Vignesh Balasubramanian - Senior Product Marketing Manager, Supply Chain Management
We are amid one of the most rapid global transformations of trade that the world has ever seen. The past 30 years were a constant drumbeat of globalization, weaving geographically dispersed markets together with breakthroughs in technology and the widespread adoption of lean thinking. The result was the creation of complex and interconnected global supply chains that controlled costs through practices such as just-in-time (JIT) inventory management. Then COVID-19 forced markets to lock down and trading partners to scramble to deliver products to customers. What has become clear is that our supply chains—while having succeeded at reducing costs, and connecting business and consumer markets worldwide—were far less robust than we had imagined.
Today, there is a new push to improve the world’s supply chains, but the focus is now on resiliency. Cost containment is still a factor, so simply ordering and holding more inventory is not the answer. What holds promise is tighter integration and collaboration with both internal and external trading partners, faster access to data, and a new level of transparency and visibility into the end-to-end value chain made possible by digital transformation. The backdrop to these challenges is an accelerating fourth industrial revolution that brings with it the promise of leveraging more data and automation to produce highly-resilient and globally-optimized supply chain networks.
At Microsoft, we are at the forefront of this historic transformation, providing clients worldwide with the digital solutions they need to remain competitive. The four success stories that follow bring to life how Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps organizations realize supply chain transformation and leverage the benefits of a modern, cloud-based, intelligent platform to deliver versatility, scalability, and rapid time to value.
GWA Group enhances efficiency in end-to-end chain
GWA Group Limited (GWA) was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1993 and is a leading innovator, designer, and supplier of product solutions, services, and intelligent technology focused on the Bathrooms & Kitchens (B&K) segment.
Like most businesses, GWA Group struggled with multiple challenges through the pandemic as customer demand shifted, markets locked down, and nodes in the supply chain became unreachable. GWA Group leadership faced a choice: continue with its digital transformation agenda or scale back and redeploy resources elsewhere within the business.
The decision to accelerate digital transformation rather than scaling back was an obvious one to GWA. The company viewed digital transformation not only as a mechanism to allow them to efficiently meet shifting customer needs, but also as a step to prepare the company for future growth covered by a global data platform.
GWA Group worked with Microsoft consulting services to reduce complexity from the business by deploying Dynamics 365 as its end-to-end solution for data and actionable insights. Today, GWA Group has gained digital transparency into its operations, transforming the way they do business and the way the business thinks.
“We are deploying Dynamics 365 to manage the entire business ecosystem lifecycle across Customer Care, Warehouse Management, Finance & Operations, Supply Chain, Commerce, and Marketing—we’re not just transforming the way our business works, we’re actually transforming the way our business thinks. Stripping out complexity across business processes introduces greater flexibility and agility as the industry changes.”—Alex Larson, General Manager Technology & Transformation, GWA Group
Read more about how GWA Group embeds innovation culture with Dynamics 365.
Michael Hill optimizes inventory and boosts sales
Founded in New Zealand in 1979, Michael Hill is one of the world’s largest high-end jewelers. Nearing 300 retail locations across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the company has closely maintained exclusive, long-term relationships with its customers for over 40 years.
Michael Hill believes that great in-store retail experiences are the key lever for increasing customer loyalty. To realize its goals for continually improving its support operations and delivering the retail experience it envisions, the company correctly identified the need to increase efficiency in its shipping and warehousing processes.
“Michael Hill has been running a transformation journey to completely change our operating paradigm so that we put the customer first at the very beginning, from production to fulfillment.”—Matt Keays, Chief Information Officer, Michael Hill
The company worked with its implementation partner DXC Technology and Microsoft to replace its legacy retail operations solution. The business needed a solution to manage global store operations and a platform capable of delivering end-to-end multichannel capabilities and connected processes. The company found this solution by building a vastly improved retail platform using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce.
Next, the company launched an internal initiative to optimize operations, customer service, warehousing, inventory, and retail financial processes by implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. The changes were planned for March 2020, but the global pandemic demanded an accelerated plan of action. Indeed, with 300 stores holding high-value inventory, many facing temporary closure, the company confronted logistic complications that forced expensive, indirect, and inefficient shipments to its customers worldwide.
The international jeweler moved quickly to avoid harm to its business and its brand. Dynamics 365 was deployed rapidly and almost immediately began providing increased visibility into inventory availability across its supply chain. This gave Michael Hill the ability to treat each of its stores as a warehouse location, which seamlessly allowed customers to order items online with the option to pick up at the site of their choice or ship direct from that location.
