Have you heard of analysis paralysis? It’s real and easy to fall prey to, but not if you keep in mind there are two key factors with reporting:
- Make it Rich in information
- Make it Actionable
Consider as reports are developed and become part of the day to day in your business; what will I DO with this information?
You generally* need around 5 key reports for any given area of a business. For sales and inventory we think these are a pretty good starting point:
- Daily Sales
- Best Sellers
- Weeks Cover
Daily Sales Reporting; what is typically in that?
Before considering what’s in the report make sure Daily Sales Report is easily available to you either at the end of a days trade or first thing the next morning.
I have emphasised ‘easily’.
If the data takes you 3 hours to compile, then you have missed the boat, and it has really become ‘dead data’. Why? Because you want to be able to action on the findings as soon as possible it! Not to mention that if it takes someone 3 hours in their day to compile information for a daily report then the systems in your business are not really doing the type of work that systems need to do to support business decisions. Compiling data can chew up employee time, reduce job satisfaction and generally act as a bit of a handbrake on getting stuff done.
What to action? Well, you need ‘rich data’ to start the conversation rolling. What is rich data? Data when combined with analytics transforms into ‘rich data’ or ‘big data’ as it is sometimes referred to as well.
What you would be looking for here is;
Data split out into your stores (if a manageable number) or regions (if an unmanageable number). So you can identify where the variance is occurring and if it is an emerging trend. Any variance you would want to investigate.
If for instance a particular region/store performed higher than usual, you would want to know what to attribute that to. Perhaps the salesperson had a huge sale, you would want to congratulate them, perhaps a new sales person started, you would want to acknowledge them. Perhaps the store received a delivery and had people on a waitlist, if other stores had the same delivery but did not have an uplift, did they have a waitlist? Perhaps it raises a practice that should be adopted across the board.
It is like pulling at a piece of string to see where it leads, but you need to be able to see that piece of string peeking out…
What kind of analysis would you need?
Daily Sales metrics…
As a starting point, compare your current sales $ to LY, LW-1, LW and Target and report the % variance.
You would also want to know what margin you achieved and any other KPIs such as Members %, ACS, UPT and how many new customers have shopped with you.
You would also want to see how this looks for the week/month/season to date.
No analysis paralysis.
If you feel your reports are not giving you the information needed or just need a hand getting ‘started’ contact us about our ‘Starting Out’ sense check program or let’s have a chat about how we can help you.
*depending upon the size of your business