Streamline your sales process by managing Cases in one system

You will be excited to learn that we have released a brand new Dynamics Addition – Sales Documents, which will help to streamline your sales process when managing Cases. The Addition will also enhance your customers experience, with faster response times due to more reliable data. 

If you're a user of Microsoft Dynamics software, you will be aware that there is a standard connector available which can integrate Dynamics 365 / CRM and Dynamics NAV. The connector is purely focused on the sales process, and works on the basis that you can create a Lead, Opportunity, Quote and Order in CRM and then submit that order directly into Dynamics NAV. However, we’ve found that there are some limitations with creating quotes and orders within Dynamics 365 / CRM, these include:

  • Dynamics 365 / CRM does not include stock availability or stock locations, so if you create an order and there’s no stock you don’t get any warnings. In turn, you risk disappointing the customer which can leave a very bad impression, especially if they are a brand new customer to the business
  • Dynamics 365 / CRM doesn’t handle the financials for a customer. For example, if a customer is over their credit limit there are no credit warnings, which places the business under a great level of risk 
  • Pricing in Dynamics 365 / CRM isn’t quite as sophisticated as Dynamics NAV. If you have complex pricing structures, promotions or customer specific pricing, it requires a considerable amount of effort to make these work within Dynamics 365 / CRM

Furthermore, the standard connector doesn’t particularly support the customer service process at all. The customer service function generally tends to be managed in Dynamics 365 / CRM using Cases. To summarise, Cases are there to log problems, questions and requests. A company can then analyse the Cases that have been raised, to look for trends or patterns and address the root causes to improve the overall customer experience.

Particular Cases may require a sales return order (SRO) or a replacement sales order (SO) to be created within Dynamics NAV. However, the standard integration between Dynamics 365 / CRM and Dynamics NAV doesn’t support the creation of SRO's/SO's directly from Cases. This can cause a degree of frustration for customer service staff because it means they have to log-in to a separate system, find the customer details, raise the SRO/SO, probably copy the SRO/SO number and maybe send some notes back across to Dynamics 365 / CRM. Because that process requires a lot of effort, certain steps may get missed or forgotten which could leave a negative impact on the overall customer experience.

Dynamics Additions Sales Documents

1. Streamline sales process – By going from Lead to Order within one system

  • The Sales Documents Addition allows you to create Dynamics NAV Quotes and Orders directly from an Account or Opportunity record in Dynamics 365 / CRM. This means you harness the strengths of Dynamics NAV in terms of item availability, stock out warnings, credit limit warnings and complex pricing structures. Additionally, it saves you from having to switch between systems to find bits of information and reduces the likelihood of errors being made or customers being disappointed
  • When the document is created in Dynamics NAV, it automatically writes some information back to Dynamics 365 / CRM, such as: date created, document number and amount which can then be used to trigger workflows in Dynamics 365 / CRM, when required to create Tasks for sales representative to follow up on quotes or first orders

2. Improve customer experience

  • The Sales Documents Addition allows you to create Dynamics NAV SROs and SOs directly from within a Case record and also writes some of the information automatically back to Dynamics 365 / CRM, such as: date created, document number and amount. Once that data is written back to Dynamics 365 / CRM, you can then take advantage of the workflow tool in Dynamics 365 / CRM which can send out automatic updates to customers or generate Tasks to remind customer service staff to follow up with customers in (x) number of days


  • Increased employee satisfaction because they have better access to critical real-time information and can access this information at the touch of a button
  • Cost savings because productivity is enhanced through the streamlining and automation of processes
  • Improved customer satisfaction because it frees up employees time to focus on high value interactions with customers rather than carrying out administrative tasks
  • Consistency and reliability – leaves less room for error or things being forgotten about

See it in action

If you are interested in learning more about our Dynamics Additions Sales Documents solution for Dynamics NAV & Dynamics 365 / CRM, make sure that you get in touch with us today via Contact Us

Using Power BI Dashboards in Dynamics 365

In this video we talk you through how to use the Dashboards that are created as part of the free content packs available from AppSource (called Sales Analytics for Dynamics 365 and Customer Service Analytics for Dynamics 365) in Dynamics 365 as your own Dashboard or make this available for others.

