Restaurant operator Cravia centralizes and streamlines operations with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Restaurant operator Cravia centralizes and streamlines operations with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Headquartered in Dubai, Cravia is one of the fastest growing food and beverage (F&B) organizations in the region. With different brands and chains in its portfolio, Cravia needed to centralize its business processes and operations on a single platform. It streamlined its financial records and achieved more supply chain efficiencies by implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Finance and Operations. Using Microsoft Power platform, Cravia also boosted its workflow efficiency and data visibility. With reduced manual processes, human error, and dependencies, the company now has more freedom to grow.

Since 2001, Cravia has served excellent food and offered world-class hospitality services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It serves millions through franchises of chains such as Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and others. “Cravia is focused on only one thing: providing high-quality food to our customers,” says Fahd Nazir, CIO at Cravia.

In 2021, Cravia was managing the different chains independently. This resulted in multiple challenges to manage finances, supply chain, and inventories, which slowed down processes across brands and offices. The team didn’t have sufficient visibility of procurement and human resources, making it challenging for management to track inventory and other resources or events. Lack of automation and business inefficiencies made scaling up a challenge, particularly when the demand for Cravia’s brands rose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We already had an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in place, but it was not centralized. Different servers were producing different reports for various teams, and we had to recompile them,” says Nazir. “This took a lot of time. It was also important to have the necessary information readily available for all employees, especially those in our head office.”

Towards more centralization

“When we were deciding which ERP solution to choose, I was leaning towards Microsoft because it’s a brand I have trusted for 20 years. Microsoft also offered a comprehensive solution for what we needed and a smooth implementation process,” explains Nazir. Cravia implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management with the help of Microsoft Gold Partner, Business Experts Gulf.

Everything from payroll to recipe management and procurement to customer loyalty is now processed and automated in one system. “Because it’s all in one environment, we have better control, and the IT department can easily manage our processes. We also save time on handling our finances and supply chain and reducing human error, thanks to automation,” says Nazir. “I’ve found the system easy to use, scalable, and secure.” Cravia also updated its standard operating procedures, relying on Microsoft collaboration tools such as the vendor portal. “We are already seeing increased efficiency in processes such as payables, payments and production. This allows our accountants to spend a decent portion of their time on data analysis which in the past would have been spent on entry,” adds Syed Adeel Ahmed, Group Financial Controller at Cravia.

Furthermore, the team can now access real-time data with Power BI, enabling them to be more agile and flexible in solving issues and minimizing losses. “Gaining access to real-time data is a game-changer. Once we have more visibility, we can optimize our operations to produce more savings,” says Nazir. “We have centralized all our processes which has provided visibility on our end-to-end workflow. Now that our data is traceable, we can identify exceptions in a timely manner and create more accountability for individual tasks,” adds Ahmed.

Equipped for growth

Having a centralized system has also set up Cravia for seamless business growth in new locations. “We have full control of our resources and operations in new locations, making it easy to create a guided environment where new teams can access only specific systems. Since we integrated our customer relationship management (CRM) software with Outlook on Microsoft 365, creating new users or giving them access has been straightforward.”

With Microsoft 365, Cravia can more easily access files and emails. This facilitates seamless handovers between teams when taking over work. “We don’t need to learn everything about a project’s background beforehand because anyone can easily access files and information online. This smooth continuity has also been a game-changer for me,” says Nazir.

Partnering for the future

As Cravia continues to serve customers in new locations, the team looks to leverage more Microsoft solutions. “We’re still only using 20 percent of the features available—there’s more to explore,” shares Nazir. “In the future, we will be looking to rely on Microsoft’s point of sales services. Currently, we have 40 virtual machines hosted on Azure and are migrating most of our services to Azure to generate better business continuity, data security and reliability,” explains Nazir. “We will completely integrate our sales and our human resource solutions in the system,” adds Ahmed. “We see our partnership with Business Experts Gulf and Microsoft as a long-term strategic investment that makes Cravia a technology enabled restaurant operator.”

