Every alcohol distributor, retailer, or wholesaler has experienced the frustrations involved with credit processing associated with alcohol deliveries. Whether it is a shorted case, damaged product, or erroneous invoice cost, processing the credits due can be inefficient - costing trading partners time, money and valuable resources.
Here are 5 reasons why alcohol credits can give you a headache, and what you can do about it:
1. Retailer Credit Prices Do Not Match Distributors
Price differences between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are problematic at the best of times. When compounded by credit balance management, price differences give even the most numbers-loving executive a headache.
A good supply chain management system should provide price matching systems to ensure that everyone is on the same page as to credits, returns, and invoices. This system should provide information on price in multiple types of units so that you can track the cost of inventory sold and returned regardless of whether it is by the case, by the unit, by the liter, or any other units your supply chain may use.
iControl's patent-pending Next-Generation Reconciliation™ enables and empowers alcohol distributors and retailers alike to revolutionize their approach to outdated, manual invoice reconciliation with a cutting-edge software solution.
SEE ALSO: 5 Ways Next-Gen Reconciliation Is Revolutionizing The Alcohol Payment Process
2. Not Communicating Credit Amounts Across the Supply Chain
How long does it take for a credit invoice to be communicated from a retailer to distributors and manufacturers? Does the retailer manage additional credit processes that are not covered by the distributor or manufacturer? These questions start to reveal the many channel-related issues that credits cause between various supply chain partnerships.
Poor communication across the distribution network leads to poor accounting practices, inaccurate sales planning, and a loss of inventory value in the eyes of your customers. Utilizing a centralized electronic payments platform can simplify communication and improve reaction times.
3. Poor Entry of Credit Amounts on Invoices
Adding credit reimbursement increases the probability of human error. This increases the potential for mistakes which are magnified significantly across the distribution chain. Not only is communicating credits important for your business's bottom line but proper credit tracking and balance reporting/transactions are essential for preventing issues regarding the value of your product.
Utilizing automated solutions like Next-Generation Reconciliation™ enables electronic reconciliation of retailer receiving records with distributor invoices, and automatically identifies variances. The solution then issues a credit request that is then tracked until resolution.
SEE ALSO: Alcohol Payments And Next-Generation Reconciliation™ by iControl [Video]
4. Lack of Communication from Retailers
There are many issues that require communication to be done well, and some of them are as basic as making certain that the customer actually returned the goods they bought. Creating quality control processes for your credit processing systems is just as important as creating quality control processes for other parts of your business.
In order to facilitate communication, you will need collaborative analytics tools to ensure that everyone knows what is happening at different levels of the organization. To facilitate accurate accounting across the supply chain, you will need to integrate a payments processing system that facilitates the transfer of information and invoice management across the supply chain.
Utilizing an electronic payment solution for your alcohol invoices enables better identification, tracking, archiving and reconciliation of all deliveries and credits in a single, centralized platform that both trading partners support. Referencing a "single version of the truth" improves communication, and the resolution of issues that may arise.
5. Unclear Credit Time-Frames
When are credit requests issued? How long do retailers and distributors have to submit and process credit requests? These are questions that need to be defined between distributors and retailers. A good electronic payments system gives you tools to define the credits that are guaranteed by the distributor while still giving retailers freedom to define their own limits.
Additionally, there are several issues that alcohol distributors and retailers face which are unique to their industry. Because of the legal issues of alcohol distribution, retailers are required to pay invoices by cash, check or money order. Your payment processing system needs to account for these limitations and offer solutions that speed up the processing of credits due to minimize the impact of legal requirements.
In addition, utilizing an industry-leading alcohol payments solution ensures you maintain compliance with federal and state regulations that govern the time-frames for payments due for alcohol deliveries. No longer will you have to worry about fines, penalties or jeopardizing your liquor license due to non-compliance.
Contact us to learn more about how to implement it for your business.