How to Win at Consumer Packaged Goods Reporting & Analytics

Reporting is likely your team’s least favorite task in your consumer packaged goods distribution business. After all, who enjoys looking at endless spreadsheets and rows of data unless you can discern what they really mean for your organization? If your distribution business is still doing manual reporting, you’re likely dealing with any one (or all) of the following problems: 

  • Difficulty making decisions—the right numbers might feel elusive 

  • Declining sales 

  • Siloed data so different people make different decisions across your organization 

  • Lack of visibility into the right key performance indicators (KPIs) 

  • Lack of profitability reporting 


Manual data entry, pricing, and reporting not only leave your data in the dark, they hinder you from competing properly and maintaining growth. We at Western Computer have seen it many times before, but there is good news! Software solutions out there are designed to address these specific issues for distributors, and our customers in consumer packaged goods have seen the greatest success with Microsoft Power BI.  


Why Power BI? 
As part of your greater technology stack, Power BI enables you to make moves for your business based on today’s data—not last month’s reports. With the ability to automatically consolidate data from multiple sources—both internal and external, regardless of whether or not they are Microsoft—you can easily see high-level views or drill down into granular analytics across your warehouse, inventory, vendors, and more. You can even see into sales activity with automatically generated reports on new leads and how your sales team impacts those leads during follow-up activities. 

The solution delivers multiple permutations and views for your data. Should you want to see inventory value by site, inventory turns, value by item group, or other options, you can easily change the dashboard’s view. Your financial reporting not only becomes easier and less time-consuming, it delivers clear data you can use. 

Real-time reporting has the power to transform your decision-making at the highest levels. You can use it to: 

  • Identify which goods are affecting your margins in given ways 

  • Spot any downward trends quickly and take corrective action before they implicate the rest of your business 

  • Use data to give the sales team insight and boost profit 


With Power BI, your team will have access to real-time dashboards that provide: 

  • Inventory for weeks out 

  • Product returns 

  • Purchase order delivery on-time rates 

  • Out-of-stock percentage 

  • Your margins by product 

  • How effective your promotions are 

  • Data management 

  • The ability to track shipping and logistics costs accurately 


Why Western Computer? 
Western Computer can help you get the most out of your Power BI solution so you can leverage it for real business intelligence. We can help you figure out how to perform any number of functions in the software from viewing invoice settlement details to tracking your fixed assets to viewing vendor transaction history at the order and line level. Your visibility into your business will rapidly materialize as we help you maximize your investment in Power BI quickly to see aspects like true landed costs, real-time margin numbers, productivity of warehouse employees, and customer satisfaction. 

We have years of experience specializing in helping consumer packaged goods distributors transform their reporting and start making smarter decisions using analytics. We are well-versed in the needs of distributors, and we work with you to make your transition to cloud-based, modern technologies as smooth as possible. Get in touch with us today to talk to one of our experts and learn more about the possibilities for your reporting and analytics. 

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