Macron is a leading international sportswear manufacturer and retailer based in Italy. The company also sponsors professional sports clubs.
To increase the awareness of its brand and its market share, the company decided to focus on its numerous multibrand stores and its chain of Macron proprietary stores. “The stores are located in easily accessible urban areas,” explains the CIO, Gianpio Prencipe, “to allow the teams to choose and collect their own personalized and tailor-made goods, and for individual customers to easily access and buy their favorite items.” There are currently 123 Macron Stores – both franchised and company owned – in several countries.
“We are a unique company in terms of specialization, type of sale and reference market. We entered the retail sales segment and quickly set up the Macron Stores, our international single-brand stores, which Microsoft Dynamics AX manages from every point of view. This was what the company had planned and it was done on time.”
The company had earlier adopted Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 in the multibrand stores, integrating the ERP system with Microsoft SharePoint to manage the daily business. When the time came to evaluate which management system to adopt for new stores, the CIO – who is responsible for corporate IT and sales outlets and whose team also has digital marketing and e-commerce responsibilities – chose Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail. “The choice of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail proved successful because it was a solution compatible with the one already present; it promised to have a sufficiently long lifecycle; it could be implemented quickly and easily; and it’s a Microsoft solution,” comments Prencipe.
A prototype was developed and implemented quickly for three Italian stores so the operators could learn to use it. “The high functional coverage is an important aspect, which allowed us to reduce customizations to a minimum,” explains Prencipe. “The solution covers 80% of processes – from the supply chain, to finance, to B2B, to retail – with 90% standardization.” In addition, the two Dynamics solutions work in synergy with Microsoft SharePoint.
Today the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail solution is present in 35 Macron Stores and manages all the processes governed within the stores. That includes the warehouse, orders, returns, business intelligence and reporting, loyalty programs and Macron loyalty cards (Fidelity, Gift, Club).
Avanade’s role as partner was important in the implementation of the new solution. “No project is successfully implemented without the contribution of a specialized partner, essential for achieving the objectives that are defined,” explains Prencipe.
“Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail is simple, fast and scalable,” declares Prencipe. “The project took place quickly, at low cost and the solution adapted to our growth.” But the CIO’s reasoning is much broader: “The company requested that a multilingual system for the retail world be set up in a few months, for stores that we can consider as ‘mini-companies.’ The product promptly responded to these business needs. It is easy to use, requires little training and prototyping was completed quickly.”
The solution is appreciated by the store operators for its simplicity of use. Training on the system is held during a few days at the Macron headquarters.
NOTE: This story describes work that was completed by Concert, which was acquired by Avanade in May 2020.
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