If you don’t have a strategy for managing supplier rebates in 2016, now is your time to make one. Over the years we have worked with many companies who still manage their supplier rebates using inefficient methods: emails, Excel spreadsheets and paper trails. Using feedback I have received from clients in 2015, and the expected trends for the year ahead, here are my suggestions for making managing supplier rebates simpler, more efficient and more effective in 2016.
1. Standardise information
One of the main challenges that I hear from our clients is that information is gathered in different formats across different departments. Standardising the way information is collected and making sure everyone gathers the same data in the same format is crucial for creating the foundation to a more structured and simpler supplier rebate process.
2. Centralise Information
Another common challenge that companies face is that information is stored in different locations, using different methods across the business. This fragmented storage of rebate information limits the visibility stakeholders have over crucial supplier rebate agreements. The result is huge inefficiencies as individuals have to chase information around the organisation. Such inefficiencies cause rebate agreements to be missed or the rebate value to not be fully optimised. A simple solution is to create a central, cloud based repository of rebate agreements. This provides accessible data that can be easily shared between departments and key stakeholders.
3. Define a Process
Once the information is gathered and stored in a more coherent way, it is easier to establish a clear process or workflow. Lacking a defined process is a real challenge to many businesses and 64%* of companies admit to losing out on rebate revenue due to shortfalls in their current process. Defining roles and responsibilities for each stage of the process helps to reduce the administrative burden and speed up the process of managing supplier rebates, cutting the hours spent managing supplier rebates significantly.
4. Set Deadlines
Following on from creating a workflow for managing supplier rebates, organisations should be looking to establish the key milestones around their Supplier Rebate Management process. From this, it is really useful to schedule some alerts to remind the individuals whose role it is to action these tasks. This helps to streamline the process and results in more rebate agreements being proactively managed.
5. Manage the Process
According to our research report, tracking the rebate management process was a major challenge for companies in 2015*. Putting in place metrics to measure against your key milestones is a really effective way to add transparency into the supplier rebate process. Here at Trade Interchange, we offer users the next level of insight into their process by integrating a dashboard feature into our software. This allows users to see the status of all their rebate agreements in real-time from one central panel. At a glance, users are able to easily manage the progress of all of their supplier rebate agreements.
The ARCUS® Supplier Rebate Management Solution helps companies looking to improve their supplier rebate process. We offer a cloud based data management system that allows you to collect, store and track supplier agreements from one centralised and easy to use hub. Built-in workflows streamline the whole process of managing supplier agreements while automated reminders alert stakeholders to key milestones, and a centralised dashboard gives both Finance and Procurement departments real time visibility over the process. Our proven solution helps organisations reduce administrative burdens and improve efficiency while making a real impact to bottom line savings.
I am always happy to discuss how our solution benefits companies, so please contact me on the details below if you would like to discuss further.
* Trade Interchange Research Report 2015 ‘The Cost of Poor Supplier Rebate Management’