Chapter 6

How to secure your future right now?

In order to be successful in retail, you need to know your customer and you have to know what is going on in your supply chain. With any change or disruption, you have to be able to adjust your operation and business model accordingly. You can only achieve this agility if you have IT that offers you the power to innovate quickly with new technologies and a command tower that offers a single truth. IT infrastructure needs to be futureproof for the reasons discussed. The reality is few companies are ready. Companies are run on multiple ERPs, all kinds of spreadsheets, several systems and paper. This is costly in terms of time and takes away from opportunities to innovate.

Retailers are fond of the Microsoft platform because it supports retailers end to end and offers the tools they
need: from finance to procurement to the POS for you first line workers. It is cloud based, so you can implement new functionality with a few clicks. New chatbots that interact efficiently with your customers can be implemented in days. Automate processes a lot faster and cheaper via Power Platform which even allows employees to automate their own processes by building apps. Launch new dashboards forecasting your sales much faster, giving you the resilience and agility you need. It seamlessly connects customers, people, and all off your data, even outside the Microsoft platform.

“We don’t have a lot of stores, but we have high quality flagship stores. And so that‘s one of the reasons that we‘ve been with Microsoft solutions as well because we‘re able to use things like iPhones for example for the checkout process.”

Craig Foster - On Running Head of Technical Product Management

On is not only one of the most innovative shoe brands, but also one of the fastest growing retailers. The Microsoft platform helps driving their innovation and growth. Craig Foster, Head of Technical Product Management of On sees that it supports their business perfectly.

“Growing at 100 percent per year, we need scalability and to be able to handle growth in the right direction. Insights from the platform help us making the right decisions. We are super happy with the Microsoft ecosystem with industry specific ISVs which helps us enormously.”

The Microsoft platform also helps in the aggressive growth strategy in which digital innovation of the physical stores is important.

Microsoft and Retail

Looking to empower every person and every organisation, Microsoft made significant investments to ready their platform to suit the needs of retail organisations across the world. By combining Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure, the company has created a platform like no other. Microsoft has comprehensive tools to help retail organisations. From serving customers and filling orders to managing the supply chain and helping retail teams stay on top of tasks, Microsoft has it covered. At the core, Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management form an enterprise-grade ERP solution. Multi-site, multicurrency and highly scalable. Beyond ERP, Dynamics 365 enables retail companies to streamline their Marketing, Sales and Customer Service, solve order fulfilment needs with Intelligent Order Management, both from and through physical stores as well as B2C and B2B e-commerce stores with Dynamics 365 Commerce.

Yet, Dynamics 365 remains a Microsoft product, with a user experience resembling products you already know
like Windows and the Office 365, providing ease of use and a lower total cost of ownership. And, should you face a scenario unique to you that Dynamics 365 does not cater for, you always have the option to call upon the Power Platform.

With the Microsoft Cloud for Retail, Microsoft is looking to accelerate the business growth of retailers worldwide, specifically addressing challenges around the value of data, the modern shopping experience, sustainable supply chains and empowered store associates.