Jewelers of America, a 100-year old New York City-based member association, leveraged Office 365 applications including SharePoint, Power BI, and Flow to facilitate an organizational digital transformation. The organization possessed numerous manual processes as well as multiple line of business application databases that they felt could be integrated more effectively than they currently were. Jewelers of America turned to Longi Engineering to implement Microsoft 365 solutions to modernize these processes.
Relying on an abundance of outdated, and manual processes, Jewelers of America needed to modernize their business processes and business application databases. Their business processes that needed to be updated included the ability to collaborate with 2,000+ jewelry organization members located throughout the world. The organization also needed to be able to provide executives and board members with visualizations depicting their membership growth as well as their financial viability. With modernized processes, the organization sought to:
– Gain statistical and graphical insight into their SQL Server membership database
– Provide executives and board members with a graphical view into this data
– Compare fiscal year financials with previous fiscal years, as well as analyze the budget by department
– Effectively manage manual processes such as time-off requests and compensation time approval
In choosing a solution, alternative business intelligence products were considered, however, Power BI’s integration ability and overall value quickly made it a favorite amongst decision makers. Once it was determined that Power BI was able to integrate into the business membership database, the Dynamics GP accounting system, and also render dashboards/visualizations updating in real time on SharePoint, the decision to leverage Power BI was finalized.
The membership department spent a great deal of man hours running database queries and updating excel spreadsheets with membership related statistics. This data being housed in SQL Server was an excellent candidate for Power BI integration. Once a Power BI gateway connection was established via the business application server, the membership data was seamlessly read and numerous visualizations were constructed to allow for the comparison of membership data across fiscal years.
The CFO and Accounting department had long been looking for a way to determine if their spending was in line with their budgeting amounts over the course of the fiscal year. Power BI integration allowed for the creation of a dashboard where they could easily view accounts receivable, payable, and cash balances in real time.
In addition to business intelligence functionality, there were multiple workflows that the organization was looking to automate and streamline. Two of these workflows were the time off request process and the compensation request process. These processes had required employees to fill out a form, print it, sign it, and bring the form to their manager for signature. Upon doing so they would then bring the form to the individual responsible for tracking/managing time off.
These manual processes lent themselves well to process automation via SharePoint forms/lists and Flow. The SharePoint Form was implemented to allow employees to enter their requested time off. Once submitted, a flow was initiated that automatically determined the requestor’s manager and emailed the manager to approve or reject the request from within Outlook, without ever having to log into SharePoint. Once approved by the manager, the requestor an the individual responsible for maintaining the data were notified via email. All time off was updated automatically in a SharePoint list as a result of the interactions.
SharePoint, Power BI, and Flow have formed a strong core of business applications that Jewelers of America is looking to build upon to assist them in continuing to provide excellent service to their global member base.