Did you know that in addition to helping companies manage rebates on goods purchased from suppliers, manufacturers, or distributors, Enable can also improve contract management for both resale and non-resale goods? That’s precisely what Sam Betts, Commercial Systems Manager at home improvement retailer, Wickes, is utilizing it for.
The Benefits of Effective Contract Management after a Company Spin-Off
Wickes was spun-off and separated from Travis Perkins in April 2021, making Wickes wholly responsible for their profitability and management. Given the size of their supplier base, Sam explains “We have around 280 suppliers and they needed some way of managing contracts effectively.”
Additionally, since GNFR trading agreements could start midway through the year and run for 12 months, three years, or five years, Betts says, “We needed an efficient way to manage the complexity inherent in the day-to-day contract management of GNFR."
Improving GNFR Compliance for Wickes
GNFR is more compliance-related than rebate-related, Sam explains. But Wickes is using Enable to enter trading agreements or attach existing supplier contracts and get the correct authorisers to approve them. Their goal was to improve compliance around GNFR.
Betts says, “While this may not seem like a ground-breaking use for rebate management software, it’s far more important than one would imagine. It’s a way of holding suppliers accountable and ensuring the right people approve the right level of spend.”
Using Rebates for Goods for Resale (GFR) Or Goods Not for Resale (GNFR)
When goods are produced to be resold, rebates are key to incentivising distributors and retailers to help their GFR reach the right audience while encouraging the purchase of selected goods. “For the GFR part we've been using Enable for years now, and the system is hugely important for our contract and rebate management,” says Betts.
He continues, “Using Enable for GNFR was the easiest option, but it was also what we were looking for. We liked how the channel looked; it was user-friendly. We always have a lot of support from Enable, having bi-weekly calls and a 24/7 support helpline”.
As part of the central Procurement Team at Wickes, however, Sam is also focused on goods not for resale. Otherwise known as indirect procurement, he explains that this includes anything that’s not sold by Wickes but helps to run the business, including marketing, HR, operations, distribution, finance, legal and IT.
Betts says, “When goods are used internally and not resold, incentives don’t often apply as they would in a typical rebate context. As such, it’s understandable to think that a rebate management solution wouldn’t add value in this context. But thankfully it does.”
One Tool for Both GFR and GNFR Contracts
Wickes ‘inherited’ Enable since it was already in use at Travis Perkins, and they continued to use it for both GFR and GNFR contracts. Betts explains, “We have everything in one place. It worked well for the GFR contracts, and we had experience with using the portal, so we thought it's just the easiest way to use the same for GNFR. Enable wasn’t just the simpler option; it was also precisely what Wickes was looking for.”
“Very impressive. Just knowing that there is always someone there…”
Sam uses Enable regularly and, long after implementing it, he is still impressed with the support team’s responsiveness. Betts says, “I was surprised how quickly your team responses back on the help desk tickets that team are raising. They come back very quickly; they explain the solution very clearly, so I know exactly what to do when I explain the problem. They're always available to jump on a call.”
Throughout the implementation process, he also found Enable’s team responsive and engaging. “That was very impressive. Just knowing that there is always someone there to help us work with us on the problem”.
Not Always Smooth Sailing – But Always Supportive
Implementing the solution hasn’t been smooth sailing all the way. Betts says, “I remember we had a few issues around the channel itself, but we either found a temporary solution, or we just agreed on another solution. So, again, it was helpful to just have someone on the call explaining to us why this is not possible.” Fixes were then scheduled for future product improvement builds.
There were challenges on Wickes’ side, too. Using the solution required a pretty significant behaviour shift for Wickes’ colleagues. But, through an effective change management programme involving an onboarding pack, a how-to guide, calls with business area leads, and training provided by Enable, they could get key stakeholders on board.
Today, though, Sam knows that more and more contracts are being uploaded and moving through their workflow – thanks to the report he can pull from on the onboarding process.
Contract Visibility Will Help with Auditing
Being able to demonstrate that relevant and appropriate controls are in place is a critical factor that auditors look for. Betts confidently says,
“When it comes to participating in a video audit later on next year, when they ask, ‘Where do you store your contracts?’ we can just point them into Enable’s direction. If they ask, again, ‘How do you know the right people signed this contract?’ Well, the workflow approval reflects what legal created, which is the delegation of authority. Meaning, each person is assigned a certain level.”
In essence, the Enable solution is giving Sam and Wickes peace of mind, contractual certainty and confidence in their ability to meet the auditor’s requirements. Not what you’d typically expect from a rebate management solution, but a hugely valuable tool for both business and contractual compliance.
Enable has helped Wickes improve compliance around GNFR by streamlining the process of entering and approving rebate agreements.
The solution provides peace of mind, contractual certainty, and confidence in meeting auditor's requirements, ensuring relevant controls are in place.
Enable's features allow Wickes to easily demonstrate contract storage, approval workflow, and delegation of authority during audits, contributing to a smoother auditing process.