Enterprise resource planning or ERP performs a number of important functions. It has the ability to integrate the various business units within your organization, streamline your workflows, improve communication and provide usable data and valuable insights. This data is essential to the efficient management of your department or business.
Sadly, many companies have insufficient reporting. This will lead to missed opportunities, poor control and bad decision making. Reaction times will be slow and problems will not be detected until they have become serious issues.
Manual reporting is slow and tedious and often results in errors or inaccurate data. At best, the reports will be out of date and partially accurate. Fortunately, the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can automate all your business reporting.
This has a number of benefits:
Benefits of reporting
Accurate decisions, be they operational or strategic, cannot be made without up to the minute, relevant and accurate data.
Strategic decision making
Accurate data is essential for getting an overview of where the business has been, where it’s at and where it’s heading. Without these reports, you’ll be working on instinct or guesswork and that can be dangerous. Strategic decisions will shape the future of your organization and getting it wrong will have dire consequences.
Better planning and forecasting
All departments need to plan and forecast continuously. This drives their activities and direction. Working with out-of-date or inaccurate information will lead to poor forecasting and planning. This will result in missed goals and objectives.
Quality reporting will allow for rapid and accurate decisions and response to issues. It will also lead to a faster speed to market. Good reporting allows departments to be responsive and proactive.
People and teams will perform better when they are actively and accurately measured. Access to this data is a great tool to increase productivity and performance. Reports on performance versus cost will also lead to improvements in productivity.
Good reporting will help with the effectiveness of communication, especially between departments and management levels.
Reports will allow people to better understand the data and identify trends that could be opportunities or threats. They will accurately reflect the scenario and the reasons behind it. These insights will allow companies to respond quickly to situations.
Without timely reports with relevant information, by the time you realize there is a loss, it’s generally too late to do much about it. Reports will aid in identifying losses early on and allow you to take corrective action.
ERP offers a number of benefits to any organization but one of the most important is the reporting functionality. Remember that not all ERP systems are the same so find the one that delivers business intelligence (BI) and offers you the features and reporting that is best for your situation.
In terms of reporting, ERP has a number of options. Some are standard and some are add-ons, depending on the product and package. While BI and reporting is not the only function of an ERP system, the value cannot be ignored. As business becomes more complex and we enter new markets, new areas and introduce new channels, this information will become increasingly important. You do not want reporting to be an afterthought when selecting your enterprise software.
While financial reports have been around for centuries, ERP systems have changed the game. The software makes the reports automated so that they are in real-time and accessible to all that need to have access to them. They no longer require input from the accountants and are presented, in context, to the relevant people in an easy to understand format.
It’s critical to have accurate, up to the minute information on inventory. This needs to be easily accessible, even remotely. Inventory will continue to become more complex and good ERP reporting can reduce errors, speed up delivery and reduce stock issues.
Automated real-time sales data is an important driver. The more visible and accessible this information is, the better the results will be. It’s much easier to manage proactively with the relevant information always available and noticeable.
Each business unit, department or function could and should have their own reports generated from the ERP system. This includes HR, logistics and information systems.
These are probably the most powerful ERP reporting tools. Dashboards are usually task or division specific or can be more general for the department or company. They are easy to read visual displays of the current situation and historical data. They can be set up to measure performance against objectives and goals.
ERP dashboards can be displayed in common areas as well as accessed on all devices, even when staff aremobile. They can measure and report on any relevant metric or KPI automatically in real-time. If and when necessary, they can be clicked on to drill down and provide more detail.
The power of the dashboard is the simplicity and graphical representation. It makes it quick to take in and easy to understand. A good dashboard is color-codedand logically laid out. It contains only relevant and critical data for its purpose. The ERP system updates the dashboard automatically and in real-time.
Companies will no longer be able to remain competitive and relevant with insufficient reporting. Today’s business environment is becoming increasingly complex. Accurate and up to the second reporting is necessary for fast and accurate decision making. The best way to achieve this is through a quality ERP system, one with a powerful dashboard application. This will give you and the team the relevant data when and where you need it.