This allows sales managers to get insights into their accounts, sales and opportunities. Details are given on sales performance, sales pipeline and activities. Sales performance can be tracked through metrics such as won revenue, average deal size, win rate, lead conversion rate and much more. Customer service managers can get valuable insights about the business in terms of customer service performance, activities and active cases. Metrics are provided out of the box to track service performance via resolved cases count, average handling times, % of escalated cases, CSAT scores and much more.

Even more excitingly a hybrid dashboard can be created, using the elements (Tiles) from each Dashboard that are most relevant to the person you are creating the dashboard for, you can mix and match tiles from different Power BI Dashboards along with Views from Dynamics 365 to give a truly bespoke dashboard with job role-specific information. This means that Power BI can be used by companies to manage the information views that managers in particular need, with possible cost reductions in licencing, as they may get everything they need from the Dashboard or Report in Power BI and so not actually need a Dynamics 365 licence or NAV licence.

Watch it now: 

Struggling to keep track of promotions or rebates?

Simple management of pricing & promotions – from admin through to sales in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry.

Having the right pricing mechanism to drive sales can always be a dilemma in the workplace. How can you make this a simple enough process for your admin staff to execute, whilst at the same time giving your sales team the flexibility to be able to respond to market demand?

Using Dynamics CPG, with its pricing designed for dealing with independents through to major retailers, allows you to do just this. It means depending on individual customers, you can tailor-make their pricing to suit them best. It doesn’t have to be just one way and one way only.

Flexibility to handle any type of promotion – be it customer specific or across the board

Dynamics CPG pricing functionality delivers a fast solution for all your pricing needs. This can help with all the promotional mechanics that you can normally think of e.g. buy one get one free, discounted items and even rebates. This functionality enables you to create single or multiple-use promotion codes with value or time-based expiry to suit the needs of an individual customer.

Your staff can understand what it means for margin and execute orders right there in front of the customer. It doesn’t matter how the customer chooses to order, straight away they can tell how much they are going to get charged and also what the price would be if they ordered a higher quantity to drive them up to that next price break.

Opening new accounts with tempting offers – accessing new markets

Alternatively, you can use Dynamics CPG to open those precious new accounts, to exploit your competition or get new products into existing accounts by using a purchase discount; enabling the customer to try out your product(s) at minimal cost. It’s about making your company stand out from the crowd with a quick and simple solution.

Company-wide visibility & automatic promotions & pricing – saving time & admin

Using Dynamics CPG it means that all the pricing updates are automatic, your staff won’t need to remember, which means no time is wasted. Your staff don’t have to look up Excel spreadsheets or refer to notebooks to pull out that information. All you need to do is put the order on Dynamics CPG as normal, and if the rules for that promotion are there it will automatically apply it.

This will help keep your customers happy, your staff will have done no more work, and you’ve got the flexibility to be able to drive the market as you need to.

Seems too good to be true? Why don’t you take a look for yourself…?

For more information on pricing designed for supplying through the retail sector watch our video

How to harness the power of Outlook for stronger financial control – in the manufacturing & distribution industry

According to a recent Aberdeen Report “What do Manufacturers look in an ERP solution, March 2017, 50% of the manufacturers surveyed citied “Ease of Use” as the top criteria for selecting an ERP solution – maybe somewhat surprisingly ahead of functionality (48%), total cost of ownership (43%) and time to value (27%).

But what is the software solution that business users are most familiar with, and therefore find the easiest to use? Well, Outlook of course!

With the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics business software, namely Dynamics 365 soon to be available here in the UK, you will be able to go from “quote to cash” without leaving your inbox.  You can create customers, suppliers and quotes as well as process orders and submit invoices without ever switching applications. All of which makes it easy for everyone in your organisation to execute ERP transactions in a more familiar and productive manner. As a result, all your business activities are quickly and easily recorded, so you have up-to-minute visibility of all business operations.

