Stakeholders empowered with a cloud-based rebate management platform can improve timely rebate program finalization by up to 60%. However, most buying groups don’t get their programs for the current year finalized till April – May of the following year. This is because they follow outmoded and unstructured rebate management practices.
These practices are often manual and do not divide the rebate management process into well-defined steps. This leads to inefficiencies resulting in late finalizations.
Why is an efficient rebate management process pivotal?
Buying groups manage hundreds of suppliers and about 800 – 900 rebate programs annually. The optimal planning cycle for rebate program contract closure is from August to December – extending up to January. This cycle helps buying group members by giving them time to add terms and conditions to programs, and freeing them up to move on to value-added activities earlier in the new year.
Timely closures also help suppliers as their planning cycles kick off in August. So, if buying groups close out their programs early, suppliers can build the right purchase expectations and rebates into their budgets. Finance teams can also do the relevant reconciliations on time.
Ill-defined workflows that tend to be manual slow down the process of finalizing rebate programs by the end of the calendar year. This happens because of late starts of the renewals process, untimely responses from stakeholders, and unnecessary iterations, and has a cascading effect of inefficiency across the entire ecosystem.
Other negatives also play out in the absence of non-standardized workflows:
- There is no single source of truth, hindering data optimization and crucial analytics.
- Inaccurate calculations in the first quarter due to delayed closing out of contracts
- Since information is in multiple places, such as worksheets, PDFs and emails; it can lead to improper signature validation, even fraud inaccuracies in programs, program management, and improper tracking by the supplier.
Leveraging automated workflow for streamlined rebate management
A well-defined, automated workflow that is part of your rebate management solution resolves the pain points that delay program closure and hinder stakeholder efficiency. It does this by standardizing the steps for program renewals, so there are no ambiguities on what a stakeholder needs to do in each phase. It minimizes delays by notifying stakeholders to edit, approve or reject the proposals.
A rebate management solution for better governance and compliance
A good rebate solution has an automated workflow that is highly configurable, increasing its viability. It has a calculation engine that takes in updated terms and conditions at each stage and calculates rebates on the go. This ensures accuracy and optimization. Also, automation records a complete audit trail, so compliance is taken care of.
With Rebate.ai from Tredence, enable timely rebate program finalizations
Automated workflows of the Rebate.ai rebate management solution in action
The steps of the automated workflow include rebate creation, rebate negotiation, editing the rebate program, finalizing the program, accepting the program, and finally signing off to make it a legally binding document.
Transformative features of the rebate management platform’s automated workflows
Standardized format – Buying groups can create the rebate programs for the following year and enter the program details, terms and conditions in a standardized format. Inclusions, exclusions, and changes are audited, processed, and approved by the stakeholders efficiently.
Common platform – Suppliers also have access to the rebate management platform, so they can update their programs and get approval from the buying group that includes a signature tool via a platform like DocuSign.
Fosters collaboration – The rebate management solution fosters greater collaboration between stakeholders since the common rebate management platform allows access and transparency for all at pre-set levels.
One-click rollover – Renewals can be done with a single click to roll the program over to the next year, increasing ease of use and efficiency.
Single source of truth – An automated workflow captures data from various sources across the ecosystem and provides users with a single source of truth, improving decision-making.
Electronic signature validation – This last mile feature reduces room for fraud in agreements, strengthening compliance.
Automated workflows positively impact the bottom line – The solid electronic workflow with structured steps optimizes the process for all stakeholders. By improving rebate governance and boosting early program finalizations and stakeholder productivity, it lowers risk and increases earnings.
With help from Tredence’s rebate management solutions team to detail the rebate process, IMARK Plumbing used automated workflows on the Rebate.ai rebate management platform to finalize 98% of their rebate programs by January. Earlier, they closed out only 40% of their programs by the new year. The electronic workflow improved their rebate programs and stakeholder productivity, increasing their competitive advantage in the industry.
“The IMARK Program Administration Tool (PAT) provided by Rebate.ai has streamlined our annual program renewal process. The tool provides IMARK suppliers with an easy-to-use digital format to confirm all aspects of their rebate programs and provides IMARK with a quick process to review and approve supplier programs. Providing further value, the PAT provides IMARK with a number of administrative features to help the group better manage the entire renewal process.”
Ted Havel, VP of Marketing and Supplier Relations – IMARK Plumbing
Automated workflows for rebate management are the way forward
Timelines are crucial in rebate management and are impacted when processes are inefficient and not digitized.
Automated workflows provide a common platform for all stakeholders to participate on time. This optimizes planning and resources, increasing savings. Rebate teams are freed up to focus on higher-value activity, creating revenue.
Ready to adopt an automated workflow for better rebate management? Book a demo to learn how Rebate.ai can help automate your processes for higher earnings and productivity.