Reporting tools are becoming the backbone of businesses. In fact, I would surmise to say that they should be called “Reporting Engines”, rather than be considered just a tool. In today’s competitive industry, reports aren’t just generating balance sheets and quarterly revenues. Your reports need to give you that competitive edge to increase your market share, and your reporting engine is the one to get you there.
What kinds of exception reports have you been using? These are the first step in putting yourself above your competition. You need to know exactly what key elements of your business that are falling below, or above, the norm.
Consider something like a maintenance exception report. Is there a particular unit whose parts and labor costs are above a reasonable amount, given its age and utilization? While you may unearth this information from somewhere else, it’s worth noting that creating a single exception report may prevent unnecessary current and future spending.
It’s not only the report that matters. It is also extremely important when you receive the information. One of the particular strengths of a reporting software is that you’re made aware of things as they happen. Even the most robust report with all the details can fail if you don’t receive it in time to take action.
One Size Does NOT Fit All
One report will not suit all people across all departments. It’s a fruitless venture to attempt to do so, but a reporting tool that allows customization, or creation of ad-hoc reports, can prevent trying to make a set of data make sense where it’s not appropriate. Your users know what information they need, in what format and when they need it. Let them build it!