Improving agility for your retail operations

Over the past two years, I've talked to many retail customers who've directly benefitted from the innovation we’ve brought to this market since the first introduction of MS Dynamics AX 2009 for Retail in August 2010. When we introduced our Retail solution we found that most solution in market still provide separate store management and merchandizing system, which customers then spend too much time and money trying to integrate to ensure complete transparency into their retail operation.

By introducing a complete solution, integrating store management with merchandizing, multi-channel and financial management, we’ve been able to provide retailers that provided direct insight and visibility into their operation that is so much needed in today’s economy. In addition, consumers are more educated and expect more choice than ever before, motivating retailers to focus on technology to meet consumer expectation and differentiate themselves. Retailers like Ashley Future, DavidsTea and Mattress Firm have been front runners in their industry, utilizing the capabilities provided by MS Dynamics AX to stay ahead of competition

On January 16th at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, we've introduced the latest version for MS Dynamics AX2012 in which we specifically focused in meeting the needs for retail organizations. With this latest version we're continuing our pace of delivering innovation to our customers. In this blog post I specifically want to touch up on some of the advanced we’ve made in this latest release which are enable by innovation in core architectural advances we’ve introduced in MS Dynamics AX 2012

By utilizing the core concepts introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 we've created a more powerful solution for customers that are managing larger assortments across different channels. Some specific examples:

  • Extending the Organizational model - In previous posts we talked about the new organization model we introduced in MS Dynamics AX 2012 and how we distinguished between Legal Entities and Operation Unit. In this release we Organisation modelintroduced a new Organizational unit type named 'Channel'. A Channel can be either a physical retail store, an online web store or an online market place (eg. eBay,, Amazon). This enables retailers or other customers with retail operations to model more complex their legal and operational organization these operations into one central organization model
  • More powerful assortment planning - by utilizing new core concepts in MS Dynamics AX2012 like the 'global' product model, effective date and (category) hierarchies, managing and planning an assortment with 1,000s of SKU across the different channels has become even more powerful. For example mark-down for sub-sets of assortments (e.g. specific product groups) across all legal entities in the organization can be managed centrally in one process. No longer is managing of your assortment hindered by artificial system boundaries
  • Replenishment - by introducing a new replenishment hierarchy type in the hierarchy model, we've created more flexibility on how retails can allocate and replenish products to specific stores or any other entity in the operational unit or across legal entities, which can include for example central and regional distribution centers.
  • Integrated promotions on the web - utilizing the Site Service capability of Dynamics AX2012, customers can now easily publish promotions directly to the web when running campaign for specific item in their assortment. Because this capability us hosted on the Azure public, this capability comes available to customers without having to invest in their own cloud infrastructure

I believe that with this latest release enables our customers to increase the agility in their assortment and supply chain operations on their journey to become a Dynamic Business. It is also a good proof point of our commitment and focus on simplicity by utilizing the power of the Unified Natural Models introduced in MS Dynamics AX2012.