Reporting Through ERP Systems
The ERP systems available today, collect huge amounts of transactional and master data. Data is only useful if it can be analyzed and organized into information that aid decision making.
ERP systems come with standard reports, e.g. sales report, purchase report, stock report, etc. These reports come in fixed formats and may not suit every organization’s need.
So when you need a comparative sales report across geographies to make a decision regarding pricing of products, you would ask someone to prepare a report for you.
The person would download the basic sales data into an excel sheet and then organize the data into a meaningful report for you.
The next time you want a similar report, the person again has to download this data into an excel sheet and repeat the data organization steps. What happens if the person is busy? You wait. Sometimes you may need to make decisions using a best guess which may result into losses instead of profits.
Reports Customisation : You may customize this comparative sales report in your ERP system but then tomorrow you may need another comparative sales report which is across product groups or customer groups! Not to mention the costs of customization of reports.
Analysts : Company may hire a team of analysts to support the data organization and information management process. However, this comes at a high cost – upfront and hidden. The output is dependent on personal performance. Also, only large organizations can support a team of analysts. When it comes to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),they would not be able to afford such teams.
Business Intelligence Solutions : Business Intelligence (BI) refers to skills, processes, technologies, applications and practices used to support decision making. BI can help extend and strengthen the functionality of your ERP system. It can help in not only analyzing the past data but also help you plan for the future based on past trends. A BI tool will allow senior executives access to the right information at the right time to maximize top-line, optimize costs thereby increasing profits for the organization.
A BI tool will generally offer the following facilities:
- Data extraction and organization
- Standard reports across different aspects of the organization:
- Sales and Purchase
- Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
- General Ledger
- Capabilities for end-user customization of reports
- Drag and drop interface for ease of use
- Time dimension analysis, contribution analysis, custom fields and other report analysis features
- Graphical dashboards