Screen Layouts and Button Grids for Point of Sale within D365

In today's blog, we explain how to set up screen layouts and buttons grids for the Point of Sale (POS) device within Dynamics 365 for Retail. The idea is to capture your business functions on the screen layouts – and maybe even have a little fun in designing it to your exact specifications.

The first steps are determining your screen layout size and setting up your welcome screen. This feature enables you to create the overall design for your POS device. Here's how it works…

Setting Up Screen Layouts

To begin the process of setting up your screen layout, navigate to Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS > Screen layouts.

1. Click +New, and in the Screen layouts popup window, enter Screen layout ID and Name. Leave Default start screen as Welcome screen.

pos

2. Under LAYOUT SIZES, click +Add. Under Name, select PC1366x768. Note that we chose this size for our example because it fits the POS terminal we're configuring - other layout sizes fit other POS terminals (tablets, PCs, etc.)

3. Click Save.

4. With your newly-created layout screen highlighted (as shown below), click Layout designer.

pos

The Layout Designer feature provides insight into the design of the screen. Once logged in, you will see a blank page, like the one shown below.

pos

From here, you can add several screens. The main concept is to create a transaction screen where you can perform tender actions. You can also add functions to help you capture customer information and perform customer orders. By selecting desired the options on the left-hand side and dragging them onto the Layout Designer, you can build the POS screen and its functionality, as shown in the example below:

pos

Setting Up Button Grids

To begin the process of setting up your button grids, navigate to Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS > Button grids.

1. Click +New, and in the Button grids popup window, enter Button grid ID and Name. In the General section, leave the default settings.

pos

2. Click Save.

3. Click on Designer to reveal the page below. Click Open and enter your credentials. It is important to note that every time you enter a button grid you will be prompted to log in with your credentials.

pos

pos

4. Once you've logged in and entered the Button grid design screen, click New design, as shown:

pos

In the Button grid setup popup window, enter the number of columns and rows you desire for the Welcome and Transaction screens.

5. Right-click on any button to reveal a popup window in which you define button properties. In the Action dropdown menu, customize each button to a function you require, like Add Coupon Code, Add Loyalty Card, Create Retail Transaction, Issue Credit Memo, Bank Drop, and many others. You can also select images, font size, back color, button size, and more.

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Here's an example of an in-progress button grid:

pos

Connecting It All

Once you've created your transaction screen and button grids, it's time to link your button grids to your screen layout. To do so, go back to your Screen layouts window and scroll down to see the Button grids field.

pos

Button grids are used to outline business functions that will be used in the POS. They can also be tailored towards your company's business actions.

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Once you've entered your button grids, images are another available feature for the design your POS. These images will appear on your log-in screen and on your POS unit background. Here are some example images that can be shown:

pos pos pos

Here's the screen from which you can select images:

pos

POS Functionality Profiles

POS Functionality Profiles are also available to help standardize and differentiate functionality that is available to a regular or standard POS device versus a kiosk that requires different functionality. These Functionality Profiles help to easily provide the functionality needed at different points in the retail process.

Summary

Before designing your screen layout and button grids, it is considered an important best practice to first outline the business functions that will be used on your POS unit. It is important to determine tender actions, customer actions, loyalty actions, and discounting. Take into consideration all business process flows that will affect your POS functionality. This will provide the overall infrastructure and give you the foundations to build out a successful POS.

We hope this little tutorial was helpful. Follow our blog for more Dynamics 365 posts!

Happy D365'ing!

Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Retailers are looking for the 'Holy Grail' to attracting and maintaining customer loyalty in their business. Loyalty today does not just mean those shoppers who may come into brick and mortar locations, but those customers that also shop online. Having the right solution to measure customer metrics and buying patterns is key to bridging the gap between these two channels.

