In many industries it is expected that a supplier provides retrospective rebates to their customers. In fact, in many cases it is the only way to do business, particularly with some large groups. Over the years these rebate schemes have become progressively more complex and this has meant that administering them in spreadsheets has become unworkable.

IMS was asked by a client to design a system to replace their current spreadsheet system for calculating customer rebates. The current manual system was extremely time consuming to maintain and was prone to error. There were also several manual steps in the entire process where further errors could arise

The new system allowed the maintenance of customer rebates; processing of rebate data; an enquiry option to give the current status and values of the rebates; a manual option to enter or adjust rebates values; a report giving information to allow the entry of a manual sales ledger credit note; a modification to manual sales ledger credit note entry to update the rebate system.

The system is further complicated because rebates are paid at differing intervals — either monthly, quarterly or annually. After the rebate values have been calculated a manual credit note is entered into the Accounts Receivable system from data held in the spreadsheet and cross referenced to the rebate system.

This system has since been adapted by other clients to their respective industries.

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