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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.

Volume incentive rebate examples

In our experience with businesses managing complex rebate agreements, we have come across multiple different styles of rebate deals. Some of these deals are rather self-explanatory, such as a fixed monetary amount or a fixed percentage of total turnover over the term of the deal.

However, as the area of rebate grew, rebate agreements became more complex and specific in order to provide maximum benefit for everyone involved. Why get a low rebate rate on all products (some of which you may never stock!) when you can negotiate a higher rebate rate on one of your most traded products?


Incentive rebates explained

What are they?

Incentive rebates are used to encourage purchases across a specified group of products. The incentive offered by the manufacturer or supplier means that the more you trade with this partner over the course of the deal, the better the rebate rates you receive. This helps to promote loyalty with certain trading partners and protects the supplier from the risk of their trading partners engaging with the competitors about similar products.

6 min read

Why customer rebates are the best thing (for customer success) since sliced bread

There are two sides to the customer rebate story: the customers’ side where, historically, retailers and distributors have not always been paid the full value of the rebates they should have received; and the manufacturers’ side (those who offer the incentives in the first place). When the old enmities are laid to rest, though, customer rebates can be the best thing since sliced bread for customer success. Customer rebates have a bad reputation In the past, those giving away rebates were accus...Continue reading

The cost of hidden errors in financial forecasting for B2B deals (webinar)

Most businesses have a process in place for forecasting for the future. Forecasting, commonly defined as “the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and most commonly by analysis of trends”, is about being able to account correctly for earnings throughout the year. This may be an informal process — such as when an individual estimates the future using their experience or gut instinct, or a more formal process using tools such as Excel / other systems. Either...Continue reading

Collaborative deal management — a new source of profit for construction distributors

Strategic collaboration with manufacturers could be a huge driver of revenue and profit for construction-industry distributors. So why have so many given up on trying to make it work? The supplier-distributor relationship in building and construction is at a tipping point. The rise of Amazon has meant customers can buy building materials and fittings direct from the manufacturer, freezing out the middleman. That’s led to quite a bit of bad blood, with distributors feeling betrayed by suppliers...Continue reading

The supplier rebate model is broken, and it’s costing distributors

Supplier rebate deals should be a win-win, benefiting manufacturers and distributors alike. But too often they lead to distributors losing revenue, and suppliers losing trust… Supplier rebates make great business sense. They build on the common goals of manufacturers and distributors, to provide mutual benefits — manufacturers gain extra sales and customer loyalty, while distributors enjoy lower costs. At least, that’s how it should work. In practice, things rarely run so smoothly. Most distri...Continue reading

Checklist — five things to look for in a rebate management system

While spreadsheets are undeniably easy to use, widely available and highly adaptable much has been written about the danger of using them in contexts where there is just too much information, or where that information is too important to risk to human error. A prime candidate is the case of rebates: both customer rebates and supplier rebates, where even the smallest error can result in losses of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since spreadsheets are so easy to use it is also easy to ma...Continue reading

Pricing strategies — our analysis of the top 7 types of rebate deals

In our dealings with businesses who have to manage complex rebate deals we have come across over 300 different types of deal… and we’ve mapped all of those options into our DealTrack software.

Whilst it is important to have all those deal types to give ultimate flexibility, we thought it would be fun to share our round-up of the top 7 most popular types of rebate deals. Ready?


Types of rebate deals

1 — Product launches

When introducing new products, it is common to link spend on the new range to discounts on regular purchases.

7 min read

From a game of telephone to the tower of babel — translating deal management for sales, commercial and finance teams

When it is done well, customer rebate management improves partner relationships, provides financial compliance and reduces audit risk, eases cash flow for customers, improves rebate accuracy and predictability and helps grow business through true partnerships between manufacturers and their customers. In the past: managing customer rebates was like playing telephone Unfortunately, in the past, managing customer rebates internally — never mind with external partners — was more like a game of t...Continue reading

