Invoice accuracy: What happens when customers don’t get the price they expect?

Off invoice allowances are one of a couple of methods consumer goods manufacturers use to exchange money with their customers. Getting these transactions right is important because it delivers the pricing that is expected by customers.  It is the result of promotional, pricing, or other contracts set up between the manufacturer and customer.  The process crosses multiple teams that need timely, accurate information.  When it doesn’t go smoothly, time-consuming, unproductive tracking and tracing work is created, and the very thing you want to prevent – deductions – are taken.      

The typical process used by emerging brands to manage off invoice allowances is the use of email, forms, and/or spreadsheets sent by sales to customer service for entry into the order management system.  This is usually separate from other workbooks used to keep track of promotion plans.  This method leaves creates disparate, disconnected storage of customer data, and the lack of controlled workflow leaves room for error.      

Trade Promotion Management (TPM) is a business system purpose-built for CPG brands to add structure and control to the sales planning process.  They improve the management of off invoice deals in multiple ways.  First, TPM standardizes the data and process needed to properly apply these allowances.  Second, work is streamlined.  Offline email and spreadsheets are eliminated.  Defining off-invoice allowances becomes a part of standard promotion planning entry process.  All deals are subject to an authorization process that guarantees proper approvals are in place.  Customer Service Reps are able to get consolidated, scheduled summaries of off invoice deals or view them right in the platform.  TPM can even provide data extract that you can integrate directly into Order Management and eliminate human touch points.   

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