With ever-more complex special pricing agreements being created in an already vast and competitive market, the ability to efficiently maintain pricing flexibility between manufacturers and distributors has become essential.
Both supplier and customer rebate have been prominent for many years. Their aim is incentivizing purchases and sales and protecting profit margins. A focus on rebate management has helped merchants, buying groups, wholesale distributors and retailers to drive mutually profitable growth with suppliers whilst improving cash flow and reducing risk.
US-based research has shown that alongside rebate agreements, manufacturers and distributors are increasingly collaborating around ‘special pricing agreements’, commonly abbreviated to SPAs, and often referred to as ‘contract support’ in the UK building materials sector.
By necessity, special pricing agreements are collaborative arrangements whereby manufacturers and distributors assist each other for mutual benefit. Initially these types of agreements entered the market to leverage scale, but they have since evolved into a more widespread tool used to grow sales and market share by allowing trading partners to work together in offering a more competitive price than their rivals.
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