Why customer rebates are like buying cups of coffee

It may seem overly simplistic to associate the complex nature of financial accounting with a cup of coffee, but when it comes to customer rebate management this analogy makes intuitive sense for anyone who has ever tried to get a free cup of the caffeine-laced beverage. Rebates vs. discounts Rebates are similar to a discount. So what’s the difference between them? Discounts are typically applied at the point of purchase to reduce the buying price: when you get a bill you pay the discounted valu...Continue reading

Technology, humans and rebate management

When it comes to modernizing business practices, technology in general and software in particular is essential for business growth. How are manufacturers and suppliers who deal with millions of dollars’ worth of customer rebates each month adapting to the challenges faced by a historic lack of suitable software? Andy James, Chief Product Officer at Enable, shared a few stories about how their clients have changed for the better and what drove their decisions. Essentially, for two of our largest...Continue reading

Rebate management explained

Rebate management is the process of recording supplier agreements, tracking purchases and sales against those agreements, and managing accruals and rebate claims in a timely manner.

Proper rebate management can be a headache for any business, regardless of the scale of their rebate programs. Often, whole teams are dedicated to using legacy systems to follow inefficient processes, reducing productivity and negating the intended benefit of the rebate agreements commercial teams have negotiated brilliant terms for.

For small to medium businesses, rebate can make up the majority of their profit and for large businesses even a small improvement in process can lead to the discovery of millions of pounds, therefore it’s essential for any company who are regularly involved in rebate to scrutinise their current rebate management process and consistently strive to improve.

8 min read

The trials and tribulations of a customer rebate program

Customer rebate programs are great in that they drive the selling behavior of resellers and distributors on more than ten trillion dollars in North America and Europe alone. The large volume of money attributed to customer rebate programs is hardly surprising since they include everything from simple rebates to marketing development funds (MDFs), co-op funds and special pricing agreements (SPAs). However, rebate accounting is complicated, and managing customer rebates programs can be a signific...Continue reading

3 ways rebate software can help to increase the profitability of your business

For any business to be successful, it’s vital that a profit is made enabling continued success and to provide opportunities for growth and development. But, making a profit isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Once all the necessary expenses and costs have been paid out, its then essential enough sales have been made just to break even, let alone have anything extra to realise a company’s ambitions.

Although this can be extremely challenging at times, it’s also possible to increase the profitability of your business by spotting opportunities. Collecting rebate agreements on time, consistently and accurately could be one of these opportunities. Rebate management is the process of recording supplier agreements, tracking purchases and sales against those agreements, and managing accruals and rebate claims in a timely manner.

5 min read

Excel errors — why spreadsheets are so dangerous for rebate accounting

A few years ago news about Excel miscalculations at JP Morgan rocked spreadsheet users’ worlds. A simple cut and paste error cost JP Morgan $6 billion and resulted in dramatic headlines like “Why Excel is the Most Dangerous Software in the World”, but it wasn’t the first time spreadsheets had caused massive business disruption, nor will it be the last. A similar cut and paste error had previously cost TransAlta $24 million and another Excel mishap — hiding cells instead of deleting them — cost...Continue reading

Forecasting rebates? Here’s 4 challenges you may come across.

Whatever industry you are involved in, forecasting the potential earnings for your business is essential in preparing for the ups and downs of the year ahead. But how do you make decisions about your budget, such as how many employees you can afford to hire or how much you can spend on marketing if you don’t know how much revenue and profit you’ll be generating?

Accurate forecasting and accurate accruals are vital to success within your business to ensure that you are aware of what the future is likely to hold so that you can appropriately allocate resources to assist in key areas. For many businesses, forecasting is not a focus and even for those that make a point to forecast their future, various challenges can limit the accuracy and benefit of these forecasts.

With this in mind, let’s dive in to the four common challenges of forecasting rebates.

Rebate forecasting challenges

  1. Many in-house forecasts are too basic.
  2. Renegotiating the best deals in the future.
  3. Forecasting is too manual.
  4. Forecasts are not updated throughout the deal.

Challenge #1: Many in-house forecasts are too basic

Often, in-house systems forecast earnings or payments by a simple linear extrapolation based on qualifying spend for a particular deal to date until the end of the deal.

7 min read

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