For further success, Cravia hopes to continue its partnership with Microsoft in the years to come. “Microsoft Dynamics 365 has become part of our DNA. There are many new brands and countries in the pipeline. And wherever we go, Dynamics 365 will go with us,” he concludes.


UAE retailer brings efficiency and centralized data to its stores with Dynamics 365

For four decades, Al Tannan has brought joy and functionality to homes in the United Arab Emirates. To better manage its supply chain, enhance efficiency and leverage data for faster business decisions, Al Tannan turned to Microsoft Dynamics 365. The cloud-based, user-friendly system centralized all of Al Tannan’s 12 stores under one platform. After the migration, Al Tannan eliminated manual work and streamlined its processes, reducing inventory time for a store from 14 to 4 hours. The team also gained visibility with data, enabling employees to monitor and solve issues faster and improve customer experience.

Since 1982, Al Tannan has been filling the homes of its customers with joy and functionality. The Dubai-based company creates and delivers quality products from kitchenware and home equipment to toys and collectibles, with an emphasis on excellence in customer experience.

Less than two years ago, Al Tannan had difficulty managing its supply chain and dependencies in daily tasks. The company was looking for a more streamlined workflow to improve business efficiency and financial planning. It needed a system that can help them analyze and manage data, keep track of records and documents and identify key areas of focus. “Initially, we were a group of six different companies operating on different software,” explains Hassan Tamimi, the Managing Director at Al Tannan. “Our team often had to double its effort. For example, we would create the product on the retail side, then create it on the back end, and then again for the accounting team. It was hard for us to track or control the manual workflow. This also resulted in a lot of human error.

Choosing a partner

Al Tannan was looking for a cloud-based, user-friendly, easy-to-use system that could be integrated with their legacy systems. After evaluating options, the team chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, Office 365 and Power BI. “We went with Microsoft because of the Microsoft partner operating in the area, Business Experts Gulf,” shares Tamimi. “They understood what we needed, answered our questions and helped us move forward. They scheduled a series of meetings and training sessions for our teams, gave us a step-by-step guide and helped us understand the types of data we would need to retrieve from Dynamics 365.”

The solution was implemented before the COVID-19 lockdown, which gave the Al Tannan team more than enough time to get familiar with the tools. “We did a lot of sessions with Business Experts to enhance knowledge and training. The COVID-19 pandemic was a good opportunity to catch up. When things opened up again, we were ready to reconnect with the world,” says Tamimi.

Unifying all processes for efficiency

Microsoft’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution brought all internal processes into one dashboard. This removed the need for manual handling of the finances and the supply chain. It also brought reliable sales tracking, increased profits and productivity. “Previously, we had six administrative departments, now we only have one which makes our life so much easier,” says Tamimi. “It used to take us 12-14 hours to do an inventory on an entire store. Now it takes us 3-4 hours. That is a massive difference in retail. Now that everything is under one roof, the accounts are linked and we no longer need to enter things manually.”

“Previously, it took us 12-14 hours to do an inventory on an entire store. Now it takes us 3-4 hours. That is a massive difference in retail.”

Hassan Tamimi: Managing Director

Al Tannan Group

With data now being centralized, the team eliminated repetitive and redundant tasks, optimizing manpower and making the entire process more streamlined. The integration with Office 365 provided added benefits for the employees. “It is so easy to go into Dynamics and export data as an Excel file, making things simple for the accounts team. The flexibility between the different software is very important,” adds Tamimi.

Efficient problem-solving with data

The increase in efficiency and productivity was also partially due to the adoption of Power BI. Having greater control over managing and visualizing data, the team can now quickly track sales and inventory and generate new leads. “In the past, we depended on the stores without an Internet connection for sales monitoring,” says Tamimi. “We also didn’t have a dynamic view of our inventory. We had trouble with the availability and the syncing of the data. Now that we are on a cloud server, we obtain live data and a historical account of all information.”

