G2S TOBEQ is a Canadian wholesale distributor that has been serving the automotive, heavy-duty, and industrial industries for the past 30 years.
To remain competitive, G2S TOBEQ relies on customer and supplier rebates. On the customer side, they offer a wide variety of rebates such as volume and growth rebates. Andre Beaumier, Accounting Manager at G2S TOBEQ, takes care of the customer rebate program, overseeing accounts receivable as well as month-end processes. Andre says, “Our team is responsible for handling customer rebates, from calculating the amounts to accruing them. We ensure that the correct rebate credits are sent to customers in a timely manner.”
Vendor co-op rebates represent a significant portion of the company’s gross margins, facilitated by both a digital and physical catalog issued by G2S TOBEQ. Co-op advertising is essentially an advertising allowance from suppliers, to feature their products in the company’s catalog. This arrangement is crucial as it helps cover a significant portion of marketing expenses.
Alec Tobi is an Accounting Manager; he oversees the accounts payable and payroll departments. Alec and his team closely monitor their purchases to ensure that they meet their growth rebate targets.
Excel Spreadsheets Not Suited for Scalability
G2S TOBEQ, like many organizations, has heavily relied on Excel spreadsheets to set up their rebate programs at the beginning of each year for both vendors and customers. However, as the company continued to grow and faced new opportunities, they started encountering challenges with the complexity that came with using spreadsheets. In the distribution sector, it is essential to have a solution like Enable that can support growth and complex calculations across both customer and vendor channels.
Andre says, “While I enjoy using Excel, there comes a point when a company outgrows it. As the complexity of our business grows, converting massive amounts of data into a granular form and then uploading it to Excel for simple lookups or formulas can be a time-consuming process. This can become quite tedious at times.”
The most significant time-wasting process is often managing SKU exceptions to be excluded from the programs. This is a challenging task where Enable software can handle exceptions on an individual item level, which eliminates the difficulties that Excel presents.
Andre says, “A large number of customers and buying groups additionally to a multitude of other factors make rebate management difficult using spreadsheets. This resulted in a high number of formulas and tabs, creating large files that are prone to errors. Having a streamlined solution to manage this complexity is crucial to our operations.”
To simplify their rebate management process, at the beginning of 2022, the finance director suggested the use of a rebate management system. As a result, they came across Enable. Additionally, they discovered that their sister company was already using Enable’s software. Therefore, they reached out to inquire about their experience with Enable and how it has benefited their operations.
Accurate Rebate Calculations and Payments
According to G2S TOBEQ, they were searching for a rebate management solution that is user-friendly and simple to use for their rebate calculations. Enable was able to fulfill this requirement by providing a straightforward and efficient rebate management process that generates accurate accrued numbers.
The G2S TOBEQ team applies payments as soon as they receive credit from the supplier. For instance, if there is an outstanding amount of $60,000 from the supplier and the team receives a credit, they allocate the credit to the specific rebate program. This new process allows the team to have clearer visibility into what amount is left to be received from the supplier.
Andre says, “The calculation modules are very good, and you can choose from various calculation mechanisms that are comprehensive and reliable, providing solutions to different rebate calculation needs. This eliminates the need for using Excel sheets as everything can be managed through Enable. This consolidation of rebate management processes through Enable improves efficiency and streamlines the process.”
Additionally, Andre tells us, “Setting up the customer channel and importing purchases and contracts was a pleasant surprise for me. I was able to easily balance the data with my Excel file, and almost everything was spot on. I had anticipated encountering some obstacles during this process, but it turned out to be smoother than I expected, with the calculations aligning perfectly. Overall, I was impressed with how seamless and efficient the process was.”
Streamlining Contract Approval and Sign-off
One feature of Enable that stood out for G2S TOBEQ was the contract approval process, which allows for contracts to be sent directly to customers for signature and approval. This significantly reduces the time spent managing PDF files and eliminates the need for customers to print, sign, and send the contracts back via email. It also eliminates the need to manually attach the contracts in Excel files, which streamlines the process and saves time.
Andre says, “Previously, there was a significant amount of laborious manual work involved in managing rebates, which could result in gaps in control. However, with the implementation of Enable, the approval workflow is streamlined and ensures that all necessary approvals and signatures are obtained before proceeding to accrue rebates. This has led to a substantial improvement in control and overall rebate management process compared to the old manual method.”
Better Reporting to Make Strategic and Purchasing Decisions
With the help of Enable, G2S TOBEQ now has increased visibility in reporting, enabling upper management to make key strategic decisions. According to Andre, the process of downloading reports and sending them to the finance director or other key stakeholders has become effortless.
“Enable allows us to easily download reports for 120 vendors and gain clarity on our purchasing and sales data. This is particularly useful for making purchasing decisions based on forecasts or sales channel data. By identifying customers who are close to their targets, the sales team can focus on them and push sales to meet their goals,” says Andre.
Smooth Onboarding of Enable
G2S TOBEQ found the onboarding process for Enable to be very straightforward and significantly easier compared to setting up their Excel spreadsheets for rebate management. The training process was also simple and user-friendly, with all functions being easy to understand. Overall, the implementation of Enable has been very smooth and hassle-free.
Andre says, “During the setup process of Enable, we had weekly scheduled meetings to review progress and discuss any challenges or issues encountered. The Enable team was responsive and quick to address any questions or concerns, even offering to hop on a call if needed.”
In addition, Alec compliments Enable, “The Enable team was incredibly helpful during the onboarding process. The team's excellent support has continued since implementation, with their responsiveness being particularly noteworthy. The onboarding process itself was very straightforward and smooth, and the team's assistance made it all the easier.”
Significant Time Saved
The main objective of G2S TOBEQ was to simplify their rebate management process. As their business grew and they acquired more customers and vendors with varying types of deals each year, they required a tool that could optimize the process and reduce the amount of time spent by their workforce.
Alec says, “Using Enable provides significant time savings, particularly on a monthly basis and at the beginning of the year. The setup process is much simpler with Enable compared to creating and managing Excel files. In my opinion, this is where a lot of time can be saved.”
The progress tracker is a feature that truly stands out for G2S TOBEQ. The progress tracker feature allows the procurement or management team to make informed purchasing decisions based on the progress towards their growth targets. Alec emphasizes the importance of this feature, saying, "That is going to be very crucial for us because it gives us the visibility we need.”
He provides an example of how the progress tracker can be used, stating that "at the end of the year it shows you, let's say if you're $50,000 off from hitting one of your levels on your growth rebate from the vendor's side, you have that visibility in order for the procurement team to take action. So that is very useful."
Future Plans with Enable
G2S TOBEQ identified a potential opportunity to simplify their process for calculating rebates offered to customers during trade shows while undergoing the onboarding process.
“Currently, we use Excel sheets to calculate these rebates. However, since the trade show rebates are also item-based, I see no reason why we shouldn't consider using Enable to manage them as well. Although this was not part of our initial plan, it would be beneficial to streamline the rebate management process and eliminate the need for Excel sheets. Potentially, in the future, it would also be beneficial to allow our customers to view their purchases through our portal and track their progress towards their growth targets. This is something that we may consider implementing in the future.”
Enable consolidates rebate management processes, improving efficiency and streamlining complex calculations. The user-friendly interface and accurate calculations contribute to a more efficient workflow.
The streamlined contract approval process and improved reporting contribute to better control over the rebate management process. This ensures that all necessary approvals and signatures are obtained before proceeding.
G2S TOBEQ experienced significant time savings, particularly during monthly processes and at the beginning of the year.