Best Practices for Reporting with ERP Software
Your company runs on numbers. Sales units and inventory levels are crucial parts of keeping your business up and running, but raw data alone does not a strategy make. Reporting is an essential piece of using your ERP software to the best of its abilities. The right reports help you make decisions about updating your inventory, and identify trends among your buyers.
Here are some of the best practices for getting the most out of your reports, and pulling the right data for your company’s unique needs.
Get the full picture
If you’re struggling to find your footing with reporting, the best place to start is with Quick Reports. This SalesPad Desktop feature gives users a fast and simple way to get an overview of gross sales by customer, order entered by sales representatives, and so much more. In order to get the full picture, you have to draw the landscape before you add the details. Quick Reports helps you do just that.
These reports also vary in scope, allowing you to look at your sales from either a summary or transactional level. Summary-style reports will provide insight on larger trends across multiple audiences, while transactional reports let you get up close and personal with individual buyers. Both insights can be useful, so it’s important to not ignore one in favor of the other.
Know what you’re looking for
Half the journey to finding the data you need is deciding what you’re looking for in the first place. A Dashboard report (or a high-level overview available from your SalesPad Desktop Dashboard) is a good place to get a general idea of where your company’s performance and sales stand, but that’s only part of the equation. The more specialized the report, the more accurate your data will be, and the easier your life becomes.
SalesPad Desktop comes equipped with 45 built-in reports — trying to run every single one will only result in confusion and heartbreak. Narrow down the reports you need, and more importantly, identify the questions you’d like your data to answer. If you’re a visual learner, you should also consider viewing your reports in graphical form.
Isolate your variables
In order to tailor your reports for maximum clarity, make sure each report only focuses on one aspect of your data. Structure your reports to follow your company’s business goals: are you trying to push a certain product with low sell rates? Are you looking to maintain high sales for a popular product? Use your reports to keep tabs on these goals and inform how you market your products.
If you’re funneling unrelated data into your reports, it’s harder to determine direct correlations, and in the end, your results will be inaccurate and unhelpful. Keeping your reports as specific as possible ensures the most accurate metrics, and helps you accomplish your business objectives sooner.
Customize your reports
Every business is different, and when it comes to reporting, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. By using SalesPad’s Report Designer tool, you can pick and choose the data you need and stop wasting your time with the ones that you don’t.
The Report Designer can be used to build and modify any reports your company uses. This tool allows you to edit the visual components of your reports, and reorganize the formatting of your reports to be more readable. Reports can be edited and updated as needed, but if you like what you have, they can also serve as a great template to reuse in the future, saving you the hassle of starting out fresh every time. To find out more about how to make your reports work better for you, check out our video tutorial on this feature.
Get real-time metrics
Using your reporting strategically also means that you’re identifying trends as they develop. Real-time updates help you get the most recent information available, so you can act on it while it’s still relevant. By keeping your finger on the pulse of your latest sales metrics, you’ll have a much clearer view of your inventory levels, and you’ll be able to easily track and adjust your restocking strategy based on your reports, which will save you time and money in the long run.
Reporting is an essential part of understanding your business’ current standing. It will take some time to learn what reporting strategies works best for your company’s needs, but there’s no time like the present to start experimenting. If you have questions about how to make your reports work for you, let us know! We’d love to help!