Case Study

Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray and the Enhanced Billback Solution

For Ocean Spray, North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, billbacks were time consuming, prone to error, and highly manual. iTrade’s Enhanced Billback solution gave them a simple, accurate, and cost effective way to manage rebate claims.

Business Challenge

A confusing, labor-intensive billback system with a high margin of error. Billback claims are created across several different sources; email, fax, paper, customer web portals and other electronic formats. The claim content is typically from the customer perspective, meaning the manufacturer’s pricing/deduction analyst needs to know each customer’s unique billback format and content and interpret it accordingly. The billback process is further complicated in many cases where the customer has generated a deduction for the claim against manufacturer product invoices. This creates additional manual effort by the manufacturer to reconcile the deduction against any associated billback claim that was also remitted to the distributor.

Solution:

Ocean Spray worked closely with iTradeNetwork to develop the new Enhanced Billback Solution, which provides a database-driven view of customer billbacks, allowing pricing analysts and brokers to view and validate the claim reports via the OMS portal. The Solution uses enhanced supplier information from iTradeNetwork’s Order Management System (OMS), which allows the manufacturer to receive normalized and enhanced billback reports and/or a standard outbound 867 EDI transaction. “What was once done with diverse and unique emails, faxes, and confusing spreadsheets can now be done with a single integration between the distributor’s claim application and the iTradeNetwork’s Enhanced Billback Solution,” said Mark Madrid, iTradeNetwork’s Director of Integration Services.

Ocean Spray logo
REAPING REMARKABLE RESULTS:

Improves customer satisfaction, accuracy, and efficiency

Potential to reduce overhead and dedicated resources

Automates and streamlines once cumbersome and disparate claim processes

Normalizes distributor billback claim content and format for portal and integrated manufacturers

Enables a collaborative solution for the manufacturer and pricing analyst to resolve issues in real time.

Provides a mechanism to throttle and prioritize processing of outstanding claims and reduce the number of deductions by managing the claim due date.

The Enhanced Billback Solution

Ocean Spray worked closely with iTradeNetwork to develop the new enhanced Billback Solution, which provides a database driven view of customer billbacks, allowing pricing analysts and brokers to view and validate the claim reports via the OMS portal. The Solution uses enhanced supplier information from iTrade’s Order Management System (OMS), which allows the manufacturer to receive normalized and enhanced billback reports and/or a standard outbound 867 EDI transaction. “What was once done with diverse and unique emails, faxes, and confusing spreadsheets can now be done with a single integration between the distributor’s claim application and the iTradeNetwork’s Enhanced Billback Solution,” said Mark Madrid, iTradeNetwork’s Director of Integration Services.

The Enhanced Billback Solution is a database driven solution that leverages the billback claim from the distributor against the manufacturer OMS catalog and proprietary information. The process allows the manufacturer to control the handling of the outbound EDI 867 Billback claim by allowing the corporate pricing analyst or authorized broker to decide when to mark the claim as validated and send the correct electronic 867 to the manufacturer or 3rd party provider.

The solution replaces the distributor email, hardcopy, fax and web portal billback claims with a common, normalized view of the claim which is both viewable and available in standard report formats.

The solution also uses standard OMS portal methods to lookup, search and filter the billback claim by distributor, distributor branch, billback type, report period, date submitted. Similar to viewing manufacturer Invoices and Purchase Orders, the user can search billback history and research specific billback claims and collaborate with the distributor claims resource to view billbacks and help reconcile identified issues.

The manufacturer that uses the on-demand OMS Enhanced Billback Solution is now able to use a common claim validation process across all of their entrusted foodservice customers. In addition, the manufacturer simply needs to integrate their billback claim system to the standard iTrade enhanced 867 Billback once. iTradeNetwork will integrate the participating distributor’s billback file to OMS across different implementations of the EDI 867 or other file format.

iTrade helped Ocean Spray reduce costs, improving process efficiency by eliminating manual data entry and reconciling errors. Now Ocean Spray uses the Enhanced Billback Solution as their single point of entry for all 867 data. “From my perspective, iTradeNetwork did a great job on the roll out, addressing all our concerns and helping us get better data faster,” said Dowie. The solution allowed Ocean Spray to transition from the manual claim processing method to the Enhanced Billback Solution in a rapid manner, providing both the enhanced claim reports and views, along with the original 867 Billback from the distributor. The pilot project enabled both Ocean Spray and iTradeNetwork to evaluate the solution quickly, while providing valuable enhancements that became part of the application available today.

ABOUT OCEAN SPRAY

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 800 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and other parts of Canada, as well as more than 100 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the bestselling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray cooperative headquarters is located in Lakeville, Massachusetts. Fruit receiving stations and processing and bottling plants are located throughout North America.