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail, businesses have the capability to define how their Loyalty program(s) will work and how customers can reap the rewards of the Loyalty program (Fig 1).

customer loyalty

Fig 1

Before diving into the benefits that Dynamics 365 for Retail can bring to loyalty management, the retailer needs to carefully consider all aspects of their program and what it will entail from inception to termination. The program should include a plan for strong key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure whether the program is successful. The template below depicts a generic plan with objectives and KPIs to set up and measure (Fig 2).

customer loyalty

Fig 2

Just like any new introduction within a retail organization, the program rollout should be gradual with a pilot program introduced first. This pilot should last long enough for evaluation by the KPIs.

This pilot period also enables the retailer to easily tailor and make changes to the program due to the smaller scale impact to customers. The retailer will need to decide which market location to pilot in, as this will determine how the program will work when rolled out to other markets.

For example, consider markets that have a wide variety of demographics and ABC stores. ABC stores are categorized by their size and selling pattern – "A" for large stores and "C" for low volume stores.

Another aspect to consider are the financial costs to plan, implement, support, and maintain the program. Some financial considerations are shown in Fig 3 below.

1. Impact analysis performed by 3rd party
2. Customer focus groups
3. Marketing and promotional materials
4. IT expenses incurred to configure systems and support process
5. Store expenses to train and ongoing support costs
6. Margin expenses as discounts will impact overall profit margins
7. Incremental sales projections.

Fig 3

These financial numbers must be scrutinized to ensure the retail business can effectively make money with a Loyalty program. After all, the retailer's incentive for driving a Loyalty program is to increase sales and to increase the number of times a customer comes into the store. The initial numbers should be reviewed and monitored against the KPIs to determine the effectiveness of the pilot before rolling it out to other markets.

Another method that retailers use to understand how to set up their Loyalty program is to compare similar retailers' programs. As you can see in Fig 4, the grid represents how the Loyalty program will compare to other retailers in the same vertical.

RetailerRetailer 1Retailer 2Retailer 3
FeeNoNoNoYes
Soft BenefitsPersonalized emails
Personalized offers
Advance Notice Sales
Members only
Contests
NewsletterFashion Newsletter
Advance Notice Sales
Monthly emails
Special offers
Hard BenefitsBirthday Coupons
Min 4+ coupons
Free Shipping online
5% Discount
Points Based
$1=1pt
$5 for every 100 pts
5% payout
$1=10 pts
$10 for every 1200 pts
Retail Cash
Earn 15-30% during promotion periods
Published TiersNoneYes-Annual spend over $200Yes-Earn 6,000 pts in calendar yearNo
TimingInstant Discount
Regular Coupons
Quarterly Earning Period12 months pts expire after 36 monthsNo expiration if shop at least once a year
ChannelIn store/OnlineIn store onlyIn store onlyIn store/Online
WebsiteYesYesYesNo

Fig 4

Now that the program is vetted, the next step is to work through a pilot and rollout strategy. There are many moving parts associated to the set up and execution of a Loyalty program. Since it involves retail field operations, it will be beneficial to work through any discount periods, special events, and holidays when setting up the rollout plan. The rollout plan shown in Fig 5 is a simple example of the steps to rollout across a national chain within 12 months – taking into consideration the blackout period for winter holidays.

customer loyalty

It is also helpful to understand some of the basic terminology used within Loyalty. The table in Fig 6 is has a few common terms you will hear.

TermDescription
Reward PointsPoints or amounts gained when purchasing products or services whilst a member of a Loyalty Program.
Reward SchemasDefines the rules associated to point/amount rewarded and rules for redeeming points for purchases.
Reward ProgramProgram that rewards customers for buying products or services.
Opt-In/Opt-OutEnabling a customer to be in a program or decline being in a program.
TiersElevating program that offers advancement based on volume of purchases. Sometimes identifiable as Silver, Gold, Platinum.
Loyalty CardIdentifies and enables a customer to be part of a program.

Fig 6

Now it is time to run through a quick configuration using some of the Dynamic 365 for Retail screens to set up a basic Loyalty program that can be used in a brick and mortar location.

