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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Retail Implementation Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Retail Implementation Solutions

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based platform of software applications for business management. The SaaS platform offers a host of products and solutions for businesses in the retail industry. The platform helps retail enterprises in the better prediction of consumer behaviour and intent with the use of Artificial Intelligence. Omnichannel businesses get better equipped to deliver seamless shopping and purchase experiences with improvements in B2B and B2C eCommerce, retail store management, pricing decisions, promotional efforts and remote selling. It enables retailers to exercise effective control over post-purchase activities like order tracking, customer support, return management, and loyalty and retention. For holistic and transparent merchandising and inventory management, the platform allows real-time access to inventory and product information with the features of categorisation, assortment, allocation and replenishment. The platform also brings under its purview retail store operations management, analytics, finance and payments, prevention of losses and frauds, space optimisation and alerts, and order and warehouse management. It lets businesses enable modern-day retailing features like contactless shopping and cross-channel shopping journey.

SAP IS-Retail is popular amongst mid and large retail enterprises. The bigger businesses benefit from the integrated and advanced features of this software capable of handling tons of data and complex value chains involved in modern-day retailing. However, SAP IS-Retail being a contemporary and sophisticated software platform, many retail enterprises find it difficult to plan and execute a smooth implementation process. These challenges are discussed next.

Challenges in implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Retail Solutions

Not Treating the Implementation as a Project

Implementing a business management software platform is a huge thing by itself. It is not something a business enterprise does every quarter. The entire implementation needs planning. Resources have to be allocated. Structured teams have to be positioned. The financial means have to be sorted. There is a constraint of time. There are multiple stages of implementation with each stage having its own set of requirements and complexities. Without a project management approach, any such implementation exercise could turn into an inescapable burden on a business enterprise.

Inaccurate Mapping of Business Requirements

Having an incorrect or wrongly-customised software application could be related to having the wrong vehicle for a journey. You must know what the journey entails and what kind of vehicle would be required. The same goes for a business software application. You must know and accurately define the business requirements first to be able to choose the right software. It is only when we use the right vehicle for a given journey, will the vehicle live up to its promises and expectations. You cannot blindly blame the software application for its failure in meeting your business or functional objectives if you did not customise it accordingly. Of course, sometimes there can be problems with a software application but when we are considering leading brands like Microsoft or Oracle, they follow rigorous processes before launching their products in the market. It is the responsibility of retailers to check if the required customisations are possible in the targeted software product. The business requirements should guide the functioning of a software application and it is not the other way round.

Poor Budgeting – Keeping Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation Cost Under Control

Any major exercise of digital transformation like the implementation of a new business management software platform in an enterprise is a long term investment. The benefits of having one outweigh the costs of implementation and maintenance also only in the long run. Such a project calls for careful financial and budgetary planning and ROI analysis.

The experienced Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultants know that the risks of budget overruns are always there. Often, the need for new improvisations and customisations is realised by businesses during implementation. Such situations expand the scope of the project and deadlines get extended. More resources get invested.

Accurate and realistic assessments are required involving both project-related and financial insights. Shortcomings in the financial planning could lead to delays in achieving breakeven, achieving lower than originally expected ROI, longer repayment period, etc.

Most importantly, financial and budgetary planning helps businesses keep their expenditures within the planned and manageable limits and prevent their enterprises from facing any unwarranted financial shock.

Data Migration

Over months and years, businesses generate tons of data which lies in their existing legacy systems. And no business would want to give up on this data. But they should bear in mind that not all of this data would be useful in the light of a better and more advanced software platform. Transferring everything from one platform to another may be easier but it would make no sense to store redundant or irrelevant data in the database systems. Besides, data storage comes with a cost. Also, old data may get mixed with information processes of the new applications leading to the generation of duplicate data, unnecessary reports, and inaccurate insights. This adds to the confusion of the new users who are already being introduced to new workflows and interfaces.

Lack of User Training

Businesses do lose some time and experience hampered operations in carrying out an implementation exercise. But there is a need to see the bigger picture of ERP implementation. After spending months on platform implementation, businesses become too eager to see the results and the tendency to ignore detailed user training creeps in. After implementation, businesses tend to emphasise less on providing the necessary user training to their employees. The seeds of this reluctance are laid when user training is not made a part of the implementation planning.

Many businesses also exhibit the tendency of relying too much on the independent technical capabilities of their employees. Or providing training only to the team leaders and managers is never going to be enough. The biggest ignorance is to consider providing user training as an avoidable investment.

To employees, any new software improvement brings with it altered workflows, a new interface, new tabs and links, new reporting formats, new terminologies, etc. It is important to make employees convergent with the software’s functioning and its features. Employees exhibit a faster learning curve when necessary training and support manuals are provided to them.

