Build It Better

DCS Group implements Enable’s rebate management system to improve profitability

DCS Group (UK) is one of Europe’s largest distributors of health and beauty products. Founded in 1994, the company has experienced phenomenal growth under the entrepreneurial leadership of Denys Shortt OBE. The company employs 445 people and partners with globally recognised brands such as P&G, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, SC Johnson, Osram and PZ Cussons to distribute their bestselling brands for consumers through a number of key channels including Convenience, Cash & Carry, Discount, DIY, High Street, Online and more.

DCS Group also owns and manufactures the international Enliven range of health and beauty products, and in 2018 also won a large contract with J&J to create a new Pharmacy division supplying chemists throughout the UK. DCS have a contract manufacturing plant in Redditch and their headquarters is now located in Banbury.

DSC Group statistics:

  • £267 million annual sales
  • 445 employees
  • 50,000 retailers supplied through 300 wholesale delivery points
  • Exporting to 70 countries worldwide

The business challenge

As the UK’s largest distributor of toiletries and household products, carefully negotiated rebates and retrospective discounts play a crucial role in the successful and profitable running of DCS Group.

Complex retrospective payment deals are applicable across all product lines, varying from supplier to supplier. As a result, tracking and realizing the revenue from such deals can be a difficult task, yet crucial to the profitable running of this highly successful and innovative business. Using spreadsheets to track all these deals posed an increasing risk of lost revenue and disruption to valued suppliers.

DCS believed that automating the procedure would enhance its business model and ensure the maximum possible income could be generated from each supplier deal. With a central, automated system DCS would be able to reduce risk, manage contracts more effectively and invoice more quickly. In many ways it was a no-brainer for the leading distributor.

The rebate management solution

DCS needed to find a solution that could automate the generation of invoices to suppliers for the retrospective payments (along with supporting transaction information) and ensure the maximum possible income from each retrospective discount agreement.

As DCS’ core business system was unable to handle the complexity of these retrospective discounts, Enable’s experience made them the natural choice to create a solution to address this vital area.

The subsequent rebate management solution provided DCS group with automated billing of all retrospective payment claims, as well as verification and approval of profit margins across all sales order lines based on the agreed retrospective discounts in place to support those sales.

The results

The business outcomes of implementing the rebate management system has been significant, measurable and wide-ranging. An industry pioneer, DCS recognises that efficient rebates and overriders processes make the difference between just ‘making do’ and making profit.

Key statistics:

  • 5,000 invoices with a total eight figure value raised in one year;
  • More than £1 million in accelerated cash flow due to time saved in data extraction and quicker invoice creation;
  • Tens of £1,000s saved in bank interest each year;
  • As much as 10 times the opportunities for DCS to buy and turnover stock each year;
  • Administration time reduced by two weeks out of every month.

In the client’s words

“Automation of the system has certainly catapulted DCS into a league of its own when it comes to rebates. The new Enable system provides profitability reporting to ensure complete transparency across the company and, with a warning model, any deals sold below cost are flagged up immediately. Everything is checked by the system eliminating risk and, as it updates overnight, invoices are automatically generated and ready to email out to suppliers the following morning”.

“The flexibility of the system is such that it will also continue to grow with the company as numerous variables can be added over time.” — Denys Shortt OBE — Founder and CEO at DCS Group (UK) Ltd