Dashboards and KPIs

A single version of the truth: Why today’s CFO can’t waste the next decade herding reports

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Dashboards and KPIs, ERP | No Comments
CFOs real time numbers

Today’s CFO can’t wait days for an “accurate” report—information needs to be accessible today and it needs to be infallible.

The term ‘herding cats’ has long been used in the management world to denote the futile attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are inherently uncontrollable. Have you ever tried to get one unwilling cat into its carrier? Now multiply that by hundreds.

It’s entertaining to think about, and is why the “Cat Herders” ad still appears on the list of most memorable “Big Game” advertisements two decades later. However, the phrase still holds true: some things are harder to control than others—especially when put into large, dispersed groups.

For today’s CFO, the roles may change, but some remain the same.

As we discussed in our last blog, today’s CFO has a more important, diverse, and exciting role than he or she did even a decade ago. Knowing this, even as the role evolves from ‘head number cruncher’ to core influencer and organizational catalyst, some of the responsibilities remain. It’s still on you to build a financially sound strategy built on historical data, current results, and projections.

However, say you’re trying to build out the budget for 2020 right now. How would you define the process of sifting through email chains and watching your team trying to piece together reports? Is everyone on the same page? How long will it take to complete, how accurate is the information, and if there is a disparity, how can you find out whose information is right? Is it akin to herding a certain feline?

The speed of business is increasing, and opportunities pop up and fall by the wayside faster than ever. Today’s CFO can’t wait days for an “accurate” report—information needs to be accessible today and it needs to be infallible.

Centralize your system, see changes in real time, and take charge of your strategy

Now more than ever, CFOs are expected to have real-time numbers at their fingertips. In fact, they must also be able to generate reports and offer their insights on that data in near real-time, as well.

The key is to have the flexibility to access the data you need from your ERP database in whatever manner is most convenient to you—whether it be for export to an Excel file, as a graphical display on your dashboard, as part of a report, or even as data that will be passed to another application for more analysis.

The right ERP system can deliver this, empowering organizational leaders to understand where the business was, is, and will be. Armed with the right ERP system and analytical tools, you can get to your data and make sense of it, giving your organization the insights it needs to not only survive, but to thrive.

Ready to learn more? We invite you to download two free guides from our friends at Acumatica: Top technology challenges for the modern CFO and cloud ERP buyer’s guide for the modern CFO.

Few solutions provide today’s CFOs with the flexibility and adaptability they need as well as Acumatica, and as a leading Acumatica Partner, we can help you on your journey to this powerful software. Let’s get in touch.

ERP and Business Intelligence in the Distribution Industry

ERP and Business Intelligence in the distribution industry

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Dashboards and KPIs, Distribution / Supply Chain, ERP, Warehouse management | No Comments
ERP and Business Intelligence in the distribution industry

The right ERP solution for distribution is essential. Pair it with a BI solution and you can get that bird’s eye view you need to make your business really shine.

Your warehouses, inventory, and business generate a lot of data. When all this data enters your supply chain, it can quickly overwhelm both you and your vendors. Unfortunately, for distribution businesses whose success relies on their ability to deliver products to customers in a timely manner, a mountain of data can harm visibility, reduce timeliness, and ultimately slow the business to a halt.

To solve the problem, you need to have the right tools and skilled data analysts to guide your data through the system in a way that makes decision making easier and decisions smarter. Distributors that turn to dashboards, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) software integrated with ERP and other key internal systems are able to unlock the secret value hidden in their data and make wise choices based on what they learn.

The many benefits of BI for the distribution industry

Business intelligence brings together a wide range of data from a wider variety of sources. Those in distribution know first-hand how difficult it can be to combine sales, finance and invoicing data from multiple warehouses, vendors and partners. BI software can help solve the problem by pulling the data together so that it is easily accessible and makes sense.

Link your BI software with your ERP software and you have a tool that can help you make instant and powerful changes that will put your business on the path to greater success.

Here are 3 key benefits to combining BI with ERP software.

1. Better planning and inventory management

A powerful inventory management solution is key to maintaining stock, planning for variability, and minimizing inventory costs. But if the people running your warehouse aren’t “data” people, you may never know how well your inventory is being managed.

Enter business intelligence. Rather than forcing these non-financial people to adapt and adjust to the complexities of an ERP solution, you can provide information at their fingertips with customized dashboards and readily available insights. Dashboards can be customized by role, by user, or by position and keep the people on the front lines informed in real time.

By making data more accessible, accurate, and understandable, you can improve planning, ordering, and much more. Get to know more about the benefits of integration and its role in managing complexity by reading our blog, “The Need to Know is Always Now in Warehousing and Distribution.”

