Thomas Ridley provides a total food service solution to social clubs, pubs, restaurants, care homes, schools, hospitals and more — including an online store that delivers direct to customers. Based in Suffolk, Thomas Ridley serves customers in London, Kent, East Anglia and the Midlands with over 10,000 lines across 1000 brands.
Over the past few years, Thomas Ridley has experienced growth, which has made it increasingly challenging to handle the diverse range of rebate types. A straightforward resolution was required to alleviate the growing intricacies in their rebate programs. Failing to align the expansion of their rebate incentives with the pace of business growth has exacerbated the situation.
Furthermore, the trading team and Managing Director lacked any visibility into the rebate process. The company was grappling with dependence on specific individuals, which poses a significant concern. Issues like overestimating for all rebate agreements, the absence of a transparent audit trail, and the inability to offer customers meaningful insights from the data have compounded the challenges.
Over time, the rebates Thomas Ridley managed grew increasingly complex. Using spreadsheets to manage these programs became difficult and unwieldy. Scott Mealing, Controller said, “Utilizing spreadsheets was slow and cumbersome. They opened us up to opportunities for error.”
Knowing they needed a better solution, Mealing created a database that linked to their in-house finance system. This worked for a time, but Mealing knew the team needed a better, more robust, long-term solution.
Mealing tells us, “I found an article about Enable online and thought maybe this was the solution we wanted. During a meeting with the Enable team, he laid out all the different complexities and types of rebates we worked with — and Enable rose to the challenge. Enable showed us they could handle all our complex rebate programs. Not only that, but they proved they have a history of managing complex programs. I felt very confident going with Enable.”
Three Critical Components
For Mike Dube, System Finance Commercial Director at Thomas Ridley, any rebate solution would need to provide three things:
2. Data integrity
3. Single source of truth
Dube knew the ideal solution would give them a clear picture of what agreements were in place, taking information out of people’s heads and putting it on screen. “We needed clarity so the finance and trading teams, plus the MD could see what’s happening within the business with confidence,” Dube said.
He also wanted to ensure that data moving through the business was accurate. That meant the data remained consistent from team to team and enabled them to forecast. “With Enable, we can see what targets we need to achieve to reach certain levels of income. Our goal is to grow rebates by 15% in line with our business growth,” Dube said.
Dube continues, “Moving to a system like Enable for our complex rebate programs means we don’t need to spend excess time digging up information from various sources. Everything is within one system. That’s the key differentiator.”
Maximizing Rebates with Increased Clarity
The team at Thomas Ridley wanted greater clarity for their trading team. They wanted to ensure the trading team knew what programs were active and have a complete picture of those programs. With Enable now in place, the team can provide that clarity. They can see which items they have rebates on and how much they need to spend to reach another threshold within their programs.
Mealing says, “Now, we can clearly see that we can spend another £10,000 to get £50,000 back and focus our rebate efforts appropriately. We are able to provide information and data to the trading team to help drive customer behaviour;"
“Moving to a system like Enable for our complex rebate programs means we don’t need to spend excess time digging up information from various sources. Everything is within one system. That’s the key differentiator.”
Mike Dube | System Finance Commercial Director