Whew! That Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 retail project is finally finished! The store is open, and after a few hundred modifications, we have a retail system up and working! Now it is time to start rolling it out across North America but I have heard good things about next version of Dynamics AX version 2012 and the improvements made to Retail.
Being a partner with a Gold Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network, I was able to see this integration and the difference between Dynamics AX versions 2009 and 2012. As I am watching the demo, I see where features have been added as standard functionality to functions I have added as a modification in the past.
With the ever increasing number of consumers making purchases through e-commerce sites on both home and mobile devices, almost to the point of making brick and mortar stores simply living catalogs of an e-commerce site. Therefore, it is increasingly important for retailers to have an online retail site. Enter Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail Release 2. This product, in conjunction with SharePoint 2013 services, allows retailers to setup a fully functioning, interactive website allowing users to add product to a shopping cart and to complete purchases through the website. Sales orders received from the website are pulled into Dynamics AX, with customer contact information, for fulfillment, delivery and invoicing; this sales cycle for retail is all out of the box Dynamics AX 2012 functionality. Additionally, with the retail module and the Global Address book becoming linked with e-commerce, transactions from the e-commerce site or the Point of Sale at the store are indistinguishable from each other. Customers from one portal are now visible at the other. No longer is a customer listed 3 times in the same customer database, saving thousands in duplicate filtering or mailing out duplicate marketing materials.
In my time working with retail ERP systems, never have I seen an update from one version to the next that has so much out-of-the-box retail functionality for the retailer. Having experience with implementations in Dynamics AX 2009 for Retail, and now working with the Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, it is obvious that Microsoft is making retail a focus market.
AX, like any ERP Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail won’t be able to solve all of the business functionality required by all retailers but this version covers a number of the basic and most pressing needs of retailer stores, and you can further configure to fit your retail business needs. The best part, Microsoft keeps putting money and research into the product (as proven by the latest release that included the e-commerce solution) and they have a strong focus on its future.
If you are interested in learning more about the difference in functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, contact our professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 855.437.7202.
By: Randy Haar and Chris Macy – National Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner