When it comes to managing B2B rebates, collaboration is key. Yet far too many businesses that offer rebate programs lack a centralized source of truth for their data, resulting in weaker trading relationships and less trustworthy data. For businesses looking to develop and maintain effective strategic partnerships, centralizing your rebate data in a shared location is becoming increasingly important. As cloud technology and automation reshape the rebate management process, this level of transparency may soon become a standard industry expectation.
Businesses that establish a single source of truth for their data enjoy many benefits of efficient and streamlined collaboration, including:
Avoid Conflict, Confusion and Delays
An essential part of developing and maintaining strong trading relationships is building them upon strong foundations of trust and efficiency. You need a process that prevents conflict, confusion, delays and other troubles that can diminish the value of your partnership.
The root cause of many problems plaguing modern trading partners – whether that be ineffective communication, conflicting claims or confusion surrounding critical data – can be traced back to inefficient manual processes that lack transparency and obstruct communication.
Establishing a centralized source of truth for your data can sweep away many of the ambiguities, blind spots and impediments that clutter and clog your collaborative processes. When you and your trading partners work from the same set of data, your communication is streamlined, conflicts and confusion are minimal and your shared pool of data is made more trustworthy through mutual and continuous review.
Strengthen Trading Relationships with Data Transparency
Transparency and collaboration are critical to maintaining trust in a trading relationship. A lack of visibility into rebate data or delays in data-sharing can result in your partners feeling distant from or distrustful of your processes. One way to remove this friction is to keep your data in a centralized collaborative system, providing your trading partners visibility into performance and transaction data.
Simply put, trading partners feel better when they don’t have to take you at your word. Allowing them to see for themselves the state of their payments or the performance of their deals is the best way to maintain your partners’ trust in your data.
Accrue With Confidence
When your accruals are based on separate sets of siloed data, it’s only a matter of time before something doesn’t add up. Accruals based on inaccurate data can spell disaster if left unchecked or in the unfortunate event of an audit. Establishing a single source of truth with your trading partners ensures that you’re both working from a trustworthy set of shared data, giving you renewed confidence in your accruals.
Prevent Costly Human Errors
Spreadsheets are excellent tools for some tasks, but they simply weren’t built to manage the complexity and sheer volume of rebate data. Humans can spend hours entering data by hand, only to realize that a single error has rendered their work invalid. If a team is lucky enough to catch the issue immediately, they must then spend several more hours tracking down and resolving the error. If they’re unlucky, the error will remain hidden until month- or year-end, when it can affect the accuracy of their claims and accruals or cause major problems when an audit rolls around.
A shared source of truth can help both sides find and resolve errors before they become significant problems for your businesses. But even centralizing your data may not prevent every possible error. However, it can make it much easier and faster for your team to find exactly where things went wrong and resolve the issue.
Some collaborative solutions prevent errors by taking humans out of the equation. Enable’s Collaborator platform automates key stages of the rebate management and analysis process, allowing your team to focus on what it does best.
Maintain a Clear Audit Trail
In the event of an audit, it’s critical to ensure all your ducks are in a row. You need clear, comprehensive data to support your claims; any ambiguity on your part will only serve to make the audit process more trouble than necessary. When data is spread out and siloed between companies, the difficulty of acquiring information you need can drag the process out far longer than anyone would like it to.
With Enable’s Collaborator solution, all your rebate data is easily accessible within the platform, facilitating a more efficient and pain-free audit process. While audits can be a stressful time, Collaborator’s clear audit trail and comprehensive activity log can help your team ensure that you’re covered.
Establishing a Single Source of Truth with Collaborator
Working from the same set of data keeps trading partners aligned on the path to mutual success instead of warring between distant silos. Fortunately, automated systems – such as Enable’s Collaborator platform – can facilitate effective collaboration that builds trust between trading partners where outdated and opaque processes so often break it. With Collaborator, you and your trading partners can rest easy knowing that your data is always in alignment.
The Collaborator platform was built to support streamlined collaboration between trading partners. Read our blog to learn more about how it works.