Improving customer and supplier engagement with Power Apps Portals.

Akita worked with a bespoke manufacturer on a self-service customer portal solution built with Power Apps Portals.

The company makes made-to-measure interiors solutions, with high volumes of both repeat and one-off orders. It was attempting to use a custom Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for calculating order costs. However, this approach was manual and slow.

The company were further hindered by changes in material costs. These would fluctuate yet the spreadsheet would not be updated, resulting in the profit margins of orders being reduced.

And the process was open to manual error, either through issues with the spreadsheet or potential copy/paste errors.

A better solution was required to improve the sales ordering process.

Power Apps Portals Customer Portal

In developing the customer portal, our consultants conceived a solution that would improve both the sales process and the experience for customers. Initial improvements to the sales process were delivered with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales deployment modelled to the company’s sales and ordering process. We then tailored a customer portal solution using Power Apps Portals.

Accessible externally to the organisation, the customer portal is a web-based solution that allows customers to input and raise orders themselves based on their requirements. Details from the portal then sync to Dynamics 365, placing orders and raising billing.

customer portal

The customer portal also has other beneficial features. The company’s main suppliers have been given a view to the portal that allows them to change resource costs. This ensures that pricing is always based on the most up to date resource costs, thereby ensuring the profitability of jobs.

Suppliers (who also undertake some of the early stages of manufacturing) also update order progress. This information is then fed back to the customer-facing part of the portal, allowing them to view the progress of orders and when they’re due to ship and arrive.

Smarter Sales Processes

The customer portal solution has streamlined sales and customer service.

For regular customers, the self-service customer portal has now replaced the lengthy email quoting process. This allows the company’s sales team to work closer with new customers instead, providing a better service for them.

Automating the sales process with Dynamics 365 has also meant orders can be processed at higher volume and with few (if any) errors.

As the customer portal also provides a full update of the order status, the number of enquiries to the customer service department has also reduced.

Overall, the solution has simplified the ordering process and delivered better service – while also reducing demand on resources and boosting productivity as a result.

For more information on Power Apps Portal, Dynamics 365 or customer portal solutions please get in touch:

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