The first step is to define your program. You will see in Fig 7 that we have a simple Loyalty program defined that does not have tiers. If you wish to have tiers, you will have to set up tier rules as shown in Fig 8.

customer loyalty

Fig 7

customer loyalty

Fig 8

Once the program is created, the next step is to define the loyalty points offering for that program. There are a few different methods in set up.

First is to define the reward point type as an Amount or Quantity. When defining as amount, the point value associated to the reward will be in monetary value indicative of the currency code assigned to the reward point (Fig 9). When defining as quantity, the point value associated to the reward will be in numeric quantity value (Fig 10).

customer loyalty

Fig 9

customer loyalty

Fig 10

After establishing the reward points, next step is to create the schemas that will define the earning points and redemption rules as shown in Fig 11. It is important to assign the retail channels in which the schema will be permitted to operate. If you were to have multiple types of schemas and points in your chain, then it will be necessary to set up multiple loyalty schemes and associate them to the specific retail channels.

customer loyalty

Fig 11

If the program contains tiers, you will need to set up date intervals that depict the timings applicable to advance to the next tier level in Fig 12.

For example, in most airline and hotel loyalty programs, they base your tier classification on the flights or stays you make during a calendar year. This same method of handling tiers in Dynamics 365 is accomplished using date intervals.

customer loyalty

Fig 12

The last part of setting up a simple Loyalty program is to associate a card to a customer (Fig 13). This association will enable all the elements including program, points, and schemas to come together. This will enable the customer to collect points with purchases and to redeem for discounts or free products. The card is where the customer is assigned program(s) and contains the points summary, which includes issued, available, and used.

customer loyalty

customer loyalty

Fig 13

In summary, the Loyalty tools in Dynamics 365 are intuitive and allow you to quickly set up a Loyalty program from simple programs with no tiers, to more complex complex programs with encompassing tiers.

The largest effort to consider for any Loyalty program implementation are the prerequisites of whether a program benefits both the retailer and customer. It is equally important to ensure to pilot and tweak the program before rolling out to the chain. Any time changes are made to an active program, it will often impact the customer negatively. Getting it the right the first time is critical to ensure adoption by your customers!

You can learn more about Dynamics 365 for Retail here!

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

How to Configure a Point of Sale in D365 for Retail in a Day

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail has an integrated Point of Sale (POS) system that can be Cloud based or on premises. The solution is also available in a standard POS configuration, which is called mPOS, and a Cloud based configuration called cPOS.

To make this clearer, the mPOS would look and feel like traditional POS units that are in most stores and what we are used to seeing. They often consist of the display, cash drawer, scanner, printer, and credit card unit with card swipe and pin pad. The cPOS is a Cloud version that uses a mobile device such as a Surface or tablet to access the application and usually has a Bluetooth printer and card swipe unit.

The assumption with this configuration is that pre-requisites have been completed and you are ready to begin setup of a test POS unit in a day. This objective is the bare bones minimum to get you to a single device activation, and not a full scalable rollout solution for your enterprise. Once you try out the POS and realize what benefits an integrated POS system has, you will want to make this a part of your overall enterprise solution. The list below are the key pre-requisites that are not covered in this blog and is expected to be setup prior to creating registers and devices.

Product CategoriesProductsCatalogs
AssortmentsDiscountsVariants
Retail StoresWorkersPositions/Jobs
Operating UnitsOrganization HierarchiesOrganization Hierarchy Purposes
Chart of AccountsDefault Parameters

Let us get started so you can get this completed and operational in a day. Outlined below are the key operations that need to be set up to activate your device and begin testing the results of your setup.

