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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.

The cost of forecasting errors when managing B2B deals

The Deal EconomyJuly 26, 2019

One of the single most important processes at any B2B company is forecasting, but for it to work you need accuracy, control and efficiency. An AccountingWEB survey in 2005 revealed that planning and forecasting are the processes that cause the most frustration (21%) but we know it doesn’t have to be that way. Most businesses need to evaluate their manual processes and put a better financial forecasting process in place for the future. We’re here to show you how. What is forecasting in business?...Continue reading

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

The Deal EconomyJuly 24, 2019

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 vs 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 construction material distributors feel...Continue reading

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

The Deal EconomyJuly 17, 2019

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 otherwise known as vendor 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 r...Continue reading

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

The Deal EconomyJuly 11, 2019

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

The Deal EconomyJuly 4, 2019

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 rebate management 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

The Deal EconomyJune 27, 2019

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

The Deal EconomyJune 21, 2019

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 value...Continue reading

Technology, humans and rebate management

The Deal EconomyJune 19, 2019

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

The Deal EconomyJune 17, 2019

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

The Deal EconomyMay 13, 2019

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

The Deal EconomyMay 9, 2019

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 realize 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

The Deal EconomyApril 30, 2019

Finance and accounting departments tend to rely on Excel spreadsheets to manage a growing business’s financial data because they know it, they understand it and old habits die hard. But human entry error is always a risk which we saw a few years ago when news about Excel miscalculations at JP Morgan rocked spreadsheet users’ worlds. A simple cut and paste excel error cost JP Morgan $6 billion and resulted in dramatic headlines like “Why Excel is the Most Dangerous Software in the World”, but it...Continue reading

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

The Deal EconomyApril 25, 2019

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.

7 min read

The rebate data cheat sheet: what are your supplier rebate accruals based on?

The Deal EconomyApril 11, 2019

Supplier rebate agreements are often based on the volume of purchases of particular products. This means that in order to accurately calculate the rebate that should be accrued or collected, and to minimize the chance of disputes with suppliers it is crucial that your rebate calculations are based on accurate data.

When choosing which data to use for your supplier rebate calculation, you will likely be considering the three following options. Unsurprisingly, each of these choices have advantages and disadvantages to consider depending on your internal systems, business processes and priorities.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the pros and cons.

5 min read

5 rebate challenges facing buying groups and their members

The Deal EconomyApril 4, 2019

Safety in numbers is the well-known hypothesis that, by being part of a large group, an individual can reduce their risks and is, therefore, more likely to succeed. In the same way, buying groups typically form to provide smaller independent companies greater buying power by consolidating their purchases. While this structure can be hugely beneficial, we’ve found that it usually adds complexity to the process of managing retrospective rebates.

Due to the number of members changing and volatility of small business, there can be a great variance in the purchase volume from time to time. This means that the buying group as a whole can often struggle to commit to consistent large purchasing volumes which reduces buying group negotiating power and will lead to suppliers offering lower discounts.

Rebates often enter the conversation as a mutually beneficial method, offering tiered discounts based on actual purchases. Whilst rebates are the best solution for this problem in the eyes of the buying group, supplier and buying group members, they create new challenges for all involved. This can lead to large amounts of time and energy — that could be better utilised elsewhere — being unnecessarily wasted.

Let’s dive in to the 5 rebate challenges that are faced by both buying groups and their members:

5 min read

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