Roofs are a building's first line of defense and must be built to last – and roofing suppliers play an integral role in this process. Roofing suppliers are part of a dynamic industry confronting numerous challenges and variables – from labor shortages, to the rising costs of materials, and more – making internal processes more important than ever. 

Shoring up internal processes isn’t always easy, though. Change – or the perception of it – is hard. But one win roofing suppliers can tackle right now, without needing to implement complex change management plans? Rebate management.

Good rebate management protects roofing suppliers against the many headwinds facing the industry. It helps them maximize margins, reduce waste, and improve relationships between themselves and their trading partners. The right rebate management solution makes this simple.

The Structural Problems That Lead to Profit Leakage

There’s a direct connection between product integrity and business success in the roofing industry. Just as customers would never accept a leaky roof, companies in the industry shouldn’t be willing to accept the profit leakage that comes from inefficient and error-prone manual rebate processes. 

Relying on spreadsheets and other manual resources for tracking rebates drives issues like overpayment, underclaimed rebate values, and miscommunications with distributors. This is where profit leakage really adds up.

A major source of profit, rebates are more strategic and flexible than discounts. They help suppliers and their partners improve margins, set targets around highly-specific sales and volume goals, and ultimately increase loyalty in both directions. But rebates can be complex. They can be calculated over different time frames, include or exclude specific products, and focus on extremely granular (and evolving) performance targets. 

Trading partners shouldn’t be forced to corral worksheets from many different places, manually catch errors and changes, and waste valuable time and resources to stay on top of their rebates. They need a streamlined and centralized platform for rebate management – one that plugs profit leaks and increases the bottom line. 

Using Technology to Seal Profit Leaks

According to our research, two-thirds of manufacturers offer annual rebate programs, while distributors have rebate deals in place with 50 of their top 100 manufacturers. But a rebate program isn’t enough; trading partners must ensure these programs are transparent, adaptable, and efficient to prevent profit leakage and enable strategic collaboration. Trading partners in the roofing industry are no exception. 

Rebates can be based on volume, margins, and an array of other variables, including location, timing, business objective, and more. While this level of customization allows roofing suppliers to fine-tune their rebate strategies, it can drastically increase complexity. When trading partners attempt to implement complicated, multi-tier rebate strategies with manual mechanisms for tracking and reporting, it can become impossible to accurately and efficiently manage everything. This leads to operational cracks that lost profits can sneak through. 

Distributors often need to rely on their suppliers to perform their calculations, leaving room for error. Plus, if the rebate program isn’t well-built, they’re worried about leaving money on the table.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Digital rebate management through a platform like Enable makes monitoring and auditing programs much easier. It helps companies in the roofing industry focus on what matters most: building a business strategy with their trading partners that prevents revenue leakage and shore up the bottom line without sacrificing relationships. 

A New Way to Manage Rebates in the Roofing Industry

Kimberly Frank is the corporate controller for Richards Building Supply, and she says deploying Enable’s rebate management software dramatically impacted the efficiency and reliability of her company’s rebate program. When her company used Excel to track rebates, the process was slow and unwieldy, and prone to errors.

Frank said she was catching errors through analytics, but obviously, couldn’t go through every single program. She had to rely on the team calculating it so there was a lot of manual work going on at a fast pace.

Frank isn’t alone. Most companies rely on manual processes to manage their rebates. As a result, many rebates go unclaimed. In fact, our research has found that 4% of rebate revenue goes unclaimed – a significant source of profit leakage that isn’t being addressed. Meanwhile, construction suppliers using dedicated rebate management solutions typically spend 40% less time on month-end activities. Improving rebate management will help companies maximize the value of their rebate strategy while making operations more efficient. 

For Frank, that means taking advantage of a platform like Enable. Frank says a single employee is now able to manage rebates at her company in far less time than before. About three weeks of work are knocked down to a day, which allows roofing suppliers to not get bogged down in the minutiae of rebate management, so they can focus on orienting their rebate solutions toward their core business objectives.