Even before the pandemic, organizations across industries, from manufacturing to retailers, felt the squeeze to modernize supply chain operations. The historic supply chain shock of 2020 has accelerated the need to both respond to immediate disruptions while building resilience into every layer of the supply chain.
In the past, rapidly overhauling a supply chain operation has been no easy feat. Today, cloud solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management are dramatically shortening the time and effort to get up and running on a modern, intelligent cloud-based solution—reducing a once-massive months long effort to just weeks.
Let’s look at three organizations that transformed supply chain operations in a remarkably short time, while building in a level of resilience that provides the agility to weather any future disruption.
Wahl Clipper Corporation
In 1911, Leo J. Wahl invented the first practical electric hair clipper. One hundred years later, the Wahl family is carrying forward the tradition of innovation and superior service with 3,000 associates and a partner network that distributes product in virtually every country worldwide.
With different on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across global locations, the team faced increasing challenges managing the complexities of a global supply chain. “The system we’ve been using for the last 30 years: we’ve outgrown it. It can’t keep up with the changing business needs that we have,” explained Brian Wahl, CEO. Among the culprits of inefficiency—data inconsistencies across offices. “Our data wasn’t rationalized,” according to John Payton, Director of Information Technology. “It didn’t mean the same thing in each country or in each ERP system.”
By migrating to a single cloud platform, Wahl is able to execute uniformly across global resources instead of operating as individual units tied to disparate systems.
“We can already see that Dynamics 365, along with Office, is allowing us to process information, to move information to people much more quickly in a way that they can understand, absorb and make decisions on almost immediately. So we really appreciate the integration of those products along with the balance of Microsoft’s vision around the modern workplace, of having other tools available to us like Power BI and Power Apps, and we can bring solutions to the business in hours that used to take us days or weeks previously.”—Brian Wahl, CEO
Fractured point solutions and siloed, disparate data sources can be a major source of inefficiency as organizations scale supply chain operations in the digital age. By migrating on-premises and legacy solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365, Wahl Clipper Corporation broke down technological barriers to deliver a universally agile, collaborative and insight-driven way of doing business across global operations. Harmonized data available across point solutions, including Microsoft Office, enables faster decision making and opportunities to collaborate and share information more freely. And access to Microsoft Power Platform drives the speed and agility to solve challenges more effectively by enabling those closest to problems to solve them.
Read additional details on how this hair clipper manufacturer migrated to the cloud to adapt to growing business needs and innovations.
The JB Hi-Fi Group
Fulfilling bulky commercial goods can be tricky—a logistical puzzle that requires an efficient warehousing, inventory management, and fulfillment that can keep product moving. For JB Hi-Fi, a modern warehouse management system is essential to fulfill an extensive range of consumer electronics, appliances, and home entertainment products across 300 JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys retail locations in Australia and New Zealand.
JB Hi-Fi needed a new warehouse management system to boost the efficiency of inventory flow, management of back-of-house processes such as goods storage, and route to market for big and bulky goods. The modern system needed to ensure data transparency across the organization, as well as seamlessly coordinate logistics across two retailers, each with unique point of sale systems and unique stock codes.
Thanks to Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, JB Hi-Fi not only found an intelligent solution that met all the Group’s needs but was able to deploy the solution for warehouse management in Sydney in just four months.
“It’s definitely an accelerated timeframe for this type of project, but it is actually quite achievable with a modern tech stack—the fact that the core environment is cloud based, software as a service. You can integrate quickly to Azure.”—Simon Page, Technology Director
In addition to a faster time to value, Dynamics 365 provided the agility to seamlessly integrate with JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys host systems—solving the logistical challenge posed by two separate systems for each retailer.
“One of the things we had to do is focus on the end process that the customer experiences. All the stages that an order flows through and a delivery flows through, right from where the sales person is having a conversation through to getting it to your door, that process needed to be harmonized for both brands. We’ve effectively managed to do that by creating this group model, which then translates back into statuses that the host systems understand without having to rewrite all the host systems.”—Simon Page, Technology Director
With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management in place as the warehouse management foundations, JB Hi-Fi Group can focus all its efforts to ensure bulky goods are warehoused, picked, dispatched, and delivered safely, efficiently, and fast—and in the process ensure it remains at the forefront of modern retail. The move has also made the business more resilient to disruptions, including COVID-19. The Group has been able to support a shift in how people shopped during lockdown, while seamlessly delivering from warehouses and stores.
Read additional details how JB Hi-Fi accelerates efficiency and customer experiences in the transformation to cloud native warehouse management.
Invitalia coordinates economic development in Italy. When COVID-19 spread to Italy, the agency took on additional responsibility for coordinating the acquisition and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), medicines, medical devices, and other supplies from international suppliers. Invitalia took over the program at a critical time: international buyers were chasing a limited supply of equipment. Adding to the complexity, each hospital in Italy ordered medical supplies in a decentralized, unstructured way, causing procurement delays and frequent partial or missing orders.
In need of a logistics platform capable of simplifying the complex process of purchasing and distributing PPE and COVID-19 supplies, Invitalia rapidly deployed Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Microsoft Services and Agic Technology, a Microsoft Gold Partner, helped them set up a system for managing hundreds of international suppliers and transporting equipment to hospitals in just two weeks.
Invitalia was able to achieve remarkable time to value with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, providing a centralized solution that helps the agency assess medical needs across the country and then quickly provision and distribute critical medical equipment. They’ve also adopted a platform that delivers the agility to easily extend across other departments and uses.
“It will be straight forward to expand our use of Dynamics 365 into other areas of public administration. It connects easily with other Microsoft products, giving us the opportunity to create end-to-end solutions for enterprise resource planning.”—Fabrizio Bellezza, Chief Information Officer
Build resiliency into your supply chain
These three stories bring to life how modern, cloud-based intelligent solutions can deliver versatility, scalability, and rapid time to value, even during globally-disruptive events. We’ll share more stories from the supply chain frontlines in the next few weeks. Until then, learn more about Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, see what’s new and planned in the next few months, learn how to build resilience with an agile supply chain, and contact us to today to see a demo or start a free trial.