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CarParts.com is an auto parts e-commerce company with more than 2,000 employees, turning over $700 million a year. Their motto is 'Right part, right time, right place' and although they have been serving customers steadily for more than 25 years, they have ambitions to become a $1bn company by 2024 – and they’re well on track to achieve it.
But, in order to meet their ambitious targets, they need systems that make life easier, more accurate and more effective for their employees. In the case of rebate management this meant they needed to be compliant, manage extremely complex rebates, and reconcile, and track rebates with ease.
They needed a solution that would provide out-of-the-box functionality and allow them to customize the product to meet their specific needs. So they turned to Enable.
The problem they had with managing complex B2B deals in the past
Jerome Dziechiasz, Senior Category Manager of Merchandising Operations at Carparts has been with the business since 2020, looking after vendor brand rebates. He explains that, in the past, deals and rebates were tracked on a simple Excel spreadsheet which isn’t uncommon in the automotive industry. Jerome explains, “Even the big retailers are still using an Excel spreadsheet, which is very surprising.” But it looks as if the industry is interested in change. He says, “When I talk to people and tell them, Hey, I'm at CarParts and we're using Enable. They actually are very interested in hearing that.”
Why they were looking for a solution: complex rebates, a rapidly-growing company
Carparts has vendors with extremely complex details. For example, he says that with one vendor, “we earn a 5% on pads, 3% on discs and rotors and then we have another percent on the calipers and hydraulics”. Adding further complexity, agreements change in the middle of the year. Being able to track the earnings effectively has been a significant challenge for them. Being compliant from an agreement standpoint has been event more so.
“Before [Enable], it was almost nearly impossible to be able to track and reconcile those types of rebates. Having Enable and building it custom-tailored for our needs has really helped a lot.”
Carparts wanted to go beyond simply tracking rebates. They needed a solution that would support their expansion plans. “As we grow into a billion dollar company and increase our brands and vendors, we needed a system that can handle the hundreds of complex deals and accurately track the earned rebates and Excel just was no longer cutting it.” That’s why they brought in Enable.
Going beyond a cookie-cutter approach: it’s all about the team
Jerome explains that CarParts.com needed a rebate tracking system that they could build from the ground up and customize to fit their needs. He says, “It's been great. It's been accurately tracking all of our rebates and we couldn't be happier. It's not just a cookie cutter option like some of the other options that are out there. Enable fit the bill.”
But Enable didn’t just kick off the project and abandon Carparts, they were with them every step of the way. Jerome says, “As far as working with Enable and that in your guys' team, it's been great. I mean, we work really well. Daniel and Caden and Ben have been great to work with, and we got everything up and running within six months from the idea of what to fit our needs, to actually reconciling and tracking rebates. They're very knowledgeable and patient. They brought a bunch of really neat ideas and they've been extremely helpful.”
Was it all smooth sailing? No. But it was worth it.
Jerome admits, “It took a little longer than expected to get Enable up and running but once we did, we saw the benefits. Now, I can just click on it, do an earnings report and say, ‘Hey, look at all these 150 vendors that we have. Here are the exact rebates. There's a signed contract and here's what they owe.’ Before that we didn't have any of that and it wasn't accurate.”
The benefits now: knowing exactly what they’ve earned, to the penny
One year into their Enable journey Jerome explained how different life is for them. Before Enable, he explains, “we weren't accurately tracking the rebates and so it was kind of a guess. Now, we know exactly what we've earned to the penny. I mean, really, that's the value and actually having signed agreements: to be compliant from a vendor standpoint and accurately being able to track the rebates.”
“[Before Enable] we weren't accurately tracking the rebates and so it was kind of a guess. Now, we know exactly what we've earned to the penny.”
Unexpected benefits: tier tracking and notifications, forecasting and alerts
What’s next for Carparts? Jerome is really excited about Enable’s forecasting ability. “To show year over year, each brand, each vendor, where they're tracking [will be great]. I really like the idea of knowing if it's a tiered deal and we're close to hitting that next tier.”
The way he explains it, “We'll get an alert like, ‘Hey, you need to purchase a little bit more to be able to hit this next tier.’ I think the forecasting and the alerts are amazing. Those are things that we didn't realize it did initially so that was a big surprise.”
And that’s why, at Enable, we keep evolving and progressing our product, adding value to our customers’ lives and making sure they can track, measure, report on and reward rebate activity because, at the end of the day, rebates work when manufacturers and distributors don’t just do deals, they build partnerships.
[Before Enable] we weren't accurately tracking the rebates and so it was kind of a guess. Now, we know exactly what we've earned to the penny.