Bringing the head office and the branches together under one platform and gaining accurate insights also made it easier and faster to detect and fix issues. “Dynamics 365 makes it easier to centrally monitor accurate numbers and find issues when they arise. We no longer have people running around trying to fix issues. They are spending time more productively on other matters. With everything plugged in together, they can look at all the information and easily identify the technical problems. These small things have made a huge difference in our operations. The bird’s-eye view improves our sales. It’s fantastic.”

Standing stronger on the cloud

Migrating the processes to the cloud also ensured more reliability and service availability. “In the past, we relied on an on-premises server for the retail side of things and sometimes the system went down, which prevented sales,” explains Tamimi. “This also created a burden on the store with manual invoice generation and other hassle. With Dynamic 365, we have an offline and an online version so even with downtime, there is no problem. Downtime itself was reduced, we are up and running 99.9% of the time, which is outstanding for us.” On the rare occasion when issues do arise, the team receives support much faster with a dedicated in-house team or business experts.

Ultimately and importantly, the changes improved customer experience. “The loyalty program offered through Dynamics 365 made it very easy to redeem and gain points. This made the customer journey throughout our stores easier,” says Tamimi. “Interestingly, the migration also impacted our enterprise customers. Our teams now have complete information about every customer.”

As for Al Tannan’s roadmap, the team is now considering using the Microsoft Dynamics Ecommerce and Customer Relationships Management (CRM) capabilities. “As we expand, it would be outstanding to have everything in one place,” says Tamimi. “We are also not using Power BI to its maximum capacity. It’s a fantastic solution and we intend to take full advantage in the future.”


What Does Logistics and Supply Chain Management Software Do?

Both logistics and supply chain management are important for medium to large-sized business models. Both have different roles but are equally important and very much required to keep the company’s processing going smoothly.

So, what is the difference between logistics and supply chain management?

The answer is simple, logistics is all about managing the process of integration and maintenance whereas, supply chain management is all about management and movement of supply chains and sustaining coordination among them.

This means we will be describing the benefits of logistics software and supply chain management software separately to explain what software for each of these do.

What Does a Supply Chain Management Software Do?

Supply chain management software is a tool that is used to manage supply chain operations like:

  • Distribution
  • Logistics
  • Quality management
  • Vendor management

UAE-based companies who are looking for different ways of increasing revenues and profits must get the best supply chain management software. Below are the benefits of using supply chain management software.

Promote Visibility

Transparency and visibility in a business give the edge to the third parties like vendors, distributors, and suppliers to trust your company and extend contracts. This is done by providing a unified view of processes, people, and business operations in supply chain management software. This enables managers, executives, CEOs, and other decision-makers in the company to perform better.

Improved Efficiency

A company is only able to improve and enhance efficiency in their business operations and processing when they implement good and reliable supply chain management software. This helps in eliminating any errors before they even occur and this results in executing processes smoothly and seamlessly.


Data is everything for a company but with an implemented supply chain management software, you will be able to see meaningful data that will give the latest and useful insights about the company’s progress, employees’ progress, profits and margins, forecast risks and suggest solutions and so much more.


A company only does good business when the production cost is less and that can be done by equipping the best supply chain management software which will allow you to monitor the quality of stock, reduce waste and keep track of shipments.

Reduced Risks

Businesses have to face environmental, political, and technical economic risks but that can be reduced when good planning is done with the help of AI data-driven insights furnished by smart supply chain management software. An AI-powered supply chain management software can also show insights on trends which can make you more aware of business risks – you can then make required decisions.

What Does a Logistics Software Do?

