Power Platform for Distributors: How Any User Can Automate Daily Tasks

Joe Little

How can distributors use Microsoft Power Platform to streamline and automate daily operations? Power Platform is a truly innovative set of tools that places the ability to create solutions in the hands of ordinary users, and that means it introduces technology options that weren’t previously possible for many organizations. It can be difficult to imagine all the business possibilities of this versatile toolset, which is why we’re providing an example to get the creative ideas flowing!

In this scenario for a sales manager in the distribution industry, the organization leverages the combined capabilities of Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate. These are used to create a solution that ensures tasks get done on time by creating notifications and facilitating effective communication. 

The Scenario:

A distribution business requires that all sales orders for a given time period are posted by the end of the month. On a Friday afternoon, which is the last weekday of the month, not all lines have been posted. These lines need to be posted right away.

The Solution:

1. Power BI

Power BI is set up to create a report that shows any sales lines posted in this period by document date or posting date. An automated alert is created within Power BI so it reads the sales lines and decides there’s an unposted order, then sends a notification to the sales manager. The sales manager receives an alert on their phone and they open it to see the Power BI report and the notification that there is an unposted order.

2. Power Apps and Power Automate

The sales manager then wants to notify someone on their team to post the sales order. They’ve used Power Apps to embed a button in the Power BI report so the sales manager, in one click, can trigger an action in Power Automate to automatically send an email with all the information needed for the team member to finish the job. That person can open the email and click a button to navigate directly to Dynamics 365 and complete the posting before the deadline.

How it Works - Analyze, Embed, and Connect:

This is a simple scenario, but without tools like Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Apps, creating the same functionality would require a developer. Or, you are forced to do a whole lot of time-consuming manual work. With Power Platform tools, solutions like this become cost-effective because they can be created and customized by the end users themselves to solve everyday inefficiencies. The analysis by Power BI, embedded Power App button, and email sent using Power Automate can all be created using simple interfaces and drag-and-drop features.

Imagine empowering your workers to solve the numerous small obstacles that confront them every day!

Want to learn more about Power Platform?

Western Computer has worked with this industry extensively for more than 30 years, so we understand the value of Power Platform for distributors. If you’re excited about the possibilities and want to discuss ways to become more self-sufficient and productive with Power Platform, contact us today to talk to an expert.

About the Author

Joe Little

Joe Little is Technical Solution Architect with Western Computer. With over 30 years of software experience, Joe has performed many roles throughout his career in several functional areas including pre-sales, architecture, development, implementation, and support. Joe believes the Microsoft Power Platform is a powerful solution that allows users to make small changes that have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line, such as viewing their data in new ways and creating workflows that help further automate their processes.

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