A.S. Watson discovers the flavors of the Power Platform

The Taster Menu gave us the opportunity to explore the Power Platform ourselves, with HSO as our mentor. These benefits made it a great success for us.

A.S. Watson discovered that the Microsoft Power Platform offers many opportunities. The company found HSO to be a low-code partner that helped them explore those opportunities. The Taster Menu is a training program through which HSO allows you to "taste" the opportunities of the Power Platform. Based on your business needs, we develop an app in just a few days. A.S. Watson is the company behind brands such as Kruidvat, Trekpleister, and ICI PARIS XL.

Jindra Kool van Heerens, Business Developer at A.S. Watson: "HSO is flexible, has the ability to think along, and has been a great sparring partner from day one. The Taster Menu gave us the opportunity to explore the platform ourselves, with HSO as our mentor. These benefits made it a great success for us."

Discover A.S. Watson's three-course menu with a tasty ending. Immerse yourself in a restaurant-like experience with the Taster Menu. Browse through the menu options and choose the solution that suits you best. And if you have any dietary requirements, you can let them know, such as how many departments you want to involve.

Reason to explore the Power Platform

Jindra: "In our company, documents were being sent from all sides to the management, managers, and team leaders. These documents required approval. Sometimes, a physical PDF document would circulate, requiring a stamp for approval. Or we would receive a Word document via email that needed a digital signature. All these 'paperwork' documents were then placed in different folders, resulting in a proliferation of documents. We wanted to get rid of that."

A proliferation of documents emerged, and we wanted to get rid of that.

Jindra Kool van Heerens Business Developer at A.S. Watson

Optimizing the "approval flow" was the first trial with the Power Platform. Jindra says, "We quickly set up something workable. Now we can approve a document with the click of a button. This rapid efficiency improvement was the reason for us to further explore the Power Platform."

Christiaan Taverne, Sales Manager at HSO and involved in A.S. Watson's Taster Menu: "Many companies started with 'hobby projects' at the beginning of the pandemic. A.S. Watson developed many business applications. But at a certain point, you hit a wall. Then you need a party that complements your technical knowledge."

From pain point to solution

Because the Power Platform has so much to offer, Jindra and his team encountered obstacles. "We consulted Google for our technical questions, but sometimes the search engine didn't have an answer either. Another pain point: We started as financials, but soon realized that IT management is a crucial part of success. HSO emphasizes this aspect, which led us to them. They have helped us tremendously by complementing our knowledge and implementing a Center of Excellence toolkit together."

Christiaan: "You want to get from point A to point B, but there are hundreds of routes to reach your destination. Moreover, the developments on the Power Platform are happening so fast that as a business developer, you can't keep up with them all. That's when it's nice to turn to a team with best practices that helps you find the best route."

Five-star review

"Together with HSO, we reviewed the entire supplier onboarding process," Jindra continues. "When new suppliers come on board, an entire administrative process starts. This includes gathering the VAT number, for example. That process could be made more efficient, accurate, and faster.

During the first workshop, we mapped out the current process together with HSO. It took three flip charts. After a day of brainstorming about the new process, we condensed it down to one. In consultation with HSO, we weighed which parts of that process we would address during the workshops. The beauty of it is that everything we agreed upon has been realized."

Christiaan: "Before diving into an application, the entire process must be clear. And where necessary, it needs to be refined. We fully map out the process and consult with each other. What are the roles? Can it be made more efficient? This way, you arrive at an optimized flow and have the green light to build with the Power Platform."

Results in three days

The results speak for themselves. In three workshops, A.S. Watson created a well-functioning app for the supplier onboarding and mutation process. "We have automated many tasks, such as checking the VAT number. What we wanted to build at the beginning has actually been achieved. HSO was a great mentor in this project and always guided us in the right direction."

This is what the tool offers:

  • It collects all documents about and from suppliers.
  • Employees upload individual pieces of information.
  • You have an overview of the progress of the file formation.
  • VAT numbers of suppliers are automatically searched for and checked.
  • There are additional checks that, for example, indicate if you have collected 3 out of 6 documents.
  • A clear approval flow that makes giving approval easy.
  • It can be easily expanded to other systems and departments.

Excitement is fueled

"The great thing is that other departments are also enthusiastic about the realized tool," Jindra concludes. "That gives us the opportunity to further optimize our business. Other departments also already showed interest in Power Platform. HSO will certainly play a role in this as an advisory consultant; especially the difficult building blocks we will tackle together. HSO is the right party for our projects and has proven that with the Taster Menu."

Want to know more? Feel free to contact Christiaan Taverne about this at ctaverne@hso.com.

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