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The Deal Economy

Our products drive profitable growth with your trading partners. We’re rethinking the way the deal economy works.

Customer rebate management explained

The Deal EconomyWednesday

Rebates: the way that product-based businesses incentivize their customers to buy more of their goods, are complicated. While much information is available about supplier rebates and the ways in which suppliers can claim as much of their rebates as they are entitled to, less has been written about customer rebates: the other side of the story. Benefits for both distributors and resellers At Enable we believe that when both parties value collaboration and open working, they understand that full...Continue reading

What are volume discounts?

The Deal EconomyNovember 7

A volume discount is a change to the cost of a product based on the quantity of that product traded with your trading partner. Typically, volume discounts are paid retrospectively so sit under the wider banner of rebate, although sometimes these volume discounts can be up front.

This potential retrospectivity often depends on whether different discounts apply to incremental tiers of volumes traded with a specific trading partner throughout the course of the year, meaning that you are unsure of the value of the discount until the year end.

Volume discounts are often used by suppliers to incentivize greater purchase volumes and are available due to the advantages brought about by economies of scale. This has the side effect of increasing the suppliers market share and presence in the marketplace because increasing quantities of their products are being traded.

8 min read

7 ways to grow your building materials business using rebate

The Deal EconomyOctober 31

Growth in many businesses can essentially be boiled down to smart purchasing and profitable selling. The building materials sector is a prime example of this.

Of course, superficially, purchasing smart and selling profitably should be relatively easy. However, the way deals are agreed between suppliers and merchants in the building materials sector make this more exponentially more difficult!


The status quo

What we’ve seen in the building materials industry

Manufacturers of building materials supplies regularly use rebates as a mechanism of maintaining their stated price, but incentivizing trading partners to purchase in higher volumes in order to get a retrospective discount.

9 min read

Are building and construction distributors missing a growth opportunity?

The Deal EconomyOctober 30

In a slow-growth market, many building industry distributors are seeking new paths to profit. A more strategic approach to supplier trading agreements can help. Glance at the modest growth projections for the U.S. building and construction industry, and you could be forgiven for thinking distributors might struggle to achieve stellar performance. But as always, the headline figures don’t tell the whole story. Many distributors are finding ways to grow despite the sluggish market, from developin...Continue reading

Rebate horror stories — a Halloween special

The Deal EconomyOctober 28

Will your rebate accounting come back to haunt you? Settle down around our campfire, and we’ll share some cautionary tales… It’s a chilly October evening. You’re sitting alone in your kitchen, reading your favorite industry blog. Then, with a startling suddenness, your phone begins to ring. You answer and a stranger’s voice says your name. Then, they tell you where they’re calling from. Your blood runs cold. It’s not a masked killer, hiding inside your cupboard. It’s much worse. It’s Martha cal...Continue reading

How to manage B2B customer rebates — a guide for vendors

The Deal EconomyOctober 24

Well-managed customer rebate programs are extremely valuable. They can help your business win the loyalty of distributors and buying groups, while driving mutual, strategic growth. Whether you’re new to the world of B2B customer rebates, or you’re an old hand looking to maximize the value of multiple customer rebate programs—you’re in the right place. Use the links below to leap to the topic you’re most interested in. What are B2B customer rebates? Why are these trade agreements so popular? Wh...Continue reading

Regain control of your supplier rebates and maximize your rebate revenue

The Deal EconomyOctober 22

Supplier rebates should lower your costs, while helping you form lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the businesses you buy from. But managing rebates from suppliers can be such an administrative headache that firms rarely realize the full value of these programs—and 4% of potential rebate revenue goes unclaimed each year. We’ve created this page to help you understand supplier rebates and make sure you’re claiming every dollar of rebate revenue you can. Just jump to the topics you’...Continue reading

Enable gives MKM Building Supplies the power of trust

The Deal EconomyOctober 17

When your branches are owner-occupied and every penny matters, how do you know which product lines are profitable or not? That’s why MKM turned to Enable: to gain better visibility, faster, and improve trust with their branch owners.

Founded in 1995, MKM Building Supplies Ltd distributes construction materials through branches across the United Kingdom. The leading independent builder’s merchant in the UK was started by an entrepreneur who took a leap of faith after having been made redundant at the age of 50.

