blog Speaking of ERP platforms, as we were earlier this morning, news arrived last week that local footwear retailer Spend-less Shoes will deploy a new platform. The company has picked Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail platform, as detailed in a statement issued by Redmond. Some sample paragraphs:
“We chose Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail because it allows us to integrate and streamline core activities whilst providing for continual enhancement of our customers’ experience” said Bruce Campbell, Chief Financial Officer, Spend-less Shoes. “Some of the compelling features include completely centralised store management, improved catalogue control and incredibly ‘customer focused’ ranging and promotional activities. When coupled with significant enhancements to our supply chain capability and efficiency, the system provides a powerful platform to support our ongoing growth plans.”
Previously, the company’s core legacy business system was manually intensive, and required a large amount of support and input from staff. This led to the company undertaking a review of the entire business and putting the entire customer journey under the microscope to ensure any future investments could capitalise on the importance of consumer behaviour. Spend-less Shoes intends to use the data and feedback it collects, for example customer spending habits and individual preferences, to deliver upon its vision of becoming ‘the world’s friendliest shoe people’ while ensuring its stores are stocked according to its customers preferences for a better shopping experience.
Working with Microsoft partner, OST, Spend-less Shoes will take a three phased approach in rolling out the new system. “Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail will enable us to service our valued customers at the highest level across all our shopping channels. The system provides for the seamless delivery of an exciting and contemporary retail experience to each and every one of our customers that is both personal and enjoyable as we strive to consistently exceed their expectations” said Campbell.
This rollout sounds pretty much what you’d expect from a mid-sized retailer such as Spend-less Shoes. Retail is all about margins, and it’s pretty normal for retailers to consequently under-invest in IT for long periods as such companies try to eke as much value as possible out of their businesses, before splurging on new systems when the old ones become completely unworkable. It’s easier in larger retailers such as Coles and Woolworths, where ongoing IT investment is more justifiable and provides a competitive advantage, but I’m betting the bar for IT rejuvenation projects to go ahead would be set a lot higher for retailers further down the food chain.