Business intelligence blog

    My ERP: isn’t that enough for data analysis?


    How can you maximize the business benefits from your enterprise resource planning ERP system?

    When it comes to business strategy, it’s no secret that organizations rely on ERP systems. This is because they are full of operational and transactional data, and provide useful information across production, operations and finance.

    But according to Gartner, “ERPs tend to come at a significant price, and the business benefits are difficult to justify and understand.” This is because ERPs can fall short in their ability to give teams across an organization easy access to real-time data and insights, since gathering information from them involves time and effort. It also entails working with just a few key experts in the business to accomplish this, leading to reporting lag times and slower decision making.

    Another factor is that, while much of a company’s data does sit in the ERP system, other areas such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system will also contain important information.

    Companies looking to stay ahead are therefore turning to data analytics solutions that bolts onto their ERPs and other systems, and then presents the data in more visual and accessible formats. Some data analytics solutions take it a step further and make it easy for users to follow their train of thought and drill into the underlying detail to find answers to their most pressing questions. The actionable insights that result from performing these analyses is called business intelligence (BI), and it can help organizations keep their competitive edge.

    The need for BI

    BI aggregates your company’s data across all your systems to help form a clear picture of how your business is performing. 

    Its ease of use means users company-wide can explore the data to identify trends, discover opportunities and spot potential threats before they can have any real impact. BI reports are generated in a matter of minutes and give users a view of the business’ performance in real-time.

    The data stored in a BI solution provides a single source of truth and can be used to help business leaders base their decisions on fact rather than “gut feel.” Most importantly, it’s also applicable to other teams and business areas, so can provide insights throughout the whole organization.

    BI for sales

    Tracking sales data by customer can reveal trends and opportunities to grow revenue and prevent challenges before they impact your bottom line. 

    With BI, your sales team will have a better understanding of what your customers are buying and what they are not over time. With this information, you can identify trends and patterns and adjust your sales representatives’ approach to customers accordingly.

    BI for better inventory management

    BI can help by easily and quickly identifying stock turns, inventory-to-purchase ratio, slow-moving stock and GMROI by manufacturer, product group, product or location.

    A data analytics solution lets you quickly view how much stock you have for a particular product and sort from highest to lowest, or drill down on a specific selection to find even more in-depth information.

    BI for financial management

    BI can turn your financial reports into dynamic and up-to-date data. By leveraging a Financial Statements database, you can bring active drill-down capabilities to the finance team with user-friendly functionality.

    Using Phocas for your BI needs

    Phocas Software helps thousands of manufacturing, distribution and retail customers around the world use data to identify opportunities, grow profits and increase efficiencies.

    It’s an intuitive, user-friendly solution for all skill levels that becomes your single source of truth — and can integrate with your ERP system to provide you with the full picture of your business. Ready to get started?

    Find out which KPIs and metrics your business should track in BI to improve the way your business performs. Simply click here, or on the button below.

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