2. Increased profit margins

Distribution operates as a low-margin, high-volume business. Any ding or dent in your profits will impact the bottom line much more quickly than another business. And there are so many ways those dings can happen – inventory storage costs, customer preference changes, reputation hits from lack of inventory. You need a clear picture not only of your inventory situation, but how inventory decisions will impact finances.

BI software can take a wide range of data out of your other systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Inventory Management, ERP, and more, and give you intuitive drill-down functionality that you can access from anywhere at any time. Want to know what your most profitable product is this month? Want to understand how each warehouse is performing? Want to know which warehouse is the best location for a specific product? Learn all this and more from your BI solution while at your desk, at a café with your laptop, or on your way to work with your mobile device.

Learn more about how ERP empowers you to keep up with changes in the supply chain here.

3. Reduced delivery time, fewer issues, happier customers

A distributors’ profits connect directly to well controlled inventory and warehouses. One of the most common places that profits can take a hit is through lost sales and returns. Customers are less tolerant of mistakes than ever before. So, when the wrong item is shipped, or the item is defective, the customer does not care if it was your shipping firm or 3PL that dropped the ball, they will blame you. Get it right always and your customers will love you for it.

By integrating your processes and systems with BI software, you can gain a clearer understanding of what went wrong, where it went wrong, how to rectify it and keep it that way —before your reputation takes a hit.

Pair your ERP with BI to make your distribution business a success

The right ERP solution for distribution is essential. Pair it with a BI solution and you can get that bird’s eye view you need to make your business really shine. NexTec Group consultants have been helping distribution companies select and implement ERP, BI and CRM for a quarter century. If you believe 2019 is the year that you truly take control of your supply chain, let’s talk. We’re here to help.

Additional distribution resources

Streamline supply chain management with a ERP solution

The need to know is always now in warehousing & distribution

Why inventory control is a must and how to do it

Get your Cloud, BI and ERP guides now!

Top three resources for learning more about the Cloud

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, BI, Cloud, Dashboards and KPIs, ERP, Inventory control | No Comments

Companies are moving to the Cloud at a rapid pace. In 2018, Forrester predicts, more than 50% of global enterprises will use at least one public cloud platform in their path to drive digital transformation and delight customers. As companies see the benefits of cloud adoption, this number will only increase as we approach 2019, 2020, and beyond.

Read More

Most revealing customer KPIs

By | BI, Dashboards and KPIs | No Comments

Every organization wants to create amazing customer experiences. Forrester reports; in fact, that 72% of businesses say improving customer experience (CX) is a top priority.

Measuring CX helps businesses determine what works and doesn’t work for customers. They can then use that information to inform initiatives to enhance CX.

An exceptional customer experience is good for business; it helps to increase sales and revenue, improve customer engagement and reduce customer churn.

Don’t track the wrong KPIs

But when assessing the effectiveness of customer relationships, too many organizations track the wrong KPIs (key performance indicators); and as a result, base crucial CX and marketing decision on measurements that are not relevant to the business. Ultimately, these companies end up wasting time planning, implementing, analyzing and fine-tuning strategies that fail to drive actionable results.

How to select the best KPIs for your firm

The first step to selecting the right KPIs is understanding your company’s unique differentiators. This is a two-pronged process that involves:

  1. Evaluating successes by taking inventory of your most successful projects and identifying the factors that contributed to their success.
  2. Examining mistakes by looking at failed projects and asking questions to understand why they failed so you can determine what to do differently next time.

From this process, create KPIs that enable you to build on and repeat successes while avoiding activities that led to failure.

Top KPIs to measure

What KPIs should you be tracking to learn the truth about your relationships with customers? Here are four:

  1. Customer acquisition rate: To determine customer acquisition rates, measure how your sales team performs month over month. If patterns show a decline, figure out why so you can reverse it. For example, perhaps your salespeople aren’t receiving enough leads — a sign that maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing strategies.
  2. New and returning customers: By breaking down the number of active customers into new and returning, you can see the mix of customer acquisition versus retention in your business. Determine if you’re doing a good job retaining previous customers and keeping them coming back and if you’re acquiring new customers. You should be balancing your business between the two.
  3. Cost of direct sales: With this measure, you can determine how much value your salespeople are bringing to your company. For example, if they’re selling online services, 15 percent is acceptable and 8 percent to 10 percent is ideal. Anything above that means their incomes are too high or quotas too low.
  4. Transactions per customer/value per transaction: If you break down value into transactions, you can see how often customers interact with your company and the value of those transactions in terms of revenue. This will help you measure increases and decreases in the frequency and value of transactions.

NexTec Group delivers business intelligence software solutions that help organizations succeed. NexTec Group is dedicated to your success, and our team of experts will work with your organization to analyze workforce efficiency and monitor key performance indicators to optimize your profitability. Contact us to get started.


Dashboards and KPIs

By | BI, Dashboards and KPIs, Prophix, SEI, Solver | No Comments