Trust me. If you are looking for ways to improve your company’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), you are not alone. These are challenging times for every kind of business. And every type of business is attempting to cut costs and increase profit margins. That is not a new concept. During past recessions and depressions, cutting costs and increasing profit margins have always been a priority.
Hold on, you might say, we are not in a recession or depression right now. That is true. However, there are extenuating circumstances that companies are grappling with today. And almost all those extenuating circumstances are related to supply chain issues. “Issues” is probably a misnomer or a euphemism. They are more like supply chain disasters! And the fallout from those disasters is weighing everyone down, especially companies in the wholesale distribution sector that rely so heavily on the global supply chain.
That is the backdrop. Now let us move on to the solution.
How Microsoft’s Power Platform Improves Wholesale Distribution KPIs
To gauge your business’s health, productivity, and profitability, you need to keep track of your financial and operational metrics, also known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These all-important metrics are stored in your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system and can usually be updated and viewed in real-time. Naturally, at any given moment, your KPIs could be rising or falling. Much like the stock market, in the short term, you may experience dips. The goal is for the long-term trend to be positive.
First, we should explain that the Power Platform is not a standalone solution. It is, instead, designed to augment your Business Central software.
Second, we should explain that Dynamics 365 Business Central, in and of itself, is a fully functional, flexible, and highly configurable platform designed to capture key business information and monitor vital aspects of your business operations. Smart role-based dashboards quickly present relevant information for individual job functions.
Integration to the Microsoft Family of Cloud Productivity Applications (e.g., Office 365, Outlook, Teams), Cloud Business Applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, and advanced business intelligence tools (i.e., Power BI) provides a truly integrated technology platform to streamline your business operations.
Power BI integrates with Dynamics 365 Business Central through Microsoft’s Common Data Service (also known as Dataverse), which allows data to be integrated from multiple sources into a single location and data already available from Dynamics 365 Business Central.
To make that functionality possible, the two systems have to communicate with each other. The process to accomplish this is surprisingly simple. There is no need to develop the integration from scratch. Using the standard templates in AppSource, Power BI, and Dynamics 365 Business Central can be integrated in less than 30 minutes.
Furthermore, Microsoft has already included many Power BI charts in standard Business Central lists. This allows users can utilize Power BI simply by logging into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central system. Incidentally, this is also an excellent way for new users to become familiar with Power BI.
Just to recap…
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and part of the Microsoft Dynamics family. And while it can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, please trust us when we say that the cloud is a far, far better option.
Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics service that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface designed to enable end-users to create their own reports and dashboards.
Using Microsoft’s Common Data Service, Power BI can directly access the information stored in a Dynamics 365 Business Central company to quickly generate reports and dashboards to support executive and operational decision-making.
Deep Dive into the Services SSG Provides for Combining Power BI and Business Central
Discovery and Analysis
We provide a head start in situations where clients have not yet implemented Power BI. Once we get you started, you will be able to continue on your own. Our clients benefit from:
Power BI set up
Data warehouse design and deployment
Automated Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)
Power BI augments Dynamics 365 Business Central’s financial statements with graphical visualizations of revenue, gross profit, and net income over time. Power BI can also be used to help identify anomalies in the data and reconcile differences between the sub-ledger and the general ledger (GL). Our clients benefit from our reporting expertise for:
Accounts Payable (AP)
Accounts Receivable (AR)
General Ledger (GL)
Fixed Assets (FA)
One of the less prominent but impactful uses of Power BI relates to inventory management. Measurement and monitoring of inventory carrying costs have distinct financial benefits. We help clients use Power BI to report:
Excess and Obsolete Inventory
Out of Stock Incidents
Inventory Carrying Costs
Inventory Management KPIs
These are merely a few examples of the services we provide and how the Microsoft Power Platform improves Wholesale Distribution KPIs for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users. We invite you to read more about Microsoft Power BI for Dynamics 365 Business Central.