Leveraging Real-Time Business Intelligence to Streamline Manufacturing Operations

How connected are your manufacturing operations to what’s going on with your customers? Does the production team get real-time info on customer demand? Are they getting data on service incidents so they can improve product quality and initiate proactive maintenance plans?  

If you’re unsure about the answers to these questions, you can gain clarity by using Power BI to transform your data into meaningful reports. For example, if you’re using Microsoft Dynamics Customer Engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service) to manage sales and service processes, you can generate business value by connecting this data with ERP information—via Power BI.  

This provides a means for consolidating different data sources to run meaningful reports that produce real-time insights to drive decision-making. Together, ERP along with CRM and business intelligence technologies allow you to drill down into all the product data your business produces.  

You essentially break down the data silos that exist among production, sales, and service so everyone can share the same data. To give you a better idea of this concept, here are a few examples of how Power BI streamlines manufacturing workflows:

  • Analyze Customer Reported Issues—Manufacturing is never 100% foolproof. There are bound to be defects in items produced, and customers will report issues as they arise. With Power BI, the information collected about a customer issue with a manufactured product can be used to identify trends or areas of opportunity. If there’s an increase in reports of broken sensors on a refrigerator, for instance, Power BI can consolidate information from those customer tickets along with data captured throughout the manufacturing process. This might highlight an issue with the manufacturing process besides the product itself. 

  • Identify Customer Issues Proactively—With the introduction of smart devices, customers no longer have to report their problems. Data generated from Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices can do this for them. The data can then be tracked in Power BI reports, and you can set up alerts for the reports to email customers or generate service cases based on device data. 

  • Interpret High Volumes of IoT Data—IoT data accumulates exponentially and is way too much for a human to parse manually to gain meaningful insights. With Power BI, the information generated from manufactured devices can be turned into meaningful reports and visuals that help your organization identify product issues and areas of opportunity to enhance the manufacturing of the product. 

  • Assign the Right Technician to Service Tickets—Power BI helps manufacturers assign the correct level of technician to each service incident. This is key to avoiding the assignment of higher-paid senior technicians to complete simple jobs, or someone who's less skilled spending more time than needed on a complex job. You can make sure your ROI is sufficient by looking at the cost of each job. You can also sync field-resource skill levels with job requests in a Power BI report to compare what a job will generate in revenue vs the cost of the resource. If two resources have the right skills but one costs less, you can send that resource to generate a higher margin on the service incident. 

Learn More About Connected Systems and Business Intelligence 

These are just a few of the many ways Power BI can help manufacturers leverage the data produced by their ERP and CRM systems. To learn more about how Western Computer can help your manufacturing business connect systems and run business intelligence reports that enable you to streamline workflows, contact us 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.

More Content by Kayla Rohde

No Previous Articles

Next Article
How Power BI Solves the Top Challenges for Distributors
How Power BI Solves the Top Challenges for Distributors