Why Henderson Foodservice Turned to Enable for Future-proof Rebate Management
Henderson Foodservice is one of Ireland’s leading suppliers to the foodservice industry. They support and serve over 4,500 customers across multiple sectors including hotels, restaurants, pubs, educational organizations, bakeries, wholesalers, cafes and coffee shops, workplace catering and travel/leisure providers across the Island of Ireland.
We spoke to Des Simpson, Head of Trading in Henderson Foodservice who was the key stakeholder in introducing Enable to Henderson Foodservice and who highlighted the need for an improved Supplier Income Management Solution.
Life Before Enable: An In-house Solution
Previously, one individual was responsible for inputting deals and collecting payment from suppliers. Henderson’s IT team had built a system to support the inputting of deals which was tweaked as needed over the years but couldn’t quite meet their future requirements.
Des explains, “IT had built a system to support the individual inputting the deals but there was no automation. It couldn’t integrate with other systems so, at regular points, we had to validate the integrity of the data. The system needed updating to scale with the growth of the business, for example, to allow us to invoice from that system.” To resolve the challenges with growth and reduce manual activity, they needed a future-proof, time-efficient solution.
A Lack Of Forecasting and Reliance on Spreadsheets
Henderson Foodservice found that relying on reports in spreadsheets was inefficient and the data was difficult to rely on. They wanted to make sure cash flow was steady, so collecting all rebates owed on time was important, as was forecasting. They were struggling to get a holistic snapshot of the business position regarding supplier rebates.
Deborah McKinstry, Pricing and Trading Admin Manager at Henderson Foodservice was responsible for leading the implementation of Enable into the business. “Pulling everything together was inefficient and just not a nice job from spreadsheets. We sometimes had 2 deals covering 1 agreement. It was tough to reconcile accurately and ensure there’s a steady flow of cash coming through the business including, making sure that money owed was collected on time. Then, whenever you get to the end of the year in your budget, it's difficult to forecast if you don't have a complete version of the truth. We also found it hard to set up KPI’s for employees impacted by the data.”
The Turning Point: The Desire to Become a Market Leader
Henderson’s Commercial Director Mark Stewart-Maunder wanted more visibility. Having developed and tweaked their system over the years, it became evident that it was time to find a product that could continuously develop without their effort. That’s what led Henderson to Enable.
But Henderson wanted to do more than just solve immediate issues: They also wanted a solution that would help them move forward. “We’re quite passionate about digital transformation,” notes Mark who explains, “it’s been a hot topic for us. We want to ensure we are a leader in the market.”
Why Choose Enable? Relationships and Confidence
Choosing Enable was an easy decision to make, as Mark explains. “There was plenty of confidence from Dan, Head of Solutions Consulting at Enable, that the product could do what we needed it to do. That really instilled confidence in us that this would work. We also had great communications with Hugh & Chelsea in the sales team and Ben Summerskill in Customer Success in the early stages. We felt that the relationship building the whole way through was very, very good!”
Life With Enable: Invoicing is a Huge Win!
Henderson is now set up for the future and is already seeing benefits, as Des explains: “The fact that we had automated our first batch of invoices in January, 4 months after we kicked off the project, has been a huge win, we no longer have to input the data on multiple systems. This has freed up so much more time to analyze the data.”
Data analysis is just the first step of the next evolution for their business transformation, but it has already provided them the framework to gain a complete version of the truth, and improve decision-making, cashflow, rebate collections and reconciliation accuracy.
As time goes by, Henderson will be able to gain even more confidence in their rebate management effectiveness, progress their digital transformation journey and ensure a market-leading position in their industry thanks to Enable’s rebate management software.
"Enable has freed up so much more time to analyze the data."