Headquartered in the Midwest, this client is a retailer that mostly buys excess clothing inventory from big box retailers and sells them to consumers at a discounted price. It also sells general merchandise (e.g. cookware, bedding, toys, etc.) and maintains an online web store.
As is fairly common for retailers, this client struggled with properly managing and accounting for their inventory. They had grown to more than two dozen brick and mortar locations from a handful just a couple years ago. To manage their business, the client was using Quickbooks for accounting and a point of sales system called Lightspeed. The problem with the POS is it wasn’t scalable and was designed primarily for small, single location businesses — not those with multiple stores and a warehouse. The client realized this the hard way as the solution was constantly going down, especially on really busy days, like during the holidays or back-to-school shopping. They were having such performance issues with the POS system that customers would often abandon their purchases because the lines at checkout counters were moving so slowly.
What they really needed was an integrated accounting, inventory and POS solution that was robust enough to support not only their current stores but also new stores they planned to open as the company continues to grow across the Midwest. The TM Group knew that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with LS Retail’s embedded apparel and fashion POS system would fit their new system requirements perfectly. Once the client told us about their pain points and objectives during our Implementation Planning Study, The TM Group and LS Retail partner Xsi Retail Partners worked together to tailor the Business Central based ERP and POS solution for the client to enable them to best optimize their accounting, warehouse and retail operations.
Used by more than 15,000 organizations across the world, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an enterprise resource planning software program that enables mid-size and large organizations to streamline their day-to-day business activities, including accounting, inventory management, supply chain management and sales. And since it’s cloud-based, rather than on-premise, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central increases flexibility by enabling users to tap into the solution from anywhere they are, on location or remote. LS Central provides a unified commerce software solution built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central system. All accounting, inventory and POS data is collected in one central place to track sales, stock and productivity in real time, in all locations, from one system.
One of the key functionalities that the client wanted to leverage as part of the implementation process was purchase orders. Building purchase orders would allow them to better anticipate when purchases were to arrive and keep better track of inventory. Their legacy systems were preventing them from doing this, which created confusion, the potential for accounting errors and stocking issues. One unique approach The TM Group configured for this implementation to streamline their receiving and sorting process was to financially receive a PO’s entire inventory into the main warehouse. Afterward, we’d transfer those inventory dollars to the store upon sale to account for the cost of goods sold.
Another pain point for this client had to do with container tracking. Because they buy excess inventory from multiple vendors, they aren’t always sure how it is being shipped or when it will arrive. When retailers buy goods, they are usually transported in large metal shipping containers, which often aren’t as easy to track like a USPS, Fedex or UPS package. This created problems related to coordination and inventory planning.
The TM Group resolved this by configuring Business Central to assist with container tracking and inventory receiving. Now, when they purchase a container, they can identify when it is supposed to be arriving, update it as received and record where in the warehouse it has been stored. This allows them to make sure items don’t get lost in the warehouse and not shipped to a store. We have also configured Business Central to track where purchase orders and associated container(s) items are received from. This way, when an item is sold, they can track from which container it was received. This capability allows them to calculate profit margins by container and also determine merchandise from which suppliers are selling well.
So far, the client is very pleased with the results of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. It’s living up to its title by “centralizing” their financials and inventory management systems. Business Central has also given them the chance to reinvent their work processes to better manage inventory and account for their cost of goods sold. Because of this, the client hopes to expand the use of the Business Central/LS Retail solution and leverage more of what the solution has to offer, such as with shift scheduling, payroll needs and e-commerce.
Regardless of your industry, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can help you become a more successful business. The TM Group has performed a countless number of implementations since our founding and can configure Business Central so it helps your company become a better version of itself, no matter what “better” means to you. Contact us today to learn more about what the Microsoft Dynamics family of products can do.