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January Newsletter...

Knowledge is Power

Tip of the Month:

Use SouthWare standard and/or specialized reports to maximize the information that your system has been collecting over the past years.

Remember specialized reports can be obtained by a request to CCS.

Viewing reports on the screen is made easy by reducing the size of the report.  Use the % button found on the top margin.  75% usually gives you a good view of any report.

Are You Using Your Reports?

Has anyone ever counted how many reports are available in SouthWare and compare that with the number of reports you actually run regularly?  You spend time in the system entering data, producing invoices, recording the general activity of the business but are you taking time to analyze the performance of the company and where business really exists?

In previous Newsletters, I have spoken about the need for controlling costs - because we have little control over revenue.  In this Newsletter, I am going to focus more on using the reporting capabilities of the system to discover which segments of the business and which customers, are producing the most revenue and, more importantly, the most profit for your business.  You need to concentrate on those facets of the business that contributes most to the bottom line (i.e. has the greatest profit margins).

You should look very carefully and say "is our best customer, really our best customer?"  As the business climate changes, you need to react quickly to changes to remain effective for both yourself and your customers.  You need to constantly review activities.  The sheer number of reports available in SouthWare is often daunting and your don't know where to start....

I want to focus this newsletter on just a couple of areas of the available reports.  Remember, the FYI and ReportMate Tools have an extraordinary ability to extract data from the system for additional analysis not provided on the standard reports.

Have you asked "how do we analyze the effectiveness of our sales"?  Understanding the modular nature of SouthWare is important in deciding which reports are most beneficial.  Your customer records exist in the Accounts Receivable module.  Accounts Receivable is purely related to collections efforts, and the dollar sales and costs associated with each invoice.  Accounts Receivable is not aware, and therefore cannot report on, the product breakdown that makes up the individual invoice.

The Inventory Sales modules itself deals with handling the products that you sell.  You buy products from your vendors, and data is stored in Accounts Payable.  You sell to a customer, and data is stored in Accounts Receivable.

Exactly the same happens with the Service Management module which records the services you provide to your clients and SouthWare will track each of these services and contracts individually.

Each module of the software has a submenu called Reports and Listings which is available from the main module menu.  If you look in the Accounts Receivable Reports & Listings you will find another submenu called Sales Analysis Reports.  You will also find a Sales Analysis Reports submenu under Inventory Sales Reports & Listings.  These are not the same.

If your interest is in tracking dollars and profit margins over the various periods in a year, then use the Sales Analysis reporting from Accounts Receivable.

If you wish to track how many products have been sold, even if you are splitting it up by customer, then you would use a Sales Analysis Report under Inventory Sales.  Inventory Sales knows about the customer names in Accounts Receivable, but Accounts Receivable is not aware of the product or service that is handled by the Inventory Sales module.

I suggest that each of the reports in the Sales Analysis submenu of Accounts Receivable and Inventory Sales be run with various dates and choices.  Then, make a note of the reports that will be beneficial to run on a monthly basis.

If you are using the graphical system, I suggest that the reports are run using the "view option" to save paper.  This is a good looking full screen report which allows you to page through it and review data.  Some of these complex reports also have an option in the graphical system to export them as an Excel spreadsheet or HTML.  HTML is very useful in producing presentation documents for discussion with your sales and marketing people.  If you are using the "text mode" screen, then the text display is your only option for viewing without physically printing the reports. 

Be prepared, business will improve and you should be up front and first in line to take advantage of the coming economic revival.

Inventory Sales Reports

Accounts Receivable Reports