While the move to e-commerce in the retail industry has been underway for years, the onset of the pandemic last year accelerated the transition as retailers needed to quickly pivot to optimize for online sales in order to adapt. With the help of Microsoft partners, many retail customers around the world were able to make the shift to digital sales using Microsoft Dynamics 365.

While their decision to evolve their online presence pre-dates the pandemic, iconic British footwear brand Dr. Martens is a good example of a retail customer that has benefitted from transitioning to Dynamics 365 with help from Microsoft partner Hitachi Solutions.

Formed in 1947, Dr. Martens now has more than 100 stores globally, with ambitious plans for retail and e-commerce growth. Recognizing the need to adapt to suit the needs of the twenty-first century consumer, the brand embarked on "Project Reboot: Join the Revolution" to replace its legacy applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“It was recognized that we needed a major transformation project to replace all our legacy applications to give us the tools to be able to grow the business. With ambitious growth plans, we needed a solution that could support our business now, and into the future."Jackie Reid, Program Lead for Project Reboot

Finding the right partner

According to Reid, Dr. Martens selected Dynamics 365 because it gave the company an end-to-end solution across all areas of the business. Once they had decided to use Dynamics 365, their next step was to choose a Microsoft partner to help them implement the solution. They reached out to United Kingdom based branch of the global consultancy, Hitachi Solutions. One of the key project stakeholders at Dr. Martens had worked with them at a previous retailer and recommended their expertise.

A Microsoft Gold Partner, Hitachi Solutions has helped customers implement Dynamics 365 solutions since 2012. The company has won five global Microsoft Partner of the Year awards and has been a member of the elite Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle for 17 years.

"Dr. Martens recognized that this was not just an IT project, but a business transformation project," Reid said. "It was really important for us to select the right caliber of partner with the same sort of ambitious vision to help us drive this project to successful deployment. Hitachi came with that capability. They also had good practice and methodology to deliver this project on schedule and within budget."

George Efthimiou, Account Director at Hitachi Solutions, said that Dr. Martens had several goals they were looking to accomplish through Project Reboot."Dr. Martens wanted to create an integrated and engaging digital strategy to support their growth, provide a true multi-channel business model, invest faster in existing stores, become more efficient, and increase their store presence globally," said Efthimiou.

Expertise inspires confidence

To help them achieve these goals, the Hitachi team worked with Dr. Martens to define, design, and build a core solution using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Then, Hitachi developed an architecture to support mission-critical integrations to e-commerce, third-party logistics, and warehouse management. So far, Hitachi Solutions has helped Dr. Martens roll out the solution to over 900 users throughout the organization.

Andrew Donnell, Project Reboot Solution Architect at Dr. Martens, said Hitachi's global expertise in retail, wholesale, and distribution, combined with extensive experience across Dynamics 365, were an important combination.

"We had a really great set of functional consultants from Hitachi, and a really great set of developers. What they brought to the table is expertise in Dynamics 365, and also expertise in the retail and wholesale industry, which is a really key thing, because we’d be confident that if we gave them a set of requirements, they would understand our needs and come up with the best options for Dr. Martens. We attribute a lot of the success of this project to them."Andrew Donnell, Project Reboot Solution Architect, Dr. Martens

Retail benefits contribute to growth

The Dr. Martens team is particularly excited about some of the retail-specific aspects of Dynamics 365. "The retail benefits of Dynamics 365 are huge," Reid said. "We've implemented virtual warehouses, giving us visibility of stock as a whole but also stock per channel. This, combined with our new automated overnight store replenishment capability, means we're able to get the right products to the right stores in a very short lead time. This is directly contributing to our growth and helping all teams to meet business targets."

Reid said another significant benefit of the move to Dynamics 365 is the access to and visibility of business data. "We couldn't do that on our legacy applicationsour analysts would spend all their time creating reports and not enough time analyzing them. Now, we're able to leverage Microsoft Power BI, Power Pivot, and self-service to create accurate reporting in an instant. As a result, we're able to ensure the accuracy of our information to make much more informed business decisions."

Now that Dr. Martens is equipped with the tools they need for growth, Reid is optimistic about the future. "Dynamics 365 gives us a globally capable solution to be able to grow the business," she said. "And with a turnover of 500 million, we now have the tools, the platform, and the capacity to grow our business threefold over the next five to 10 years. And we're very excited about that."

Learn more

Dr. Martens’ story is just one example of how Microsoft partners are helping retail customers use Dynamics 365 to grow their businesses. Read additional details about how Dr. Martens embarked on "Project Reboot: Join the Revolution" to replace all its legacy applications with Dynamics 365.

You can also learn how to optimize your financial operations with Dynamics 365 Finance, accelerate time to market with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and deliver unified, personalized shopping experiences with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce.

Also, browse more winning formulas in our gallery of customer stories, and reach out to learn how Dynamics 365 can help solve your toughest business problems.

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