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For 70 years, Browne has designed and distributed kitchenware products for professional and home use internationally. As one of the founders in the kitchenware industry in Canada, Browne has built a reputation as a trustworthy and results oriented, value-added manufacturer and distributor in the consumer and foodservice industries.
We recently spoke to Sameer Chanana, who joined the company in 2017 as VP of Finance & IT, before taking on his current role as VP of Finance and Retail to ask why they made the switch to Enable.
Looking for a rebate solution to replace their ERP
When the time came for Browne to upgrade their Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), they had to move away from a system called Winsol, which they had customized, to the Microsoft product, Business Central. Initially, they investigated to see if the new ERP could handle their rebates but it didn’t meet their full requirements and couldn’t cope with the complex nature of their deals.
Sameer says that ideally didn’t want to move away from using their ERP for rebates, as they preferred the information to stay in one place, but the new ERP didn’t meet their requirements. They needed a full rebate solution to support their customers, which is why they considered Enable. “There are products out there that do rebates but don’t go all the way and do everything that we need,” Sameer explains. “This is what we found with our ERP. We needed something that could handle the complexity, but it was fairly basic, so we had to look outwards.”
Enable could handle their complex rebates
For companies like the Browne Group, rebates are critical to profitability. Sameer explains, “Rebates are a big part [and make up] a decent percentage of our business, so it's something that we must manage properly. It could make or break a year.”
In order to get it right, and support ongoing profitability, they needed a system which could handle many types of complicated rebates. He says, “You want to make sure this part of the business is taken care of and taken care of well. You don't want to do it manually in Excel as you are going to be prone to errors. So, we knew we needed something more robust.”
Sameer continues, “There are a lot of customers we pay rebate out to with their own programs that are similar but different, which means there’s a lot of complexity. We have all types of rebates, for example, rebates with buying groups, as well as rebates within the buying groups with certain members. Within the individual member rebates, we'll have growth plans. Within the growth plans we'll have growth plans for certain products only. It becomes very complicated. Imagine that over six or seven buying groups, that’s what we have.”
Team Enable stood out
Before going with Enable, Sameer says, “I had a look around elsewhere when I had a [look at] Google but, for our needs, I would say your team was more impressive than the other people's team.
“I think your team had a lot to do with us going with Enable. The team were very responsive. They got back to us quickly and they invested.”
Sameer explains why the Enable team impressed him, “You can tell they're not just answering questions to be answering questions. They looked into our issues and then responded accordingly. They involved all of the right type of people from your team to answer our questions.”
Paying out or collecting rebate: does it change the equation?
It is this focus on supporting customers, adding value and building relationship that sits at the heart of Enable’s ambition to be so much more than rebate management, so when we asked them, as a manufacturer who pays out rebate, why they still think it is important to keep track of these deals, Sameer’s reply made sense. He says, “I don't think it changes at all. Whether you're paying out or collecting rebate, it's the same thing. When we are paying out, we are paying out because we see value in the service that the customer is bringing to us.”
[With paying out rebate…] You're not just giving the money away. We are getting something for it as well. There is value that someone brings. If someone grows with us, if someone builds their business with us, we want to make sure that they're rewarded. It’s a value that is being added to your business and you want to recognize that value.
How Enable changes the way they manage rebates
Now that Browne has Enable in place they are anticipating going beyond the automation that their old system provides: To do more, add more value, and innovate.
Sameer says, “In our old system, our rebates were fairly automatic. We want to make sure Enable does the same, but I'm hoping it will add more value than what we already have. With Enable, we should be able to do what we were doing. Hopefully as Enable grows, they bring out new features to the service. We are able to add on those features and service our customers.”
So, when asked how Enable will change how Browne manages their rebates, Sameer’s reply is no surprise. “I always talk about adding value. How am I adding value to the customers? In the same way I would talk about how our vendors are adding value to us.”
“I see the value that Enable brings is not just to calculate rebates. I can do a customization to do that. What I need from Enable is a continuous improvement process, which I can further take advantage of.”
That is precisely why Enable is always committed to becoming a better solution and it’s why we publish our product roadmap on our website. We are continually improving and expanding our platform, so that our customers can build the trading relationships they need to drive their growth ambitions.
I think your team had a lot to do with us going with Enable. The team were very responsive. They got back to us quickly and they invested