Another interesting statistic I noticed recently is that 55% of all emails1 are now opened on a mobile device (plus another 19% via webmail) illustrating how important it is for people to be able to access information on the move or somewhere other than their usual office environment.

So if you are looking at new business software how do you best respond to these end users’ demands i.e. ease of use and access anywhere?

With Dynamics 365 available on your mobile device of choice, no longer is your mobile working confined to answering emails and phone calls. Now you can also sign off quotes and purchase orders, review the latest reports or dashboards or catch up on the latest visit report with a key client at a time and location to suit.

Only Microsoft Dynamics business solutions can bring the ease of use of Outlook to the perceived (and sometimes real) complexities of ERP to deliver the financial and operational control needed by growing manufacturing and distribution businesses.

Download our eBook The Director’s guide for replacing accounting software to see how easy it is to simplify your business processes and improve financial control.


Supplying to the retail sector? Poor communication between field sales, merchandisers and your team in the office holding you back?

CPG intro slide

Get a joined-up way of working for every member of your team – from field sales through to customer service.

There isn’t a Consumer Goods company out there that doesn’t want to grow their sales and a big part of that is getting the most from your sales team.

But it’s sometimes harder than it sounds to make sure that your internal people and external sales people are working in a cohesive, joined-up fashion in dealing with both the independents and the major retailers, but that’s where Dynamics Consumer Goods can step in.

Give your team the right tools to be effective – work smarter, not harder

There are many aspects that Dynamics Consumer Goods can help with to make sure there is a smooth transition from customer site to back in the office.

Having Dynamics Consumer Goods at the center of your sales operations means that field sales, before every visit, can get contextual information against each account that shows exactly the performance of that account, what merchandising has been agreed or what promotions are in place. They also get to see any issues against that customer, so that they understand what’s been happening and what questions they might face during that face-to-face conversation with the client.

Get instantaneous updates for your 24/7 customer view – pair your field sales team with internal resource

Then when your account manager leaves the customer site, they can quickly and easily fill in a visit report on their device of choice, and that logs the information back into Dynamics Consumer Goods. This initiates the actions that are required to be done by the people following up back in the office.

You can’t underestimate the impression that it gives the customer – that you are an organisation that’s on the ball.

So instead of your external account manager sitting in laybys trying to make calls, trying to follow up queries that have come up in the meantime, pair them up with an internal resource that’s much more cost effective. This means that person can not only make appointments but also follow up on actions and can ensure that agreed objectives have been achieved – from both the customer’s side and for your people internally.

Dynamics Consumer Goods allows you to assign and keep track of any of the actions that normally would tie up your external account manager for a considerable period. It also means that when an existing account needs a visit, the internal person can try and open up several new accounts in that same area and make appointments for that same period of time.

Smoothing the way for modern technology – making the most effective use of your resources

Here’s a question, how do you get those members of staff who have been with you for years and are stuck in their ways to transfer to the new technology? Well it could be just one quick easy solution!

Dynamics Consumer Goods can be used on an iPad (and other tablet devices) – a tool even the most traditional of sales staff are used to using. By giving your sales people a tablet, it allows them to use Dynamics Consumer Goods while they are with the customer, in a way that’s not confrontational as if they were using a laptop. A tablet device also allows them to scribble notes in the same way as they would with a paper notebook as they would have done in the past.

What this now means is that the information can be captured and shared instantly, even with photographs embedded into the visit report for reporting on merchandising for example, and makes it available to either management or their colleagues who need that information to follow up correctly.

For more information on how Dynamics Consumer Goods can support your internal sales, external sales and merchandiser teams, watch our video.

Increase First Contact Resolution and Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365

Customer expectations are rising and will continue to do so at a rapid rate.  The result of this is that more and more pressure is being placed on organisations to meet these rising expectations. Customers are no longer influenced on price and product alone, they are also highly influenced by the emotional experience they have with an organisation. 

One of the significant contributors to the customer experience is ease of doing business.  Today’s customers are often time poor so they want us to acknowledge that their time is important by making interactions with our organisations as effortless and seamless as possible.