Today, Michael Hill powers its new retail operating platform to generate better insights about what customers are looking for, transforming their approach to customer service and improving their ability to respond to changing business needs and new market conditions.
“The really exciting part about using Dynamics 365 is how fast we can adapt to changing business needs. We are driving efficiencies in our warehouse, trialing new fulfillment models, and unlocking deeper insights into customer experiences faster than ever before.”—Ian Dallas, Program Manager of Supply Chain and Finance, Michael Hill
TBM digitizes processes for efficient reporting
Tan Boon Ming Sdn Bhd (TBM) is Malaysia’s one-stop appliances superstore. Founded in 1945 as a neighborhood bicycle store, the company quickly expanded its offerings to appliances, furniture, and radios. From the beginning, the company was founded with a vision to be the best-in-class service retailer, striving to deliver quality in everything it does, from the products it sells to the services it offers. It was this vision that compelled TBM to begin a journey of digital transformation in 2016.
The company’s key challenge was the lack of data synchronization and integration with its existing Warehouse Management System (WMS). Because the existing WMS was not integrated, the company was forced to use heavy manual processes to take stock across 40 locations— printing stock sheets and manually tallying the results. To overcome this challenge, TBM implemented Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to enable greater visibility into its warehouse and inventory while simultaneously reducing the effort required to access this critical data.
TBM has since adopted other Dynamics 365 modules across its business to bring all business processes under control into a single, integrated, and seamless platform. Dynamics 365 Finance was implemented and now allows the company to enjoy efficient accounting and reporting. Dynamics 365 Commerce enabled TBM to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and continue to serve customers without delays during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order period.
With Dynamics 365, TBM has a cohesive view of its warehouse, logistics, and inventory integrated with an agile storefront, allowing them to provide consistent and scalable customer experiences.
Read more about how this Malaysian appliances store digitizes processes and enables more efficient reporting using Dynamic 365.
Chemist Warehouse migrates to the cloud for enhanced customer experiences
Over the last 16 years, Chemist Warehouse has grown from a single shop in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs to become one of Australia’s top 10 retailers. Today, the group has over 400 stores across Australia, serves more than 1.5 million customers, and dispenses more than 500,000 prescriptions a week.
The rapid growth and success of Chemist Warehouse compelled the company to take on a business transformation aimed at improving customer experiences. As a longstanding user of Microsoft Dynamics AX on-premises, the company was interested in moving to Dynamics 365 in the cloud. This aspect of its business transformation would support international expansion goals by providing a scalable and agile end-to-end ERP platform capable of leveraging the cloud’s benefits.
Chemist Warehouse began its international expansion in Ireland in 2019. The company quickly realized that to support local and global operations, everyone, including its network of over 500 franchisees, needed to work on a single information system. The company decided to implement Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Commerce, and point of sale. This change would provide the necessary foundation to support international expansion and serve to underpin the deployment of an array of new health-related services and ultimately create an entirely different class of customer experience.
“The main reason to leverage the Dynamics 365 platform is time to value-add. The mantra for us is scalability, agility—they’re the two things that we bear in mind with everything we do. It’s really to be able to provide a better experience to the customer.”—Jules Cardinale, CIO, Chemist Warehouse
After implementation, Cardinale and his team rapidly transformed how they operate and moved to roll out many process improvements across the value chain. Today, Chemist Warehouse can offer a true omnichannel retail experience. With the integration of Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, the business has greater visibility into what products are on order and when items are shipped and received. These improvements created the necessary infrastructure to allow the company to introduce a new click-to-deliver option for their customers and to provide it seamlessly, side-by-side with its traditional click and collect.
Read more about how Chemist Warehouse prescribes cloud transformation to boost customer wellbeing.
Connect with us to transform your supply chain
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management helps organizations meet the fast-changing customer demand, by performing distribution planning in a matter of minutes. It enables companies to resolve demand and supply imbalances by enhancing visibility of their supply chain and inventory in real time. They can easily scale to handle large volumes of transactions while fulfilling orders from multiple channels, mitigate stock-outs and overstocking, and seamlessly integrate with third-party systems.
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management offers an integrated out-of-the-box warehouse management system that enables companies to consistently deliver products on time. Companies can create no-code or low-code customized heatmaps and automate workflows to optimize capacity, layout, consumption, and flow of raw and finished goods in real time. Also, it further helps create resiliency by keeping critical warehouse processes running around-the-clock at high throughput on the edge and ensure business continuity in remote locations when disconnected from the cloud. It helps organizations increase competitive advantage, overcome adversity, and proactively detect opportunities all the way from planning to procurement to manufacturing to distribution, order orchestration, and delivery.