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Business Benefits of ERP

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Benefits from Improving Reporting & Dashboards

 

Better Reporting and Dashboard are one of the key areas business can gain big advantages from the recent trends in business software solutions.

 

We see many companies that rely on many reports being printed and using bits of each to get the information they need. The benefit of this data is often obtained through ad-hoc linked spread sheets and slowly extracting data from various disparate systems.

 

The first step in improved reporting is that you need the data in one ‘joined up’ place. Assuming this is the case, can you manage to get at that data? Within that data is the information to measuring your business performance and the results of the changes you implement.

 

The changes to economic environment, customer demands, and staff requirements are all happening rapidly; and the rate of change is only increasing. Customers and People want everything done faster, and your business needs to respond at that desired pace to maintain / add customers and retain staff.

 

 

Reporting – Move towards "Big Picture" information

 

Reporting now needs to turn into meaningful, easily digested and understood information. The time to sift through details and transactions to see trends is now a luxury few managers and directors have. The detail is still needed but now after a ‘big picture’ view can be seen.

 

This ‘big picture’ reporting now needs to be supported by graphs at least. This shows the information in a more usable way. You can ‘see’ the differences and trends rather than have to look for them from the numbers.

 

This means you can focus your time seeing where things are now and then concentrating on getting to not where they should be.

 

 

Reporting – Easy to ‘Digest’ Dashboard

 

The next step to having graphs on your reporting solution, is to move towards Dashboards and KPI’s. Dashboards are essentially the big picture shown in several different key areas.

This enables you to see, at a glance, how different business areas are performing. The key word there is ‘at a glance’, this is the time saving. This is also the way complex data and insight can be shared to people who are not analytical. They can ‘see’ the situation.

 

So long as the data is there, your Dashboards can show you various charts for every key aspect of your business. If you use a modern Enterprise Resource Planning ERP system (such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics CRM) then you can get all this data from a joined up source.

 

Historically Dashboard reporting was used in larger companies, but recent changes mean these technologies have been simplified and brought to a very realistic space for small to medium sized businesses. Dashboards, used to best effect, start to show your progress against pre-defined goals or targets.

 

 

Reporting – Key performance Indicators (KPIs)

 

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) graphically measure the situation against pre-defined targets. That "graphic" is typically something like a colour coded image with a ‘traffic light’ type indicator. So "red" is off target, "amber" is acceptable and "green" is in target. This allows you to see many different measures and quickly see which ones need attention.

 

KPI Reporting allows you to focus your time where it matters most. From here you can drill down into the detail, knowing that that time is spent productively assessing the reasons why things are not as they should be.

 

Once decisions are made and changes have taken place, you can see if the KPI does move towards the "green". This way you know a good decision was made and (as you can see the other KPI’s) you can quickly assess any unexpected knock on effects.

 

 

 

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