First contact resolution involves resolving a customer’s need on first contact.  If a customer has an issue or question, they want to contact you once and only once.  If they have to contact you again, chase for an answer or repeat themselves then this can quickly become a source of irritation and frustration leading to a negative service experience. 

First contact resolution is therefore linked to customer effort and can be a powerful way to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Harness Your Organisational Knowledge with Dynamics 365

Knowledge sharing and knowledge management are important factors in increasing First Contact Resolution.  By giving employees access to the right information at the right time it will empower them to deliver fast, informed and effective solutions for customers. 

Dynamics 365 allows you to capture and share knowledge via Knowledge Base.  Knowledge Base is a library of information that can be set up and accessed by users.  It might contain things such as installation instructions, frequently asked questions, policies & procedures, product datasheets, terms and conditions etc.  You can also embed videos and images in the Knowledge Base.

First Contact resolution 1

First Contact resolution 2

Each piece of knowledge can be created as an individual Article which can categorised into different subjects and given keywords to make searching nice and easy. When you create an Article you can:

  • Review and approved it before it is published and made available to everyone
  • Give it a version number
  • Give it an expiration dates

All of this functionality helps to minimise the danger of out of date information being given to customers. 

In addition to the above, when a new query or issue (Case) is logged in Dynamics 365 users can search the Knowledge Base for Articles that may help them to resolve it first time (as illustrated below).

Dynamics 365 also encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration by giving users the ability to link the knowledge article to Cases to help anyone else that may encounter similar Cases in future.

First Contact Resoltion 3

Using the combination of Cases and Knowledge Base can act as a key driver for continuous service improvement.  It allows you to analyse and understand which types of queries or issues you can resolve first time and which you can’t.  You can then work on bridging the gaps in knowledge by adding more articles to your Knowledge Base.

Benefits of Harnessing Your Knowledge

Knowledge is one of the most valuable resource in today’s competitive environment.  Dynamics 365 offers you the ability to quickly and effectively build a central Knowledge Base which can be used to empower your staff to provide fast, informed and effective solutions that will ultimately delight customers.

The benefits that this can bring to your organisation are huge and include:

  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Cost savings
  • Reduced training needs
  • Consistency
  • Better decision making
  • Competitive advantage
  • Preserve existing knowledge to prevent any single point of failure
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Stimulates creativity and innovation
  • Increased customer loyalty leading to increased growth and profitability

If you’d like to know more about how Dynamics 365 can help transform the customer experience in your organisation please visit our website 


The Rise of Social Customer Service

Social Customer Service is a Huge Opportunity for You

In today’s digital world there are various social media platforms, blogs, reviews, forums on which customers’ can talk about your organisation and there is now a growing preference for customers to turn to these platforms to get questions answered and provide feedback, positive or negative. 

The result is that social media has changed how organisations and customers interact with one another.  Whether we like it or not we, as organisations, are going to have to deal with our customers via these channels.  If comments have been made about your organisation and you don’t respond, then the perception may be that you don’t care.  If you do respond to these comments, then perception is more likely to be that you are making an effort and really care. 

As daunting as this may seem, social customer service represents a huge opportunity to for you to build and maintain loyalty and trust among your customer base along with publicly demonstrating your ability to provide a great customer experience. 

The Challenge

More and more organisations are getting involved in social customer service with the aim of creating meaningful relationships and building a loyal online following for their product or service.  The challenge they face is that it can be extremely time-consuming to monitor the vast number of social platforms that are out there.  With speed of response being a key measure of the customer experience, it’s important for organisations to have a well-organised, efficient method of responding.  What’s also key is that responses over the social platforms still need to be in line with your organisation’s overall service strategy. 

