Prime logistic provider
Prime logistic provider

I.T giant Microsoft has been playing a pivotal role in helping retailers out with their logistic solutions around the globe. Mr. Dilip Popat, Global Industry Director- Retail, Microsoft, narrates the journey of the solution and how it has been received by retailers in the country

Aadeetya Sriram (AS): Tell us about Microsoft Dynamics Retail? How did it come into force?

Dilip Popat (DP): Retail is a fairly major priority for Microsoft. Within the dynamics end of business we’re putting in a fair amount of investment to develop a long term road map in retail solutions. Microsoft Dynamics launched retail solution globally some 2 years ago across 50 countries, specifically designed for retailers catering to their solutions for running the store to point of sale, all of the capabilities you need to run that operation. Where we have done a unique job is integrating the ERP solutions, which is typically where you run your financials, HR, supply –chain processes. We have connected all those pieces, and enabling them in running their store operations more efficiently.

AS: Could you elaborate on the varied product portfolio on the dynamic retail end?    

DP: The product we are referring to is the Dynamic AX for retail that is the product we have in the market place, adopted by no. of retailers around the globe. This solution is catering to different size of retailers, i.e. from the low-end of the market, where stores are looking to grow. Dynamic solution targets the mid-sized retailer, those growing upwards and increasing in size. We also have and always had solutions that our partners are providing, called Microsoft NAV for retail, which is for the low end of the market, so if you’re running stores with just a couple of sale points, this solution is for you.

AS: What are the challenges that Microsoft had to face while bringing in their retail solutions for mid-retailers in the country?

DP: We have been active in retail for many years, talking to a lot of customers and our partners operating in the retail space. We realised that what retailers were looking for was a simple solution that will effectively allow them to run their store operations and also getting started with improving the way their logistics, their supply chain works to give them some efficiency, making sure they provide goods and services at the right level of inventory. We believe we have addressed these challenges with the retail solutions that are out-of-the-box, which does not require significant integration and implementation cost to effectively get started. We understand that retailers belong to a whole lot of segment, so we have designed a solution which can be integrated across different segments in the country. So we have made sure that retailers are looking to grow and have their operations undertaken in an efficient order.

AS: What measures do the retailers need to take in order to ensure efficient logistic operations in their stores?

DP: To make sure that you are functioning in the right manner, one needs to get their basics right. You need to start with supply-chain that meets your customer’s demands, so product availability is vital, if you can’t get the product on the shelf, you need to keep yourself up to stock with the products. The market is very competitive; customers are looking for personalisation with retailers, preferring better offers, recognising their needs as an individual, so you have to go beyond an efficient supply chain. What we as a solution provider work on, is the Connected Experience, enabling the retailer to connect with their customer in a much stronger way for e.g. loyalty programmes is one of the many means of such a connection.  

AS: How varied is your client base in terms of the solutions that you are providing?

DP: We have clients across the globe, essentially in the US, Europe as well as we have client base in India. Infact, we have over 100 odd customers here in the country using our retail solution. The kind of response that we have received is to provide solution that’s right for retailer, enabling them to grow over the time, not having to change to other solutions. We have built in simplicity into our solutions, if you look at our solution it looks like other Microsoft products, which many people use. Our retail solution, point of sale system looks familiar to our consumer; we have tried to keep the solution as simple as possible.

AS: In terms of technology of your solution, does it differ for the Indian and International market?

DP: In terms of what it does, the core of the solution does not differ, it is exactly the same. We needed to get the solution compliant to any local fiscal regulation for e.g. regulations, taxations etc. But we again take care of that, and they surely differ between the Indian and the other markets. We make sure the legal complaints are met specifically. You could transfer a store manager from Mumbai to U.K with the same solution, because the functionalities are the same for all the markets we are operating in.


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