Analyze This: Dashboard Analytics Empower C-Suite Decision-Making

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Whether in business, politics or managing a household, responsible decision-making is dependent on the volume and accuracy of data and the ability to extrapolate meaningful insights from that data. ERP users recognize that a key benefit of having an intuitive and customizable ERP solution is the broad range of information that it provides.

To maximize an investment in an ERP, the next step for many organizations often includes exploring various solutions that can be integrated with their existing ERP solution and will provide increased visibility into the health of an organization through data and analytics. When accounts payable/accounts receivable (AP/AR) technology is fully integrated with ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics to create Paperless ERP, the resulting efficiency and visibility gained can lead to intelligent and well-informed decision-making in several key areas of the business.

Staffing and Operations

One of the most essential functions of Paperless ERP is providing a window into the internal operations of an organization’s finance department. The proper analytics can offer productivity reports for each employee, breaking down the volume of invoices each AP clerk is processing per hour and the number of days it takes a manager to assess and approve of their invoices. Leadership can also determine which employees carry the heaviest workload, where responsibilities can be shifted to increase productivity and how roles can be developed to add more value to the company at large.

From a departmental level, business decision makers should look for solutions that enable them to calculate the average number of days it takes the department to process an invoice each month. By comparing month to month, they can identify times of year when efficiency is lower and allow them to troubleshoot those issues. This also allows the AP/AR department to plan in advance for times of the year when the workload is heaviest. For example, if the backlog of invoices coincides with a holiday or important tax deadline, it may be necessary to bring on temporary contract staff or add a member from another department to the team. This ability to access and review this data in a meaningful way allows the C-Suite to ensure operational health and keep a pulse on employee morale.

Cash Flow

It is assumed that an ERP solution will offer management a look at the financial health of the organization, but implementing a solution that delivers that data in an intuitive way which allows decision-makers to draw insights from the numbers is essential. In terms of cash flow, a Paperless ERP solution’s ability to track invoices on a detailed level allows the C-Suite to break down the information in a digestible way. For example, executives can view the number of invoices being processed by both their due date and monetary value and can allow certain invoices to be prioritized in order to secure discounts. By examining invoices by monetary value and due date, it is easy to see the amount of cash that is tied up within different timeframes, which can inform future investments.

Vendor Relations

The data that Paperless ERP provides is tremendously insightful from an internal perspective, but these analytics can also be helpful for maintaining and strengthening vendor relationships. Many vendors will offer early payment discounts, so a Paperless ERP dashboard that tracks the total value of available discount dollars as well as upcoming invoice deadlines enables CFOs to prioritize payments and take advantage of those offers.

Operationally, the C-level should look at Vendor Performance Reports, to analyze the top and bottom 10 vendors in terms of volume of invoices, number of days to process and number of duplicates. These types of insights allow the finance department to troubleshoot which vendors need more attention and develop strategies to streamline their invoice processing. There may also be ways for the technology to be adjusted to accommodate specific vendors’ own AP/AR technology, enabling more efficient transactions for both parties.

These are just three examples of business processes that can be informed by dashboard analytics; however, the possibilities extend to every facet of a company. Exploring solutions that maximize the investment of an ERP solution and provide value in the form of meaningful data should be a priority for executives in organizations in all industries. Learn more about the value of dashboard analytics by visiting

By Nick Sprau, Vice President of Marketing
Metafile Information Systems

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