Great business reports need to be clear and well-structured. Before writing your report, you need to be clear on your brief, who the report is being written for and why. What action are you asking the reader to take? Is it decision-making based on the information presented, requesting an agreement to recommendations made or some other action?
Business report structure
Any great business report should start with an executive summary, which effectively provides busy decision-makers with a quick summary of the contents of the report. The executive summary is generally the last part of the report to be written after you have determined the key points to highlight.
This is followed by an introduction which provides a brief summary of the topic being discussed and should briefly touch on your conclusions. The main body or heart of the report is carefully structured to lead the reader through the issue. Remember to focus on the data that matters, if the information it’s not relevant, leave it out.
Finally, your report should conclude, setting out the inferences you’ve drawn from the information provided and include any recommendations or action requests.
Online inventory control solutions not only help to improve inventory control but provide accurate, real-time insights, generating a variety of inventory reports to support great business reporting.
Inventory reports can be included in the body of, or as appendices to business reports to support conclusions or to validate recommendations. With an automated, online inventory control system you can customise reports to easily identify products by supplier, product, location and variation. Other common inventory reports include:
- On hand inventory stock — a detailed overview of your inventory with a list of all the products and variations that you have in stock, including a list of items that are currently out of stock.
- Inventory Detail Report — in addition to the current stock on hand levels this report also shows the amount of inventory stock committed to sales orders from the available stock.
- Inventory Location Report — this allows you to compare the inventory stock you have across various storage locations.
- Stock Reorder Report — you can manage your stock and backorders with the reorder report. Identify variants that have fallen below par level reorder points and variations with negative stock.
- Incoming Stock Report — these can be filtered by supplier, date range, location and other categories to provide an overview of incoming stock from current purchase orders.
- Historic Inventory Report — you can export your inventory stock levels and moving average cost from any point in history. Historic inventory reports are valuable tools to assist with sales predictions and demand forecasting.
Inventory reporting also helps track inventory turns, cost of goods sold and can reduce the risk of stockouts and overstocking.
Online inventory management
With the right online inventory management tools, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to write a great business report.
Interactive dashboards allow you to toggle between specific timeframes and make comparisons to early time periods or previous seasonal sales performance. Inventory management software helps you analyse KPIs to identify trends and fluctuations and measure results against established goals.
The best online inventory management systems will integrate data across numerous platforms combining information from marketing, sales, analytics and eCommerce platforms. Presenting relevant, real-time information and an in-depth view of the organisation’s overall performance to support fast, efficient inventory control and business and inventory reporting.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.