How Microsoft Dynamics Can Help

Microsoft have recognised this challenge and have developed a Social Engagement tool to assist organisations in delivering and managing their social customer service strategy.  Some of the features included in the Social Engagement Tool include:

  • Publishing and replying on a number of social media sites via a single platform
  • Analysing what people are saying about your organisation
  • Identifying who your top influencers and top critics are
  • Identifying what your competitors are saying on social media
  • Automatically create leads or cases from social posts
  • Setting up alerts for trending topics

Benefits to Your Organisation

Using the Social Engagement Tool to manage your social customer service strategy can result in a range of benefits for your organisation including: 

  • Generating positive word of mouth recommendations for your organisation
  • Improved customer satisfaction leading to increased customer loyalty, growth and profit
  • Reduction in customer service costs
  • Real-time feedback on new product/service launches
  • Early insight into any problems or opportunities which you may not have been aware of via traditional channels

If you’d like to find out more please contact us at or at 

Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 5 – Learn

In our previous articles, we’ve focused on the steps taken to resolve an individual complaint.  What’s also important in any service recovery strategy is to use all your complaints to learn and drive improvements to your overall service offering.   


Your Data is a Valuable Strategic Asset

Rarely in any organisation do you reach a point where you can’t improve.  As we’ve seen over the last few years the customer experience is constantly evolving which means there are always going to be new objectives and challenges to meet.  Learning should therefore be a part of any organisation’s DNA. 

The data you collect about your complaints is a valuable strategic asset.  The real value comes from being able to analyse it, learn from it and formulate sound, strategic insights which are based on fact rather than assumption. You can then use this insight to improve your systems and processes to ensure customers are satisfied in future. 

There is also real value in sharing this information with your staff.  By doing this you allow them to see how the work they do daily is contributing to the improvement in customer satisfaction and the overall success of the organisation which will encourage them to deliver exceptional service time and time again.


How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Can Help

One of the most powerful features of CRM is the dashboards which present you with valuable insight into your data in a very easy to use, visual format.

As an example we’ve set up the dashboard below to provide us with insight into the complaints we have received.

Learn 1

Starting at the top left this dashboard is showing us:

  1. Non-Product vs. Product Fault – this allows us to monitor how many product issues we are getting by quarter compared to non-product issues. If the split of product issue vs. non-product issue increases one quarter compared to another then this will alert us to a possible quality issue and allows us to investigate further
  2. Time Taken to Resolve Complaints – this allows us to monitor how long it is taking to get complaints resolved. In this example you can see it took us 17 weeks to resolve 6 cases so that would then allow us to investigate further to see why it took so long i.e. is there a resource issue, training issue? 
  3. Cases by Fault Code – this allows us to monitor what the actual cause of the complaint was. We can then use this information to drive improvements in each individual area e.g. carry out more training to reduce admin faults, talk with the delivery company to see how we can improve delivery errors, put together a customer education programme to reduce the number of user errors etc.
  4. Cases by Resolution – this allows us to monitor the various methods we have used to get complaints resolved i.e. provided the customer with information, replaced the product, credited their invoice etc. If a particular type of resolution is very frequent then the dashboard will alert you to this and you can then dig deeper to see why we are continually offering this resolution
  5. Case Number by Fault Code – you can choose to represent the data on the dashboards in different formats. This pie chart is just a different representation of the information shown in chart 3.
  6. Satisfaction Survey Results – CRM contains a Voice of Customer Survey feature which you can use to send out short surveys to your customers. In this example, we have sent out a survey to find out how satisfied customers were with how we handled their complaint and the results are being pulled through for us to review on the dashboard.

You can create as many dashboards as you want and can choose to share them with different individuals or teams throughout your organisation. 


Benefits to Your Organisation

Dashboards are incredibly powerful tool in CRM and can help:

  • Present you with an accurate picture of how you are performing
  • Identify what is working well so you can do more of it
  • Identify what is not working so well so you can fix it
  • Identify trends allowing you to predict future needs of your customers
  • Gain and sustain a competitive advantage
  • Increased employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Build loyalty and satisfaction amongst your customer base leading to increased growth and profitability
  • Measure the impact of business improvement decisions and investments i.e. return on investment

For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit 


Wasting time on complex, manual processes for EDI & eCommerce?

