The Challenge

Brakes manages a large number of suppliers and many of these suppliers have volume commitments or rebate agreements negotiated as part of their contract. These agreements represent a significant proportion of the cost base for Brakes, but managing the agreements was proving to be time-consuming and complex, especially when the relevant data was being held across different departments and in multiple formats. Without a clear process in place, Brakes had the potential to lose track of any monies owing to them which would ultimately impact their overall profitability.

Procurement Challenge

Rob Luckhurst, Category Procurement Director at Brakes, said: “The original system was paper based and required four signatures for approval, buyers would spend ages chasing paper around the business. It was difficult to keep track of how the agreements were progressing and each department had their own method or system of tracking. Buyers had little visibility of the current status and the system was reliant on the buyer remembering what stage the process was at, to action key tasks.”

Finance Challenge

Victoria Clark, Head of Commercial Finance at Brakes, said: “Before using ARCUS® Supplier Rebate Manager, there was no visibility of the progress or stage of the agreement and, with paper based agreements, important information could get lost. With manual progress tracking, it took longer to complete the agreements and delayed us calculating and invoicing any monies due. Also, from an audit perspective, key information was often omitted and faxed/signed copies were often unreadable. I’d hate to say how much time was wasted with buyers and suppliers repeating the approval process.”

The Solution

Brakes realised that in order to optimise the process, it needed a more efficient and structured approach. Brakes had a number of prerequisites that its Rebate Management software should satisfy and the ARCUS® software’s features ticked all the boxes.

Central Repository of Supplier Information
The ARCUS® software provided Brakes with a central hub to store all of its supplier agreements. All information could be stored in the cloud, making it easy to share between departments, and in a standardised format.

Configurable Workflow with Automated Reminders
An approval process, configured to map Brakes’ existing procedures, provided the company with a much more controlled and streamlined process. Automated reminders were incorporated so alerts could be sent to relevant stakeholders against key events and milestones.

The user-friendly dashboard gave Brakes complete visibility over its workflow process. Each department could now see the progress of each agreement to prevent delays and bottlenecks forming.

Audit and Reporting Facility
All changes and approvals are recorded within the audit facility to ensure a legally sound process. Intuitive reporting now enables Brakes to create and share custom reports, filter results and export information to CSV or Excel.

Smooth Implementation Process
Implementing the cloud-based software had little impact on the rest of Brakes’ operations and although being configured to match Brakes exact requirements, it was quickly deployed and up and running in just a few weeks.

The Result

Since implementing the ARCUS® software to help manage its Supplier Rebates, Brakes has:

Rob Luckhurst said: “ARCUS® Supplier Rebate Manager has improved efficiency significantly. We now have a system in place that ensures all the terms agreements that the procurement team work hard to negotiate are being realised. It has made a huge difference to our bottom-line.”

Victoria then added: “ARCUS® Supplier Rebate Manager has revolutionised our process for managing supplier rebates and has made everything simpler, easier and quicker.”

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