Define Card Types:
Retail > Channel setup > Payment methods > Card types

To accept forms of payment in your retail business, you must first determine the forms of payment you plan to accept, and set those up in a legal entity, starting with card types as shown in Fig 1 below. The fields Card ID, Card type name, and Card issuer are free form text for you to enter. The field Card type is a drop-down selection that allows you to indicate the type of card your card type name refers to. For example, a few of the selection types could be Credit card, Loyalty card, Gift card, or Debit card. Once you have completed updating or adding your card types, simply click Save.

 point of sale

Fig 1

Define Payment Methods:
Retail > Channel setup > Payment methods > Payment methods

Next step is to identify your payment methods to support the retail businesses as shown in Fig 2. This should be defined to support all channel types, which could include brick and mortar, eCommerce and Call Centers. Payment method, Payment method name are free from entry. It is advisable to create some gaps in your numbering schemes in case you need to add a like one at a different time. Default function is a drop-down selection that allows you to indicate the function that will be performed by that payment method. It is important to indicate the correct function based on the payment method being used as this will be key to support functions performed by your POS button functions.

Fig 2

Define Credit Card Ranges:
Retail > Channel setup > Payment methods > Card numbers

Last, but certainly not least, is to create card number ranges associated to the card types you will be taking in your retail channels as shown in Fig 3. This is instrumental to setup properly as this is checked as part of the validation process when a card is swiped or keyed at POS. If the card does not meet the criteria for numbering, it will not permit you to accept that card for that tender function.

Card number from/to and Digits to identify are free form fields and need to be entered accurately for the Card ID used. For example, it is known that American Express card numbers begin with 37 as their numbering schema. It will be important to make sure you do not pick 9 as the starting number for your card number from/to for Amex, or your card will not be valid when attempting to tender. The Digits to identify will determine how many digits it will look for, starting from the beginning of the numbering schema, to determine validity.

 point of sale

Fig 3

Assign Payment Methods to Store:
Retail > Channels > Retail stores > All retail stores

After setting up or changing your payment methods, you will now have to go into your store location and indicate the payment methods associated to that store as shown in Fig 4.

Each store or channel could have different payment methods that are valid. For example, brick and mortar store 1 could support all credit cards, cash and gift cards, where a call center location may only accept credit card payments.

 point of sale

Fig 4

Setup Visual Profiles:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS profiles > Visual profiles

Visual profiles allow you to set up the color schema, login background, and background images for your all your devices. These formats include both portrait and landscape mode that can fit most any device including mobile devices.

As shown in Fig 5 below, at least one visual profile needs to be setup to support our POS. Prior to setting this up, you will need to have imported all your images into the environment, so they may be selected. Give your profile a number which can be alpha numeric and a description to start. Best practice is to give it a number and description that you can easily identify the purpose of this profile.

In the general tab, indicate the application type by selecting the drop down, and selecting from the list. In this case we will select the Retail Cloud POS. The remaining items on the general tab are all drop downs and you can select the desired content.

For the section of Login Background, we will simply select Landscape Image ID and select an image from drop down. Note that you need to know what the image number is you are selecting, as the drop down does not show the image, just the number. Once you select the number, the image will appear as shown in Fig 5 below.

Follow the same steps if you wish to have a background for your transaction screen. Once finished, click Save.

 point of sale

Fig 5

Define Button grids:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS > Button grids

Button grids are used to define the layout and functionality that will be used on the POS unit. These buttons define the types of transactions, tenders, and other actions you want the store personnel to perform.

To create button grids, you will need to use the designer Fig 6. Each time you attempt to create or modify a grid, you will need to login to designer, which is a bit cumbersome. Keep it simple and put together two grids to get through initial transactions and tendering.

 point of sale

Fig 6

Define Screen Layouts:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS > Screen layouts

Keeping to the same principle of simple, the next step is to define a screen layout for your POS. Dynamics 365 comes out of the box with set layout zones that include welcome screens and transaction screens as shown in Fig 7. These are preset layout formats that allow you to quickly put together screens that fit the standard screen size layouts for most POS screens, tablets, and smart phone devices.

