Business process automation with Power Apps

Business process automation with Power Apps

Kubotas approach to business process automation

Leading supplier of the agriculture, construction and power hardware, Kubota Australia is currently retiring up to 40 legacy applications. This is part of its wider digital transformation plans to on-board a new enterprise platform. 

A key piece of that digital transformation has involved working with Empyrean to implement Microsoft Power Apps a Platform-as-a-Service application that enables low-code application creation and connects to data in underlying data platforms or via other data sources such as SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 or a SQL Server.

The process so far of building our Power Apps base [with Empyrean] has been very easy. They’ve adopted some familiar Microsoft technologies and leveraged some of our existing Microsoft Office assets. It’s been a very low-cost, quick to market solution.

Chain of Responsibility

To date, Empyrean has aided Kubota with the development of five new applications. One of those applications is the Chain of Responsibility app, which has been designed to help the company’s logistics department digitally track the transit, loading and unloading of products. The app ensures compliance is inducted throughout the product delivery journey up until it reaches the end-customer.  

This includes:

  • Tracking the expected arrival of a truck 
  • Making sure the driver is suitable and has completed all the necessary induction training 
  • That the load gets tied down properly 
  • That the chain of the responsibility can be efficiently handed over to the next point of transit contact, such as the next truck driver.

Moving the chain of responsibility into the digital age.

Prior to introducing the Chain of Responsibility app, Kubota’s logistics department relied on a paper-based solution, which Lodder said was “nearly impossible” to track whether appropriate procedures were being followed. 

“Now it is something we can audit. We can preload deliveries, we can check whether a process is being followed correctly, and we can provide action or reports at the end of that process as required by the departmental managers,” he said. 

Business process automation to reduce risk and improve compliance

Kubota has lifted its overall compliance and risk management, as well as the quality of its auditable records. Such as, being able to provide a reporting framework back to authorities, including the company’s internal legal team. 

“By developing this application and providing a digital interface for data entry, we not only improve the go-live time and the ability to capture data in real-time, but we also reduce the reliance on a paper-based solution, which was largely unable to be audited or managed easily,” Lodder said. 

Reducing IT overhead through automation

Having Empyrean as its managed service provider has meant that Kubota’s IT team can focus on other priorities. While Empyrean handles the day-to-day overhead of managing the new applications. 

“Inevitably problems can occur – they’re either user-related or systems-related – and the Empyrean team are available to help us through any of those problems,” said Lodder. 

Ensuring a smooth digital transformation

Like introducing any new system, especially when shifting from paper-based to a digital process, user adoption is a common challenge. However, working with Empyrean on the onboarding process and during the testing phases of the new system was done in a progressive and considered way 

“The training has been fantastic, and the user acceptance testing has meant that we’ve got valuable feedback from our teams,” he added.  

“The initial phase has been largely around building the workflows and the design of those applications to make sure that we keep a consistent feel, and that the end-user can adopt new apps as they come on. Empyrean was fantastic at setting that standard. We’re going to continue to use that throughout the projects that we foresee over the next two or three years.” 

Next in the pipeline – Kubota is extending its work with Empyrean on 20-30 applications. 



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