Africa Trade Masters: Building a Rebate Strategy from Scratch
Established in 2020, Africa Trade Masters is a grocery buying group that operates in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, primarily serving independent retailers and wholesalers in Southern Africa. The company is growing rapidly and offers its clients several advantages, including:
- Cost to serve optimization
- Supply chain optimization
- Collective merchandising strategy
- Optimizing the value of data and data BI
- Trade financing and credit optimization
- Monthly rebates
Azel Le Roux is the Financial Director and oversees the entire finance function at the company. The rebate team, consisting of Azel and two other individuals, is responsible for collecting and disbursing rebates to customers on a monthly basis.
They place a strong emphasis on rebate automation and time management, as these are critical factors for the efficiency of their buying group. According to Azel, time is a valuable commodity and should be utilized efficiently.
Building Rebates from the Ground Up
With ample expertise in both rebate receivables and payables, Azel was well aware of her goals for incorporating rebates into the company. She had thoroughly planned out the rebate management process and had a clear idea of the desired outcomes.
Azel says, “As our business model relies heavily on the collection and payment of rebates, they are fundamental to our operations. Due to our narrow profit margins, we needed a dependable, automated rebate system that we could trust implicitly. There was simply no margin for error.”
Enable Was the Only Fit
Prior to the establishment of Africa Trade Masters, Azel and the team were searching for an ideal rebate management system. Their search led them to Enable, which provided a one-stop-shop for managing both rebate income and payments. This was particularly important for a growing buying group. Their objective was to fully automate their rebate management process and promote transparency with their customers.
Commenting on the Enable team and onboarding, Azel says, "I was thoroughly impressed with the onboarding process for Enable. It was seamless and easy to navigate, and the Enable team was extremely accommodating in understanding our specific needs and requirements. From my perspective, Enable is the best online rebate management solution available."
Significant Cost and Time Savings
Time management has become significantly easier with the implementation of Enable, as deals can be processed and made available in seconds. The rebate calculation is easily accessible to the entire team, eliminating the need for multiple email requests and versions of the calculation.
Azel says, "Enable has been instrumental in reducing our staffing costs and improving the accuracy of our rebate calculations. This has resulted in minimal disputes, as we can ensure that the rebates we collect and pay out are correct. As a result, we are able to manage our rebate programs with a small, efficient team."
NetSuite + Enable
Before implementing Enable, African Trade Masters utilized NetSuite as their accounting software. Presently, they are capable of utilizing both software platforms simultaneously by leveraging Enable's data to produce supplier rebate invoices and customer payout credit notes within NetSuite.
Azel says, "Using Enable alongside NetSuite has been a seamless experience, as the entire process is now automated. We use Enable for our rebate calculations and NetSuite as our accounting system, which allows for efficient time management and improved transparency."
Future Plans with Enable
Obtaining Insights with Partner Dashboard
Enable’s newest feature, Partner Dashboard, will provide Africa Trade Masters’ customers with valuable insights into their rebate programs, margin opportunities and the ability to see months in advance with intelligent forecasting, resulting in a reduction of customer queries and information requests.
Azel says, "I appreciate the fact that our customers will have round-the-clock access to their data and deal performance, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions and engage in more strategic conversations with us."
Africa Trade Masters currently relies on emails to collaborate with its customers and suppliers. However, Azel intends to use Enable’s collaborator platform in the future to send rebate information and agreements to trading partners.
Currently, the market they operate in is not accustomed to electronic signatures, so they are not utilizing the full functionality of the platform. However, once this changes, they plan to incorporate electronic signatures into rebate contracts, automating the entire process.
Azel says, “Our aim is to obtain deals from suppliers and seamlessly pass on the benefits to our customers through this platform. To achieve this, we seek to fully automate our rebate agreements and provide customers with unrestricted access to rebate information via Enable’s collaborator feature, rather than relying on manual email communication.”
Enable has been instrumental in reducing our staffing costs and improving the accuracy of our rebate calculations. This has resulted in minimal disputes, as we can ensure that the rebates we collect and pay out are correct. As a result, we are able to manage our rebate programs with a small, efficient team