To get started, add one welcome screen and one transaction screen, selecting the appropriate button grid that was created in the step above. You will want to ensure you add the appropriate screen size layout for the device you are using.

 point of sale

Fig 7

When setting this up, you also have the ability to go into designer mode again to modify any of the layouts or button grids. This will require you to login each time you go in and out of designer as shown in Fig 8. Click save when completed.

 point of sale

Fig 8

Define Receipt Formats:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS > Receipt formats

Receipt formats are one of the most time-consuming tasks when setting up your register. Being able to determine the content of the receipt, where it needs to be on the receipt, and fitting that into a very narrow format is challenging. Determining the proper size and format for your logo will take a few iterations of trial and error before getting everything to line up properly on the receipt. For this purpose, you will keep it simple and put basic information on the receipt without the logo. This like the other maintenance options above has a designer which is very beneficial as show in Fig 9. The designer allows you to put in header, lines and footer content simply using the standard default field listed under each heading, by dragging and dropping it into the area and section. Click save when completed.

Fig 9

Functionality Profiles:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS profiles > Functionality profiles

Functionality profiles are key to identify what the workers can do and functions they can perform on the POS system. If there will be different screen layouts for distinct types of devices, then perhaps there will be a need to define different functionality profiles for each.

Looking at Fig 10 below, there are four different functionality profiles defined that support different device or screen layouts. In this exercise, the only profile needed with be a standard profile. Other definitions in the functionality profile include defining the receipt numbering and applying info codes to various functions being performed. Once a functionality profile is created, it must be assigned to a worker that you will be using to activate a device.

 point of sale

Fig 10

Setup Receipt Profiles:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS profiles > Receipt profiles

Receipt profiles are setup to define all the possible receipt layouts that will be used and attached to a hardware profile. This will enable the hardware profile to identify the valid receipt layouts that can be printed from the location printers.

Look at Fig 11 below to see what the Default receipt profile looks like with all the Receipt types identified. For this exercise, we will continue with the Default to use and assign to our hardware profile. If you added a new receipt layout, please add it to this profile and click save.

 point of sale

Fig 11

Setup Hardware Profiles:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > POS profiles > Hardware profiles

Hardware profiles are needed if you wish to have peripherals such as printers, scanners, and credit card machines attached to your POS or setup to share with multiple POS stations. For this exercise we are going to create a simple hardware profile that consists of a cash drawer, printer, scanner, and EFT service. EFT service will be the payment device used to scan or insert card in for payment authorizations.

Looking at one of the default profiles setup below in Fig 12, you can see that setup is easy with standard devices that have already been certified to use with Dynamics 365 for Retail. A list of some of those devices can be found later in this document. There are drop downs that will allow you to select the device types, receipt format and payment connector. For this exercise, we will use the TestConnector payment connector for our default. Once completed, click save. Refer to the register setup to attach this hardware profile to a register.

 point of sale

 point of sale point of sale

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Fig 12

Define Registers:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > Registers

Registers are used to define the components related to a specific store. These include the register definition, hardware profile and visual profile.

Reviewing the screen below in Fig 13, the highlighted areas call out the key fields needed to define your register. They include the hardware profile, visual profile, screen layout ID, and most importantly, what store number this register is associated with. Once you are finished setting up your register, click Save.

 point of sale

Fig 13

Define Devices:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > Devices

Devices are the actual physical unit that is associated to a POS register. The device gets mapped to a POS register and is specific to the actual device type being used such as a standard POS, android device, or a tablet device to name a few. Depending upon what type of application you want to use, you can use the drop down on the Application type as shown in Fig 14 below.

For these instructions, we will choose Cloud POS, which will present a URL in the Cloud POS URL field as shown highlight in Fig 14. You can then click on this URL and the prompts will walk you through activating your device. Prior to activating your device, you will need to select Validate devices for activation as highlighted in the action bar in Fig 14. To activate, you will need to have a worker that has been associated with and identity. This step of association with identity was an assumption that was completed on the pre-requisites and not detailed in these instructions.

 point of sale

Fig 14

Channel Setup:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > Devices

For the location to get its updates from back office, it's necessary to add your new location to the channel database list. By adding the store to the list, the necessary database updates will take place based on the batch schedule and include updates such as products, pricing and discounts, customer, tax, staff, and register information.

