Why Power BI WOWS Distributors

August 27, 2021 Ryan Pollyniak

Not everyone gets excited when we talk about reporting, and we don’t take it personally. Most distributors are still getting their reports in boring spreadsheets with rows and rows of data or canned P&Ls with no context to explain what those numbers really mean.

No, reporting isn’t super interesting to the distributors we talk to…until we show them what we can do with the powerful visualizations of Power BI.


Jaws literally drop.

We hear “WOW” a lot.

Something magical happens.


Reporting all of a sudden becomes exciting and not just to the CFOs in the room.


The Power of Power BI for Distributors

Visibility across the supply chain and the entire organization is a constant struggle for distributors. Reports just don’t cut it when you need real-time information to make decisions right now, not based on last month’s numbers.

Even though we are talking about reports here, Power BI isn’t just a reporting tool. It is a business intelligence tool. It is an interactive data visualization tool. It is a collaborative decision-making tool. And it’s pretty special.


Ditch the Spreadsheets for Connected, Contextual Insights

Power BI can automatically consolidate data from multiple internal and external sources (not just Microsoft applications) and translates it for you into sleek dashboards. No more spreadsheets or manually importing/exporting/manipulating data.

You can design your dashboards to be colorful and engaging with charts, graphs, maps, lists—however you want to tell your story. These dashboards can easily be embedded into Dynamics 365, saved, printed, emailed—however you want to share your story.

For distributors in particular, this is truly game changing. You can get see the all-up picture or drill down into any of that data in a click for the details and context you need to understand.

Enough talk about Power BI, here is a sample dashboard to show you the difference between traditional reports and spreadsheets and a Power BI dashboard. How would you prefer to see information?



Common Power BI Dashboards for Distribution

The real power behind Power BI is its flexibility to create precisely what you want and need to see—in the way you want to see it. Every distributor is different so, without getting too technical, this is where Western Computer’s distribution and Power BI expertise will be a huge asset to help you get the most value out of your data.

Here are some of the most common Power BI reports and dashboards our distribution customers love:


Leveraging the flexibility of Dynamics 365 Finance’s dimensional accounting completely transforms your financial reporting capabilities. Track revenue, costs, performance and anything else by customer, product group, sales team—the possibilities are limitless. See budgets vs. actuals and variances in real-time and in one spot.

Accounts Receivable
View invoice settlement details and customer transaction history with easy one-click drill down.

Fixed Assets
Track your fixed assets from purchase to disposition.

Sales Performance
From revenue and costs to fulfillment tracking by product, customer or any other dimension—keep pulse on all aspects of your sales lifecycle.

Track vendor fulfillment and other performance KPIs.

Vendor Performance
View all or individual vendor transaction history at the order and line level.

Product Performance
Track product performance and history including revenue, costs and physical movement.

Inventory Turns
Proactively monitor your inventory, identify trends, and know when and where to move product.

Gross Margin
Know your margins in real-time and drill down into the details behind your numbers.

Landed Cost
See your true landed costs for more accurate budgeting and forecasting.

Booked Orders
Keep track of open orders and their status.

Warehouse Employee Performance
Monitor and track productivity and performance for your warehouse employees to know where you need to optimize processes or prevent bottlenecks.

On-Time Delivery
Customer satisfaction is critical and now you can track in one place when orders were promised and when they were delivered.


Ready to see Power BI in action?

Curious how Power BI could transform your reporting? It’s best to see it for yourself! Contact us today for a personalized Power BI demonstration and we can show you some industry-specific Power BI dashboards, explain how it works with your data, and explore all the good stuff that gets our distribution customers excited for the future.


About the Author

Ryan Pollyniak

As Cloud Transformation Executive, Ryan evaluates client needs to strategize approach and demonstrate Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform solutions to meet clients' business goals. Throughout his extensive Sales career, Ryan has worked closely with the executive teams of mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries. His ability to analyze business processes and successfully execute software implementations has helped him to develop numerous positive relationships with his clients.

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