Microsoft Dynamics AX: Making Sense of Automated Retail Consolidation
One of the major challenges that retailers encounter is meeting the extensive range of requirements of the target audience. As a result, offering a seamless customer experience across omni-channel is the secret ingredient to master the art of managing complex supply chains with enterprise efficiency, IT cost management and customer engagement. Enterprise efficiency comprises of making sure successful merchandise, POS solutions, store productivity, campaign analytics and store productivity. Some of the most effective ways to ensure customer engagement is through social media listening, customer analytics, omni-channel commerce, loyalty management and promotions. IT cost management extends the necessary support to network and infrastructure, AMS (Advanced Marketing Solution) and Data Centre Management.
What makes Dynamics AX relevant in Retail
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Due to the technology boon and rapid internet penetration, customers have evolved and are now open to new trends, like social media and consumerization of IT. This has helped the retail sector to leverage the power of technology through omni-channel to capitalize on the situation. However, it also poses a challenge for retailers to keep a close tab of the ever-changing customer behavior and buying pattern for more effective reach among their target audience and ensure brand loyalty.
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Microsoft Dynamics AX, also referred to as AX7, offer streamlined IT solutions for online as well as in-store retail. It oversees the retail processes right from the front office to the back-end office services. From ecommerce, store operations, multi-channel management, replenishment and logistics, financial management and customer care are Microsoft Dynamics AX. This makes customized IT solutions through unified technology a reality for the Retail Industry.
Dynamics AX enables seamless workflow and operational processes in retail through its single window flat application, an vast improvement from AX2012, its multi-window predecessor. This makes it user-friendly to retailers, ensuring a smooth customer service. Retail IT organizations that are equipped with Dynamics AX application can effectively run on a browser like Chrome and Safari (for MAC).
Point of Sales (POS), also known as Point of Purchase (POP), requires an organized process for ensuring smooth customer experience. POS refers to the location and time of completion of a transaction. The modern merchant calculates the amount payable by the customer as opposed to the traditional way of transactions when the merchant would make a list of the products to be purchased by the customer and calculate the price of each manually. Due to the phenomenal transformations that the retail industry has undergone, there are several electronic devices, such as barcode scanners, which scan the barcode on the product price tag or product packaging automatically and display the price on the screen. Then, he prepares an invoice that mentions the loyalty points and discounts availed by the customer to arrive at the final value.
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When the methods of payment available are reflected on the screen, he opts for the option that suits the customer’s preferred method of payment. After the completion of the transaction, he issues a receipt or sends the payment details in the form of a message to the customer’s registered email or number or contact email. The barcode scanners, which has proved to be one of the most preferred options in the POS process, allows retailers to simply scan the unique barcode which indicates the selling price of the product. This ensures that the inventory is automatically updated whenever there is a change in pricing, besides being effective in smart stock control management.
Dynamics AX supports two Point of Sales (POS) systems – Cloud POS and Modern POS (MPOS). Cloud POS and Modern POS (MPOS) are similar in their feel and appearance. Apart from being compatible with the laptops and traditional desktops, they are also compatible with other electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. Cloud POS, which does not need installation, serves as an effective solution when a smartphone or tablet is paired with a fixed hardware placed anywhere else in the same store. Microsoft will continue to support Enterprise POS (EPOS) for retailers who would prefer to continue with it for their standard support cycle, and introduce technological updates and enhancements only to MPOS gradually.
What makes Dynamics AX score over its predecessors?
The AX database runs on SQL Azure, which allows the database to be replicated in just 5 seconds on its deployment in a production setting. When a retailer loses its database because of an unforeseen situation, this feature makes it possible for him to retrieve the data automatically after the loss.
As Dynamics AX is an automated consolidation tool, unlike its predecessors like Hyperion or Cognos/TM1 that entals the IT team to manually manage the tool, it a comparatively complex software. It is also a vast step ahead from software like FRx/Management Reporter or Excel. The modern retail industry needs updated technology for instant and accurate results to meet the increasing demands across multiple channels.
The automated Microsoft Dynamics AX is an updated and effective solution for effective Financial Management. It is not only serves as a boon for retail companies in helping them meet unique standards specific to each country globally but also enables currency conversions like International Financial Reporting Standards to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (IFRS TO GAAP) adjustments with accuracy.
Amelie Kensington is a Senior Technical Writer. She has over 5 years of experience in software product development, IT solutions, IT consulting, Retail Technology and Digital Transformation.