How ERIKS are Making Rebate Management Work Better
ERIKS is a specialized industrial service provider who offers very wide range of engineering components, technical services, and customized solutions to improve their customers’ products’ performance and reduce their total cost of ownership.
A true global player, ERIKS has a turnover of around €1.9 billion p/a and a very complex way of dealing with B2B customer rebates.¬
We spoke with their European Procurement Director, Stijn van Roosmalen, about why they turned to Enable to help them streamline customer rebate management and “make industry work better”: their overarching corporate goal.
Improving service means taking control of multiple data sources
Stijn is responsible for all direct material sourcing in Europe. ERIKS has a total Procurement workforce of more than 50 people. Before Stijn joined ERIKS in 2020, ERIKS was dealing with different ERP systems a whole lot of different countries, suppliers, and different formulas for rebate calculation.
He explains, “We try to improve the relationship we have with suppliers and the conditions that we negotiate with, and focus on factors like quality, delivery performance, compliance etc.” Also their ability to calculate and track rebates was holding them back.
“One of the reasons why I got on board”, says Stijn, “is that at the moment we have a great focus on trying to improve the service we provide internally to our stakeholders. So, basically to have a better procurement department for everybody who is a stakeholder.” As part of his goal of streamlining and improving processes for ERIKS, he identified that the way they manage rebates could do with improvement.
“When we thought of what are complex things that we need to solve, so to speak, rebates was one of them. And then looking at the complexity and what the potential benefits would be, this was the more straightforward thing to tackle first.”
Since ERIKS works with wholesale and distribution, rebates and bonuses are a big portion of the conditions they negotiate with suppliers. Stijn explains, “It's fairly complex because ERIKS has a central entity, but also has local country entities and some still have legacy ERP systems.”
He tells us, “There's a huge focus and huge investment trying to bring that together. But if you look at different countries, different ERP systems, a whole lot of suppliers, and then also, again, different formulas where the rebates and bonuses are calculated upon turnover or more on growth etc. if you add that all up and then also have to calculate back which ERIKS's entity the rebates and the bonuses we collect have to be attributed to, it's a very complex task.”
They needed a system to understand their current situation and improve it. “Data alignment is a challenge,” admits Stijn. It was time to fix that, which is why they turned to the experts.
Why ERIKS were looking for a solution: Manual tasks and missing rebates
Stijn confesses, “To be honest with you, after gathering all the data, it's quite a manual task. So, we rely also on what the suppliers deliver to us in information, and on the other end, it's a manual task to double check. There is some room for error there, and it might actually also be that we miss out on some rebates. So, there was a big request to try to see to what extent we can automate this.”
“I think the risk of missing out on rebates or wrong calculations, maybe based on wrong assumptions, really led to the need of a system which could support us.”
Stijn also hoped that a rebate management solution like Enable would help reduce their manual effort and the number of hours they needed to put into calculating and executing rebate management, while also eliminating the room for error. It turns out, he was right.
“It was a very positive business case if we were to source a rebate management system.”
How they found Enable
Stijn explains, “We went into the market, we looked at what solutions are there. We really saw it's a more complex area of expertise than one would think initially. And so, a dedicated system was needed.” After doing thorough research Stijn says they discovered, “Enable is also one of the few providers who really specialize into a rebate management system.” Their thorough selection process, including demos, onboarding proposals, and more eventually led them to choose Enable .
“Enable is also one of the few providers who really specialize into a rebate management system.”
Since then, ERIKS has worked closely with Enable’s team to combine their very complex needs – including different countries, suppliers and variety of deals, streamlined up and running. Their feedback is already positive.
“I must say that the team is really great. They really focus on, and are keen to properly onboard the system. I really feel that they are very customer focused.”
It’s early days, but they’re already seeing benefits
ERIKS is already reaping the benefits of bringing B2B rebates together in one system. As Stijn explains, “What we really see is that already now, we see that it really makes it possible to reduce the complexity and give day-to-day insights on the actual status of rebates.”
Previously, they had to undertake very manual tasks to reconcile rebates, “So you obviously only do that once a year or max, twice a year”, he explains. But today, things are very different. “Now we really have day-to-day insight! With the push of the button we can see how far we stand to a certain threshold where we might be able to get a rebate payout from one of our suppliers, and given the complexity, we weren't able to do so.”
The up-to-date nature of Enable’s rebate management system allows Stijn’s team to act on the insights they’re receiving from their suppliers and companies all over the world, which means they can take positive, proactive action. “We can also now act upon that,” explains, Stijn, “So it should not only reduce workload, but also really tangible monetize benefits.” Not only have they already improved their rebate collection, they have already identified rebate potential they could not have identified in the past.
“By the end of last year, we actually saw that with minor additional orders, we were able to achieve next thresholds in the rebates and actually were able to collect more rebates than we would initially have done.”
Tangibly making money thanks to rebate management software
By monitoring their purchasing habits and comparing it with the agreements they have in place, Stijn says, “We did order some extra to be put on stock which entitled us to higher rebates. So we actually tangibly already made money out of this!”
By using Enable as one central system for managing their rebates, even further insights and opportunities will be possible. At a glance, Stijn anticipates being able to ask and get answers to questions including “Where are the rebates? Where can we track? Where can we optimize?” Centralized data makes this all possible.
The future looks bright for ERIKS’ rebates, thanks to their proactive attitude to supplier and stakeholder relationships, and the efficiency gained with Enable’s rebate management software.
I must say that the team is really great. They really focus on, and are keen to properly onboard the system. I really feel that they are very customer focused.