Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is undeniably the most popular office solution for businesses around the globe. However, its full potential often remains underutilized. Discover how Microsoft 365 can transform manufacturing companies with its suite of applications.

Essential Microsoft business applications

Your company likely uses Microsoft 365 tools already. You send emails through Outlook, create documents in Word and Excel, and organize meetings in Teams. Perhaps for document storage, you use OneDrive and share them with colleagues via SharePoint. But Microsoft 365's capabilities don't end there. The Power Platform family of products, including Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate, is at your disposal to streamline processes and save time otherwise lost to manual data entry. The most vital applications for manufacturing companies include:

  • Microsoft Forms;
  • Power Apps;
  • SharePoint;
  • Planner;
  • Power Automate;
  • Excel;
  • Power BI.

Let's delve into a real-life example to see how these tools can be applied.

Case study: assisting a manufacturing client

Our client, a company in the food industry with production facilities in Poland and Western Europe, operates continuously 24 hours a day. They were already using the ERP system Dynamics 365 Business Central, but the industry's specificity and the company's unique needs meant that several issues still required solutions. Firstly, the ERP's data collection system wasn't automated—data had to be manually entered, taking up a full-time position. Additionally, information about production inconsistencies, shortages, or downtime was recorded in Excel, leading to a lack of precise data on the time required for each operation. This resulted in delayed information entry and subpar data quality. Due to the client's initial reservations about our proposed solutions, we started with a "light" version. Using the Microsoft 365 license, we developed a simple application for recording production shortages. Importantly, we collected feedback from the employees who would be using the application and incorporated their input. Encouraged by this, the client decided to automate more processes. We then created an advanced application that digitalized the process of recording production progress. The benefits for the client were numerous:

  • Standardization of the data entry process;
  • Real-time data entry into the system;
  • Production managers can immediately address deviations from the norm;
  • Liberation of potential for the person responsible for data entry;
  • Shortened operation time, such as for packaging finished products.

This case study exemplifies how leveraging Microsoft 365's advanced applications can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing sector. Through customized solutions that automate and streamline processes, companies can unlock new levels of operational excellence.