Since then, the organization has grown by hand-picking branch directors with strong customer relationships and local knowledge. Branches are run by owner-managers with a 25% equity share in their branches and the organization operates with a very entrepreneurial mindset.

Continue reading

Rebate management jargon buster — an A to Z of helpful definitions and terminology

The Deal EconomyOctober 16

If you’ve ever been confused about terminology relating to rebate management, you’re not alone! The world of rebates is a complicated place at the best of times, especially when there can be multiple different names for the same thing. This jargon buster, glossary of terms, or A-Z of helpful definitions relating to rebates was created by Enable to help its customers — and those involved in the rebate management process at any point — gain greater clarity and understanding. It is not a complete...Continue reading

LMC implements DealTrack to track and report on complex rebates

The Deal EconomyOctober 16

Buying group will gain full visibility of rebate agreements with thousands of suppliers San Francisco, CA — Oct 16, 2019: Enable International Inc., the leader in cloud-based B2B deal management software, today announced that Wayne, PA-based Lumbermen’s Merchandising Corporation (LMC) has chosen Enable’s DealTrack software to allow tracking and reporting of rebate agreements, providing greater visibility of this key revenue source. LMC is a buying group owned by 380+ independent lumber and bu...Continue reading

What are customer rebates?

The Deal EconomyOctober 10

Rebate agreements come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your specific trading partners you may only be aware of a fraction of these or you may be deep in the detail of each and every one — from the simplest to the most complex.

With this myriad of rebate agreements, there is often a lack of consensus around terminology and processes. Some of this is down to individual businesses being unique and having their own internal deviations, but some can be down to misunderstanding the difference between vendor and customer rebate.

The distinction between the two types of rebate is vital if you happen to be involved in both, but due to the subtlety, many people involved in rebate may be unaware that rebate can be classified into these two forms.

7 min read

What are distributor rebates, and how can they can help forge stronger relationships?

The Deal EconomySeptember 26

Distributor rebate agreements have been a staple of many large industries for decades, but are rarely understood by people outside of the few who operate deep in the detail. Whilst it’s hard to pinpoint where the invention of the rebate concept began, it’s easy to see the impact that this has had on trade throughout some of the most vital industries around the globe.

For example, electrical distributors report that up to 60% of their bottom line relates to rebate.


Stronger relationships

High stakes: rebates can be the difference between profit and loss

Whatever your interests as a business, incentivizing growth of sales or purchases and promoting loyalty are essential to successful long-term operation. This is where rebate proves to be the most invaluable tool imaginable.

7 min read

Customer rebates vs. supplier rebates — what you need to know

The Deal EconomySeptember 25

When it comes to rebates there are two sides of the story: customer rebates and supplier rebates. How to differentiate the two can cause confusion. So, to explain the difference between customer and supplier rebates we will take a different approach and think of them like a tango, rather than a war. What are customer rebates? Customer rebates is a term applied to the business process where a company is managing the rebate liabilities they have out to their customers: rebate monies they’re going...Continue reading

Enable appoints Nick Rose as Chief Financial Officer

The Deal EconomySeptember 25

Former Travis Perkins finance transformation director; Nick Rose joins the Enable team to help drive ambitious expansion plans. Enable International Inc., the leader in cloud-based B2B deal management software, today announced that Nick Rose has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer to help drive the company's rapid expansion. Rose joins Enable from U.K.-based building materials wholesaler Travis Perkins plc, where he spent 16 years in a range of finance director and transformation pro...Continue reading

What are market development funds (MDFs)?

The Deal EconomySeptember 12

Market development funds (MDFs) — sometimes referred to as ‘marketing development funds’ — are funds made available by the manufacturer to pay for marketing activities carried out by the vendor. Typically, this is to support the promotion of a new product or brand.


The basics

The timing of payments

Claims against MDFs usually come in the form of volume incentive rebates or retrospective fixed amount payments so should be included in your rebate management process. However, it is not uncommon for some MDFs to be paid at the beginning of the agreement due to the cash flow considerations from the vendors perspective.

7 min read

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