K-FLEX is a global manufacturer specializing in thermal and acoustic flexible elastomeric insulation materials. They offer advanced solutions across various industries such as construction, transportation, petrochemical and renewable energy. Jenny Castator serves as the Accounting Manager, overseeing accounts receivable and ensuring precise calculation and disbursement of their rebates to customers.
Members of AD
Many of K-FLEX's customers receive discounts because of incentives that come with their AD membership, which entices customers to purchase. A significant portion of K-FLEX's customer base benefits from various forms of rebates, particularly those associated with buying groups. K-FLEX is a member of several buying groups, and as a result, their customers affiliated with these groups receive kickback rebates for their purchases.
Wide Variety of Rebate Programs
K-FLEX's rebate programs vary in complexity. While some are straightforward, offering a single percentage per month for all sales, others become more intricate. These intricate programs involve different types of products that qualify for varying rebate rates. Additionally, the location of certain products plays a role, with different locations receiving distinct rebate rates.
Castator tells us, “For instance, our buy-sell representatives, who purchase from us and then distribute to smaller third-party customers, receive rebates that vary based on the identity of the customer and the specific city where the sale occurs. This complexity adds layers to our rebate structure.”
Getting Information in a Timely Manner
Castator tells us, “There is a considerable amount of back-and-forth emailing and waiting involved in our rebate process, particularly when dealing with our buy-sell representatives. We often find ourselves waiting for them to share the sales data they possess so that we can accurately calculate and subsequently disburse the rebates, whether it's to them directly or to the customers they serve. This waiting period is a significant downside of our rebate workflow.”
Moving Beyond Excel Spreadsheets
Castator says, “Managing rebates with spreadsheets presents several challenges. One of the primary difficulties is the potential for mistyped formulas, inaccuracies, and missing data. Also, keeping track of formula updates from month to month can be time consuming. There have been instances where critical information was overlooked due to errors in the process, creating significant hurdles for us.”
Discovering Enable Through Collaborator
Castator says, “The primary attraction to Enable was the presence of other trading partners already using it through the collaborator portal. I had become acquainted with Enable because we needed to share data with some of our other trading partners using this platform. While I did explore a few other options, none of them appeared to be as robust and promising as Enable in terms of being the optimal rebate management tool for our business.”
Castator says, “During our IT department's transitional phase, they were unable to assist in preparing the data for upload. In this situation, the ability to simply provide the data to the Enable team and have them efficiently transform it into a usable format proved to be invaluable. This greatly expedited the onboarding process and the seamless transfer of our data.”
Main Source of Data Collection
K-FLEX's initial objective in seeking out Enable was to establish a centralized platform where their buy-sell representatives could easily upload their data by a specific deadline. This data collection process was essential for them to subsequently share the information with their buying groups.
Castator says, “We discovered even more value in Enable than anticipated. In addition to streamlining data collection, Enable has enhanced our daily operations by facilitating real-time communication with our trading partners and providing instant access to crucial data.”
Castator continues, “The partner dashboard, which we've been using for the past few months, has proven to be exceptionally beneficial. It has provided our trading partners with valuable access to essential data, enhancing their overall experience.”
Significant Time Savings
Castator says, “I've certainly noticed significant time savings, especially when it comes to managing the data from our buy-sell groups. It's been a tremendous time-saver because the data is readily available and organized. I anticipate that as we transition to relying on Enable more extensively and move away from Excel spreadsheets, we will continue to gain back even more time.”
Castator continues, “The user-friendly nature of the rebate management platform has also contributed to these time savings. This efficiency will free up more of our resources to focus on growth and sales, which is a promising prospect for our manufacturer business.”
Vital Tool for Our Sales Team
Castator says, “Enable has truly exceeded our expectations and has had a significant impact on our daily business operations. The forecasting capabilities and access to real-time information have been instrumental for our sales team. They can now engage with our trading partners in real time, monitor sales figures, track progress towards rebate incentives and tier levels, and determine the sales thresholds needed to reach the next level. This level of insight and interaction has greatly enhanced our sales processes and relationships with our trading partners.”
K-FLEX recently began using advanced reporting capabilities, which allows them to customize reports and either download them as needed or schedule automatic deliveries.
Castator says, "We are currently collaborating with the Enable team to develop a couple of specific reports, and this has proven to be immensely valuable. Especially when it comes to sharing these reports with our executives and our owner, they have been a significant asset. Our owner heavily depends on these reports, so having easy access to the data has been a substantial help."
The Enable Team Is Very Responsive
Castator comments, "The support we've received from Enable has been nothing short of fantastic. We've been consistently impressed with the Enable team's kindness, responsiveness and helpfulness. They demonstrate a remarkable ability to address various issues as they arise and find solutions promptly. In most cases, when I submit a request or a support ticket, their response comes within just a few hours. It's exceptionally rare for me to have to wait for an answer or a solution to any inquiry. Overall, Enable is an outstanding company, and we are highly impressed with both their product and their service.”
Onboarding Process Was Very Easy
Castator says, "Enable excels in providing clear and detailed instructions for new users. Their user-friendly dashboard is particularly impressive, as it effectively outlines the current stage of the timeline and what tasks remain. It also offers progress tracking at each step of the way. As a result, our onboarding process with Enable was straightforward and hassle-free, thanks to their well-structured and intuitive process”.
Future Plans for K-FLEX
K-Flex is currently in the midst of data validation and is approaching the conclusion of their inaugural year with all their trading programs integrated into Enable. Castator says, “While we haven't observed any concrete uptick in our sales or trading partner engagement yet, we remain optimistic about the potential for growth in the future.”
She continues, “Our goal is to achieve full automation with Enable, eliminating the need for our legacy system and the spreadsheets we've been using. Currently, I'm using them interchangeably to ensure data validation. We anticipate this dual approach will continue through the end of this year. Starting in January, our aim is to solely rely on Enable for seamless rebate management and eventually go completely a hundred percent all the way through with all of the additional features that Enable has to offer us.”
“I wholeheartedly recommend Enable to any business seeking automated solutions for rebate processing, promotional activities, or even general data collection for their rebates.”
Jenny Castator | Accounting Manager