In Fig 15, under the retail channel section, make sure that the store is in the list. If not, click +add and select the store from the drop-down list and then click Save. Put a check mark next to the store added and then in theaction pane, select Full data sync, select the distribution schedule you want to run, and click OK. The store is now ready to be activated.

 point of sale

Fig 15

Activating your Cloud POS:
Retail > Channel setup > POS setup > Devices

One of the last steps we will initiate is the activation of our POS that will enable us to begin executing transactions for our retail entity. We will use device Houston-14 as shown in Fig 14 to activate, as this is the one we set up as a Retail Cloud POS. Click on the Cloud POS URL as shown in Fig 16 below.

 point of sale

Fig 16

After clicking on the URL from Fig 16, you will be prompted with the following screen in Fig 17. Make sure you have addressed everything stated in the "before you start" section on the prompt to ensure complete activation of your device. Once you have validated before you start section, simply click Next.

 point of sale

Fig 17

The screen in Fig 18 will be indicative of the URL you selected and it will be checked confirming that it is a valid URL to reach the cloud POS application. Click Next to continue activation.

 point of sale

Fig 18

Once the activation is successful, you will see screen depicted in Fig 19. This indicates that you have successfully activated your Cloud POS and are ready to bring up the POS application by clicking the Get started button.

 point of sale

Fig 19

The sign on prompt is now displayed for the POS as seen in Fig 20. Use the worker assigned to this POS and key in the Operator ID and Password to login. It will prompt you to select Open new shift.

 point of sale

Fig 20

After logging in and opening a new shift, you will see the screen you designed which could be like the one below in Fig 21. At this point in time you can now begin testing out transactions and ensuring your peripherals like printer and cash drawer are functioning as configured.

 point of sale

Fig 21

POS Hardware

To ensure the largest range of hardware devices you can use, Microsoft incorporated the OPOS standard for device integration into Dynamics 365 for Retail. This standard was adopted by the National Retail Federation as the standard protocol that is used by POS peripherals. When looking for compatible devices, look to ensure they are OPOS compatible, but bear in mind that not all OPOS compatible devices may work. There may be additional configuration to be done on some devices that may not be branded such as HP or Symbol.

Microsoft tested devices:

Device TypeManufacturerModelInterface
Printer
EpsonTM-T88IVOPOS
EpsonTM-T88VOPOS
StarTSP650IIOPOS
StarTSP650IICustom (connect via network)
StarmPOPOPOS (connect via Bluetooth)
HPF7M67AAOPOS (powered USB)
Bar code scanner
MotorolaDS9208OPOS
Honeywell1900UWP
SymbolLS2208OPOS
HP IntegratedE1L07AAOPOS
DatalogicMagellan 8400OPOS
PIN pad
VeriFone1000SEOPOS (requires customization of payment connector
Payment terminal
EquinoxL5300Custom
VeriFoneMX925Custom
VeriFoneMX915Custom
Cash drawer
StarmPOPOPOS (via Bluetooth)
APGAtwoodCustom (via network)
StarSMD2-1317OPOS
HPQT457AAOPOS
Line display
HP IntegratedG6U79AAOPOS
EpsonM58DCOPOS
Signature capture
ScriptelST1550OPOS
Scale
DatalogicMagellan 8400OPOS
MSR
Magtek21073075UWP
Magtek21073062OPOS
HPIDRA-334133OPOS

Summary

The process to set up a new POS system in a retail industry can be done quickly, but the steps outlined above must be followed closely. If you miss a step or complete them out of sequence, your device might not be activated or your POS screens will not be set to your desired outcome. Either way, persistence is needed to walk through the steps again when troubleshooting issues that may be encountered. The other dependency of this setup is to make sure all the pre-requisites are met and configured properly.

To consider this as your enterprise level solution, you must first define the business process that will be associated to the store level and how the retailer expects to use the devices. This will include determining number and location of devices, line busters used, scale units needed for weighing product, offline capabilities, and infrastructure needed to support the devices. Usually an exact scale diagram or schematic architecture document is used to begin laying out the landscape for hardware placement to install network cabling or wireless access points.

Note that the information provided in this process may change based on releases and updates made by Microsoft on the Dynamics 365 for Retail solution.

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail and how we can help, click here.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Retail’s Perfect Valentine

February is the month of love, and it should come as no surprise that retailers and Dynamics 365 for Retail make the perfect Valentine for one another. Below, you'll find just some of the reasons why.

Supportive

Above all other traits, Dynamics 365 for Retail is supportive – both to retailers and their customers. With Dynamics 365 for Retail at your side, you will be able to ensure your ERP solution isn't creating rifts with friends **cough** customers **cough**. In fact, Dynamics for Retail will encourage you to keep in touch with friends, manage loyalty programs, and create a streamlined experience across platforms and in-store. You know, because it's awkward to have to talk to a friend over text and Messenger; how do you keep one train of thought when you have to use two platforms to accomplish the same thing? Dynamics 365 for Retail will help put an end to that.

dynamics 365 for retail

Empathy

Dynamics 365 for Retail is always there for you, and beyond that, it understands what you're thinking – you might even find yourself realizing it knows you better than you know yourself. Just as you're beginning to wonder where your inventory levels are at for store #34532, Dynamics 365 for Retail is already there for you, helping you predict current and future demands. Isn't it just the greatest?

dynamics 365 for retail

Adaptable

Dynamics 365 for Retail will bring improvements and quality to your friend group and day-to-day tasks. You'll quickly fall in love with it, and while you'll often want and need to rely on it, Dynamics 365 for Retail will give you space to grow, change, and be who you want to be – not who they think you should be. Maybe you're young and just starting out, but you have ambitious life #goals. Dynamics 365 will be there as you start out, it will support you wherever you want to go, and as you grow, Dynamics 365 for Retail will stay flexible and adaptable. That's because the perfect Valentine changes as you do. Neither of you should be forced to stick to the what you've always done before simply because they don't want to change. A good Valentine is ready to take life head on and change as you do.

dynamics 365 for retail

What are you waiting for? Relationships need to be a two way street, and Dynamics 365 for Retail is ready to make the commitment to you. Swipe-right on Dynamics 365 for Retail to set up a date!

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

NRF 2018 Recap: Data on the Mind

Our time at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City was filled with news of exciting announcements in the industry and great brainstorming between retail and tech companies alike. One thing that became apparent through each session and conversation was that data is in the forefront of retailers' minds. The conversation has shifted from WHY data is important to WHAT data retailers need and HOW best to collect and analyze it.

By this point, all retailers have some amount of data. Now, the next step is finding a way to make that data work for you! Happily, thanks in part to business solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure, as well as AI and Internet of Things (IoT) cloud services, maximizing data is becoming easier and inexpensive for retailers of all sizes.

So, when looking for WHAT data retailers need and HOW best to collect and analyze it – rest assured that we have WHO you need to answer these questions and to create a plan for success for your organization's data.

Check out how the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation uses Dynamics 365 to get the most out of their data and improve their team member and customers' experiences.

To hear more about some of the organizations that we've helped so far, check out our library of case study videos.

To start maximizing YOUR data, get in touch with our retail experts today!

Additional Resources

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Dynamics 365 for Retail: Inventory and Replenishment

Retailers today try to optimize their supply chain process to maximize profitability. A key component to optimization is ensuring that the right product is in the right location, at the right time, and at the right price. Supply chain is the lifeline of any retail organization.

The supply chain process that manages and controls inventory can be seen from an elevated level in Fig 1 below.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 1

Dynamics 365 for Retail can meet the demands to automate the process to get goods from source to shelf. Keeping inventory optimized to meet customer demand and pinpointing the timing of when to get that product to location are just a few of the processes that these tools can achieve.

