How Mid-City Supply Captures and Maximizes 100% of Their Rebates
Mid-City Supply is a wholesale distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies with nine locations in the USA. They have been in business for 75 years, but their Co-President, Dan New, took over the company with his brother and Co-President a few years ago.
Over the years, he has done everything from marketing to operations, administration to working in the warehouse. Dan didn’t always work Mid-City Supply, though. In his early career, he worked in the financial services industry. As a banker and, later, as a marketer, he was used to having data to review. However, when he started to look at Mid-City Supply’s rebates, there was very little to no tracking.
“The biggest problem is that you just don't have any visibility on whether or not you're getting the correct rebate, and are you missing out on rebates that you potentially could have gotten because you don't really know how close you are to certain tiers?”
- Dan New, Co-President, Mid-City Supply
It wasn’t worth their time, so they just stopped tracking some rebates
Before they started working with Enable, Dan explains that managing their rebates was a very frustrating process. “We have purchase rebates and marketing rebates, and rebates in different categories. Depending on the rebate, some of them we weren't really able to measure at all. We are just basically trusting the people that are giving us the rebates. And some of the others became so difficult and so cumbersome that we basically stopped. It wasn't worth our time, so we stopped tracking them.”
The biggest challenge wasn’t necessarily that all rebates weren’t being captured. It was that some were, and some weren’t. Dan says, “Depending on the people resources at the time, we either were only tracking some of them, or we weren't tracking any of them.” They were using Excel to track some rebates, and the marketing team was tracking marketing rebates, but, Dan explains, it was a challenge to track most of the purchasing rebates. And there was no way to report all rebate activity before they started using Enable’s rebate management software.
Relying on industry reps’ advice for reaching rebate tiers
Dan explains that while some industry reps were letting Mid-City Supply know when they were close to reaching certain tiers and explaining how much more rebate they’d get or what they’d have to do to reach that tier, many of them didn’t. Dan explains that the problem could be compounded, over time. “A lot of times, when they come to us at the end of the year, it's either too late, we have plenty of inventory already, or if we make those extra purchases, we're just making it harder for us the following year.”
“We’re glad we found Enable”
Dan explains that they were talking about managing rebates for a long time, but he doesn’t know how long they were actively looking for a solution. In fact, he wasn’t sure if they were looking when someone from Enable reached out to their purchasing agent. When the purchasing agent passed the message on to him, it was serendipitous. “For some reason, I was in a good mood that day and decided to give Enable a shot. Frankly, I don't remember exactly what it was, but we're glad we did at this point.”
They then had a conversation with another of Enable’s customers in their industry – who is actually in the same buying group as them. This helped them see how they could benefit from Enable’s rebate management software. Enable’s other customer showed them the tools they already use and how it helps their business. He then looked at the product itself and saw that it was a much better solution than what they were doing at the time.
The Enable team was flexible in customizing a program that worked for Mid-City Supply; the rest is history.
The software is only the beginning: It’s the Enable team that made the difference
Dan says that the Enable team has been very engaging at every level. “They seem very genuine in wanting to help us succeed,” he explains. The team kept him informed while they took their time to make their decision. “I joked with some of the people here that the sales process was one of the most professional sales processes I have ever been through… It was very professional all the way through.” He also says Enable was happy to accommodate them and even customize the solution. “It didn’t seem like a burden,” he explains, “It was something they wanted to do.” And when they moved to work with Enable’s implementation team, he says he had the same experience. “Everyone's pretty engaging and seems invested in our success.”
The proof is in the pudding: Getting the rebates they’re supposed to be getting
When asked how he thinks Enable will change how Mid-City Supply handles rebates, Dan says, “I think, to start off, using Enable will make sure that we're getting the rebates that we're supposed to be getting. My guess is we're getting pretty much everything we're supposed to be getting, but we never really know until we look into it.”
Once they get into their rebate analysis more fully, Dan knows that the proof is in the pudding. The purchasing team won’t have to rely on their reps to give them information or go back and look at programs. They’ll be able to make buying decisions that maximize rebates using Enable. And that’s the most significant long-term value he anticipates.
“Using Enable will make sure that we're getting the rebates that we're supposed to be getting. But in the future it will also give our purchasing team a tool to make those buying decisions, to make sure we're maximizing the rebates that we can. I think that's the biggest long-term value for us.”