Data is an invaluable tool when it comes to keeping your operation running smoothly. Having accurate sales figures and inventory levels to draw from empowers you to make strategic decisions that further your business’s profitability and efficiency. But far more important—and valuable—than raw data is accurate reporting. Comprehensive and meaningful reports make sense of your data, so you’re not just staring at an assortment of random numbers.
But achieving accurate reporting is easier said than done for many distribution and product-based businesses—particularly those that use manual processes to pull reports and data. The more manual your reporting methods, the more they’re prone to error and omission. And inaccurate data isn’t doing anyone any good.
If your reporting is in need of an upgrade or you need a hand getting started with pulling data, review these three tips to keep in mind.
#1 — Minimize errors in inventory management
There’s no doubt that a successful operation starts in your warehouse. If you experience frequent picking and packing errors and rely on largely manual processes to get your inventory out to your customers, this is the prime place to start making some upgrades.
If you’re basing important business decisions on your inventory data, you want to make sure that information is accurate. Our number one tip for doing so is implementing a digital, barcode-based system in your warehouse. With barcoding, simply scanning a piece of inventory will tell you immediately if it’s the right item or not, so you never have to worry about mis-picks.
With an automated solution like SalesPad Inventory Manager, you get the peace of mind of 100% order accuracy and total visibility of your warehouse, thus setting you up for accurate reporting from the outset of the order fulfillment process.
If you’re lacking order accuracy, this misinformation impacts factors like your restocking schedule and inventory availability. This in turn can lead to issues like overstocks, backorders, and bottlenecks that prevent you from getting orders to customers in a timely manner. Therefore, it is essential to have reliable inventory data and accurate reporting methods on which you can base your business decisions.
#2 — Be intentional with your reporting
Not only do your reports need to be accurate—they need to be relevant to your business goals. It’s important to be intentional about which data you look at, and to continuously revisit and tweak your reporting as necessary to fit with your objectives. Your data may be reliable, but you have to make sure it’s benefiting you.
Implementing a tool that effectively organizes your most important KPIs eases this burden considerably. Cavallo KPI Dashboard for Business Central does just that, while providing 100% visibility of your company data and allowing you to dig deeper into KPI trends in the process. Whether you’re looking to analyze customers’ purchasing trends, check sell rates for specific products, or determine which months are busiest for your operation, KPI Dashboard sets you up to view all your data in a cohesive way and confidently make business decisions.
#3 — Prioritize variety and versatility
Our third tip is to generate a wide variety of reports. You may find that some are more valuable than others, but running multiple reports is instrumental in gaining perspective about the trend or trends in question. It’s also recommended that you make your reports as specific as possible, to narrow in on each variable and minimize outside factors.
That said, getting a larger overview of your data has its benefits as well. The SalesPad CRM module includes a Quick Reports feature, through which you can examine KPIs like gross sales and orders entered by each sales rep.
Not only does this tool provide you with a wealth of data, it’s quick—as the name suggests. Cavallo customer Paul Cosaro, Managing Partner at Picnic Time, leverages this feature constantly: “I use SalesPad on a daily basis to keep a pulse on the overall health of the company. It’s much easier and quicker than going to our controller or the accounting team and having them run all these obscure reports in GP.”
The Importance of Accurate Reporting
Incomplete and unreliable reports are not only a waste of your team’s time and effort—they’re also a waste of opportunity. Tools that integrate with your ERP to pull a wide breadth of accurate data and help you make sense of it will inform your decision-making and provide the most up-to-date picture of the state of your business.
To learn more about the types of metrics that are most useful, and how you can leverage your data to accelerate your order-to-cash cycle, see our related blog posts on the importance of data and reporting.
Understanding which types of reports are most beneficial for your operation will take some trial and error, no doubt. Contact one of our experts to take the first step in achieving accurate reporting and set your business up for success.