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Making sure your reports measure up!

I regularly receive requests from the team and customers for ‘that simple report’ from Prima which will cover all the needs, or it’s completely ‘must-have urgent’. With so many ways to extract data, that without an understanding of the reports module, it can appear sometimes unclear to know where’s the best place to go.

What info do I need?

Sales Dashboard example (Click to enlarge)

In any report requirement, the source of the data is key to getting the output needed. Here I’m considering reports from a sales perspective, and in Prima this means either Authorised Sales Orders or Posted Sales Invoices & Credits.
Authorised orders allow reports such as the Sales Dashboard spreadsheet to give users a current month view of sales performance, without having to wait for the month end invoice run. This is a popular report for sales reps as a custom copy can be saved for each individual.
Reports using the posted invoices and credits are best for presenting a customer review over a period. Within the Spreadsheet section, the Invoice Lines report can be used to send a spend breakdown or cost centre analysis to a customer. Again, with this report a custom copy can be saved for each request.
The Analysis type reports also use the invoices and credits data but bring powerful Excel pivot table style functionality to allow users to build their own custom suite. Monthly spend & profit by customer, product group analysis for gap reporting, usage reports and rep commission reports are all possible by quickly dragging & dropping the relevant fields in. With each different layout, a simple Save As creates a custom version for you.

Customer Business Review (Click to enlarge)

For those times when a quick ‘no nonsense’ PDF printout is required, we have the Report section. The Criteria tab in each of the sales reports here allows a level filtering e.g. date range, customer, or sales person, and the sheet presents the data accordingly. The sales reports here(including the new Customer Business Review) use posted invoices and credits, and custom copies can also be saved.
Some reports also have the Edit Layout option which enables a level of formatting and visual customisation that can help set your reporting tools apart from your competition. If a customer wants the automated Customer Business Review every month, why not think about tailoring the logo and colour branding specifically. It looks very professional and offers a level of personalisation to your service that they may not receive elsewhere.
(Click to enlarge)

I’m currently working with the Development team to provide all the reports with comprehensive descriptions as well real-world usage scenarios so that users will be able to identify more quickly which report is best fit.

So I’ve got my reports set up how I like, how do I distribute them?

In a recent Prima Cloud update, we introduced Report Automation which basically allows users to schedule the distribution via email of standard or custom reports. Set up within the Administration application, reports can be sent to multiple contacts at designated times and frequency. Examples include a daily sales report to be emailed to each rep at the end of each working day. A custom copy of the Customer Business Review to be sent once a month to a particular account.
Report Automation massively increases efficiency, strengthens your service offering and I strongly recommend any user not taking advantage of this yet should look closer at it asap. Spending a brief time setting up the automation will reduce the ‘I need this now!’ situations to a minimum.
Automation webinar
Should you not wish to use this function then you can print or save the file to be used in another program e.g. Outlook or Excel.

Gaining a deeper insight

In the latest service pack, we introduced the CRM query tool, which is the first phase of a project to bring extremely exciting and powerful business intelligence to the users’ screen. Essentially the queries call on the database to return a contact list based a specific rule.
For example, ‘get me the contacts for the accounts where the spend has dropped in the last 20 days vs the normal order pattern for the previous 3 months’. Another example is ‘get me the Primary contacts for all new customer accounts placing their first order this week’.
These lists can then be either quickly exported to Excel, a Prima Journal can be set for the account managers to action based on the query, or the results can be sent to an email marketing tool such as Mailchimp, to populate the relevant List for your campaigns. These routines can be scheduled to export the contacts once a day, or week for example ensuring your mailing lists is current or your sales reps are contacting the right accounts.

In upcoming releases we will be adding new queries to the list and we encourage any customer feedback to enhance the tool.
Based on the article, get in touch if you feel like you need a better understanding of Prima’s reporting tool to benefit your business.