Life before Enable: a mess of dozens of Excel files
Previously, all rebates at Stemco were managed in spreadsheets. This included blind rebates: transactions between a distributor and their customer which were invisible to Stemco until the distributor provided excel files with the details. In addition to creating a time-consuming, frustrating situation, it also resulted in a severe lack of visibility which limited planning.
Colleen Kennedy Marketing Analyst of Stemco explains her frustrations, “It was all done via email and spreadsheets. Therefore, trying to gather all that information and be able to create any reporting off it was extremely time consuming. You had emails, hundreds, by the time you were done. Let’s say a customer had two programs and they submitted every month, that's still 24 Excel files for that customer alone. Imagine there are 30 customers… That's a lot of Excel files!”
Complex deals made the situation even more thorny
Add in a significant level of complexity and the situation intensified further, making margin calculations even more difficult. Stemco’s agreements are not simple rebates, such as a straight 2% on everything they sell. Some rebates have a set price per part for a set time, then the time period and pricing changes.
Colleen says, “These dollars aren’t the most significant, but it creates a lot of labor involved in managing and maintaining and keeping everything aligned. Also, some of the discounts are steeper so we have to spend more time doing the analysis on them, because we operate on a much different margin on those ones.”
The quest for a collaborative portal
Ideally, Stemco were looking for a portal where their distributors could log in and upload data they could reported on, rather than relying on them sending their data via email. This was a key requirement to streamlining their rebate management process.
Enable was the only solution that had a portal to meet their needs.
Colleen explains, “I was researching rebate management solutions, software options, anything that could help us get information we needed fast enough about our rebate programs, to make educated decisions on things. I tried Google but I was getting the same results. I decided to try searching on YouTube for rebate management & that’s when I found Enable.”
The Enable difference: strategic deal analysis
Once Stemco started receiving data efficiently they could turn their attention to being more strategic and analyzing their deals. This resulted in improved consistency, and extra validation.
Colleen says, “It’s been great because now I've been able to switch from managing the paperwork aspect of it to actually being able to look at some of the reporting and being strategic with decisions.
It's been fantastic to have that extra validation on our data. It also makes sure that the program is done the same way every single time. You know, when you're looking at something and you only do it annually, you look back at what you did prior year, but maybe you included this part number and you shouldn't have, or you did, or didn't. Now this is kept consistent year over year.”
Discovering $35k in overpayments
Enable has allowed Stemco to gain visibility into transactions between their distributors and who they sell on to. Pulling data into reports would previously have taken them weeks to gather from spreadsheets.
Colleen says, “It would've taken me a couple weeks to copy and paste from different Excel files to create a database that we could have done that with. Now, I can go into the reports, to a transaction or an earnings report and have at least what's been submitted visible.”
Enable’s collaborative tool also helped Stemco discover a number of duplicate items submitted over the past year. The system helped her locate $35k in overpayments which had previously been buried in over 5,000 lines of information!
Colleen explains, “We didn't start really using Enable properly until May or June for most customers. However, I wanted a full year in, so I was uploading January, February, March off the Excel files to build that full year. When I loaded the January files, the collaborator tool kicked back a bunch of duplicate lines. We were looking at files that have 5,000 lines, it’s not easy to see that. I then went back to check 2020 and, overall, we found $35k in overpayments to a customer.”
That’s why we say Enable is so much more than rebate management: we’re a collaboration platform that maximizes the performance of your B2B deals.