For buyers and sellers to drive profitability across the supply chain, efficiency and accuracy are paramount, especially when it comes to rebate management tasks like rebate claims. Manual processes, often characterized by time-consuming spreadsheets and never-ending email threads, not only eat up precious resources but can also introduce a myriad of potential errors. In this article, we delve deep into the challenges of a manual claim management process and highlight the transformative benefits that come with streamlining this crucial process.
Challenges with the Manual Process of Claims
The process of settling rebate claims can be quite time-consuming, encompassing many steps. Due to the complexity of this process, delays, disputes, inaccuracies, and even missed claims are common challenges that may arise.
To actually make a rebate claim, someone needs to keep tabs on which programs need payments and how much has already been claimed. Usually, people use a variety of spreadsheets for this. Once you've figured out the right amount to claim, you can start preparing the paperwork. If you need to show this paperwork to the supplier beforehand to get their approval on the final amount, you often have to tweak the documents to fit their specific format.
These claim documents are often sent through email or uploaded to a portal. The supplier might have questions or point out issues before giving the green light to the final claim amount. If all these conversations are scattered in different emails, it's a bit of a headache to keep track of what was agreed upon.
Once everything's settled, that final amount is what you send over to the finance team. But since all the previous steps relied on spreadsheets and emails, they have to manually create invoices or debit notes in the ERP system. Introducing further manual labor and the potential for errors.
This is just a standard flow for one rebate agreement. Imagine you have a couple of hundred, or even several 1000 a month – how are you going to keep track of everything to make sure all programs and supported contracts have been claimed, approved, and posted to your ERP or accounting system?
Benefits of an Efficient and Accurate Claims Process
The many benefits of an efficient and accurate claims process for rebates is not to be underestimated. With automation at the helm, you can breathe new life into the management of rebate claims, bringing unparalleled efficiency and reliability. Discover why it’s time to bid farewell to the painstaking manual tasks that often lead to delays and errors. Instead, you can embrace a seamless and accelerated workflow, where claims are processed swiftly and accurately.
- Collect On Your Rebate Earnings Faster
A structured, standardized claims process is going to help ensure that you’re pro-actively requesting everything you’re owed, on time. The speed at which rebate earnings are collected can significantly impact your bottom line, you're equipped to make more informed financial decisions, manage operational expenses, and allocate resources to drive further growth.
- Transparency To the Settlement Process
Until you go through the settlement process, you cannot realize cash in the bank or credit on the account. By fostering increased transparency in your interactions with your trading partners, you achieve two significant goals. First you gain visibility into when payments will be made by suppliers. Second, you ensure that the calculations underpinning these transactions are precise and error-free.
- Negotiating Power
With faster access to rebate earnings, you can strengthen your negotiating position for future deals. Having cash in the bank enables you to negotiate better terms with suppliers, secure bulk discounts, and forge mutually beneficial partnerships over the long term.
- Strengthened Partner Relationships
Effective management of claims fosters healthy relationships. Guaranteeing that your trading partners obtain their rightful rebates enhances cooperation, showcasing dependability and openness. Consequently, this can result in more favorable conditions, and enhanced collaborative efforts in the future.
- Accurate Claims mean Fewer Disputes
Disputes can be an administrative nightmare, consuming precious time and resources that could be better invested elsewhere. A leading UK electrical retailer told us, “We mistakenly double-billed a supplier by $100K last quarter. They stopped all payouts for 3 months until they regained confidence in our process.” This shows the importance of having rebate claim information meticulously recorded, verified, and submitted correctly, to reduce the chances of discrepancies and misunderstandings.
- Ensure No Claims Are Missed or Unresolved
Rebate programs are designed to provide tangible benefits. By ensuring that every claim is captured and settled, you can ensure that your hard-earned rebate is secured and receive the full value you’re entitled too. This not only nurtures customer satisfaction but also strengthens loyalty between trading partners.
Automation of Claims
While the manual management of rebate claims might have been the standard in the past, it's clear that this method is riddled with inefficiencies and potential pitfalls in the modern supply chain. Investing in a more efficient, streamlined, and accurate approach is the only way forward with the help of Enable’s Claims feature (launching soon!). This tool allows for a seamless transition from rebate creation to settlement, all on one comprehensive platform. You can accelerate collections, save valuable time through automation and build stronger relationships with your partners based on trust and transparency.
Download our one-pager to learn more about how Enable can transform your claims process.