This article will zoom in on financial reporting tasks for manufacturing and distribution organizations using Microsoft Dynamics NAV – and today’s software solutions.
In the modern business culture, Business Intelligence (BI) analytics are the primary resource for decision-making about the direction your company should take, based on important organizational information. That said, the number of financial report writing solutions, in addition to the various features and functionalities, can be overwhelming to consumers, regardless of how acquainted you may be with BI tasks, particularly when striving to accomplish industry-specific analytical goals. I was recently discussing product marketing language with an accountant at a manufacturing corporation – and how frustratingly vague it can be for manufacturing and distribution organizations to try to find a tool that can achieve sector-specific analytics. In this article, I’ll lay out what you should know in regard to financial reporting solutions to expand your Microsoft Dynamics NAV tasks, focusing specifically on manufacturing and distribution data management and analyses.
Let’s begin by zooming out – what are the overarching criteria that you need to consider when looking for today’s best powerful financial report writer? First of all, you can choose how you’d like to integrate your information. With some third party software vendor tools, you can pull data directly from Dynamics NAV and/or other data sources. Live integrations translate to real-time analytics, with information straight from the NAV database. You can also use a BI data store, as in an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse, which allows you to house diverse company data types on a stable platform, delivering consolidated, higher performance analytics.
BI data stores are going to be an extra cost, but depending on your needs, it might be unavoidable. You’ll first replicate your organizational information from your data source(s) to the BI database, so you can produce an up-to-date report. However, a BI data store provides a valuable high performance when running reports, perhaps making that additional cost worth every penny. Investing in a pre-built, configurable data warehouse or a more technically complicated OLAP cube could involve an investment of your time, money, and staffing (to manage the tool). You’ll have to evaluate any software option you consider to see that it aligns with your company’s particular objectives.
Let’s move into technology platforms. Modern financial report writers can be Excel- or web-based, proprietary or some kind of hybrid. Excel is internationally trusted by finance teams, so one might assume that Excel-based interfaces would be the simplest to implement, which makes sense, but there are other options to consider. Today’s Excel add-in tools are ribbon additions to the toolbar at the top, which upgrades and turbo-charges the spreadsheet application to simplify analyses with your Dynamics NAV information. On the other hand, the web has become a quite popular platform for technology, with financial reporting following the trend.
To continue learning more about manufacturing and distribution reporting with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article