A Portal Story: True Lead to Cash Using Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform
A leading playground manufacturer had challenges keeping their nationwide network of sales reps informed and equipped with a process for quickly turning quotes into orders. The company turned to Stoneridge Software for a solution that would help them:
- More effectively communicate the availability of parts and manufacturing lead times
- Put customer information into the sales reps’ hands
- Speed up the process from quote to approval to production
Power Apps Portal
With a thorough understanding of the business needs involved, the team at Stoneridge recommended using Microsoft Power Platform and went to work using Microsoft Power Apps to build a vendor portal that would immediately meet the manufacturing company’s needs. The portal exposes information from both Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Sales to bridge the gap. Each customer’s data is managed from the portal where individual sales reps can access information on their accounts, contacts, prior orders, outstanding quotes, and more.
Two-way Information Flow and Process Automation
That information entered in the portal then flows directly back into both the ERP system (Dynamics AX/Dynamics 365 Finance) and CRM system (Dynamics 365 Sales), ensuring the most up-to-date, accurate information is available not only to portal users but also across all departments from accounting and internal operations to the production floor.
Making some adjustments to the standard pre-sales process that Dynamics 365 Sales offers out of the box, the Stoneridge team was able to configure a process that truly fit the specific needs of the manufacturer. Now, when a customer has an order request, the sales rep can start a project directly in the Power Apps Portal and compile a design concept unique to the customer’s needs, laying out each iteration of design and development stages from start to finish. The customer is then given access to that information through their own portal login and can submit design or order changes, and approve the submitted project and quote estimates.
Once a quote is approved in the portal, the sales rep is automatically notified and that the quote has turned into an order in the system and routed to production without any required manual process from the sales team.
Workflow from Production to Shipping
When routed to production, the work order includes manufacturing and fulfillment instructions, including shipping and distribution details. Each customer can have multiple addresses within the system, with different orders being routed to a specific address. Prior to having an end-to-end solution, the manufacturing company struggled with managing multiple, reusable address types and locations for each customer. Now, it’s easy to know the exact coordinates for each shipping address or location and where to distribute the order.
Sales reps can also use the portal to service everything they sell – whether it is providing replacement parts, warranty services, or repeat orders – everything can be easily managed directly in the portal.
Another added benefit to the manufacturer was the ability to reduce the number of Dynamics 365 licenses required. Before implementing Power Apps Portals, each sales rep required an individual license for D365. Now with the portal, the licensing requirement is eliminated and all sales reps and customers can access information from D365 through the portal without a purchased license.
The day-to-day operations for all sales rep actions now run completely through Power Apps Portals, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
- Process automation
- Improved order process and information access for sales reps and distributors
- Self-service customer access to order progress, changes, and approvals
- Elimination of duplicate account data
- Improved inventory visibility
Watch How a Project-Based Manufacturer Uses Dynamics 365 and Portals to Manage Their Complex Sales Process
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