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Author's profile photo Rebecca Newell

Brewing a rewarding customer rebate program

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev), one of the world’s top five consumer products companies, manages a portfolio of over 200 beer brands in 23 different countries.  To reward customer loyalty and enhance sales, AB InBev offers volume-based rebates for purchased products and incentives for using branded service equipment, such as glasses and taps marked with the company’s logos. The popularity of the rebate plans grew rapidly and so did the number and complexity of the agreements. Tracking these incentives and monitoring promotions were difficult using AB InBev’s spreadsheet-based system. Data from the spreadsheets was difficult to summarize and share and it provided little cross enterprise visibility. Customer rebate calculations were handled at the local level, compromising control, consistency, and auditability. Gaining insight that could help sales managers make next-best offers to customers or shape corporate rebate and incentive policy was almost impossible. Without a single application to manage customer agreements, AB InBev was unable to take advantage of opportunities to create multi-driver incentive agreements.

AB InBev needed a solution that could automate and simplify the entire customer rebate and incentive management process. Software that could provide visibility into the customer rebate program would allow the company to react with improved agility to changing market needs. To build customer loyalty, the brewer sought software that could improve both the tracking and financial accuracy of payments and incentives. The company also wanted a rebate and incentive management solution that could be integrated with its existing field sales management tool.  The solution they chose was SAP Incentive Administration.

By automating rebate and incentive management processes, the application is helping AB InBev improve settlement execution, increase plan management efficiency, and reduce erroneous payouts. With enhanced plan effectiveness, the company expects to reduce its total incentive plan expenditures, boosting profitability. Best of all, the new solution is giving sales manager’s unprecedented visibility into customer incentives from the field sales management system that they already know.


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