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ERP Reporting Options: Traditional ERP Reports, Spreadsheets, or…

Your existing ERP system came with hundreds of ERP reports, ERP reports that were touted to be standard, out-of-the-box reports that businesses like yours could use every day for greater efficiency and simplicity. Why are you not using more of them? Probably because the standard ERP reports aren’t exactly what you were told you needed. Why do businesses like yours continue to use spreadsheets decades after the introduction of software with electronic reporting capabilities? Are there other options that truly let you create the ERP reports you need to make important business decisions?

Traditional ERP Reporting Challenges

Like you have learned, traditional ERP reports have their challenges, often requiring the expertise of IT or the so called ‘super user’ for a simple report modification. Data can be housed in multiple, disparate systems and is difficult to combine, so a complete view of the enterprise, especially in real-time, is a challenge. Additionally, the creation of new ERP reports on older ERP technologies is time consuming and can require programming skills; larger ERP reports can slow down servers with some needing to be run overnight. The traditional ERP report, which was designed around past business needs, can quickly become the bottleneck to executives having access to accurate information that helps them make important business decisions daily.

Spreadsheet Reporting Challenges

As a result, business users like yourself opt to take control of the situation and ‘self serve’ their reporting needs by exporting data to MS Excel or the like to create a custom view into their organization. The problem: The probability of errors occurring increases exponentially with the introduction of spreadsheets because spreadsheets introduce manual processes. For instance, if you succeed at importing accurate data, then there’s the risk that the spreadsheet’s formulas and links are inaccurate; inaccuracies can result in hours of precious time being spent on fixing the ‘problem’ that you created. Traditional spreadsheet reporting therefore allow for a quick fix at the risk of inaccuracies, compliancy and government audit.

Alleviate Reporting Challenges with Modern Technologies

Today’s modern technologies alleviate traditional ERP reporting challenges and the need for ‘self serve’ spreadsheets. For instance, Epicor ERP, a Microsoft based solution, takes advantage of Microsoft’s latest technologies by pulling information directly from your Epicor ERP and non-Epicor databases to generate real-time reports that are 100% accurate while also being rendered exponentially faster than reports based on older technologies. If you still prefer Excel, then Epicor’s XL Connect supercharges your Microsoft Excel reporting by providing a live link to Epicor and other databases for improved efficiencies and accuracy.

Navigating through the many new ERP tools and technologies can be overwhelming for anyone. MIS has been supporting clients and their Epicor ERP systems for almost 30 years resulting in a lot of expertise. We are available to answer questions and support your changing business requirements.

Karen Beaulieu

Karen Beaulieu has worked in the ERP software industry for over 15 years. Having worked in a variety of roles from product development, channel and direct sales to marketing, Karen has a unique understanding and perspective of the ERP software industry. Currently Karen works in a marketing capacity for MIS Consulting & Sales and MIS Solutions Canada, ULC.

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