Empower End-Users, Customers and Vendors with Self-Service Reporting

November 28, 2023 Kayla Rohde

Would you like to empower your end-users, customers, and vendors to create business intelligence reports quickly and easily? 

That’s exactly what you can do when you connect your ERP platform to Microsoft Power BI and Dynamics 365 CE. You set up the reports within Power BI based on the type of data you want internal users to access and the information you want to share with customers and vendors. This can include financial data as well as account, order, and service information. You can ensure sensitive data remains secure and accessible only to authorized users.

Self-service reporting essentially allows you to elevate your level of customer service as customers get what they want faster and stay in the know about all the products and services you provide. Just as important as serving your customers better, you can raise service levels for internal users and vendors so they too can keep your business flowing smoothly.

Avoid Developer Costs—No Coding Required

As an example of self-service reporting, consider one of our clients, who creates reports for the entire company through two Power BI specialists. We initially helped them set up the table data. The specialists then consolidated the tables into various report forms—spreadsheets, visuals, graphs, and dashboards— according to what users, customers, and vendors requested.

Instead of paying a developer to design comprehensive reports and set up processes to pull data from the ERP system and Dynamics 365 CE, Power BI handles all this behind the scenes. There’s no technical coding required.

Besides creating standard reports, you can give internal and external users the ability to drill into the data to access the details they need and allow them to reformat the way the data is presented. It’s a great way for everyone in your business ecosystem to track open sales orders, service incidents, and purchase orders.   

Not only does this remove the need to hire developers to create custom reports, but you can also roll out new reports faster. Compare that to asking a consultant to build the reports. They have to go through a translation process and feedback iterations—versus letting users do the simple clicking, dragging and dropping on their own to get the exact visuals they want. They get reports as fast as they want and the way they want them, allowing them to analyze the data they need.

Collaborate More Closely with Customers and Vendors

If you provide Power BI reports to customers and vendors through a portal, you can connect customers to Dynamics 365 CE applications by using Microsoft Power Pages. Customers can look up, for instance, what they purchased from you in the last five years or the service cases they opened. Vendors can do the same with purchase orders or to look at the products you have returned.

With all this information sharing, you can collaborate more closely with customers and vendors to improve your workflows and deliver products and services more efficiently.

For examples of the types of Power BI reports you can create for your business, check out the pre-built interactive Power BI reports section of our website. These examples show reports Western Computer developed for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central customers, and we can do the same for your ERP platform. To learn how, contact Western Computer today.

About the Author

Kayla Rohde

As a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Consultant for Western Computer, Kayla’s passions are using Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform technology.

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