In many direct-to-store categories, vendors promote products on a regular basis. When planning a promotion, both retailer and vendor have to agree on timing, duration and promotional allowance; and then apply the promotion and ensure that in-store prices are updated.
This process can be prone to errors. Usually, the buyer and account representatives from both partners will establish the terms of the promotion, and then send the details to their pricebook and accounting departments to complete the process. When promotional terms are communicated in an email or over a phone call, there can be errors in how the terms are applied. And, if the promotion is revised or canceled after the initial agreement, this change has to filter through to many different departments.
We at iControl realize that promotions can be a consistent source of headaches for Scan-Based Trading partnerships. Our platform for Scan-Based Trading, Harmony by iControl™, is designed to facilitate collaboration between retailer and vendor, and incorporates specific features that help clarify communication and make promotion management easier and more effective.
1. Centralized, Transparent Promotion Approval
One of the key features that iControl offers SBT partners is the option to approve or reject promotions submitted by the vendor. Our web-based portal notifies retailers when promotions are ready for their review, and offers retailer users the option to approve or reject submissions from their vendors.
When promotions are approved or rejected, both the vendor and retailer receive a notification that the promotion is in place, and the terms can be sent by EDI directly to the retailer’s pricebook. This process can be used to augment the existing negotiation process, or as a redundant review process to ensure supplier and retailer pricing are synchronized.
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2. Records of All Submissions
iControl retains every promotion submitted by the vendor, whether approved or rejected. It’s easy to review past submissions to see what was approved and what wasn’t. This can help streamline the promotional reconciliation process as well.
3. Lead Time Compliance
One common issue with promotional planning is that last-minute submissions can be disruptive and difficult to implement successfully. iControl can set customized tags that notify a user whether or not a promotion was submitted in a timely manner.
4. Future Promotion Review
iControl recommends reviewing future promotions on a regular basis as a best practice. It’s worthwhile to make sure that promotions that will take effect soon are still correct, since they may have been revised at some point. This proactive approach can help prevent errors before the hit an invoice.
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5. Cost Difference Reporting
When discrepancies between the retailer’s pricing and vendor’s pricing do occur, iControl can send a report to both partners showing the differences and even the specific stores where the differences appear. This ensures that variances are identified in real-time, and they are tracked until resolution.
6. Automated Adjustment Process
If the billed amount needs to be corrected when a discrepancy happens, iControl offers an option to generate billing adjustments automatically. All the vendor needs to do is submit the correct pricing for the affected sale dates, and an adjustment will be produced. There’s no need to struggle with time-consuming manual bill-backs to resolve past issues.
Whether it’s planning a new promotion or resolving a setup issue, iControl offers the best way to manage your SBT promotions. Contact us today to see how iControl can streamline your SBT relationships.