Absence of Executive Sponsorship

Whenever any major organisational-level change is in the offing, the involvement and direction of a senior executive are extremely useful. When a senior executive is involved, it is easier for the project manager and the implementation team to get things done within and outside the organisation concerning the platform implementation. Other departments and external entities are more likely to be responsive when any senior executive makes the decisions or places requests. It also passes the message of the criticality of the project for the business.

How YRC can help

We provide planning, implementation and support services to retail and eCommerce businesses in incorporating Microsoft 365 retail solutions in their enterprises. The service design and delivery are carried out by a team of professional retail ERP consultants following planned and improvised process solutions. We follow a policy of zero tolerance for deviations with due adherence to the implementation timelines. Our service areas in Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation for retail enterprises are highlighted next.

Need Validation and Feasibility Analysis

In need validation and feasibility analysis, we seek to define the client’s business case for implementing Microsoft 365 retail solutions in their organisations. Here, we recommend as well as answer a few fundamental questions that help clients set the vision and mission of having Microsoft 365 as a platform for retail management in their businesses.

– What results are aimed at after successful implementation?
– Will the business model be affected? If yes, how?
– Which retail functions/processes are targeted?
– What are the available products/solutions?
– What internal resources, support systems, and organisation changes are required?
– What budgetary and financial planning is required?
– What are the training requirements?

Answering these basic questions provide the much-needed vision and sense of direction in the overall Dynamics 365 implementation exercise.

Support in Mapping Business Requirements and Customisation of Software Applications

Our expert team shall map the unique business and functional requirements of your enterprise in a planned, systematic, and detailed manner keeping into consideration the best-fit software application and working in close coordination with your business representatives. From assessment to communication, we follow SOP-driven processes. We operate like your extended IT department in the entire ERP implementation exercise. Our team shall deal with the vendor or channel partner throughout the product selection and customisation so that your business gets the best solution.

Support in Vendor Search and Selection

Just because a big brand is associated with a vendor or channel partner does not take away the responsibility of a business enterprise in exercising due diligence in the vendor search and selection process. It is also a good business practice to be process-oriented. Having a sound vendor selection process is a progressive step toward ensuring that your business does not end up in a working relationship with incompatible vendors. Even if it is a monopolistic situation, the process and standards must not be violated. We design and develop this vendor search and selection process for ERP implementation projects. The procedures are defined using SOPs. The benchmarks for each activity are established including the grounds against which potential vendors are to be evaluated. It is our principle and part of our operating policy to be neutral and transparent with our services while putting clients’ business requirements to the fore.

Testing and Implementation

Testing remains an integral and ongoing part of the entire implementation exercise till the platform goes live successfully. We prepare and follow planned and systematic processes to execute various forms of testing at different stages of incorporation and integration.

Before going on to planning, we cover selecting a suitable implementation strategy. In implementation planning, we adopt the six standard phases – discovery and planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and support. For every phase, detailed processes are developed using SOPs. The roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders for each activity in each process of each phase are defined and documented. With the same approach, the standards of input and output are established and made known to all concerned task owners along with the timelines to be adhered to. Any deviation or inconsistency detected at any stage during implementation is reported to the partner/vendor team for follow up action. Throughout the implementation project, we keep our clients informed of the progress and developments.

User SOP Training and User Blueprint Manuals

The significance of user training for the successful implementation of a business management software application could not be stressed more. It is important to address the comfort level and convergence of users with any new software platform. Two application platforms can be drastically different from one another even if they deliver slightly different outputs. Users must have a cordial understanding of the software as a tool that they would be using every day. The functionalities of an application they are used to may work in a different way in the interface of a new application. The goal is to make users comfortable with the new application both technically and in terms of an overall understanding.

Here, our role is to provide the necessary user training and develop the user blueprint manuals for successful and sustainable ERP implementation. We work towards ensuring that your employees experience user-friendliness with the new application platform. In terms of imparting technical usage skills, we endeavour to optimise the learning curve of employees so that adaptation takes place in the shortest possible time. Your employees can refer to the training and user manuals if they get stuck anywhere using the platform. You could always let us know if any additional assistance is required.

We are retail and eCommerce business consultants. As a brand, we have over ten years of experience in delivering expert business solutions and services in more than twenty verticals. We thank our 500+ clients for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their business journey. Today, as an emerging global brand, we continue to work with the same enthusiasm and relentless attitude to improve every day. The development & delivery of SOPs and process solutions for retail ERP implementation is one of our hallmark services.

We work only for Visionaries.


The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.