CPG intro slide

Meeting demands for EDI and online ordering…

One of the challenges facing the Consumer Goods industry is time consuming, complex, manual processes for EDI and eCommerce. You need to provide a quick turnaround, whilst also making it easy for your retailers to place an order through every touchpoint.  

Your retailer base is under pressure from increasing customer demands, so when the retailers place their orders with you, they expect to get supply by tomorrow, if not sooner. And as more and more retailers sell through multiple channels, manufacturers are needing to be equipped to process online orders and EDI messages to remain a preferred supplier.    

Due to the competitive nature of the Consumer Goods sector, the public now expect to be able to place orders at a time that’s convenient for them. And that convenience is starting to ripple all the way through to manufacturers, as retailers in turn want to place orders in the evenings and late at night, not just during business opening hours when they are likely to be busy themselves.

This can make keeping on top of your customer service trickier. If a retailer calls you, you need to have their information and their status at your fingertips. You need to be aware of their outstanding orders and which products they typically purchase from you, as well as being able to suggest changes that are beneficial to both you and them.

All these factors point to one thing; needing accurate information at your fingertips.

Having good systems in place means you don’t have to waste time hunting around, looking for the information you need.

Get the right answers, at the right time, all from one system. You need to be able to find the relevant information for a customer, and subsequently, update that information when you agree anything with that customer and that information then needs to be immediately reflected so everybody in your organisation knows about it.

That’s where Dynamics Consumer Goods comes in. It improves customer responsiveness with its integrated Customer Service Desk, so you can take orders over the phone or resolve queries easily. It can help you drive down the cost of EDI with major retailers, wholesalers and suppliers by reducing your transaction costs and improving order accuracy. It can help to drive up sales and remove the need for re-keying data and improving order accuracy. It also enables you to extend your trading hours and be seen as more responsive to your customers’ demands as it allows customers to place orders outside normal working hours.

For more information on getting your internal processes fit for purpose, watch our video.

Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 4 – Satisfy

The objective with all complaining customers it to turn them into happy satisfied customers.  To do this, you need to ensure that you are committed to providing them with a great service recovery experience.  

Managing Your Customers’ Expectations is Crucial

How well you resolve complaints is considered to have a significant impact on the overall customer experience because customers are usually more emotionally involved and observant of the service they receive during the recovery process.  So, this your chance to wow them and increase their trust, confidence and ultimately loyalty to your organisation. 

Implementing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as part of your service recovery strategy is a great way to help achieve this because:

  • They are a strong statement of commitment to providing a positive service experience
  • They help manage customer expectations and set clear boundaries from the start
  • They clearly communicate to your staff that customer satisfaction is important
  • They help you quickly understand and prioritise incoming complaints
  • They help you tangibly measure your service recovery performance

If you choose not to implement SLAs then you are effectively allowing your customers to set their own service level expectations.  The risk here is that every customer is different which means their expectations are likely to vary.  This increases the chance of you failing to meet the wide variety of expectations ultimately leading to customer dissatisfaction.


How Dynamics CRM Can Help

You can set up your SLAs in CRM and easily track your performance against those SLAs.  What’s more you can also trigger automated warnings and escalations if a complaint has not yet been closed out but is nearing the SLA deadline helping to reduce the risk of you disappointing the customer. 

In the example shown below we have set up an SLA for two different levels of customer:

  • Gold customers should expect a response within 5 days and if the response hasn’t been issued after 4 days CRM will send out a warning email
  • Silver customers should expect a response within 14 days and if the response hasn’t been issued after 13 days CRM will send out a warning email

Satisfy 1

Another great feature of SLAs is that you can set them up to take into account any planned business closures e.g. bank holidays and you can also set them up so that they pause if you are waiting on information from the customer.

Benefits to Your Organisation

The benefits of using CRM to set up and manage your SLAs include:

  • Increased customer trust and loyalty leading to growth and increased profitability
  • Ensures customers receive a consistent service that meets their needs
  • Improved communication internally and externally
  • Ability to easily measure your performance and drive further service improvements
  • Minimises the risk of you failing to meet your SLAs

For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit