PowerApps Portal Extranet Solution

Client portals for HVAC company allow suppliers and subcontractors to be updated about the ongoing processes, which wouldn’t be possible without a PowerApps portal extranet solution

industrial group PowerApps Portal Extranet Solution

PowerApps Portal Extranet Solution

The Client Company

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The client is a leading HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) company that specializes in the fabrication of ductworks for a variety of building types and projects. Its purpose is to deliver high volume requirements to customers utilizing innovative and automated pieces of machinery.

Due to having various stakeholders in their projects, the company needs a comprehensive and synchronized PowerApps Portal extranet so that everyone can use it to their advantage. PowerApps Portal extranets offer organisations a secure solution for sharing files and information among stakeholders.

Client portals allow managers to strictly control and monitor access to documents so it is a smart way of sharing sensitive documents compared to emailing or posting. This was exactly the problem that the client was facing, they needed an HVAC client portal to share documents and get updated about the ongoing process

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CLIENT

HVAC manufacturer Established 1969
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INDUSTRY

Industrial air conditioning
HVAC manufacturing

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technology

TECHNOLOGIES

PowerApps Portal development
M-Files API integration
Customer Portal

What Were the Challenges?

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Do you still use email services to keep in touch with your customers and send/receive files related to projects? If yes, you should think twice and know that this old school method seems not to be an appropriate fit for business-related activities anymore.

That was the case for this company. Using the conventional email services, they had no other option but to receive their documents, such as the mechanical drawings, from stakeholders (builders, mechanical contractors, installers, manufacturers) via email. The client staff then had to upload them manually on their document management system called M-Files.

Moreover, another internal system, known as SmartSheet, was used inside the company to show delivery times. However, despite the importance of this data, they could not show them to the stakeholders since stakeholders did not have access to the SmartSheet system.

Above all, both of these systems were limited to their internal staff, meaning that no one from outside the company could access the information.

The client needed to provide a secure online ordering PowerApps client portal to receive orders and share orders’ status among involved parties. Thus by utilizing the office 365 PowerApps Portal extranet, external partners can have secure access to specific content and can collaborate with other partners to increase productivity.

How Did the PowerApps Portal Extranet Help?

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365 Digital Consulting provided workable solutions using PowerApps Portal and CDS to ensure all stakeholders are aligned with the same information in three approaches below:

  1. Using the PowerApps Portal extranet, the company could create user accounts for their stakeholders and allow them to access their necessary files related to their project and data on the company’s M-Files system.
  2. Next, using the PowerApps portal and M-Files integration, the external parties could have limited access to the data they want from the M-Files with the help of CDS, and get updated about the latest status of their ongoing projects. So part of the system provides a bidirectional synchronisation between M-Files data and CDS using MS Flow and REST API.

Additionally, they were allowed to attach the documents they needed through the dedicated designed forms and it was automatically pushed into M-File without human effort. 

  1. Finally, by PowerApps portal and SmartSheet integration,  registered details of the local SmartSheet system were presented into PowerApps Portal to allow partners to have access.

Now, the M-files and SmartSheet integration with office 365 allows three stakeholders to have access to the information they need without direct access to its source. Users can have secure access to the required information and be able to make changes on their own projects.

PowerApps portal and M-Files integration results

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The system is now a collaborative platform for HVAC stakeholders on Office 365 to share real-time information and data for construction projects, and ensure ease and correct information flow at all times, whilst helping the mechanical services to have better connectivity within the supply chain.

The PowerApps client portal will provide staff, customers, installers, suppliers, and builders with a platform to submit and review orders online, amend status online, upload and easily access files/documents (eg construction drawings, site measures, delivery dockets), access job and order correspondence, whilst also tracking overall project status at high level.

After the adequate implementation of M-files and SmartSheet integration with office 365, all stakeholders can now get informed about the current status of the ongoing project, access the required documents, and take the necessary action in case they fall behind the schedule.

Moreover, they are not obliged to use email services anymore to submit orders, send, and receive drawing files. Users on the PowerApps portal extranet can access all the required data through their dedicated panels and submit their requests online

FAQ

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FAQ

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What are the benefits of having client portal for manufacturing or building construction companies?

Manufacturer and builders are working with lots of sub contractors, suppliers, vendors, and others in order to deliver projects and products to their customer. Having a system to allow share documents and information with these large network is make their day to day job easier. It also provide a robust repository to have all documents related to a partner in one centeralised location. Partners and supplier would have access to the documents as needed and don't need to send email back and forth to update each others

What is the best technology or platfrom to impliment a supplier or client portal?

There are lots of different way that you can impliment your client portal. It is really depend on the use case and budget but here are some important platform which allow you to build such a system:
- PowerApps portal by Microsoft
- Custom code portal
- WordPress portal
- Salesforce Portal
- Liferay portal
- SharePoint as extranet portal
Just as an example, PowerApps portal work well when you have Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM as your backend CRM and want to integrate information back to it.

Which industry need portal to share documents and collaborate on them with their partners, suppliers, vendors or clients?

Most of the industry and companies need a partner portal to make a smoother work with their partners (external users). They need a way to upload or receive docuements related to the same goal which they are trying to acheive. It can be some engineering companies who try to deliver a project, manufacturing and its suppliers who are making a product, researcher instiniute and doctors who are making a new medicine, builders who work with sub contractors to delivre a construction project and so on. Having a portal will make their job easier and more productive.

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