The Benefits of Connecting Your ERP System to Dynamics 365 CE and Business Intelligence Reporting

November 16, 2023 Kayla Rohde

Is your organization set up to make quick business decisions? Do you have access to real-time data  across your entire organization? When your finance, marketing, sales, operations, and service teams all know what each other is doing—and everything going on with customers—they can proactively pounce on opportunities to generate sales, reduce costs, improve customer service, and work more efficiently.

Accessing real-time data starts with connecting your CRM and ERP systems and then adding business intelligence reporting. If you have deployed Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE to manage your marketing, sales, or service processes, you can generate additional business value by connecting the solution with your ERP platform and Microsoft Power BI. This provides a means for consolidating data from different data sources into meaningful reports. Together, these technologies allow you to drill down into all the data your business produces—in real time.

Breaking Down Data Silos

Connecting Dynamics 365 CE with your ERP system and Power BI is a big help to team members who spend most of their time in one system but regularly need to get data and reports from another system. You essentially break down the data silos that exist among disparate applications and business departments so everyone can share the same data.  

For example, the operations side of the business can use data coming from sales orders and field service tickets that show customers experiencing issues with a product. If you’re a manufacturer, you can make production adjustments to avoid future cases. If you’re a distributor, you can make supply chain adjustments to get products to your customers quickly.

With Power BI reports, your sales team gets a 360° view of their accounts. This includes Dynamics 365 CE data (such as opportunities, leads, cases, and field-service tickets) AND ERP-driven data—including orders placed, shipping information, and A/R balances.

Understanding the Complete Story of Key Relationships

Another benefit comes from pulling accounting, sales, and service information into Power BI reports. You can consolidate data on your customers and your vendors to understand the complete story of your key relationships—without bouncing back and forth between systems. You always know what’s working well and what’s not with each customer and vendor.

At a glance, the sales team can compare customer order information to their accounts receivable history. The team can then focus sales efforts on customers who pay on time and work with late-paying customers to improve cash flow. From the supply chain perspective, the procurement team can check service incidents to identify which vendors provide the highest-quality products and components.

Key Capabilities Enabled by System Connections and Business Intelligence

By connecting Dynamics 365 CE with your ERP system and Power BI, you set the stage for scaling your operations and growing your business by unleashing several key capabilities:

  • Provide executives and managers with real-time data to make data-driven decisions.
  • Keep the sales team informed of all customer activity to focus on profitable opportunities.
  • Generate enhanced insights into customer behavior and preferences to design targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Facilitate service incident resolutions by providing in-house and field personnel with complete customer, order, and product information.
  • Enable personalized and timely customer service to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Accelerate order processing and fulfillment by automating the flow of sales orders in the ERP system.
  • Improve inventory management by comparing sales forecasts to supply chain and production forecasts.
  • Expedite customer shipments with full inventory traceability across multiple warehouses.

In addition, business intelligence reporting across systems enables real-time communication on current activities. This improves internal team collaboration and customer satisfaction. Other benefits include eliminating paper processes that require manual inputs and rekeying, which can lead to duplicate, and possibly inaccurate, entries. Your IT team will also be able to streamline data management—by collecting and organizing data in one centralized system.

New Efficiencies and Live Insights

To learn more about the benefits of connecting Dynamics 365 CE to your ERP system and Power BI, check out this success story that shows how Western Precooling Systems gained new process efficiencies and live insights. You can also visit our website to view a sampling of the pre-built interactive Power BI reports that help your business run more efficiently. These examples show reports Western Computer has developed for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users, and we can do the same for your ERP platform.

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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