How One Company Is Using The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Business Data Auditing Accelerator To Automate Its Approvals Processes

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Written by Dan Smith, Altico Advisors

 You can use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Business Data Auditing Accelerator from Codeplex to audit changes in CRM data in any entity you choose, such as accounts, contacts, leads, or opportunities.  The CRM accelerators themselves are extremely easy to download and install.  Simply import the customization xml file from within CRM customization settings and select which entities you want to audit.  The customization file builds an audit entity for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM entity you wish to audit.  For example,  if the CRM entity is Opportunity, the audit entity is Opportunity Audit.  It also deploys a workflow that will take a snapshot of the record whenever a relevant event occurs.  A relevant event could be a record creation, record state change, or attribute change, for example.  With this in place, you can now review changes to a record within the desired entity as the changes occur. 

 Altico Advisors has deployed the Business Data Auditing Accelerator for a client in the software development arena whose solutions are used by hospitals to produce operational efficiencies, effectiveness, and control.  Our client wanted to automate, standardize, streamline, and track their sales order approval history.  They have a two-step approval process before certain order types can be submitted into their Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting/ERP system.  The first step requires the Finance group to approve the order.  If approved by Finance, it then goes to the Manufacturing group for approval.  If Manufacturing approves, it is then integrated into Dynamics GP.  If any of the approvals are not granted, the creator is required to revise the order and re-submit it for approval.  The approval, the person who granted the approval, and any notes they took regarding the approval are automatically logged in the Sales Order Audit entity that was created using the CRM Business Data Auditing Accelerator.  The result is a complete history of the order and the approval process. 

By automating the approval process, our client has streamlined what used to be a cumbersome and time-intensive task.  Instead of multiple people exchanging scores of emails and voice mail messages, the approval process is quick, easy, and secure.  And the audit trail remains for posterity.

Submitted by Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner for Massachusetts (MA)

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