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Archives: May 2016

Self Service Sales Reporting

 Posted on May 25, 2016 by David Gillman

For a long, long time NGS has worked with customers who have sales related data tied up in their ERP system without easy ways to access and summarize it. Their CRM system (using that term loosely for many companies) does not interface well with the ERP data.

Whether planning marketing strategies or conversing with customers in person, salespeople often do not have accurate information on past order history or comparisons to other customers. Running a green screen application in front of their customers is not something most sales reps want to do. Instead, many simply dodge the issue by saying they will look up order history later and get back to the customer.

That is not a good response to build stronger customer relationships.

Through the years, NGS has come up with a basic data mart useable by virtually any sales department. It takes a few NGS-IQ jobs to populate the tables on a regular basis, but the layout is easily understood by any salesperson who wants to create his or her own views and reports.

Here is the quick overview. The sales reporting data model centers on two primary entities — customers and orders.  All the other tables join with these entities. Of course, using the NGS-IQ meta function also eliminates the need for any of the report authors to know what a join actually is.

Upcoming blog entries will highlight critical tables and the fields we have found vital at a wide array of companies. The discussion will not cover in-depth issues or advanced analytics. I will concentrate on the typical needs of companies who use IBM i and want more effective sales reporting on older ERP systems.

Posted in Education | Comments


Perceptions Aren’t Reality Until Your Data
Says So

 Posted on May 12, 2016 by Bill Langston

In the 1980’s a political consultant coined the phrase “perception is reality,” and over the past 30 years that phrase has become widely used and accepted in both business and social settings to help explain or justify behavior. But in fact, perceptions we can’t verify through data provide a very weak foundation on which to make business and personal decisions.

Our perceptions do shape our individual impression of “reality,” but things aren’t always as they seem. Most of us know from personal experience that when someone says, “(Fill in a number) people can’t be wrong!” that there is a chance all those people just might be. We need to look at the data.

Assuming perceptions are the same as a company’s reality is high risk business behavior. Instead, cultivating skepticism is much more productive for developing a business. Combining creative thinking with the effective use of data to test perceptions and make informed decisions is the way to move your business forward.

Posted in IBM i Marketplace | Comments

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