I recently read an article from the Channel Web site discussing dilemmas many companies have regarding unused MDF funds. Even though this article is a couple years old, this dilemma is still facing companies today.
MDF can be a very powerful way for companies to launch a new product or reach into a new market. However, if the funds are not being used then companies are not achieving the goals of setting up the MDF funds. As the article states unused funds are not good as channel sales are not improved.
Based on the article it appears that some companies make it very difficult for partners to claim from the brand owners. In this case I think an MDF application that makes it easy for partners to request funds and submit a claim for reimbursement may ease this dilemma.
For example, within SAP CRM MDF the partner (VAR) will submit an initiative request to the brand owner (vendor). If this is approved the partner will know that he can then spend the money for the marketing activity he was approved. He can then submit a reservation to reserve money from the fund prior to the claim submission. Throughout the entire process the partner will have visibility into the fund and what funds are available.
For more information on SAP CRM Market Development Funds please refer to the related SAP CRM: Market Development Fund.