Inviting innovative ideas using Microsoft Power Apps, SharePoint, and Power BI
Summary: Springhouse customized and modernized the Employee Suggestion Box with Power Apps and other Microsoft integrations
Front-line employees have hands-on experience and great ideas. Their voices are important and need to be heard.
“Our client wanted a way to tap into the unrealized potential of its employees,” said Gary Stewart, a Microsoft 365 Solution Specialist at Springhouse. “So, I built a Power Apps solution that allows them to collect and evaluate innovative ideas from their employees.” Gary developed a modern employee suggestion box. It gives front-line workers and office staff an avenue to share their ideas. Then, it provides management with a way to evaluate and track ideas.
Our customer is a national manufacturer of building supplies. The company knew and appreciated that its 400 employees had great ideas for new products, cost reductions, efficiency improvements, and revenue generation. However, it did not have a formal process for receiving those ideas.
They selected Springhouse to collaborate, design, and develop an application using Power Platform solutions to collect new ideas.
Modernizing the employee suggestion box
With an established Microsoft 365 tenant, the client wanted to stay within the functionality of Microsoft rather than looking for a third-party solution. Springhouse’s experience with SharePoint and Power Platform allowed it to formulate a solution that maximized and integrated with existing software.
“Using Power Apps allowed for the rapid development and deployment of a custom employee suggestion box application that met their specific requirements,” said Gary. “The application was designed for office and plant-floor employees to share ideas. Plus, because the company has a high number of Spanish-speaking employees, we added a bilingual intake screen to the app too.”
Employees can easily access the new employee suggestion box app at kiosks on the plant floor. It allows them to submit a form with supporting documents, photos, and spec sheets. Then, the app emails the innovation team when an employee submits a new idea. The innovation team can use the application to evaluate the implementation costs, potential savings, and revenue associated with each idea.
The Power Apps workflow
Staying within the Microsoft ecosystem, Gary automated the connection between the new application, a SharePoint data repository, and a reporting dashboard. He pulled together the functionality of Power Apps, SharePoint, and Power BI for the employee suggestion box.
When an employee submits the form, the innovation team receives an email, and the idea details are stored in SharePoint. The database becomes a data source for Power BI to pull from to present a dynamic and shareable report. The innovation team can then see real-time insight into the progression of ideas – from submission to consideration to implementation.
Some of the most valuable ideas for improving business performance come from front-line workers. Our customer now has a way for its employees to voice their thoughts directly with their colleagues who can evaluate and act on them.