Seeking to improve your decision-making?

Peter Hooker
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Harness the power of an ERP system's reporting capabilities to make better business decisions

You'll have heard the saying, 'trust your gut instinct'? It doesn't apply to decision-making in business, it's really only relevant to what you want for lunch. Business decisions need to be based on insight that's been gleaned from data points, analytics and forecasting tools. We live in the era of Big Data, and that's not going to change. Instead of running from data proliferation, organisations need to harness it to inform their decision-making processes.

Done correctly, organisations can make better business decisions with confidence by prioritising data integrity and reporting development, and dedicating adequate resources to data management.

What's hampering your decision-making processes?

If you're serious about overhauling the way your organisation makes business decisions, it's important to identify where the problems lie. We've been helping companies to 'join the dots' on business growth for over 30 years, and we've learned that typically, organisations face a number of challenges, including:

  • Poor communication - the larger an organisation is, the tougher this challenge becomes. If multiple departments aren't on the same page, they're not using the same information in their decision-making processes.
  • Lack of visibility and transparency - if company divisions are operating in siloes, it becomes much harder to understand each other, and therefore make business decisions that will benefit the company holistically.
  • Disparate systems - if not integrated, data from different systems can quickly become overwhelming, making it difficult for decision-makers to accurately identify, evaluate and leverage the most critical information.
  • Over-reliance on spreadsheets - if different people are creating different spreadsheets and there are multiple versions of those spreadsheets circulating an organisation, the data they produce will be inaccurate and often outdated. Causing different decisions being made by different people.

When a company doesn't have a consistent set of data to report on and analyse, the decisions being made can be based on inaccuracies and outdated systems.

How to harness ERP reporting capabilities

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems house everything from core financial and HR data to production cycle times and inventory. An ERP system consolidates the many facets of your organisation into a single unified system. That's a huge amount of data, but the ERP's reporting tools will help that data pool work to your organisation's advantage. Through analytics dashboards and reports, this abundance of information empowers decision-makers to act with confidence, using the insight they've gleaned into the interconnectivity of business processes and how they contribute to organisational performance.

The right ERP system, tailored for your organisation’s business needs, means decision-makers can rely on:

  • Strong reporting - it's an effective communication tool that brings everyone’s thinking together - they're all making decisions based on the same set of data. Decision-makers on all teams have a clear view of where the organisation is at, and where it's heading.
  • An ERP solution that integrates an organisation’s systems creates a strong base, which is critical for robust reporting. Creating one view - a single source of truth - is key to providing the kind of transparency that's needed for improved decision-making.
  • Using data for future growth plans - organisations across industries on a global scale are leveraging ERP data to gain new insights and boost their competitive advantage. This is especially true of businesses in the manufacturing sector. Those that are using BI and Analytics tools are noticing a significant impact on their business due to improved decision-making and being able to leverage data analysis to their advantage.

What are the key areas to focus on when using your ERP's reporting functions for better decision-making?

  • Review your data methodically - when you have the metrics you need, start by identifying patterns and trends, then customise your reports to make the data as transparent as possible
  • Data informs, not confirms - analyse your ERP data with an open mind and evaluate all the information at your disposal before jumping to conclusions

The aim is to use ERP data and reporting to determine and address your organisation's mission-critical objectives, meaning your decision-makers are better equipped to make informed choices to achieve business goals.

Which ERP has the right reporting capabilities for my organisation?

The great thing about modern ERPs is how configurable they are. The rise of integrations, configuration and rapid deployment has meant organisations have the ability to tailor their systems to the unique needs of their business. For those in the manufacturing industry, this means production-focused reporting with the metrics that matter most.

When you decide to bring an ERP system on board, choose a partner that has the expertise, skills and experience in not only the ERP itself, but in gaining a deep understanding of how your organisation functions and what reporting needs you have. They'll work with you to customise the ERP so that it provides the data you need as an individual organisation, identifying which functions are most crucial to your decision-making process, and ultimately to your business success.


Keen to improve your decision-making processes? Get in touch, and we'll start a discussion about which ERP system's reporting capabilities are best suited for your organisation's business needs.

Want to be our next success story? Let's talk.