Megaventory Blog - Online Inventory Management Software, Order fulfillment and Control System
This is the company blog for megaventory, an online software that helps small businesses that buy, sell and manufacture physical products to manage sales, purchasing, manufacturing and inventory. We blog about new features and updates but also about enterprise software, small businesses, cloud computing and the industry in general.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The benefits of business reports

After you’ve set up an ERP solution for your business, are comfortable with its basic functions and the routine it enables for your company, it’s time to take the next step. Namely, answer the question of how I will allow my company to run better, how will I optimize it?

Surely, that’s a broad problem and there’s lots of things that can be done depending on many factors. The one thing though that is necessary to have before you can even begin to break down the problem is data.

In other words, if you want to reach any meaningful conclusions about your company, you need to drill down in what’s called business intelligence and make reports which will allow any problems and pain points to come to the surface.

Any ERP software should be able to make at least a number of basic reports which should also be customizable across time and all 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 top menu.

1. Availability Levels.
In one handy report you can have the full information regarding the current state of your inventory across all of your locations, your products (and any versions/types of them) including obviously goods that are in transit. This allows for real-time tracking of your inventory, supplements 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. Gross Profit.
This helpful 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.


3. Inventory Value. This is another important report that 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. Product Movements.
It’s important to be able to tell which of your products move the most and 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/Sales Orders.
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 and so on. The number of conclusions from studying this type of reports is virtually unlimited.


6. Works Report.
If manufacturing plays a role in your business, understanding how relevant figures such as quantities, costs etc change with time for each of your product and its components can also provide tons of information on how to improve your work flow.


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, find out more detailed data, review and evaluate the performance of your staff, extrapolate them to try to forecast your future needs, etc. In any case such reports are an essential measure to start understanding your business - otherwise you’re essentially flying blind.

A case in point is the Eastern European Mission, an NGO which helps spread the Bible to those who need it. Since the project spans a number of countries in the Eastern European region, tracking inventory levels and having a complete and real-time image of where is what and associated costs is extremely helpful. It 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 place." Bartosz Rybinski

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