Buying groups typically exist to bring together independent, privately owned businesses that have common values, goals and aspirations. Buying groups both depend and thrive on close collaboration and clear visibility of information between each member of the group and its central offices.
Manufacturers can gain real insight by working closely with buying groups, whose members are close to customers and often have a great deal of market experience and understanding. Many successful partnerships have been established between manufacturers and buying groups with the common goal of getting more product into market.
The negotiation and execution of group deals and trading agreements with suppliers is a key activity for most groups, with individual members benefiting from improved terms than they could get on their own, thanks to supplier rebates, overriders and other retrospective income.
Suppliers gain efficiencies by dealing with a small number of buyers for large volumes of purchases, and the ability to build and improve their brands by communicating promotions and product information across potentially hundreds of member companies quickly and consistently.
Enable has been working with buying groups since 2002, implementing DealTrack and in some cases building custom extensions. Clients have a group spend ranging from £100m to £30bn ($144m to $43bn).
DealTrack is a rebate management software solution that offers a fully automated approach to rebate management with particular consideration for buying groups, across a broad set of industries including buying groups for building materials. A key differentiator compared to standard contract management is the focus on rebates.
Supplier portal. Allow suppliers to upload details of promotions and input their sales figures for each member at the appropriate level of detail (i.e. by category, by product, by month).
Member rebate payments. DealTrack calculates the rebate payable to each member and provides an audit trail.
Promotions catalogue. Publish centrally negotiated promotions to members with full product details.
What-if scenario planning. Allow members to see how their purchasing decisions will impact the rebate that they will earn.
More than a buying group, XLVets is one of the UK’s leading veterinary groups sharing experience, knowledge and skills whilst providing economies of scale for member practices. With 50 members, over 150 premises and more than 500 vets, XLVets needed a rebate management software solution to provide members with accurate and timely purchasing, pricing and rebate earnings information, reducing the overhead, duplication and error potential of every member manually calculating the same information themselves. XLVets' CEO Andrew Curwen commented “Enable delivered against our brief and by understanding our business model, our aims and objectives, has provided a system that truly delivers value at every level.”
The Landmark Wholesale Group was formed in 1972. Turnover is nearly £3bn. Enable were engaged to implement a replacement for a previous overrider system, which calculates member payments and provides ‘what if’ scenario planning tools.
Today’s Group is the largest independent buying group in the UK with buying power in excess of £5.7bn. Enable provides a suite of supplier and member facing systems that enable promotions and deals to be set up, signed off and then communicated across the group. Today’s Group CEO, Bill Laird, commented “We’ve partnered with Enable for the last four years on our digital journey from being low tech and reliant on paper-based systems to our new cloud apps. Enable’s team invested heavily in understanding our business, so the long-term success comes as no surprise.”
DealTrack has also recently been implemented by Affiliated Distributors (‘AD’) and Country Range Group to set up, approve, calculate and collect supplier rebates. AD is a dynamic community of independent distributors and manufacturers of construction and industrial products, with 570+ independently owned members having 3,605 locations, spanning seven industries and three countries with collective annual sales in excess of $31 bn. The Country Range Group are wholesale food suppliers to the catering industry. Their central office works on behalf of 13 independent wholesale food suppliers who operate out of 18 depots throughout the UK and Ireland.