At this week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & Expo, Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft Dynamics for retail, a fully integrated end-to-end business management solution for specialty retail chains. The new solution offers a powerful way to generate accurate, timely data, enhance employee productivity and customer service, streamline supply chain processes and operations, and drive down costs across their organization.
The Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution offers the value of strong customer service at the point of sale, powerful headquarters management of the retail chain, and seamless integration to the supply chain, warehouse and beyond — all in a flexible, scalable package. It delivers critical business intelligence, such as real-time exchange of inventory, and sales and financial data between headquarters and stores, which enables retailers to maximize operational efficiencies, increase profitability and fuel growth.
The Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution enables retailers to accomplish the following:
* Base pricing, promotional, purchasing and merchandising decisions on
hard facts rather than gut instinct
* Use reliable, real-time data to drive more effective strategies
* Drill down into centralized sales data by product, store, sales
associate, supplier and region to glean insights into customer
purchasing patterns and stay ahead of the competition
* Calibrate inventory levels with customer demand to reduce waste and stay
on top of what’s hot and what’s not, quickly replenishing best-sellers
and cutting losses on slow-moving items
* Use a finer-grained understanding of their business to gain an upper
hand in negotiations with suppliers
* Maximize cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by putting rich
customer data in the hands of sales staff for increased productivity and
improved customer service
* Seamlessly share information across the supply chain with trading
partners and vendors
An additional benefit is the consistent user interface across the system that works like and with familiar Microsoft software, such as the Microsoft Office system. As a result, employees do not have to spend time mastering a new system and can access data without expert help, making them more productive and reducing need for IT support overhead.
The Dallas Cowboys Lead the Field
The Dallas Cowboys are in the vanguard of customers signing up for the Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution. Not only do the players perform impressively on the field, the team is a business and merchandising powerhouse, with interests that include 35 retail outlets, a medical magnetic resonance imaging center, and oil and gas companies.
The Cowboys chose the Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution because of its ability to scale and be flexible using proven technology and unified support. The solution allows the team to drastically lower its costs and eliminate inefficiencies by consolidating 29 disparate businesses into a cohesive information backbone that will afford a meta-view across manufacturing, distribution and retail operations to drive timely, informed decision-making.
“Adopting a new retail system for the Cowboys is not a decision we reached lightly, and it was important that we go with a vendor that we knew would protect our investment for the long term,” said Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Dallas Cowboys. “The Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution will provide the cohesive, scalable and flexible solution that we need as we look to open our new stadium beginning with the 2009 season, and home to Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Besides consolidating financials, the Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution provides the backbone for our retail store network as well as for additional Microsoft partner solutions we are looking to include in the stadium project.”
“Retailers are asking us to deliver comprehensive Microsoft Dynamics solutions that will improve their business, and we believe that this new solution will meet the diverse needs of specialty retailers,” said Jeff McKee, director of Microsoft Dynamics industry product management at Microsoft. “The Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution delivers ease of implementation, a reduced IT management footprint, a familiar, consistent user experience, and tight integration with existing Microsoft applications. These are the features that retailers today are calling for, and because the solutions are from Microsoft, retailers have the assurance that they’re investing in a solution that not only meets their needs today, but will into the future.”
Microsoft Dynamics in Retail
The new Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution is the latest addition to the Microsoft Dynamics offerings for retail customers, which address a diverse range of customer needs from single-store independents through midsize chains and specialty retailers to national big-box retailers. Among the current distribution partners for the solution are Microsoft Gold Certified Partners Columbus IT and POSitive Technology, implementation partners for the Dallas Cowboys. The Microsoft Dynamics for retail solution is available in English today. Localized versions will be released in late 2008.
Complementing Microsoft Dynamics retail offerings is a broad range of solutions from Microsoft Dynamics partners. This rich partner ecosystem has long provided retailers with added value by extending functionality and customizing Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and NAV products for unique retail deployments. More information about Microsoft Dynamics retail offerings can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/industry/retail.mspx.