Don’t compromise on Quality – Enhance the Power of your Dynamics ERP

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Don’t compromise on Quality – Enhance the Power of your Dynamics ERP

Quality Management (QM) has, for many years been considered a fundamental part of key operational processes that ensure a minimum level of excellence.

Traditionally, business focus on Quality Management has involved:

  • Maintaining quality accreditations
  • Sustaining product output quality
  • Keeping measurable product receipt quality

When it comes to today’s customers, a high percentage are more likely to choose to buy your products based on its quality as opposed to how much it costs. It can also be true that if the customer is satisfied by the quality of your product or service, there is a likelihood they will be a repeat buyer. 

Product (and even Service) Quality is highest on the agenda for businesses to help differentiate from competitors and retain customer loyalty. The validation of a supplied product is a fundamental business practice to make sure it is of an acceptable quality.

Accurately assessing the value of returned items or seconds

In the modern world of e-commerce, consumers order products with ease and return them with indifference for a variety of reasons, and in a variety of states. Most QM processes in industry are measurable but what about the subjective view on the quality of a product that has been returned, or the supply of product that is ‘a bit substandard’, i.e. a second, that still has value and could be resold as such? After all, everything has a price in its own market. How can we capture that value easily with little overhead to the business?

Environmentally, recycling is ethically high up the business agenda too, so it makes environmental and business sense to re-sell those returned or slightly substandard products as clearance or reduction items. However, it’s harder to sell something that needs to be subjectively described, so there needs to be a way to capture that ‘subjective quality view’.

Ensuring that product quality is maintained and capturing that subjectivity, particularly for inbound products, can be difficult using written-language or by simply answering a handful of pre-defined questions. This difficulty is further amplified in a busy goods in or goods returns area, where the warehouse guys are rushed off their feet.

Make use of photos and videos

So, rather than using words, the modern world of camera phones capturing photos and videos can help us capture that subjectivity digitally and transform this area of the business.

So how do we harness the digital opportunities available and use the QM system to not only do what is traditionally expected but help the business realise value in that subjectivity, without worrying about the storage and the security of the data and with a focus on getting the job done, without the need for a specialist team of developers working on a costly and lengthy development project to realise the benefit?

The answer lies in the combination of Microsoft’s extensive digital capabilities and its market leading cloud-based solutions.

Digital tools to the rescue

So, how can we digitally transform the QM function in some of these areas, particularly in your existing/new business system(s) to bring us into the ever-increasingly joined up digital world?  In this example, I’ll be talking about how we can help transform Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management (or even Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP)

We need something that can carry us across, what is often referred to as, ‘the last mile’ in ERP implementations. This is often the most difficult part of implementing a business solution and is where the value really is – making the difficult elements of everyday tasks easy using digital technology solutions that are cost effective to build with a very short time to setup. Historically, these types of solutions would be expensive with difficulties around integration ownership, capabilities and bridging the gap between older ERP technology and modern digital devices.

Introducing the Canvas Power App

In today’s world, we need something that we can run on a PC, in a browser, on mobile device, tablet etc. with a camera – effectively device independent.

Here enters the Power Platform, a suite of Microsoft’s leading-edge technologies. The Power Platform is a no-code/low code set of tools aimed at a rapid, cost effective, yet highly digitally astute solution.

A key component of the Power Platform is the Canvas Power App, part of the PowerApps offering. This little beauty can be used for taking the images, videos, and signatures captured (plus recently announced measurements in mixed reality) and updating the system with links to the media, which are stored in the low cost, secure, hugely scalable, Azure cloud.

It sounds great, so how can we turn these ideas into reality? It’s surprisingly simple. We just need to creatively bring together the overall solution using the Power Apps platform functions, which are already available to do this in an end-user environment. The design like this:

Now, you have a solution to capture the media that can be shared with the others in the business – the sellers and the operational decision makers.  This can be done via Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management, or other means – you can just send or post the link to the media.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – think of the time taken to describe a photo in enough detail to represent the subjectivity you’re trying to express, let alone the time for others in the business to read it and form a view. The cost of that time alone provides the justification to make a digital transformation investment of this sort worthwhile.

Other uses for this cool technology

I’ll finish with a few more ideas where you could harness/re-use this same technology:

  • Image capture of incoming products in packaging as the boxes are opened
  • Image capture of finished products in packaging as the box is closed in production
  • Video capture of the transport (cleanliness, seals, vehicle condition, etc, plus driver identity)
  • Signature capture of the driver following loading (outbound) and evidence of damage capture on delivery (in bound)
  • Proof of delivery – Power Apps can work off-line making them perfect for this
  • Measuring the product dimensions using mixed reality with a camera enabled mobile device

Interested in learning more?

If you are interested in learning more about Dynamics 365 ERP we have a number of on-demand webinars including What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain, watch it here. There are many more on-demand webinars on similar topics.

You may also find it helpful to register for our webinar on September 2nd 2020 Using the Power Platform with Dynamics 365

If you are at the stage of needing to make improvements to your quality management processes and would like to speak with someone about how Dynamics 365 ERP and the Power Platform can help, get in touch. Our solution specialists at DXC are experts at helping guide businesses achieve results and better quality through Dynamics.

Send us an email via busappsuki@dxc.com and let us know when we can call you to chat.

Author: Andrew Barnett-Picking, Solutions Architect at DXC.technology Microsoft Applications Division

Author: 
DXC Technology

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