What is a Monthly Trend Dashboard?

Distribution center trend dashboards are considered analysis tools and are used by executives and analysts to analyze trends in strategic KPIs. Some of the main functionality in this type of dashboard is that it provides graphical analysis from six different perspectives: 1) Inventory turnover versus backorder rate by location, 2) Order cycle time, 3) Quantity on hand, 4) Order picking accuracy versus Rate of return, 5) Inventory carrying cost, and 6) Inventory value. The dashboard is parameter-based and the user can run it for any period. You find an example of this type of dashboard below.

Purpose of Monthly Trend Dashboards for Distribution Centers

Distribution businesses use Monthly Trend Dashboards to easily detect any periodic anomalies. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its performance and related strategies, and it can reduce the chances that managers do not react quickly with inventory adjustments and other corrective tactics.

Monthly Trend Dashboards for Distribution Center Example

Here is an example of a Monthly Trend Dashboard for a distribution center with inventory-related analytical KPIs.

Example of a Monthly Trend Dashboard for a Distribution Center

Example of a Monthly Trend Dashboard for a Distribution Center

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Dashboard?

The typical users of this type of dashboard are: Inventory managers, distribution center managers, executives.

Other Dashboards Often Used in Conjunction with Monthly Trend Dashboards for Distribution Centers

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and operational departments sometimes use several different Monthly Trend Dashboards for Distribution Centers, along with  inventory and sales reports, margin reports, sales dashboards, sales forecasts, supplier reports, costing and allocation reports, profit & loss trend reports, balance sheets and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from management systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples