How to Upgrade Your Ship & Debit Claims Processes
There’s little doubt that off-invoice incentive like trade promotions and ship and debit programs play a pivotal role in the successful sale of bulk consumer and industrial goods. Price agreements outlined between a manufacturer and its distributor/seller can offset changes in the market such as more competition or a change in demand.
When executed properly, this process is win/win for the distributor and company alike. Distributors earn significant portions of their margins from these offers while shifting unsold stock and making room for the company’s new products. While distributor margins narrow somewhat during this period, they can claim these differences.
But the process is far from simple. It often involves both the distributor and manufacturer undertaking complicated and laborious tasks, none of which are made any easier by traditional facilitating software.
Common Problems Encountered During the Claims Management Process
Some of the most common issues faced during this period are:
- Significant delays in submitting claims to the manufacturer due to the sheer amount of paperwork and calculations required
- Miscalculations at the manufacturer’s end, resulting in distributors being paid too much or too little.
- The potential for bogus claims to make it through the off-invoice reconciliation process.
- Budgeting complications for the manufacturer due to unprocessed claims from previous financial years.
- Wasted manpower or not enough manpower to make the claim
Each of these issues can result in financial risk and loss. But more than that, poor claims management processes can damage the relationship between the distributor and manufacturer, sometimes breaking the contracts entirely.
For optimal trust and reduced risk of huge financial losses, it’s important that the claims management process is streamlined so that all parties are satisfied.
That’s where ChannelManager can help.
What Is ChannelManager?
This innovative new product module, brought to you by Pricefx, ChannelManager gives you the ability to automate and validate ship & debit claims in any industry and country. Addressing some of the most common problems encountered during the reconciliation process, ChannelManager guarantees a more streamlined system with long term cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.
How Does It Work?
Simply put, ChannelManager is a digital module that is accessible within the Pricefx platform to help streamline the claims management process. It offers adaptable, innovative technology to take the manual handling out of claims, freeing up the workforce and producing accurate calculations with speed. Furthermore, it can be used to process claims from distributors in any country, giving them transparency as claims move through the pipeline. Other benefits of implementing ChannelManager are:
- Efficient validation
- Reduced risk of costly and embarrassing miscalculations
- Improved trust and stronger relationships between distributor and manufacturer
- Simplified processes
- Reduced manpower
- Full integration with existing software
- Decreased turnaround time
ChannelManager In Action
To provide a better idea of how ChannelManager might work in a real–life scenario, imagine the following:
- A distributor is not selling a specific product
- A manufacturer usually sells an item into stock for $100
- The end customer requests a price of $90
- The distributor needs a special price of $80 from the manufacturer
- The manufacturer approved the ship and debit quote for $80
- The distributor then sells the product for $90
- The distributor sends a claim (proof of sale) to the manufacturer
- The manufacturer validates the claim against the approved special price
The downside of this is the manufacturer then has the mammoth task of manually going through a stockpile of sales data to submit an appropriate claim to retrieve the difference and bump up their margins. This takes up the workforce’s time, reducing manpower elsewhere and often costing money.
Once this has been done, the manufacturer collects, verifies and settles these claims. Sometimes they are submitted in the thousands and every so often, some are bogus, taking up much more time than anticipated.
But the distributor wants to be paid in a timely manner, and nobody can blame them! As they wait for the verification process to complete, tensions can run high between the distributor and manufacturer. Even when they are finally paid, there is a good chance that the calculations are wrong and the distributor has been under (or over) paid.
To compound distributors will often short pay invoices based on their perception of what a manufacturer owes them. This becomes a huge accounting nightmare for the manufacturers because these short payments are not associated with a specific claim. With limited visibility as to what’s happening, distributors can quickly become exasperated, and in a worst-case scenario, break ties with the manufacturer.
Now let’s look at that exact same scenario, but with ChannelManager fully integrated into the process.
Upon retrieving information about the discount that will be applied to stock and informing retailers, the distributor submits the information via email or a third-party internal portal to initiate a claim. Details of sales are kept within ChannelManager which can then be easily accessed by the manufacturer, who can use the same technology to calculate payments. In this scenario, should the distributor query the status of a claim, they can request information about it and the manufacturer can simply access the ChannelManager platform, export the data about the latest updates and send it to the distributor via their agreed communication channel.
The result? Quick and efficient claims management processes as well as happier distributors and overall cost savings for all.
So, what’s the next step?
Inquiring about implementing ChannelManager is easy. Simply fill out the form to find out more.
You can also join us at our exclusive webinar where you can learn more about ChannelManager and its benefits. Click below to learn more.