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Management by Triggers

Management by Triggers

A common management technique that has been around in business for a long time is called “Management by Exception”.  The idea with this approach is that you set standards or budgets for various aspects of your business and then you manage the variances to these benchmarks as the actuals come in.  This is a helpful approach because it puts a strong focus on variances from a predetermined plan and is a quick and effective way to manage certain aspects of a business.

One of the downsides of Management by Exception is that the exceptions may not show up on the accounting or operational reports until weeks after the event that caused the problem.  This time delay can slow the process of fixing problems and increase the risk of the problem being ignored.  A better approach would be to have real time notification of problems as they occur so immediate action can be taken.  This is where the idea of “triggers” can be a big help.

Modern business systems like Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP have the capability to take full advantage of this trigger concept.  Because the data in these systems is accessible and well organized, it can be monitored continuously by Power Automate, Microsoft’s automated workflow application.  Power Automate is completely trigger driven.  When something happens (trigger) it automatically takes an action such as sending an email, creating a task, or launching a chat message in Microsoft Teams.

Management by Trigger is a more automated and real time approach to the Management by Exception concept.  When something happens that needs attention, key people are immediately notified so they can address the problem before it gets worse.

The Dynamics 365 business apps span the entire organization, giving you full trigger capability across all disciplines.  Here are a few trigger ideas to consider:

 Sales and Marketing Triggers

  • A lead shows a high interest in our products and services based on their lead score.
  • A new lead has not been contacted by sales in over 30 days.
  • A good customer has not placed an order in the last 60 days.
  • A customer has mentioned our company on social media.
  • A new proposal has been generated that requires approval by management.

Financial Triggers

  • An inventory adjustment was made in-excess of $1,000.
  • A purchase order was placed for an item at greater than 2% of standard cost.
  • Gross Profit % is trending down for one of our top 10 customers.
  • A supplies purchase in-excess of $2,000 has been made.
  • A customer has receivables that are 90 days past due in-excess of $5,000.

Operational Triggers

  • Labor efficiency has dropped by more than 10% for 2 consecutive weeks on Line 1.
  • A safety incident with a status of “injury” has been logged.
  • A customer delivery date is at risk based on the current production schedule.
  • Inventory on a critical component has dropped below safety stock levels.
  • Capacity load on Machine 1 is in the red zone for next week.

Human Resources Triggers

  • A performance evaluation is more than 7 days past due.
  • A new employee has just completed her 90-day employment period.
  • A follow-up is required on a disciplinary report issued 30 days ago.
  • An employee’s license is set to expire 30 days from now.
  • An employee has reached the maximum allowable absences for this year.


Dynamics 365 and Power Automate provide the ability to manage your business by using real time automated triggers.  Management by Trigger is a more automated and real time approach to the traditional Management by Exception practice used by many companies today.

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