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What's Happening
For those of you who have begun receiving welcoming messages from AARP, you might remember a short-lived TV show in the late 1970s called "What's Happening". The show itself was pretty forgettable (as were most of the 70s), but for some reason the name of the show stuck with me. "What's happeningω" became one of those hot phrases which easily outlived "neat-o", "groovy", and even "dy-no-MITE".

My point (and yes; there is one) is that even in today's business world we hear people asking the "what's happeningω" question. "What's happening with your big clientω", "What's happening with orders for part #123", and "What's happening sales-wiseω" are all good examples.

Which got me thinking - exactly what is it that people want to know when they ask the "what's happening" questionω

Past Pluperfect (Don't Ask!)
And I made an amazing discovery.

"What's happening" simultaneously refers to the past AND the present. It implies a passage of time, usually from the near-past (e.g., last week, last month, last year) all the way up through the present. And so - when someone like a sales manager turns to one of their staff and asks "what's happening with client 'x'", they are really asking for one thing: trend analysis.

Trend analysis is the proverbial elephant in the room to most businesses; everyone recognizes its value, everyone promises to do it, and no one actually does it.

Not that people don’t try - trend analysis is incredibly popular. Businesses spend hundreds of hours a year running reports and viewing analytics. But 99% of those analytics present business activities either in terms of what has happened (e.g., sales history) or what's going to happen (e.g., current sales). Looking at the two timeframes simultaneously is just too darn hard.

Tending Away From Trending
Trend analysis fails to happen for three reasons:

- There's too much information to analyze
- It's too difficult to merge data into a single view
- It takes too much time to review it

Put simply, every one trend report is equivalent to at least two non-trend reports. Think about it; a typical report shows you sales per month, support calls received this week, or late deliveries over the past 60 days. By virtue of its comparative nature, a trend report is going to compare activities for one time interval to activities for a different time interval. That’s two separate reports. Twice the amount of data.

And most trend analysis reports aren't a single report but are rather a collection of multiple reports, each run for a different time period. Ever wonder why your company's board room table is so bigω It's to provide the space for the 12 separate reports that analyze last year's business activities.

Lastly, who has the time to collect all those reports, bring them to the board room, arrange them in chronological order, and then go from one report to the next to see whose sales are going up and whose are going downω

(Most salesreps would rather spend their time selling.)

Be A Trend-Setter
Nevertheless, trend analysis is too important to ignore. No one thinks it isn't valuable; it's just that when weighed against the time and effort required to perform trend analysis, most businesses are willing to do without it. And yet . . . you can have you trend-flavored cake and eat it too . . . with KnowledgeSync. Consider . . .

This month's sales-to-date compared to last month. Last month's sales compared to an average month. Two, three, or more consecutive months of increasing or decreasing sales.

And here's the really groovy (AARP here I come!) part of this:

The above analysis is performed automatically, on a scheduled basis, and is delivered to the people who need it. No time spent retrieving, merging, or analyzing. Only those activities that fall outside of expected trends are communicated to your staff.

The first "Automated Trend Analysis" eventpaks by Vineyardsoft are available today - for Sage 100 ERP, Sage 300 ERP, and Sage 500 ERP. These eventpaks are free.

That’s right - free. Just go to:

Fill out the form and you'll be taken to a site where you can download the automated trend analysis eventpaks. And if you have any questions, let us know - contact Don Farber at Vineyardsoft at or at 800-850-8055, extension 113.

Thanks, Suggestions, & General Nonsense
In honor of the recent "National Acronym Day” (OMG!), we leave you with a bit of trivia. The word "spool" - as in "sending jobs to the print spool" . . . is an acronym. "Simultaneous peripheral operations on line". Who'd a thunk itω

Be well & have fun in all you do.

Vineyardsoft Corporation

"All parties involved know exactly what is going on with each client the moment an activity takes place. KnowledgeSync makes our job easier and it makes us look great."

Luisa Alejandra Shah
Gibraltar Bank

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