It used to be that your choices to manage customer deductions electronically were rather limited. You either used the AR module of your company’s ERP system, a ‘bolt-on’ solution to enhance the functionality of your system or possibly even managed the entire process using Excel or another spreadsheet application. The times have certainly changed! Over the past few years I feel that there has been an explosion of tools being offered to streamline and automate the management of deductions. From enhancing the management and evaluation of trade program effectiveness, to pre-processing customer remittance information to streamline cash application, to automating the workflow of deduction processing activities and automatically retrieving customer claims or carrier proofs of delivery from web portals, technology is offering to make the deduction management process easier. To add to the changes, more of this enhanced technology is being offered as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution, lowering the initial costs, shortening the implementation time and reducing the internal IT resources needed. Many of the tools are still new and being used primarily by “early adopters”. I believe that over the next few years, if customers continue to use individual deductions as a tool for compliance, vendor organizations will need to embrace these enabling technologies to keep up.
The remainder of this document is organized as follows:
- What Technologies are Companies Using to Manage Deductions?
– ERP Systems
– Bolt Ons & SaaS Solutions
– Excel and Deduction Reporting
- What Deduction Management Functionality Needs to be Automated?
- What Deduction Management Technology is Out There Today?