Power Service has 40 employees and is a leading manufacturer of diesel fuel additives. To manage finances and order processing, the company had in the past relied on a proprietary business management solution. To improve agility, Power Service decided to move to a solution that it could customize and support in-house and chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV. By using Microsoft Dynamics NAV as a platform, the company built out a Role Center that provides all order-processing functionality through a graphical user interface, helping to drive productivity. At the same time, Power Service has equipped itself with a solution that it can customize on its own, helping the company adapt to the changing needs of the market and maintain a competitive edge.
||With the Role Center in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, our employees can quickly view the status of any order, allowing us to relay that information back to the customer, which ultimately helps us improve customer service.
||Steve Aldridge, Accounting and IT Manager, Power Service
Headquartered in Weatherford, Texas, Power Service manufactures some of the world’s leading diesel fuel additives. These additives serve a range of functions—from preventing diesel fuel from freezing in cold-weather environments to improving the performance of biodiesels, which are often laden with impurities. Power Service has 40 employees and sells its products through major retailers and wholesale distributors to clients that range from freight businesses and truckers to the military and even automobile hobbyists.
To manage the sale and distribution of its products to these retailers, Power Service relied on a proprietary business management solution that an independent software vendor (ISV) custom built on top of Microsoft SQL Server. Although the solution supported all the business functions that Power Service needed, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, order processing, and billing, its proprietary nature meant Power Service could not support or customize the solution in-house. Instead, the company’s IT staff had to call on the expertise of the ISV to make any changes, which was a costly and inefficient endeavor.
To control costs and establish an agile IT environment that could more easily adapt to changing business requirements, Power Service wanted to implement a solution that its IT staff could support and customize in-house while still handling the same breadth of processes as its current system.
Power Service initially considered a range of solutions, including those from Sage and Syspro, but decided on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Steve Aldridge, Accounting and IT Manager for Power Service, explains the decision: “To customize Microsoft Dynamics NAV required a skill set that our programmer was comfortable with and found easy to learn, enabling us to customize the solution more efficiently.” In addition, Aldridge knew that the solution would enable Power Service to take advantage of its existing investment in SQL Server while easing employee access to business data through the RoleTailored user interface of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Power Service called on the expertise of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Artifex Partners to perform the implementation, which included rolling out all core accounting functionalities, such as general ledger, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, and connecting the solution to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to provide Web-based access to key information in the underlying enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Taking a RoleTailored Approach
Easing access to the information and functionality employees need, Microsoft Dynamics NAV offers a RoleTailored user experience. A key part of this experience is Role Centers, which provide employees with a comprehensive overview of only the information and tasks they need to perform their specific jobs. Working closely with Artifex Partners, Power Service took advantage of this capability to initially build out a single Role Center that maps graphically to the company’s entire order-processing workflow—from initial sale to shipment. With this visibility, staff can pinpoint where any specific order resides in the workflow at any given time. Explains Aldridge, “The people who input orders are sales support, but a couple of days or weeks after an order is placed, a customer may call and ask for order status. Now, we can look up the order and see where it is in the workflow. This is especially useful for anyone who wants to see status quickly, including our company’s owners”
|At Power Service, the Role Center maps to the company's order-processing workflow.|
In Power Service’s order-processing Role Center, new orders are represented graphically in an open-orders Cue—a visual representation of an open order. As Power Service employees process these orders, the orders turn into released orders, approved orders, and, eventually, open warehouse shipments. Warehouse staff manages items from those released, to picked, and then staged for shipment. From within the Role Center, Power Service staff also manage returned items and perform routine inquiries. Throughout the entire workflow, the graphical user interface displays the total number of items at each stage. In the future, Power Service will provide warehouse staff with a more focused Role Center that provides visibility into only those items that have been released to the warehouse.
Extending the Reach of Information
For its large retail customers, Power Service relies on the electronic data interchange capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to receive orders and manage invoicing. To make business data available to field sales, the company takes advantage of integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Office SharePoint Server. By using Office SharePoint Server, the company’s eight field sales employees use a browser to view a synopsis of their sales, access reports, and drill down into data.
With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Power Service now has a flexible solution in place that it can support in-house. As a result, the company maintains the agile IT environment it needs to respond quickly to the future needs of the business while increasing productivity through the intuitive Role Centers of the solution.
Works the Way Your Business Works
Through one Role Center, Power Service employees can manage the entire order-processing workflow that is central to the business. As a result, employees companywide can rapidly find the information they need, when they need it. Says Aldridge, “With the Role Center in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, our employees can quickly view the status of any order, allowing us to relay that information back to the customer, which ultimately helps us improve customer service.”
In addition, because of the efficiencies of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the Role Center, Power Service has been able to support annual double-digital sales growth without adding staff.
Eases Support, Drives Agility
Following training from Artifex Partners, Power Service looks forward to supporting and customizing Microsoft Dynamics NAV in-house, helping the company build out functionality that meets new and emerging business requirements. This ease of support is due to the rapid adaptability, simplified customization, and ease of use of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. By being able to support the solution in-house, Power Service estimates a cost savings of nearly 50 percent versus using a third party.
Provides a Platform for the Future
With a solution tailored to its business, yet flexible to change, Power Service readies for the future. Currently, the company is pursuing customizing the solution to help choose and calculate freight rates and is considering extending Microsoft Dynamics NAV to integrate with the company Web site, enabling distributors to enter orders. Power Service also plans to implement the sales and marketing functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to gain a better understanding of customers and to perform more meaningful analysis of sales data.
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