3 Essential Distribution ERP Reporting Tools

Distribution ERP reporting has continued to evolve over the past couple of years. Modern reports share valuable information, but also make effective calls to action. These reports can provide your distribution business with a competitive advantage and increase profits.

Do your employees and customers see this potential in your distribution business and your ERP reporting? Your distribution ERP system should have the built-in capability; it is up to you to put that capability to use.

Reports include the forms we use every day and the once-in-a-lifetime report we made to the local chamber of commerce. The packing list we print out for every shipment is a report. So is the check we write to pay the utility bill. Every business, including distributors, has a wide variety. Some are considered necessities, but the best ones help us earn more profit.

Real-Time Dashboards

Dashboards are an under-utilized tool in distribution ERP reporting. We could have a selection of real-time demand metrics on the login page of our distribution ERP. We will know the inventory levels for key products, we will get updates from suppliers warning us of delays and we will be able to view these metrics from one, easy-to-access section of our distribution ERP.

Would the purchasing people enjoy a dashboard that showed the orders we booked today along with any materials required for those orders? The data is already in the ERP, are you reporting it to the right people in the right way?

Inside-Out Reports

We can also utilize inside-out reports. One example might be a report that shows today’s output in tons available to ship to our customer. Nothing has to print. The report is pushed to the customer’s buyer so they can instantly see how much we have ready to serve their needs.

Outside-In Reports

How about an outside-in report? Our customer allowed us to attach a gauge to their tank so we can see the level at any time and we are authorized to fill it whenever it falls below an agreed-upon level. This isn’t a report for the vice president. The truck driver gets this one and he loads up and fills the tank for the customer.

We could ask our construction customers for a forecast of how much concrete they will buy in the next year. Or we could monitor building permits and planning department data and forecast within our distribution ERP reporting system based on real-time data from the best source.

It is time to put on your thinking cap. What distribution ERP reporting features could give your business a competitive edge?

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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