Calculating and measuring the potential ROI of supplier rebates

Calculating and measuring the potential ROI of supplier rebates

One of the biggest challenges for companies when it comes to adopting new software is getting buy-in from the top. You know a rebate management system could dramatically improve revenue and growth but demonstrating the value – the return on investment (ROI) requires an extensive amount of information gathering.  

Should I make the transition at all? What are the alternative options? How do I know I am getting the best “bang for my buck?”. Before you fully commit to one, you must carefully weigh the benefits it can offer to your company. The best way to determine if you will be getting your money’s worth is to calculate return-on-investment (ROI).  

How does Enable calculate and measure ROI for supplier rebates?

As a starting point for ROI analysis our experts perform a calculation by identifying the customers current time spent on supplier rebate processes and feed in information such as rebate income, annual rebate deals, and average delay in collecting rebate. Now we have a rough estimate, we then take this initial information and translate it into potential ROI - we consider improvements in collecting all rebates, maximizing rebates, and pursuing and optimizing future deals.  

Over time, spent analyzing customers we have uncovered patterns and averages to help others managing supplier rebates determine the potential ROI that can be achieved with the Enable rebate cloud. Below are the findings.

Our ROI findings for those managing supplier rebates

When thinking about collecting rebates across all industries, Enable customers predicted they’d see an average of a 22% reduction in late payments and over 25% reduction in time spent dealing with late payments. Overall, we saw an average of 3 people working on tracking down late payments with over an hour being spent per deal. Even if you have 5 deals that require tracking down late payments, that’s a potential for over an hour saved per person that could be spent on more strategic rebate management.

One of the main struggles we see within the current rebate process is being able to accurately accrue and forecast without having to under accrue to stay on the safe side. After viewing the forecasting module within Enable, the average anticipated time savings in forecasting and accruing – not to mention an increase in accuracy and confidence in the numbers, is over 35%-. Previously, most of our customers were spending nearly 2.5 hours a week per FTE. That’s over a week’s worth of time saved in a month!  

Time savings are certainly important, but it’s not always as easy to quantify as pure numbers are. Although Caterforce told us that when a supplier collaborates with them via Enable, it saves the admin team 50% of their initial processing time for this specific supplier.

From our customers we also saw a potential average of .5% uplift in sales based on the visibility into true net-net margin with a 7.69% incremental net margin. Imagine your sales are already $100,000,000 – that’s an increase of $500,000 in sales and $38,450 in profit, just by using the reporting suite within Enable!  

These are just some of the ROI findings we found for overall averages in collecting supplier rebates across the board, but it’s worth pointing out some findings based on industry.

Building Materials Industry ROI

Managing several hundred deals and programs among hundreds of manufacturers is a common concern in the building materials industry. Without an easy way to maintain programs and perform calculations with a high level of confidence, some distributors simply don’t pursue rebate with manufacturers. Building materials distributors tell us that if it was easier to administer and track deals, they could agree to have on an additional 15% of non-rebated spend that currently brings in no rebate income to their organization.  

Electrical Industry ROI

The electrical industry experience higher averages than the overall supplier cohort in a couple different places. They see a potential for 27.84% reduction in late payments and 33% less time spent dealing with late payments. This frees up a third of time spent on late payments to be spent elsewhere! They also see an anticipated 32% time reduction spent on month end processes – nearly 25% higher than the overall supplier cohort (26%).  

Grocery/Food industry ROI

The grocery and food industry focuses heavily on saving time consuming and sharing rebate data compared to others. This includes everything from generating reports and sending those reports out to using the data to make business decisions. On average, the grocery industry has a median of 40% time savings spent sharing and consuming rebate data and while this industry has the smallest amount of staffing for this task (9 FTEs – 46% less than the overall average), they see the largest potential on average, for reduction in time spent (33.86% vs. 27.2% for all supplier rebate examples).  

Our customers are already maximizing ROI against supplier rebates  

Since 2016, Enable has used their leading rebate cloud and expertise to help dozens of purchasing, finance, and sales teams within the building materials, automotive, electrical, and grocery/food industries to maximize their supplier rebate programs.  

For example, General Plumbing Supply, was introduced to Enable shortly after realizing they were owed $500k in rebates that hadn’t been received. Now they are using Enable to align rebate structures to benefit both their vendors and themselves, and gain an extremely powerful level of detail and visibility. As a result, they have increased confidence in their finances, how to use their cash, and what investments to make.  

Similarly, Eriks tells us that Enable’s rebate management software has already paid for itself. During rebate settlements at the end of 2021, they disputed a rebate which landed them at a higher band and netted them an additional 200k.

“Since 2015, we've doubled our business. And we're projecting to do the same thing. And there's no way we could have done it without something like Enable”.  

Kerry Atlas, Netplus Alliance

What could your supplier rebates ROI look like?

Like our customers if you would like to save time, prevent late payments and improve your forecasting and accruals, Enable’s rebate cloud can support this and more.  

Starting internally, Enable helps better manage rebate complexity with automated real-time data and insights, accurate forecasting, and stronger cross-departmental alignment. This lets you — and everyone else in the business — know exactly where you are with rebates. Then it lets you extend externally, setting you and your partners up to use rebates as a strategy by giving you one collaborative place to author, agree upon, execute, and track the progress of your deals.

By fully understanding the ROI of your rebate software investment this will help you to:

  • Justify the software investment
  • Create quantifiable metrics to determine the return over time
  • Ensure you are able to clearly communicate ROI to your stakeholders

If you would like us to conduct an ROI calculator analysis that is specific to your organization, please reach out at We guarantee to identify areas for improvement, and you will see true ROI within the first year.

P.S. Supplier Rebate Correlations

While a great amount of time was spent calculating these averages, we also took it a step further and calculated some correlation factors among data points in our data sets to see if we could find any patterns. While correlation doesn’t imply causation, the patterns are interesting nonetheless and suggest potential relationships in how prospects are running their rebate programs and where particular improvements may have the most impact.  

Emily Breitbach

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