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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 EconomyNovember 13, 2019

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

11 ways to improve your rebate accounting processes

The Deal EconomyNovember 13, 2019

The complexities involved in managing complex trade agreements and rebate accounting and retrospective discount payments are often difficult to model in manual systems such as spreadsheets and basic accounting software or rely on their suppliers to make the calculations. Organisations opting to calculate, forecast and accrue rebate income in this way leave themselves at risk of inaccuracies, missed opportunities and supplier disputes.To improve upon your current rebate management system, it’s ne...Continue reading

What are volume discounts?

The Deal EconomyNovember 7, 2019

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

How to grow your business in the building materials industry using rebate

The Deal EconomyOctober 31, 2019

Growth in many businesses can essentially be boiled down to smart purchasing and profitable selling. The building materials industry 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 industry make this more exponentially more difficult!


The status quo

What we’ve seen in the building materials industry

Manufacturers in the building materials industry 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.

10 min read

Are building and construction distributors missing a growth opportunity?

The Deal EconomyOctober 30, 2019

In a slow-growth market, many building and construction 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 building and construction distributors might struggle to achieve stellar performance. But as always, the headline figures don’t tell the whole story. Many building and construction distributors are find...Continue reading

Rebate horror stories — a Halloween special

The Deal EconomyOctober 28, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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 (also known as vendor rebates) and make sure you’re claiming every dollar of rebate revenue you ca...Continue reading

Rebate management jargon buster — An A-Z of helpful definitions and terminology

The Deal EconomyOctober 16, 2019

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 rebate definitions was created by Enable to help its customers — and those involved in the rebate management process at any point — gain greater clarity and understanding of what are rebates. It is not a...Continue reading

What are customer rebates?

The Deal EconomyOctober 10, 2019

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, 2019

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

What are market development funds (MDFs)?

The Deal EconomySeptember 12, 2019

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

Tailored simplicity — four ways Enable makes importing rebate data easy

The Deal EconomyAugust 29, 2019

When things are done well, no-one questions what happens behind the scenes. Tailored simplicity — that’s how we work, at Enable. However, the problem with simplicity is that when it’s done well, like a magic trick, people want to know how it was done. So we thought we’d raise the curtain to show you what’s really going on behind the scenes and why it’s so easy to importing data with DealTrack — our rebate management system. 1. Tailored simplicityYour business operations are structured uniquely;...Continue reading

What are back-end rebates (BERs) and back-end credits (BECs)?

The Deal EconomyAugust 29, 2019

Many industries around the world have complex pricing practices. These tend to become more and more complex as the industry becomes more and more competitive. Many creative programs have been created by businesses and their trading partners in order to provide maximum benefit to both parties involved and improve their competitiveness in the market place.

One solution to allow for trading partners to become more competitive and gain market share is back-end rebate or BECs. There are many examples of variables in these agreements, with some based on growth over a certain specified period, volume of product, value of product, certain locations or even a specific SKUs!

Sadly, we don’t have time to cover them all here, but examples of rebate agreements have been covered in detail in another of our blog articles.

6 min read

How distributors manage ‘ship and debit’ rebate agreements

The Deal EconomyAugust 22, 2019

How distributors manage ‘ship and debit’ rebate agreements

What are ‘ship and debit’ agreements?

Ship and debit is the term for an agreement between suppliers and distributors where specific products are distributed (shipped) to customers at a lower price than usual. The difference in price is then claimed (debited) from the supplier to protect distributor margins.

A ship and debit agreement enables suppliers to sell their goods at a uniform price, while distributors can react to local market conditions and lower the price they use to sell to customers without the risk of losing their profit margin. Once the sale is made, distributors can debit the supplier who usually credit the amount back as a rebate.

An example

Ship and debit is widely used in the technology and electrical supplies sector. If an OEM sells laptops at $1000 and has agreed a $100 rebate for every unit sold, the distributor will pay $1000 per laptop to bring them into stock, and for every unit shipped, they will debit the OEM $100. In other words, they will claim $100 back from their supplier.

7 min read

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