7 Ways Self Service Reporting Could Improve Your Bottom Line By Q3

  • Matthew Scullion
  • May 1, 2013

How self service reporting could improve your bottom line by Q3Welcome to Q2. Budgets are set, strategies unfolding and sales plans in place.  It can be a time when it’s difficult to see how you’re going to change the way the year turns out for your company but self service reporting could change all that.

Well, here are simple 7 ways that something fast and cost effective to implement – cloud-based self service reporting and business intelligence – could deliver REAL bottom line impact in months or weeks: driving-up revenue, freeing-up working capital, growing margins, increasing cash and saving time.

Each of the following ideas are ways we’ve seen Matillion cloud business intelligence customers deliver bottom line improvements in the last 12 months.  They’re real world and proven.

With a cloud-based or ‘SaaS’ self service reporting solution, you can realistically deploy quickly, without large capital outlay or a time consuming project.  So it is realistic to deliver this kind of business change in time to affect your 2013 results.

Here are the 7 great ways you could improve your bottom line by Q3 using self service reporting and Cloud Business Intelligence:

  • Help your reps find magic in their best customers.  Pull each of your reps into a meeting or a call.  Drop their current year sales using self service reporting, and sort by customer and spend.  Click and drag to isolate their top 10 customers, then add product line to the columns and view visually.  You’ll see, in 60 seconds work, where the gaps are in what your reps are selling to their best customers.  You’ll find customers that would be your best account if they bought other lines from you.  Others who are not buying any of your best-selling ranges.  Target your reps to cross-sell to 2 or 3 of the most obvious accounts and review again in a month.
  • Find the customers who have lost the love for you and win them back.  Use self service reporting to create a report on invoiced Gross Margin.  Using the Rolling Last 12 Months field, filter for all invoices in the last 12 months and the 12 months prior (LTM and PLTM).  Order by size and select the top 100 (for example).   Now, add Rolling LTM to the columns and create a % of column group field to see the difference in spend between the last 12 months and the 12 before.  Sort descending and you now have a report of all customers who are spending less in the last year than that before. Click on any customer to see detail of exactly what they were buying then and now and act to resolve the issue, perhaps with a well-timed called from an executive or offering a promotion.  Tip: Add filter for sales person, territory, product group or customer sector for a more focused sales analysis
  • Focus on getting paid with a cash war room.  Use self service reporting to show the top 20 overdue payments owed to your company, by value.  Sort descending and use the scheduler to share this report with your credit controller or account management team daily or weekly.  Add room in the report design for team members to enter some narrative – perhaps a reason and next action.  In groups of companies, use a filter by company/site/etc to create a weekly war room report for each division.  Add a graph to show your progress on credit control over the year.
  • Avoid running low on stock.  Have us add to your Matillion BI repository a “Buyers Report” or “Stock Vs Sales” virtual cube (note: this requires both the ‘Sales Analysis’ and ‘Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis’ modules).  This virtual cube will join together sales history information with current stock and orders.  Build a cross-tab using the virtual cube to show: average weekly sales volume (based on last 12 months); average weekly sales volume (based on last 6 weeks); stock available, stock weeks available (based on average).  Sort to find all product lines where you could be running out of stock based on a sales spike.
  • Free up working capital by rationalizing inventory  Repeat the above procedure using self service reporting where your stock weeks are too high.  Consider putting these products on promo and reducing re-order levels.
  • Price like a ninja taking into account rebates, retros, discounts and deliveries.  Analysing the profitability of your sales using Gross Margin sounds simple enough, but getting a true view on the profitability of a particular product/price/customer combination can be difficult.  Complex customer or supplier side rebates or retros make calculating ‘true gross margin’ a complex task.  Factoring in delivery costs is important to evaluate.  Use business rules and ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) as part of a Cloud BI solution to automatically calculate True Gross Margin.  Then use a cross-tab drill down to find deals  where you’ve cut the price too thin.
  • Avoid bad business.  An easy one, this one.  Build a table report of Sales Orders and set a ‘Relative Day’ date filter to ‘PD’ (prior day).  Add columns for customers, sales rep, product and anything else you want, then add a filter to identify any orders over, for example, 50% gross margin or below, for example, 5% gross margin.  Add conditional formatting to highlight the high margin orders in green and the very low margin orders in red.  Finally, set up a daily schedule to have the report sent to you first thing in the morning.  Presto, a report which shows you any Sales Orders  you’ve taken where the margin is too low to be attractive, or too high to be true (in which case they’re probably typing mistakes).  With self service reporting you can now react before the orders are shipped, avoiding expensive crediting processes or reacting to unprofitable business.

Find more tips on self service reporting by downloading our E:book below.