We recently held our first Eat and Learn webinar. In this interactive session, we discussed the best practices for handling supplier & customer rebates, how to improve cross-functional collaboration, why digital transformation is more imperative than ever, and the benefits of implementing a scalable rebate management solution.

The speakers included:

Bob Gay, Rebate & Incentive Program Specialist at Advance Auto Parts

Mark Gilham, Finance Director at Grafton GB

Nick Rose, CFO at Enable and former Finance & Program Director at Travis Perkins

Key learnings:

  • AAP came to Enable because the tracking of their multitude of customer programs, incentives and discounts were kept manually in Excel spreadsheets. Bob was told there wasn’t a company or system who could handle these type of rebates in this quantity and this type of complexity. When he started on this software discovery journey AAP first looked at ERP systems but Enable rose to the top very quickly.
  • Grafton were in a very similar situation, the data become hard to manage in spreadsheets, they become corrupt and were constantly crashing. There were many cases of errors in their rebate calculations and there was nothing worse than a customer asking for their payment and not being able to find it. Mark came in as Finance Director, they had two options look for dedicated rebate software or go down the ERP route.
  • The limitations of using an ERP system is that it is difficult to retrospectively calculate a transaction that has already happened. There are a lot of systems that can’t pre-date a payment, you don’t want to have to pull the data out of this system manually in order to calculate. Implementation of an EPR can also be challenging, it requires a large team and a lot of resources, it can overrun and become expensive. Whereas Enable can be implemented in less than 8 weeks!
  • Their advice is to make sure the software solution you choose can tick all your boxes from day one. With Enable you can have the whole solution and we truly understand rebates and the purpose of them. Find someone who will listen to you and who has the flexibility to deal with a lot of situations.
  • The world of rebates can get very complicated quickly. The focus of getting your rebates right is so important, otherwise you could end up in profit warning territory.
  • When everything is on a spreadsheet you can’t show that to a customer, at one point AAP were producing 16 spreadsheets to pay their customers at every single quarter. Figuring out a way to digitalize that to show a customer whether it’s through sales or a web portal was almost impossible. Enable will allow AAP to do this.
  • In 2014, UK supermarket Tesco overstated it profits by £250m after revenue recognition irregularities were spotted in its half year results. This provided a business case for Grafton to review their processes and the need to have robust controls over their rebate management.

Click below to watch the webinar in full.