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Powerful reports without coding

Shelly Jorgensen has used Apsona’s Multi-Step Reporting tool at two very different companies, and isn’t sure she could be a Salesforce Admin without it.

“If someone is looking for some information that I know you can’t get in regular Salesforce reports, Multi-Step is the first place I go.”

The first time she used Multi-Step she was the only Salesforce Admin at the company, trying to to do the work of three people. Now she works at an international agricultural company. She’s one of dozens of Salesforce Admins supporting a company of almost 27,000 people, and is a subject matter expert in contracts and cases.

“We use Multi-Step to get around the roadblocks in standard Salesforce reporting,” Jorgensen explains. “With standard reports you start with one object and go down the tree. But most of the time when I’m creating a report on our accounts or cases, I also need to pull information from at least five related objects.”

Easy to learn and affordable

Jorgensen discovered Apsona’s Multi-Step Reporting at her prior company. “I don’t remember the specific reporting issues we were facing, but it’s always the same challenge: you can’t get all the information you need into one report.”

That need sent her to the App Marketplace looking for a reporting add-on that met two key criteria. It had to be easy to learn, something she could teach herself to use. And it had to be affordable so that getting it approved wouldn’t be difficult. Multi-Step fit the bill.

When she moved to her current company, she again found the Multi-Step tool indispensable. For a while she was the only one with a license. Then a couple of other people on her team saw how useful it was and requested it. Soon they were up to 18 people with licenses so that everyone who needed the reports she was creating could customize them and run them on their own.

Reporting on multiple related objects

A typical reporting challenge for Jorgensen involves accessing several related objects with other objects nested several levels underneath them.

For example, she produces a weekly report of active and resolved cases. With Multi-Step it’s easy to connect to all the related objects so she can pull in details about the account, the commercial unit responsible for the account, the salesperson, the territory, and all the details of the order, which can be up to three layers deep.

From this base report, other users are able to tweak the criteria within Multi-Step to produce just the information they need for their purposes, depending on their role in the company. The ability to add fields or change filter criteria make the base reports useful to more people, and reduce duplicate work.

While some reports like this could be produced with joined reports, the drawback is that joined reports can’t be exported and shared the way Multi-Step Reports can be.

And, of course, the same info could be produced with a tangle of Excel VLOOKUPs, but not without hours of tedious work each week, instead of just the press of a single button.

Quick support, continual improvement

Jorgensen says it’s been an easy decision to stick with Multi-Step for so long, even as other reporting tools have come on the market.

Support is close at hand when she needs it. “I love working with Sridar. Anytime I run into problems I email him and usually within half an hour he’s emailed me back, or gotten on a call with me. He’s just awesome.”

And the application keeps getting better. “They’ve really come a long way over the years, and there have even been improvements in the last few weeks. If I have a suggestion or something I need the program to do, it’s not long and he’s done it. He’s always looking for what he can do to make it better.”

Complex reports without developers

What really sets Multi-Step apart for Jorgensen is the ability to create reports without involving developers.

The competing reporting packages she’s seen are powerful, but everything requires help from developers who can create the specific queries required by the reporting packages. “I wouldn’t want to move away from Multi-Step,” she says. “It wouldn’t work for me to need developers in order to produce any new report, or make changes to an existing one. It would add a huge slowdown.”

Every couple of days someone comes to her looking for information relating to her specialty in contracts and cases. These reports all require visibility into related objects like the territory, commercial unit, and others.

Jorgensen says, “When I get requests, I have the tool to get the report done without having to ask a developer for help. That’s the key thing.”