BSN SPORTS supplies decorated equipment and apparel to the scholastic, collegiate and youth sports industry across the entire US. CFO, Gordon Briscoe is responsible for both financial and operational outcomes of the company, so he knows being able to analyze and predict the rebate on the sizeable deals their salespeople manage is critical.
However, since many of their deals involve various forms of discount, rebate, or some form of benefit to the customer, it can get complicated – particularly with around 1,200 field sales professionals in the market.
Keeping control of everything that’s going on in the market in terms of pricing, deal-making, and decision-making requires control and governance. “It’s not a small task,” says Briscoe.
He continues, “It’s really important that we have the right tools in place and the ability to be able to operate effectively, make sure that we are making the right decisions alongside our sales teams and sales professionals, and provide them with the tools and the ability to make smart decisions on the front end, backed up by good and fast decision making in the middle and back office.”
Briscoe is aware that there have been challenges with managing rebates in the past. The challenges have included:
- Putting a rebate management system in place
- Difficulty tracking how a rebate or discount program provides value back to the customer
- Complexity of managing deals or programs accurately
To remedy this, he knows it’s vitally important to keep tabs on what’s happened, where it has happened, whether it has happened within the guidelines and parameters or not, and whether it fits profitability profiles. He believes it’s also critical to know that what has been, or is being, committed to, is correct and to be able to manage, control, govern, and measure rebates, and deals.
Measuring and Tracking Rebates Manually
Before they started using Enable’s rebate management software he says, “We didn't have an effective tool, process, or method of making sure that we were making all those decisions in the right way, and being able to measure and track what the outcomes were, other than on a manual basis using Excel spreadsheets or other forms of tabulation tools and tracking tools”. He knows they needed a one-stop shop where they had everything housed and managed well.
Briscoe says, “It was important for us to be able to go and find a platform or a set of tools with a methodology that we could adapt and utilize that would basically provide us with all of those elements that we didn't have.”
A One-Stop Shop for Rebate Management
When Gordon found Enable he know it would become their “one-stop shop in terms of being able to run and manage rebates, in totality”. Since BSN SPORTS deal with rebates on both the customer side and the vendor side it was important for them to find and put in place a much better tool than they had in place: One that would help them manage and operate their rebate programs effectively.
Briscoe says, “We got involved with Enable largely because of the nature of what Enable has built and the tools that they have put in place within the Enable platform, and really the ability to interact with that on a fairly easy and seamless basis.
He continues, “It provided us with a one-stop shop, to be able to go in and set up and manage every rebate program that we have, or that we intend to have, within the Enable platform and provide us with all of the [desired] options and operational capability.”
BSN SPORTS turned to Enable’s cloud-based solution, in part, because it could integrate with their ERP system – feeding data back and forth without needing specific interoperability to do this. But, most importantly, he chose it because he believed Enable would become his one-stop shop for every rebate program they have or intend to have. A big ambition and one that Enable can manage comfortably. So far, they have not been disappointed.
Managing Customer and Supplier Rebates With Confidence
While it’s still early days, they have already got good traction. They’ve got their vendor rebates into Enable and have already seen interesting outputs. Now, they will be able to leverage the tool by feeding information back to their vendors.
Briscoe says, "Enable will provide us with the assurance that we can effectively track and calculate rebate programs for our vendors. It has the potential to incentivize vendors to offer us more, improved, and potentially even more lucrative rebate programs."
But the benefits of effective rebate management for BSN SPORTS don’t end with supplier rebates. “We expect to be able to do exactly the same on the customer side, once we get that side set up as well,” he says. Soon, they will use Enable to collect rebate and pay it out to customers, while managing the process efficiently and confidently.
Using Rebates as a Really, Really Strong Sales and Marketing Tool
Briscoe views Enable as a rebate management tool and platform that goes beyond helping companies. He says, “it’s not just something that allows you to set up, manage, track the rebates or fundraising… I view it as an opportunity to demonstrate and provide comfort to vendors and customers that we can do this.”
So, in a sense, rebate management software like Enable doesn’t just make the collaboration process smoother, it gives confidence to trading partners. “It’s accurate, complete, and fairly seamless,” continues Briscoe. “They have the ability to see the data, as much as we do.” He believes that this helps parties think about rebates and value more broadly. That’s why he states, “It can be a really, really strong sales and marketing tool, at the same time.”
Briscoe is also excited about the governance and tracking ability Enable will give them, as well as how it will provide them with an insight into the vendor side where they may have been missing an opportunity to earn a few extra dollars on a rebate program because they weren’t aware of how close they were to hitting a threshold. “That's real dollars and cents that you can go and utilize to drive and improve the business,” he explains.
Effective Rebate Management for Mutually Beneficial Business Outcomes
Briscoe also understands the potential Enable has to show opportunities for all parties to benefit. He realizes feeding information back to the vendor has enormous potential. They could say, for example, “If you tweak one or two things here, based on our ability to understand the rebate program, then we could do even better. We could maybe improve both businesses in the process.” The same applies to the customer side. This can potentially add value to vendors, suppliers, and BSN SPORTS.
“There’s a ton of opportunity to utilize the data and analytics that one gets out of utilizing a tool like Enable”, he concludes.
Enable provided us with a one-stop shop, to be able to go in and set up and manage every rebate program that we have, or that we intend to have, within the Enable platform and provide us with all of the [desired] options and operational capability.
BSN SPORTS now has improved visibility and control over their rebate programs, allowing for better decision-making alongside sales teams.
Enable is viewed not just as a rebate management tool but also as a strong sales and marketing tool.
It instills confidence in trading partners by providing accurate, complete, and seamless collaboration. BSN SPORTS believes that this can contribute to stronger sales and marketing efforts.