated, monotonous, and highly repetitive task, the sheer volume of transactional data involved often caused the company’s spreadsheets to crash, wasting many hours having to re-prepare the same reports.”
He continues, “A cloud-based rebate management solution can significantly reduce the risk of both internal finger-pointing and external disputes over contract terms and conditions, so that parties spend less time arguing with partners and more time improving the business”.
Centralized deal repository
Equally as time-consuming as using spreadsheets is the task of sifting through the terms and conditions of hundreds of rebates agreements. With Enable everything is centralized. Scott Weir, Vice President of Purchasing for Thos. Somerville Co. says “In the past, some manufacturers didn’t do a very good job of documenting how much money they owed us, to rectify the situation, our accounting team often spent hours chasing manufacturers for payments and critical information—a tedious task complicated by high turnover, outdated contact information, and constantly evolving rebate programs”.
No more reliance on spreadsheets
According to Scott Ferguson of United Aqua Group, employees can now process rebates 90% faster than when they relied on traditional spreadsheets. “If the vendor remembered, they’d send a spreadsheet with their version of the calculations, then we would have our spreadsheet with our version of the calculations. There would be a reconciliation attempt with plenty of back and forth and time delays before working matters out.”
However, with an automated system, Ferguson says “there’s been a dramatic simplification in the entire process of managing and tracking rebates, a huge gain in efficiencies, and a massive reduction in email messages. I’m also certain we’ve eliminated a multitude of errors and misunderstandings between our data and the vendors’ data.”
One version of the truth
Charlotte Clay, Commercial Finance Manager at DCS says, “Having one central spreadsheet made it hard for other teams across the business to access. Since we’ve had a rebate management tool, we’ve found visibility and accessibility across multiple teams, whether that be the commercial sales, finance teams, has improved a lot and we’re all looking at that one set of data. Also, now we don’t have to worry about version control, allowing a focus on using real time data to make great decisions.”
With a built in collaboration portal there is no more searching around for the latest version of your agreements and sending endless emails to your trading partners. All communication and contracts are stored in one place for all members of your team to access.
Mark Gilham, Grafton Group says “Automating our rebate management has brought procurement and finance teams closer together, enabling them to work from the same system with one master list of contracts. Senior-level executives can also play a more significant role in the process as our contracts are subjected to a dynamic approval workflow in which the more important contracts are automatically escalated to those higher up in the organization for approval, this has allowed directors to become involved in the approval process without a flurry of emails”.
Shawn Hulshof, Vice President of Category Management at Wolseley Canada says that “Enable allows our teams and our vendor partners to leverage a shared digital workspace. Having that one platform where we can manage documents and agreements in one space is fantastic. There’s no more scanning, there’s no more multiple emails, it’s all within one area. By using Enable’s workflow management, we know exactly where our agreements are at, at any given time and so do our partners”.
Negotiate better deals
Kerry Atlas, VP of Operations and Finance, Netplus Alliance “Enable does expand the possibility of being able to negotiate better and deeper deals. It’s something that I think is a necessity, especially from a financing perspective. From a negotiation perspective, as I mentioned before, we’re able to expand the depth and the breadth of our programs. This allows us to be more creative in our negotiation, returning more back to our distributors because we’re not leaving anything on the table.
Shawn Hulshof, Vice President of Category Management at Wolseley Canada says “I was pleasantly surprised with the Enable platform. I found that it is incredibly user-friendly, it offers a well-defined interface. Having dealt with rebates, vendor and supplier programs for many years, I actually didn’t expect the user interface to be as great as it is. I expected something a little more rugged. It’s incredibly intuitive for the users which makes the task of managing rebates just that much better. To have everything contained in one centralized deal repository, creating one single source of the truth, that to me is one of the biggest benefits”.
Providing easy access to real-time data on everything from contract terms to program targets can drive partner behavior, incentivizing distributors and retailers alike to purchase larger volumes of product, thereby maximizing their return on rebates. It’s a strategy employed by Advance Auto Parts, who now has clear visibility of its rebate agreements.
Bob Gay, Manager of Customer Profitability and Rebates, says “Local coffee shops do a great job of showing how many points we’ve accumulated and when our next cup of coffee is free, but when you’re talking about millions and millions of dollars in purchases, and millions of product stock keeping units, customers can become easily overwhelmed with data.”
“By centralizing this information and making it available to partners in easy-to-digest reports, our organization can drive decisions where customers obtain products, how quickly they obtain them, and the assurance they are paid both timely and accurately.”
Ability to manage complex rebates
The more rebate programs organizations have, the more complex and unwieldly they can become. Enable allows you to manage that complexity with ease.
Kerry Camp, Credit Manager, Balford says, “We have a lot of hierarchy with our products and our customers, and that’s the problem which our ERP can’t handle. We totally depend on that for our products and for our customers. That’s why Enable was perfect because it can deal with this complexity. If we stuck with a manual solution, it would make my job 10 times longer than it currently is!”
Matt, Director of Finance, General Plumbing Supply explains, “The ability to forecast your rebates is an extremely powerful tool. I’d say, especially for smaller businesses, that perhaps were harmed by COVID. Being able to track your rebates, know the earnings power of your business, know if there’s any rebates that you’re owed that you aren’t being paid makes such a difference. It’s going to allow us to feel that much more confident about where we’re going to be in six months, how we can use our cash and what investments we can make. If times get tough, we can look at what levers we can pull and how that impacts the earnings power and the cash for our business. The visibility we now have is a major advantage that we did not have before Enable.”