Richards Building Supply Co. is a family owned, wholesale distributor that has been serving 14 states with over 60 locations since 1978. They stock exterior building supply materials to professional contractors and builders including roofing, siding, windows, doors, decking, cabinets and more.
For Richards Building Supply Co., their rebate programs had many moving parts. For instance, rebates are often calculated on year-over-year growth but may not include certain products. Conversely, other products might be added mid-year that need to be tracked.
When you add error-prone spreadsheets into the mix, the entire process turned into a frustrating endeavor. As Ted Dometita, CFO, puts it: “We managed our rebates through a very excruciatingly painful array of spreadsheets fraught with a lot of human error and complexities.”
When it came time to negotiate with vendors, they faced a lot of breakdowns in communication, and not everything emerging from their vendor negotiations was apparent from the contractual language used. Dometita says, “Those who negotiate the deals are not necessarily the ones who calculate it. Those who calculate the deals are not necessarily the ones who have negotiated them. There's a lot of information that gets lost in translation.”
Kimberly Frank, corporate controller, would audit the rebate calculations as the controller to ensure they worked as intended. Although a cumbersome process, juggling multiple files to get a complete picture, it worked well enough but often resulted in considerable double-checking.
Frank tells us, “I was catching errors through analytics, but obviously, I couldn’t go through every single program. I relied on the team calculating it. There was a lot of manual work going on at a very fast pace.”
Set Up for Scalability
Richards Building Supply Co. needed a solution that freed up a lot of the human capital time, unlocked the value of their employees and ultimately set them up for scalability. “We have four to five individuals who are involved in that process. If any one of them leaves, or something traumatic happens, then we lose all that intelligence. Housing our information within the Enable software gives us a way to continue forward,” Dometita told us.
Gaining real-time visibility into data has been problematic for the company. Now that they are implementing Enable, Dometita hopes to maximize their rebate calculations, as well as the collection of their rebates. Dometita says, “We used to just close on rebates on a monthly basis with the financial close, but to be able to have real-time visibility is huge for us. We’re freeing up our internal resources to work on other value-added projects.”
Saving Time: Three Weeks of Work into a Day
Frank found Enable to be an immense relief. The software handles all the data and calculations, automating a significant portion of the process. This means that they only need to oversee the initial rebate setup. Now, a single employee manages the rebate programs as soon as they arrive, allowing Frank to effortlessly monitor and conduct audits.
Frank says, “Hours-wise, we’re talking about three weeks of work we’re knocking down to a day. The biggest thing was I can audit the rebates so much easier — everything is at my fingertips.”
Enable Actively Manage Projects for Us
“What's great about the Enable team is that they are really pushing us and are being an active project manager on our behalf. I've been involved in projects like this in the past, where without a regimented project management function, efforts falter. We are not having that problem with Enable,” says Dometita.
Ted’s Advice? Don't Get Too Caught up on the Cost Benefits
Dometita believes that the cost benefit will always be there, but that aligning the roles and responsibilities and who is going to champion the Enable product post implementation is equally as important. “Richards does not have all the cost benefits figured out, but we know implementing Enable is the right thing to do, so we are charging forward. Now, we are finding out where all the benefits sit within the organization. I think the key to success is having that all straightened out,” says Dometita.
I picked Enable as it looked like a very elegant solution, and it certainly checked all the boxes against all the issues that we were having internally. And frankly, when I searched for rebate management software and asked around, there weren't too many players. Enable is the perfect niche solution.
Ted Dometita | CFO