Powering Efficiency: Purchase Requisition Success with Power Automate and Dynamics 365

Electric battery ONE

For a leading innovator in sustainable battery design for electric vehicles and various industries, the commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology and streamlined processes is paramount. To meet the demands of a rapidly evolving market, the organization prioritizes efficiency for its team members. In collaboration with Stoneridge Software, the sustainable battery organization delved into integrating Microsoft technologies.

Building upon a successful partnership that saw the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations as the company’s ERP solution, Stoneridge Software and the battery innovator recognized the need for further enhancements. While the existing accounting and operations solution met expectations, their team aimed to refine and optimize the approvals process specifically for purchase requisitions. This collaborative effort led to the adoption of Power Automate and its creative, flexible ability to address the unique challenges they faced in their quest for operational excellence.

Challenge – Purchase Requisitions Approvals

A limitation the business was experiencing was the inability to incorporate additional information and format the purchase requisition data in an effective and uniform manner in D365 Finance and Operations. Another hurdle required the approver to log in to the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations platform for approving or declining purchase requisitions, lacking the flexibility to do so through more accessible means. Furthermore, they also desired the ability to showcase data dynamically including the issue of labels being hidden when data was absent.

Because of these challenges, they asked if the Stoneridge team could explore options to address these limitations and enhance the overall functionality of their procurement processes. The goals of the exploration were to:

  • Improve the Approver’s user experience for approving or rejecting Purchase Requisitions
  • Give the Approver more information to make a better decision
  • Allow the Approver to act more quickly

The Power Automate Solution

Microsoft suggests using a Power Automate application to extend the native workflow engine in D365 Finance and Operations. Stoneridge Software followed that recommendation and built upon it to provide a more powerful and flexible approval process.

By leveraging Power Automate to deliver approval notifications, users can now quickly view all needed information and act on approval requests directly from Outlook.

How D365 Finance and Operations, Power Automate & Outlook Work Together

Stoneridge built a single Power Automate cloud flow to pull data from D365 Finance and Operations and create a formatted email sent to the approver. Then, the cloud flow updates the Purchase Requisition in D365 Finance and Operations based on the approver’s response.

This Power Automate solution achieves the following results:

  • Puts all the information necessary to make the decision in one place for the approver
  • Ability to act on the approval request quickly and remotely
  • For multi-step approvals, the email includes a listing of each of the previous approvers
  • The approver no longer needs to log in to D365 Finance and Operations to complete the approval request
  • Approvers have the needed information and ability to act on approval requests from their email remotely – even from their smartphone

Specific technologies and features used:

Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations:

  • Purchase Requisition Approval Workflow
  • Custom Data entity to retrieve complex, related data

Power Automate:

  • Environment Variable
  • Finance and Operations Trigger
  • Finance and Operations Actions
  • Outlook Actions
  • Array processing
  • HTML

Empowering Purchase Requisition Efficiency

The tailored solution has proven to be a time-saving and flexible asset for every stakeholder engaged in the Purchase Requisitions process. This implementation enables employees to make informed decisions swiftly, offering the convenience of accessibility from virtually anywhere.

This newfound efficiency allows team members to redirect their time towards other essential activities, ultimately enhancing overall productivity. The robust collaborative relationship between Stoneridge and the energy expert played a pivotal role in shaping this solution. Leveraging Stoneridge’s profound expertise in Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, the team successfully crafted a mutually beneficial solution, marking a significant win/win outcome for all.

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