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Natures Cargo

Natures Cargo use Power BI for improved business insights

Fenwick implements Power BI as our business intelligence reporting tool. We have also designed a suite of Power BI Gold Apps which link Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central data to Power BI. This allows instant plug and play reporting and has the flexibility of moulding to specific business reporting requirements.

In 2018 we implemented Power BI for Natures Cargo and reinvented the way they analysed their data.

The Natures Cargo story

Natures Cargo are one of the largest privately-owned Food Service distribution companies in Australia. They consistently deliver their expansive range of premium quality products on demand, going above and beyond for their customers and suppliers.

Having IT that is up-to-date with industry standards is key to their success. Their sales team is equipped with online, handheld ordering devices. They have a modern Telesales room, online ordering, fax and answering machine facilities. Their custom online ordering App has made services more efficient and has allowed their customers to stay connected 24/7.

In short, they owe their success to a winning combination of a strong focus on customer service and being technologically up to date.

Business situation

In 2018 Natures Cargo began to fall behind in one essential area of their IT: their business intelligence reporting software. They were using Phocas, which was only setup to aggregate 12 months’ worth of sales data and was unable to evaluate any financial data. It couldn’t integrate directly with their Microsoft Dynamics NAV system and delayed their access to sales data. Phocas took a great deal of time to extract data and required manual work in Excel.

Such limited capability and delayed access to results made it especially challenging to evaluate business performance. Natures Cargo needed a new and easy way to gain insights and analyse business data.

Our solution

We joined forces with Natures Cargo in 2018 to implement Power BI as their new business intelligence tool. Power BI offered integration with their existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. This gave quick insights on all finance, sales and inventory data. We offered Power BI in conjunction with our Fenwick Gold pack. The setup was quick and data was automatically updated.

Natures Cargo was instantly enticed by Power BI: data could be set up easily and license costs were lower compared to others. It promised a stress-free, simple solution.

…Data was already modelled which meant it could be implemented quickly and the Power BI licenses are significantly lower in cost than most of the comparable products available

Brett Morrison, IT Manager, Natures Cargo

Power BI Gold pack was the epitome of “plug and play”. The add-on was installed in their Microsoft Dynamics NAV system and the data refreshed. Natures Cargo was up and running with Power BI in a short turn-around time.

It was only a week from when we first took a look at Power BI to having it up and running. From our side all we really had to do was some mapping of our GL accounts. On the training side it was maybe half a day to go through the models that had been setup and how to create new reports on that data

Brett Morrison, IT Manager, Natures Cargo


Natures Cargo has been using Power BI for over 2 years now. The reports from Power BI are published to their sales and management teams. Over 25 team members are users of the data.  They love the new reporting tool and the business benefits are clear. Overall, Power BI has revolutionised the way Natures Cargo consumes data and acts upon data-driven decisions.

Automatic real-time access to all business data

The software has improved the visibility and usability of data, with reports that are pre-built and data that refreshes daily. Sales and profitability performance can now be tracked daily rather than having to wait all week or the whole month. With performance data readily at hand, ad-hoc decisions can now be made with confidence.

We are able to create new ad-hoc reports within minutes when asked by anyone in the business

Brett Morrison, IT Manager, Natures Cargo

Integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central

Power BI has streamlined the reporting process for Natures Cargo. Data automatically integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV database, so it doesn’t need to be exported manually to Excel. This has saved hours of time and avoided countless potential errors.

Flexibility and connectivity

Natures Cargo now works with standardised reports, so everyone gets the same access and visibility of data. Power BI can yield detailed data with multiple layout options. The different ways the data can be displayed means insights are easier to understand and evaluate.

Standardised reports enable anyone that looks to get the same information rather than slightly different results depending on how they extracted the data. Multi page reports are also useful so that a single report can be sent out with views of the same data or detailed breakouts on subsequent pages

Brett Morrison, IT Manager, Natures Cargo

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