How to Get Custom Business Central Inventory Reports in Minutes

January 25, 2024
5 min read
General

Inventory management is a vital cornerstone for organizations of any size that can make or break their long-term growth, profitability, and productivity. Robust inventory management systems ensure accurate, real-time control of physical goods and their ever-changing quantities, locations, and statuses while preventing profit loss due to stockouts or surplus. Empowering your business with a state-of-the-art ERP solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the first step to a seamless, well-executed approach to inventory management. 

The question is, how do you use all the valuable inventory data you collect every day? Like most ERPs, Business Central includes out-of-the-box reporting and BI capabilities to help you increase visibility into your supply chain and inventory operations. But those reporting capabilities don’t always satisfy companies’ complex and stringent reporting requirements in this unforgiving marketplace.   

That’s where third-party reporting solutions come in.

In this blog post, we will share why businesses with additional reporting needs choose to invest in a third-party reporting and analytics solution to get the most out of their Business Central data. From there, we’ll show you just how easy it can be to get the critical inventory reports you’re looking for to meet customer demands, optimize supply chain management, and ultimately fuel your success.

Why Getting Business Central Inventory Reports Can Be Challenging

Business Central comes with several built-in reporting options, including standard inventory report templates.  From inventory picking lists to inventory valuation and cost reports, these out-of-the-box Business Central standard reports may seem convenient at first – they’re anything but. These reports are complex and take a lot of time, money, and technical expertise that many of today’s manufacturers and distributors don’t have. As a result, true inventory analysis, management, and optimization are not attainable.  

So why are Business Central inventory reports so difficult to build and customize? We’ve narrowed it down to five main reasons:

  • COMPLEX DATA: Without a developer or data warehouse to simplify the underlying data structure in Business Central, it can be challenging to access clean, organized data from multiple data sources for accurate inventory reporting.

  • EXTENSIONS: There are limitations that come with extracting data from third-party Business Central inventory management extensions. Read more about reporting with extensions here.  

  • INTEGRATION: Generating an inventory report with data from extensions or other modules (finance, sales, manufacturing) requires extensive data consolidation and risk.

  • PERFORMANCE: As your volume of data grows, large datasets and complex reports have an impact on overall speed and system performance.

  • TECHNICAL SKILLS: To modify reports or create custom reports in Business Central, you need to employ or pay for specialized development resources with the necessary coding knowledge and technical expertise.
Dig Deeper into Business Central’s Top 7 Reporting Challenges
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How to Quickly and Easily Create Custom Business Central Inventory Reports

The solution to building and customizing inventory reports is quite simple: invest in third-party reporting software that bypasses these challenges entirely.  

As a Business Central customer, you can choose from several third-party reporting and analytics solutions depending on your business needs, reporting requirements, and technical resources on staff. Many of them are legacy reporting tools built for Microsoft’s on-premise ERP systems, which doesn’t really bode well for delivering fast reporting speed and reliable performance.  

To get instant access to all inventory data in Business Central and inventory-related data in your extensions and other modules, you need a cloud-first reporting solution like Cosmos.

Watch the Cosmos Overview in 2.38 Seconds

Fully supported by Microsoft Azure, Cosmos provides a unified, intuitive platform to easily create and modify inventory reports, edit data models, manage users, and share information – all without technical expertise or familiarity with the underlying data structure.        

Unlike other on-premise reporting solutions for Business Central, Cosmos includes a powerful data warehouse to clean and organize data from multiple sources and optimize it for reporting and business intelligence. Its seamless integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory lets users easily log in with their Microsoft Business Central or Office credentials and start building reports and dashboards immediately in Excel or Power BI.   

With governed data, a familiar Excel interface, and self-service data visualization at your fingertips, Cosmos is designed to make report creation easier for everyday Business Central users – equipping them with the data and tools they need for faster operational analysis, smarter decision-making, and instant results.

Top 6 Pre-Built, Fully Customizable Inventory Reports in Cosmos

To simplify and speed up the report creation process, Cosmos includes a set of pre-built inventory reports that give you valuable insight into your inventory levels from day one. Without any complex configurations or coding required, these reports are easily customizable and work immediately with your Business Central data.  

It’s important to note that the Cosmos development team regularly adds to these pre-built reports. At the time of this blog post, we currently have six inventory-specific reports available:

  1. Inventory Valuation by Item Category:

    Shows all item categories along with the items associated with each item category. The user is shown the quantity on hand, ending value, and average unit cost for each item.

  2. Inventory Valuation by Location:

    Shows all inventory locations along with the items associated with each location. The user is shown the quantity on hand, ending value, and average unit cost for each item.

  3. Inventory Valuation Summary:

    Shows all items in Business Central. The user is shown the quantity on hand, ending value, and average unit cost for each item.


    Inventory Valuation Summary Report in Cosmos

  4. Inventory Quantity on Hand by Item Category:

    Shows all item categories along with the items associated with each item category. The user is shown the beginning quantity, net change, and ending quantity for each item based on the date range the user specifies for the report.

  5. Inventory Quantity on Hand by Location:

    Shows all item categories along with the items associated with each item category. The user is shown the beginning quantity, net change, and ending quantity for each item based on the date range the user specifies for the report.


    Inventory Quantity on Hand by Location in Cosmos

  6. Item Quantity on Hand Summary:

    Shows all items in Business Central. The user is shown the beginning quantity, net change, and ending quantity for each item based on the date range the user specifies for the report.

One of our partners recently pointed out that Cosmos’ pre-designed reports are one of the biggest reasons why many of their Business Central customers have recently adopted the cloud reporting solution. Tired of wasting time and money on reporting, Cosmos provides a full gallery of pre-built reports that can be modified and shared by anyone in your organization – without technical knowledge and development skills. “Unlike any other reporting tool,” explains Richard Parkinson from PYA Solutions, “Our Business Central customers can literally start building valuable reports on the first day of implementation.”

30 Business Central Reports in 30 Minutes

Opportunities to develop and grow your business are easier to find and act on when you have accurate data and actionable reports at your fingertips. Here is a look at 30 pre-built reports for Business Central included in Cosmos!

View Report Library

Explore a New Universe of Reporting

If you’re having trouble getting the inventory data and reports you need from Business Central, it’s time to book a 30-minute demo of Cosmos! With a user-friendly, centralized cloud platform built for Business Central users, you will see firsthand how easy it is to create and modify inventory reports in just a few clicks. Let us know your inventory reporting requirements, and we’ll even show you how simple it is to build custom reports from scratch!

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