3 ERP Report Features Everyone Should Have

Must have ERP reports You’ve been cruising along with your manufacturing ERP and MES software solution. Everyone seems to be following their SOPs, material is delivered on time, product is manufactured and shipped out on time, cash is coming in and bills are being paid, employees come in on time, do their jobs, you are paying them a fair wage and you are making a profit.

But are you sure all of this is happening? Do you have the data to prove it?

OK, print out the profit and loss report, or the time and attendance violations report or the costing variance report and send it to me. Can you do that? Do you have these reports in your ERP software and if so, do you know how to access them? Are they easy to run and, even better, can you have your ERP software run them automatically and send them to your inbox without any interface by you?

With EnterpriseIQ by IQMS, you can do all of this and more! Our manufacturing ERP software comes with the standard reports above and about 1,500 more reports throughout the software suite. If you are on the lookout for new ERP software, be sure to investigate the reporting features available to you. After all, your business decisions are only as good as the data you have access to. For example, below are three features that IQMS offers to help its customers take full advantage of our database of reports.

Report Catalog:
To help our customers understand our vast number of standard reports, EnterpriseIQ offers a detailed Report Catalog. Users can access the catalog from anywhere in the software by right clicking on a report and selecting Report Catalog. This opens a .pdf file that describes the layout of the report and what data you will receive by running it. If you decide to write your own reports, you can create your own report catalogs. This is invaluable information, especially in the future, when perhaps another user needs to modify the report and needs to know the original intention of the report.

Training Opportunities:
If you need to create a custom report, how do you decide whether or not to train an employee to write custom reports versus asking an IQMS technical report writer for assistance? If you are simply modifying a few of the standard reports (perhaps adding a field from the current data source, changing the orientation, adding grouping, etc.), changes can be done easily with little knowledge of report writing or the Crystal Reports software (our report writing tool).

If you’d like some basic one-on-one report writing training, you don’t even have to leave the office to attend a beginning Internet-based training (IBT) course provided by IQMS. If you expect to write your own reports or do extensive modifications to the standard reports and this is something you will continue to do well after implementation, I recommend taking the two-day Crystal Reports training course also provided by IQMS. If you are someone in between, you can also request custom reports from IQMS and work with our technical report writers to create exactly what you need.

Automatic Reporting:
I mentioned reporting ease of use earlier. If you use Smart Page, a standard feature in the EnterpriseIQ software that allows you to create a custom designed work space (if you don’t use it, you should check it out), then you can create a custom dashboard of your most used reports to have right at your fingertips.

Or you can let the computer do the work for you and set up your reports to run via IQAlert, IQMS’ business activity monitoring system. Do you need the same five reports every morning, first thing when you get in, but they have to run after third shift the night before, but before the first shipment goes out at 6 AM? No problem. The reports can automatically run anytime you want and they will be delivered to your inbox! It’s that easy.

When researching new ERP software, it is easy to underestimate the value of detailed, available reporting tools amidst all the other functionality you are reviewing. But features such as report catalogs, training opportunities and automatic reporting can greatly enhance your ability to gather and analyze data. Don’t settle for a system that requires you to create custom reports for everything. Find one that offers an extensive database of reports and the tools to take full advantage of them.

Tina Jolicoeur, IQMS Director of Quality Assurance, previously worked for 15 years in the telecommunications field. Tina is responsible for growing and cultivating IQMS' quality assurance department.