Once you’ve set up an inventory management solution for your business you’ll get comfortable with the basic functions and routines it enables for your company. Now it’s time to answer this question: how will I allow my company to run better? How will I optimize it? Sure, that’s a broad question. The one thing that is necessary to have before you can even begin to break down the problem is data. Through data, you’ll be able to see what the most crucial parts of your business are that need to be perfected. You can do it by perfecting your inventory analysis reports.
In other words, if you want to reach any meaningful conclusions about your company, you need to drill down into what’s called business intelligence. Business intelligence is all the information you can get out of your business. Getting your hands on this data happens through reports. Making reports will allow any problems and pain points to come to the surface.
Any inventory management software should be able to make at least a number of basic reports. These should also be customizable across time and other relevant factors (locations, products and their value, etc). In Megaventory, it’s easy to create the following types of reports – easily selectable from the left side menu.
1. Inventory Availability Report
You can have inventory analysis reports that have the full information regarding the current state of your inventory. The information ranges across all of your locations, your products (and any versions/types of them), and includes goods that are in transit. This allows for real-time tracking of your inventory, provides you with all the information necessary to make timely purchase orders, and ensures you don’t run out of stock (although setting up alerts for certain levels also helps prevent that).
2. Inventory Sales Report
This helpful inventory analysis report allows you to drill down across time and across your product range and categories in order to understand the products that are the most and least profitable and how that changes with time. Although any manager will know the best and worst sellers without even looking at the report, such information allows for other less obvious results to surface.
Remember, that depending on the columns you choose to display in the report, you’ll get different insights. For example, the two examples below are technically the same report. We’ve simplified the first one to only display the gross profit and gross profit percentage of the products. In the second report, we included several other figures such as total revenue and unit cost. To modify the report, click on “Select Columns” at the top of the report.
3. Inventory Value Tracking at Any Time
This is another important report. It breaks down the value of your products per the location they are stored and allows you to constantly be able to track your company’s assets – a factor crucial for keeping your financials accurate and consequently making solid business decisions.
4. Tracking Inventory Movements
It’s important to be able to tell which of your products move the most. This report is the one to create if you’re after this information. In conjunction with the next two reports, you can understand far more about your business than the general impression you get from following the everyday process – or what accumulated experience may indicate.
5. Purchase and Sales Order Reports
Knowing which product is bought or sold the most per location is another very practical bit of information allowing you to make corrections to the way your business runs. For example, locations that seem to sell a certain product more may need support (another supplier close to them or perhaps another store in the future). Products being sold showing a spike at a particular location may indicate an opportunity. The number of conclusions from studying this type of report is virtually unlimited.
6. Manufacturing Report of Inventory Production
Does manufacturing play a role in your business? Then understanding how quantities, costs, etc. change with time for each of your products and its components is great. A production report will provide you with tons of important information you can use in optimizing your workflow.
Having collected all of the necessary data is usually just the first step – although obviously without it no further progress can be made. Once you have the basic numbers you can move on to either combine them or find out more detailed data. You can also use them to try to forecast your future needs, etc. Real data from your inventory management software will also give you insight in reviewing and evaluating the performance of your staff. In any case such reports are an essential measure to start understanding your business – otherwise you’re essentially flying blind.
Using Business Reports to Maximise Effectivity – Client Testimonial
A case in point is the Eastern European Mission, an NGO which helps spread the Bible to those who need it. The project spans a number of countries in the Eastern European region. Tracking inventory levels and having a complete and real-time image of what is where and associated costs is extremely helpful. Megaventory allows the EEM to take their efforts to the next level by minimizing their logistics overhead and focusing more on their core noble goal.
Our organization has remote warehouses in several different nations of Europe. Megaventory allows us to maintain organizational control and prompt customer service by providing real-time data for our inventory and orders. It simplified our reporting by having all data in one central placeBartosz Rybinski, EEM
Quality Data Builds Over Time when You Use Inventory Management Software
The longer you have used inventory management software, the more data you will have to analyze in your reports. For example, you can have the report look only at the past month for detailed fluctuations or the last 3 years for broader understanding. In Megaventory, you can even customize report templates for different purposes. These can be saved and utilized again later.
Are you ready to start using inventory analysis reports to optimize your business?
Dimitris Athanasiadis oversees Operations and Customer Relations in Megaventory.