In part one and part two, we have reviewed inventory management and order management. Their functions are meant for operator to book-keep information of daily operations. Once these data points have been captured, the power of the application shines in term of data analysis and reporting.

    Reports can be grouped into three categories:

    1. reports at product level: top seller, top purchased, top profitable
    2. reports at order level: top SO by qty balance, top SO in-progress fulfills
    3. reports of seller/buyer account level: customer AR, vendor AP

    Data points are essentially rolled up following this pattern: product level → order level → account level.

    Product level reports

    Top selling product

    Knowing the top seller is the most important thing for any business. The report is compiled from sales orders to show which product is high in demand.

    Top seller report

    Top profitable product

    Your best seller shows the demand, but they are not necessarily the best for your business if their margin is low. Instead, a high margin item may be the target that your next market campaign should focus on. Together with the top seller report, these two can give good insights to guide your pricing strategy and marketing efforts.

    A negative profit margin is a clear signal that something is not correct in either the price or the vendor cost of product. It can be a simple typo, but can also be an indicator of wrong strategy.

    Most profitable product report

    Top purchased product

    Top purchased product can be a result of a good sales. But it can also become staled stocks sitting there. The mismatch between your top seller and top purchased should always deserve a further analysis in order to ensure that your business is not just piling up inventory without an exit plan.

    Top purchased product report

    Order level reports

    Top sales orders by QTY balance

    Purpose of this report is to monitor sales orders whose fulfillment is lagging behind. The higher the QTY balance is, the more risk there is that the order fails to fulfill properly. However, it does not distinguish between an order that has zero fulfillment rate and the ones that are in-progress.

    Top sales order by QTY balance report

    Top SO in-progress fulfills

    This report monitors in-progress sales orders that have received some levels of fulfillment. The higher the fulfillment rate is, the healthier the order is. A negative rate is possible when such type of sales allows filing product returns without linking it to a fulfillment. That's usually the case when filing return and filing fulfillment form are handled by two groups of people who are not synchronized.

    Top sales order in-progress fulfills report

    Account level reports

    At account level, we created customer account receivable report and vendor account payable report. Both are health indicators of how well we are maintaining a relationship with our peers.

    Customer AR and vendor AP report

    — by Feng Xia


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