This article will explore financial reporting features and functionalities in today’s solutions for manufacturing organizations looking to expand their Sage 100 experience.
In today’s business world, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are becoming the modern way of turning valuable company data into rich decision-making for a company’s future. Navigating through BI is much like maneuvering through the wilderness without a map or a compass. It can get overwhelming, but I’m here to help. This article will focus on what users should know about in modern reporting solutions to improve your Sage 100 experience, specifically zooming in on manufacturing data management and analysis.
Reporting solutions collect and present data so that it can be analyzed. LogiAnalytics define reporting as “the art of collecting data from various data sources and presenting it to end-users in a way that is understandable and ready to be analyzed. In the second sense, reporting means presenting data and information…as well as [acting] on it.” With Sage 100 as your transactional system and a good reporting tool attached to it, your organization can collect, store, manage, and interpret data. Reporting is the necessary prerequisite of analysis. Reporting makes data understandable and ready for easy, accurate and efficient analysis.
With a BI data store, you have to budget for the additional investment in the software. You will have to replicate your data from Sage 100 and potential additional data sources and over to the BI database, so you can accomplish an updated analysis. Even though you are spending more to implement a BI data store, you will be running reports on a higher performance level and often with richer data. Whether you decide on a complex OLAP cube system or a pre-built, configurable data warehouse, your investment might be time, money, and staffing to manage the reporting software.
Another major consideration when investing in a reporting tool for your manufacturing organization is the platform. Today’s third party reporting tools vary from Excel-based, web-based, cloud-based, proprietary, or a combination. Excel will always be globally embraced, hence why there are Excel-based platforms and Excel add-in software, but there are other options as well. The Web and Cloud seem to be unstoppable in the technology world.
Web-based financial reporting has proven to be revolutionary in terms of managing and analyzing data due to the accessibility from connecting to the Internet from anywhere. Organizations also have pure Cloud products, which means they are hosted on the web by a third party such as Microsoft or Amazon, usually require a BI data store, and are typically not powered by Excel. If you are looking for a tool with familiar formulas and features as well as a browser-based interface, there are few self-service hybrid tools that are both web-based and Excel-powered. You and your organization should also look into proprietary solutions.
Some third party manufacturers argue that Microsoft Excel is inconvenient when it comes to linking spreadsheets and collaborating on financial statements as well as both organizational and departmental budgeting. These independent software vendors (ISVs) typically offer their own proprietary BI software that are powerful, but it requires you and your team to learn unique formulas and formatting outside of Excel. Depending on the complexity of the product and what you need to achieve your company goals, it might not be worth your time investment. If the solution serves your manufacturing analysis needs, it might be the right product for you. You can also combine several solutions and platforms. For instance, you can have reporting solutions that are proprietary as well as cloud-based, and have a budgeting solution that you can access and manage from Excel and the web. You will definitely want to do your own further research to figure out what will help your company achieve specific goals.
When looking to upgrade your Sage 100 reporting experience, consider these things: business user friendliness, flexibility to design the reports you need without manual manipulation every month, collaboration, and security. Today’s financial reporting tools should be user friendly so that it is easy for you and your team to use and not a waste of time. Similarly, you should be investing in a solution that enables you to securely collaborate on analytics. We are at a point in the technology world where products and solutions should be meeting consumer needs for secure collaboration whether you choose to go with an Excel, Web, and/or proprietary interface.
While the now retired FRx Reporting solution was very popular, it only could report on the Sage 100 General Ledger data. I highly suggest that companies looks into a reporting solution that integrates to all the key modules in Sage 100, so you can meet your organization’s analytical and reporting objectives without a patchwork of reporting tools. Sage 100 ERP offers a wide range of modules created to meet the needs of all types of organizations. Besides the requisite, native financial reporting module, which involves general ledger (GL) reporting, a sales module offers users to track your customer orders, requisitions, back orders, sales orders, ship dates, and finished goods. A purchasing module can produce a summary of purchase orders, depending on if you’re structuring diverse supplier components, requesting raw materials or adequate tooling and equipment. A survey data module can deliver a supplier quality statement that evaluates survey information and supplier ratings, on time delivery, costs, and the quality of products from a number of suppliers. An inventory module can track your inventory by location as well as warehouse management and/or stock keeping units (SKUs). Finally, there is a manufacturing module that offers detailed and accurate tracking and reporting throughout the entire manufacturing process. This solution provides a feature that helps maximize efficiency throughout all stages. This includes Bill of Materials, with the ability to create multi-level bills of materials and produce accurate and informative reports. When goods are completed, they are available in Inventory Management or Sales Order for smooth transactions.
Solver offers Excel and web-based reporting as a stand-alone module or as part of the comprehensive suite of BI360 modules and would be happy to answer questions and review BI360’s easy-to-use solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for manufacturing organizations.