How to accelerate and increase the efficiency of business processes using Microsoft Power Apps
Scania Polska uses Microsoft Power Apps to quickly create professional applications that automate and significantly speed up business processes. Minimal costs, a brief period for creating a solution, the possibility of modifying it on an ongoing basis during meetings with users—all this means that the digitization of an organization has never been easier, faster, and has not brought better results.
Client: Scania Polska
Number of application users: 700
From idea to application launch: 4 weeks
Applied solutions: Microsoft Power Apps
Benefits: Full control over the order approval process, speeding up of business processes
Scania is a global organization that sells trucks and buses and provides maintenance services in over 100 countries. The company’s manufacturing plants are in Europe, South America, and Asia. Scania also offers financial services in several markets.
Scania Polska is responsible for selling new and used vehicles on our market and renting them out but also provides a wide range of maintenance, repair, and financial services. The company distinguishes itself from the competition with a dense network of garages throughout the country—most of which are owned by the company. Scania Polska employs nearly 700 people, half of whom are mechanics.
Challenge: Accelerate the Request Submission and Approval Process
Employees often need additional items or services, such as stationery or transport, to perform their duties. Therefore, they report such a demand to their superiors and then, after approval, complete the order. The larger and more complex an organization is, the greater the challenge and the more the procurement process can affect business processes.
Scania Polska handled the ordering process with a simple spreadsheet built in Microsoft Excel, with employees placing orders and their superiors approving them. The biggest problem with its use was updating files. After making the changes, you must inform all employees about the need to use the new, updated version of the sheet. Using the old one was causing trouble. As you can guess, not everyone could download the new file on time, and this ultimately hurt the course of many business processes.
“Hence the idea of creating a central cloud-based form. Due to such an application’s ease and quick development, we decided to use the Microsoft Power Apps technology. As Microsoft Office 365 users, we had access to it without any additional investments,” explains a representative of Scania Polska.
Solution: central form, running in the Microsoft cloud
One of the great things about Microsoft Power Apps is that you can build and share professional apps very quickly with minimal coding. The application was commissioned by Mindbox, a company that supports Scania Polska in many IT areas, including intelligent automation.
“There are several models for the use of Microsoft Power Apps. First and foremost, you can build the application yourself. The second indirect option is the independent preparation of the interface, which takes place using techniques such as drag & drop and outsourcing an external company to develop the rest, i.e., internal logic. The third model is outsourcing the preparation of the entire application—it generates some additional costs, but ensures the fastest and best effect,” says [representative of Mindbox].
Scania Polska chose the latter option, willing to launch the application as soon as possible. After receiving general guidance on its operation, a Mindbox expert presented the first version of the program during a meeting with the project team during the week. During the meeting, representatives of Scania Polska immediately submitted their comments to it, pointing to the necessity to consider additional parameters, place additional fields in the form, or shift already planned ones. Taking advantage of the instant application development offered by Microsoft Power Apps, a Mindbox expert modified the prototype live as suggested. One of the suggestions was to direct employees to their supervisors, who can accept the order via the program.
From the inside, employee requests are sent to the appropriate acceptance letters of individual managers. After approval, an order is automatically generated and sent in an appropriate form to the contractor cooperating with Scania Polska. Eventually, the application was ready for production in 4 weeks. Using traditional technologies would take many times longer.
Benefits: instant development and modification of professional applications integrated with Microsoft Office 365 office applications
Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code or no-code solution, i.e., a platform that allows you to create professional applications without the need for or with minimum coding. Thanks to it, advanced programs can be created by people from business departments with minimal programming skills. It cannot be compared to VBA coding in Excel, where even a very simple change is required by a qualified programmer. At the same time, it solves the problem of modifying and developing the application in the future. The business will not get into trouble if the app author leaves the organization. In the case of Power Apps, the development of the program can be continued by virtually any employee after a very brief introduction to the platform.
Depending on your license, using Power Apps for Microsoft Office 365 users does not involve any additional investments. What’s more, thanks to integration with Microsoft Office applications operating in the cloud, it is easy to add e.g. automatic sending of e-mails or publishing information on websites to the created applications.
“The application for submitting and approving requisitions and generating the orders was created very quickly. What is extremely important is that we submitted our comments to the application during the meeting, and we saw live how they were introduced into the program and how it changed thanks to this. It is just as easy and quick to introduce changes after the application has been launched in production. The process of handling requisitions—from their submission, and approval, to fulfillment—is now handled comprehensively. At the same time, thanks to the fact that the form works in the cloud, it is always up-to-date, and employees can access it via a browser—from any device,” says a representative of Scania Polska.