Behind the Idea: Enable

The COVID-19 pandemic and remote working only accelerated the need to digitise finance and procurement functions who are primarily calculating, accruing, allocating rebates and negotiating their trading agreements with suppliers. Previously relying on manual tools brought numerous errors and miscalculations resulting in 4% of potential rebate revenue going unclaimed. By helping these departments to automate their rebate management processes, they can maximise the performance of their B2B deals while improving financial transparency and operational efficiency.

After starting out developing software at the age of 16, Andrew Butt co-founded rebate management platform Enable in 2016 and is now the CEO. He is pioneering a new category/class of software to help primarily distributors and manufacturers succeed with rebate management in a way that enables them to better serve their customers while also accelerating profitable growth.

Behind the Idea: Enable
Andrew Butt, Co-founder and CEO of Enable

What has been the traditional company response to financial technology innovations nationally?

There are more than $1 trillion of B2B rebates in North America and Europe with the vast majority being managed poorly in spreadsheets or disparate systems. We are disrupting and shaking up this old fashioned space with a team of industry experts and with the backing of the best of Silicon Valley.

We’re the only SaaS company solely focused on B2B deals and rebates, creating software that’s accessible, affordable and usable by every distributor, manufacturer and retailer. We cater for virtually every conceivable deal mechanism that exists – product-specific, location-specific, defined time periods, tiers, different units of measure, and so on. These organisations must turn to technology to boost financial performance, increase operational efficiency and mitigate business risk.

How has this changed over the past few years?

Over the years we have seen distributors, manufacturers and retailers from the UK and US with large proportions of their revenue coming from their rebates and B2B deals, putting even greater importance on them. However, as these get more complex, they are starting to realise they can’t manage them manually anymore or rely on the correct data from their trading partners.

Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it structural improvements and our teams across the UK and US transitioned to a remote working environment. With us being able to adapt quickly to working from home and still grow exponentially, we are now reviewing our working from home policy for all employees.

We merged our client services and customer success teams as we place great importance on our ability to onboard customers with minimal friction, making sure customers receive value from our product, and meet their goals. This new team brought an emphasis on teamwork, product expertise and speed, with a focus on the customer. We believe we can simplify our processes and achieve a closer working relationship between Customer Success Managers and Implementation Analysts.

What fintech ideas have been implemented?

At Enable we deliver to our customers on time, every time, to a consistently high standard. Our internal tools and processes as well as listening to our customers and solving any of their problems, ensures Enable consistently achieves excellent support response times and very positive customer feedback. The reliability of our products and service means that we are able to maintain long-term relationships with our customers, strengthened by their confidence in our offering.

Our rebate management platform is also 100% cloud-based as we use Microsoft Azure to host our applications. We make sure to utilise the wide variety of resources that Microsoft Azure has to offer so that we can continue to improve the quality and performance of our applications. To provide and maintain the standard of our product, we require our solutions to automate and integrate seamlessly with each other, and one of the ways we achieve this is by using Azure Functions.

What benefits have these brought?:

Being in the cloud means our software is accessible anytime, anywhere and having a customer-centric approach has allowed us to build relationships, learn from them and really understand what they need from our product. Our customers trust that they are in good hands, with employees capable of understanding complex problems and recognising how software can be used to solve them. The quality of what we produce, the way we engage with customers, our staff, culture and environment are the pillars of Enable.

Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?

The world is changing at pace, and even if customers and suppliers seem happy with their current processes, they are going to get left behind. The cloud is way past the point of being inevitable now. I occasionally meet people who in 2021 still don’t trust having their data in the cloud. This is an old world view and these people and businesses are going to die if they don’t embrace the cloud and move forward.

Can these challenges be aided by fintech?

Absolutely! We’ve developed software to make rebates and B2B deals accessible like never before, so you can extract the most value out of them.

Final thoughts…

Our vision is to democratise the deal economy through intelligent deals connecting every trading relationship. We’re reshaping how B2B deals are deployed, managed and measured to help both sides of the trading relationship succeed. Performance improves when goals and incentives are communicated, measured and are meaningful to both parties. The retail sector pioneered the joint business plan, creating a common understanding between supplier and supermarket of what success looks like. We want to see this grow in other markets too, boosting success across millions of B2B trading relationships.

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