Let's start with a high-level view of what inventory is and the types of inventory quantity. Dynamics 365 enables different inventory units of measure to support the way product is ordered through how product is sold. The main units of measure are purchase, inventory, and sell units. For example, we may purchase in cases and sell in each. The system has the capability to translate this based on the case pack content and unit of measure conversion. An example of this would be purchase unit of measure C12 (indicating case pack of 12 units), and once in the store location, this would automatically convert to each. Using the above units of measure, here is an example:

Ordered 12 cases of product x and received them into location y = 144 units on hand in location y

Inventory by unit of measure is important when we are going to perform cycle counts of on-hand inventory. The person performing these duties has to know if they are going to count inventory by cases or perhaps by individual units. All inventory in a warehouse may be counted by cases, but product in the store would count individual product. In the example below in Fig 2, you will see the Basic Inner Tube item has units of measure of EA (Each) for purchase, sell, and inventory.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 2

Another important aspect of inventory is the state of the inventory within the supply chain process. As you can see in Fig 3, an item can have numerous indicatives for quantity that include current, on hand, reserved, on order, and available.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 3

Once products are created in Dynamics 365, replenishment is the process that is used to ensure product is not out of stock, overstock, or not selling. There are several methods of replenishment to support this.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 4

Selecting Cross docking from the purchase order screen will present the screen shown below in Fig 5. This screen provides the ability to determine your method of cross docking using replenishment rules, location weight, or fixed quantity. There is only one distribution rule you can use per purchase order.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 5

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 6

Once the desired quantity to push is reached, orders can be generated by selecting Create order from the action bar as shown in Fig 7.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 7

In Fig 8, the new transfer orders are created and will be ready for warehouse to pick and ship to stores.

dynamics 365 for retail

Fig 8

In summary, the inventory is the blood running through the veins of the retailer and without it, there would be no customers. With too little or too much inventory, concerns would mount over lost sales or gross margin erosion due to markdowns. There is a fine balance of having the right amount of inventory at the right time and in the right location. Leveraging the tools within Dynamics 365 for Retail can help to keep you in balance.

Learn more about how PowerObjects can assist you with implementing a Dynamics 365 for Retail solution here.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

In-Store Retail Innovation - A New White Paper

You've probably heard rumblings about the pains and woes of the current state of retail. It's the new normal to see once iconic stores hanging up giant red or yellow "store closing," "everything *insert jaw droppingly large percentage* off" signs in the window. So, what's going on? How can retailers keep their stores relevant and meet the ever-increasing expectations of their customers? We may not have all the answers, but one thing's for sure: Customers have changed. Retailers are changing. Now, stores must change too!

Today's blog features our newest white paper, "In-Store Retail Innovation," which dives into the current state of the retail industry and highlights how top brands in the UK and beyond, including Lululemon, Macy's, Mamas & Pappas, and more, are investing in customer-first strategies. Use cases include re-telling the brand story and making more meaningful customer connections in store with digital signage, interactive display systems and mobile engagement.

What's really exciting, are the possibilities that this transformation offers retailers. Those who grab onto the changes, listen to and optimize feedback and trends from customers, and leverage technology to become the leading force of this transformation, will have opportunities like never before. This is the time for retailers to differentiate their brands and the retail experts at PowerObjects, armed with power of Dynamics 365, are ready to make that happen. Get in touch with our retail experts!

In-Store Retail

Read "In-Store Retail Innovation" now!

Excerpt
"The ever-changing face of retail demands a personalized, relevant and intelligent approach to connecting to the customer. The real challenge for retailers is to understand the value of digital in forging deeper connections with customers to better serve their needs. Ultimately, the technology has to create a richer experience for the customer. Give customers what they expect, but bring the unexpected to drive store traffic, conversion and loyalty. The ability to innovate and harness digital technology will set the successful apart as we move into the new era of retailing…[read more]"

This white paper was created in partnership with One Connected Community.