Becoming an insight-driven retail organisation

Helping retailers to succeed in today’s competitive landscape is all about giving them choice and flexibility. Microsoft’s Karen Garrette and Luke Shave explain how the latest version of Dynamics AX is empowering retailers to stay one step ahead

By Guest on 15 August 2016
Becoming an insight-driven retail organisation

This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Record.

Retailers today need to be agile. Whether it’s new channels, new geographies, products or services, being able to get ahead of trends and then effectively plan and deliver upon them is what sets apart market leaders from the rest of the pack.

With our latest version of Dynamics AX, we’re helping retailers do just that. It starts with our business intelligence platforms that capture data from all channels to provide retailers with a comprehensive view of their business performance and enable them to be true data-driven organisations. It uses in-memory business intelligence (BI) to provide real-time operational insights so employees can make informed decisions. And, with Azure Machine Learning, retailers can get predictions that will help anticipate customer needs – even pulling in external data sources, like weather forecasts or local events, to help improve the analysis.

Effective planning and merchandise management is critical for gaining and maintaining market leadership. Our latest release of Dynamics AX gives retailers the tools to improve the speed of doing business so they can stay one step ahead in the market. The Catalog Manager in the latest Dynamics AX allows retailers to create product catalogues and categorisation schemes that can be targeted or shared between channels. And, with our category management tools, merchandise can be centrally managed, from manufacturing to order fulfilment.

 Our merchandising tools allow retailers to manage products and custom attributes globally and locally, as well as create unlimited categories for enhanced category and assortment management.

 Every retail organisation has uniqueness in their business processes.  From large organisations to small, the effective movement of product from procurement through sale to re-order and accounting is of primary importance.  This needs to be as smooth-flowing as possible. If this is not the case, this cost of movement is higher, and sales get immediately impacted by any inefficiency. Supporting these processes are the individual operations along the way.

 These decision points and actions need to be supported by effectively presented data, and complemented by intelligence built into the actions to assist the buyers, planners, merchandisers and any of the selling teams.

 This is really important to omni-channel retailers. Dynamics AX enables these businesses to manage their products and assortments within a unified catalogue. This in turn enables them to be far more efficient in their omni-channel operations.

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