Hero Batch Release Tracker (1)

Power Platform: A game changer for quality and production teams

Manual data processing is still daily fare in many companies, but this is rarely the way forward when managing complex production processes. Alignment between various teams and systems multiple times a day is crucial. With the Microsoft Power Platform-based Batch Release Tracker, you can eliminate time-consuming manual workflows and empower teams with a tight management and collaboration solution.

With data becoming a key enabler in transformations, the ‘gold rush’ has already begun on how to tap into the vast data pool that is available in your production and quality systems which were once relatively inaccessible.

This is now changing.

With technology maturing to a level where you have so many options and capabilities, still, many consider themselves limited to accessing data using only their software vendor’s propriety tools to access the data in their own system. Others are still building expensive customizations to create reports that are used to drive their processes. Fortunately, there are several ways to solve these issues by using Microsoft Power Platform to build and deploy low-code/no-code applications in a short timeframe.

Unfortunately, at NNIT, we often find that even though companies who already have the Power Platform tools at their disposal tend to have a lack of awareness, knowledge or expertise required to develop small but powerful apps that can create structured, efficient and reliable overviews. Instead, the individual departments make their own expensive changes to the existing systems and often work according to their own set of rules which do not match the other departments’ processes or workflows.

The Batch Release Tracker is a stellar example of using the functionality of the Power Platform, which, in simple terms, brings together all relevant data and information sources from different systems in one common dashboard tracking multiple tasks required to release each batch.

Convert urgent needs and good ideas into tools you can use to digitize procedures and create value for the business. That’s the concept behind the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Power Platform, designed to make it possible to develop a complete range of apps and IT solutions that are streamlined and secure. The benefits are efficient business development, rapid time-to-market, and relief for the IT Department, allowing various business units to develop their own solutions for their own needs.

Power Platform consists of nine different tools that can be used and combined according to requirements.

  1. Power BI: Gather knowledge and data to identify business opportunities at a detailed and high level

  2. Power Apps: Convert knowledge into apps and solutions

  3. Power Apps Mobile: Adapt your apps for mobile devices

  4. Power Apps Portals: Mix data from various apps (internal and external)

  5. AI Builder: Use artificial intelligence to develop pre-defined “point & click” models

  6. Power Automate: Bind your solutions together and automate business processes

  7. Power Virtual Agents: Build AI-powered bots for a range of support requests

  8. Power Pages: Design and publish websites able to run across a range of devices and browsers

  9. Microsoft Dataverse: Store and process your app data securely and in one location

Power Platform is what’s known as a low code tool, designed to enable non-IT Department personnel to use it. That shifts responsibility to the departments with a need, and frees up IT personnel to concentrate on the jobs only their expertise can tackle, without compromising security and compliance.

Goodbye to manual task handling

Most companies today are organized into distributed teams that work with different processes and different sources of information from various software suppliers. In life sciences and manufacturing industries in particular, we often come across companies that have to work in different production systems in order to perform a single batch release.

These are systems that, in many cases, are not able to gather and integrate information across different departments, and the responsible employees therefore often end up using manual tools such as Excel spreadsheets to bridge the collaboration and information gap:

– Excel certainly suffices if you are working with simple activities involving only a few tasks. However, if you often have to handle 120 different tasks for every batch you produce, Excel and other manual tools are not the way to go, says Bhisham Singh, Managing Advisory Consultant at NNIT. He continues:

– The result? Inefficient, manual, and time-consuming work processes that cause more confusion than benefit and do not build strong collaboration and information sharing across teams.

Power Platform accelerates productivity

Fortunately, help is available for the many pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies struggling daily with the challenges involved in ensuring a strong information flow and a clear overview of their work. The help comes in the form of Microsoft Power Platform, which for many is already a well-known to most users:

– Most companies already have access to Power Platform applications such as DataVerse and Power BI as part of their Microsoft license. SharePoint can also be utilized. This means that companies can avoid extra licensing costs, and many of them are already used to the look and feel as well as navigating Microsoft’s user-friendly functionalities, explains Milen Aleksiev, Senior Data Consultant at NNIT, adding:

The solution makes it possible to track and manage a large number of tasks across departments. It allows manual data and system data required for a Batch Release to be combined, tracked and managed, ensuring that all relevant stakeholders have the same up-to-date information available on the status of task and can manage the process safely from start to finish.

Figure Batch Release Tracker

Using a combination of applications available on the Power Platform, you can develop very simple low-code and highly functional applications in a short timeframe following the NNIT Power Platform Accelerator process as described in the white paper that you can download here. The Batch Release Tracker solved multiple problems experienced with the previous Excel solution:

The Batch Release Tracker has several benefits. Among other things, you can:

  • develop and deploy small low code applications in a fast and efficient timeframe in just six weeks
  • in average, reduce your daily batch release management tasks from 30 hours to 30 minutes
  • bring down your expenses by utilizing your existing license agreements
  • reduce training man-hours as users are already familiar with the look and feel of Microsoft products
  • have a common overview in real time that strengthens collaboration and work quality
  • connect data from different data sources into one application
  • securely share the tracker, tasks and dashboards with external users with a configured gateway
  • use data you collect in the tracker to setup KPIs and performance charts for your processes.

Suitable for different industries, teams and processes

Even though the batch release tracker is an example of a tool that we at NNIT have developed on the basis of our in-depth knowledge within the life sciences and manufacturing processes, this type of solution as a more general concept can be used to digitize manual processes used in different business areas across different industries:

– Any company or team that currently handle processes in different and/or manual systems can benefit greatly from a collaboration tool built on the Power Platform, says Bhisham Singh. As an example, Bhisham describes a tool that he and his team developed for a company that needed a simple overview of their product portfolio:

The tool enabled the company’s various teams to add and track their projects, giving management a comprehensive overview of all upcoming and ongoing projects. At the same time, the system made it possible to allocate resources to the various tasks and follow the projects from idea to execution.

– With transparency and a shared overview, management is now able to analyze, think creatively, and discuss on a much more enlightened and well-informed basis. And it doesn’t require expensive software or thousands of development hours, says Bhisham Singh in conclusion.

Would you like more information on how we can help you define your business needs and strengthen collaboration using Power Platform? Contact us below.