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Feature Spotlight: How to Use Reports to Grow Your Business

This month’s feature spotlight turns to reports. Trader comes packed with dozens of report templates, covering every aspect of your business. In this article, we highlight some of the software’s key reports and explain how best to use them to grow your business.

What are reports?

Reports pull specific data from your EPOS software and transform them into easy-to-read, digestible documents, with tables and graphs instead of lists of numbers. They’re useful for showing senior management how certain areas of the business are progressing (as well as the business as a whole), but should also be used by managers on the front-line of the business to evaluate day-to-day processes.

What reports does Trader include?

Trader’s reports cover every aspect of your merchant business.
Stock control is one of the most important areas of your business. Too little stock, and customers will find empty shelves. Too much stock, and your cash flow suffers. Use stock reports to ensure that your money is invested in the right stock. View reports on slow moving and dead stock to determine the products which are holding you back.
View the profitability of different product groups, with month to month comparisons, to help you spot seasonal trends and any decline or improvement in performance. You can also look at stock valuation against sales in any given date range, letting you check whether your order quantities are too high or too low.
Use reports to keep an eye on customer and suppliers. Customer reports are useful for keeping track of debt owed to your business. The aged debt report brings up a list of customers who owe you money, including how much, and when the payments are due. This helps you chase payments more effectively. You also check your turnover and profitability by customer, showing you your most valuable customers.
On the supply side, reports show you how much you owe suppliers, and when payments are due. This report is vital for cash flow management, and also helps you choose your suppliers. You can also use the stock on order report to check stock that’s been ordered but not yet invoiced - helping you avoid ordering the same product twice accidentally.
Finally, Trader comes packed with sales and financial reports. Sales reports show you sales per cashier so you can track top performers. Daily sales reports give you a full breakdown of sales and margins, and highlight any poorly performing products.
There are multiple profit and loss reports, giving you full visibility over your company’s finances. You’ll also find VAT analysis and balance sheet reports.

How can I use reports effectively?

Reports are incredibly useful problem solving tools for builders’ merchants. They provide you with the data you need to make tough business decisions - there’s no need to rely on your hunches alone!
Reports are at their most effective when the data in your EPOS system is complete and accurate. ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ applies here - if the data you enter into your system is low quality, you can’t expect the reports to be useful!
We recommend generating reports on a regular basis so that any decisions you make are based on up-to-date information. Furthermore, while numbers don’t lie, they might not tell the whole story, either. Always seek the feedback of staff, customers or suppliers before jumping to conclusions based on a single report.
Reports are just one of the dozens of features in Trader, EPOS software built just for builders’ merchants. If your current EPOS system isn’t working for you, see what Trader has to offer...