Invoice Deduction Management: Taking the Bite out of Retailer Relationships
The retailer relationship that looked so promising in the beginning, can often turn into a wolf at your door ready to eat your profits. As a software provider, we're always looking for ways to help consumer goods companies streamline, optimise, and standardise their operations. And those efforts really do pay off – literally. Particularly in the area of retailer compliance, where a mandate missed, more often than not, means money out of your pocket.
It's true that retailer invoice deductions can take a big bite out of your profitability. But it's also true that compliance requirements can be an opportunity for your organisation. Retailer mandates force consumer goods companies to operate more efficiently – to streamline and standardise operations. And if you can master the requirements, then your consumer goods company will have an advantage over the competition. Apprise customers have a definite advantage.
So where does compliance make the biggest impact? Consumer goods companies will have different answers depending on their processes, their partners, and the way they conduct business. For one Apprise Software customer, getting ahead of compliance issues was all about getting visibility into overseas supplier operations – to monitor activities and make adjustments – before trouble struck. Getting visibility enabled the company to fix problems before product was shipped from its overseas suppliers, and saved them more than a million dollars.
Another customer found that automating the warehouse helped eliminate mis-picks that were causing invoice deductions. The result: they increased revenue by 22 per cent during the worst recession in generations. Other customers are eliminating stock-out situations, mastering demand planning, and a host of other ills that were causing pain in their profit centres.
Where's your bottleneck or trouble spot? It could be in any of hundreds of processes including: meeting testing protocols and quality guidelines, getting packaging specs and labelling right the first time, meeting ship windows, and mastering EDI. Or it could be as simple as eliminating key entry errors and duplicate key entry tasks that more often than not, make small problems exponentially bigger as they move down the line through your production, warehousing, and shipping operations.
So what's the answer to the invoice deduction question? We think the solution lies in choosing an application that is fully integrated, made specifically for consumer goods, and can streamline all your supply chain processes. And in software that has built-in compliance tools and invoice deduction management. The solution also lies in visibility across the enterprise. Can all your team members see the specs and deadlines that are critical to your customers? When a production glitch occurs how long does it take your team to act? Automated alerts within your ERP system can ensure that problems don't slip through the cracks.
And at the end of the day, month, or period, do you know what processes are costing you money? A profitability scorecard that lets you drill into the reason codes behind your invoice deductions can provide the detail and data you need to create a more profitable enterprise.
At Apprise Software, our customers have discovered that choosing a software provider that is vertically focused in the consumer goods space is the best place to start when you want to stop invoice deductions in their tracks. Having a partner that understands the evolving and demanding nature of the retailer relationship can put you on your way to eliminating invoice deductions from your balance sheet – and taming the invoice deduction beast at your door.