Why Power BI WOWS Distributors

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 translate 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. You can tailor the dashboard so you can view information on the data points you prefer. You can view current inventory values; inventory by date, location, bin, or item; top-filled bins; top-turning inventory; inventory value, and more. See below for an example:

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 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 when orders were promised and when they were delivered—all in one place.


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. Western Computer is a proud 2022/2023 Inner Circle Member and finalist of the 2022 Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner of the Year.

We have deep expertise in Power BI for distributors, 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 helps you scale for the future.

“BI dashboards are new to our organization, and it has been exciting to see the culture change as we rely more and more on Power BI reports. Western Computer has played a key role in this culture shift and will no doubt help us tap into many new sources of information that can drive improved patient care.” - Rebecca Mussetter, Ph.D, Director of Health Data Analytics, Bighorn Valley Health Center

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.

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