Logistics enables the flow of entities from an initial point to the consumption stage (this includes customers and businesses). Logistical operations include tracking, scheduling, and monitoring deliveries and their methods, seeing transportation modes, and management of vendors. You can say that logistics is a part of supply chain management which includes implementation and planning to transport products to the customers. Logistics also include the following:

  • Planning demand and supply
  • Managing third-parties
  • Control inventory
  • Order processing
  • Fleet management
  • Warehouse management
  • Inbound and outbound transport management
  • Distribution and sales
  • Managing suppliers

A logistics software eliminates the need of hiring several people for the above list – an LMS can single-handedly control all of these tasks. Below are the benefits of implementing logistics software.

Streamlined Transportation

Transportation is the toughest thing to manage when transferring products to customers or other businesses. There should be no delays and falls in the right place. An LMS will enable the managers and the drivers to keep in touch and get all the information about the customer and where the products should be transferred. This results in faster and on-time deliveries.

Eliminating Human Errors

Tracking different means and modes of transportation manually can mess things up and will require more than one person for the job and that is why logistics software will monitor and track all transportation and give real-time reporting.

Automate Tasks and Functions

Implementing logistics software will allow your employees to improve productivity by automating daily tasks that are mostly repetitive like creating load planning, creating shipping routes, and tendering to load, and such. It also helps in increasing efficiency and saves time as well.

Reduced Costs

A good and intelligent logistics software will show you a comparison of different delivery agents and shipping services and also, cost-effective means of transportation which will save you money and time. It also shows a cost-effective shipping plan.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is the future of all businesses and the companies that deal in logistics. They have to get an AI-powered logistics software that will assist in business operations like budget planning, demand forecasting, planning routes, and much more. 


How to Create a User-Friendly SharePoint View with PowerApps

PowerApps is featured by Office 365 and it is one of the most innovative features. It enables users to connect, create and share business-related applications with employees and teams. The best part about PowerApps is that it allows users to create a business app without needing to code at all – meaning anyone can build a business application.

SharePoint offers an integration with the PowerApps. You can build mobile-friendly or any device-friendly view for SharePoint libraries and lists. People who use both of these platforms don’t know how to create a user-friendly SharePoint view with PowerApps. Here, we have mentioned some ways of doing it.

We suggest that you make a simple list for better understanding – a list that contains Title and City fields and create a new view named ‘New PowerApps View’.

 Step 1: Sign in to SharePoint > go to SharePoint List > click on ‘PowerApps’ in the top bar and select ‘Create an App’.

 Step 2: The Create an App wizard will appear > enter the name of the view and click ‘Create’. Name it whatever you want.

 Step 3: When you click on Create, the PowerApps engine will load – it will take some time as it creates every connection from SharePoint and PowerApps. After all, this is done, you will be able to see a mobile view.

          Know That: You can customize themes with different colors and layouts.

 Step 4: You can change the layout of the View. Select the body of the app from the designer > select the Layout section from the right-hand Gallery > drop down for options and click on ‘Title and Subtitle on Overlay’. Refresh the page and you will be able to see the difference. 

Step 5: You can also add different varieties of customizations to the created app. You can view the app before publishing it on SharePoint. To do this, just click on ‘Preview App’ or press F5. You will get a real-time view of the app and you can press Esc (escape) to exit the preview and make further changes.

Step 6: Test the responsiveness and interaction of the application. To do this search or click on any contact/record.

 Step 7: Here, you will know how to display the app as a view on SharePoint. To do this, go to the File tab > click on Save. After the app has been saved, you will be taken to the publish screen, there you have to click on Publish and it will publish the view on the SharePoint list.

 Step 8: Go to the original SharePoint list and select ‘New PowerApps View’ from the PowerApps view.

 Step 9: Select the application that will display the newly created designed app/tab.

 You can add new entries by just clicking on the ‘+’. As you can see, creating a user-friendly SharePoint view with PowerApps is super easy and there is zero need for coding or programming.


 Q: What are the benefits of PowerApps Integration with SharePoint?

Ans: Below are the benefits of PowerApps integration with SharePoint:

  • Create well-structured apps without any coding and programming
  • Add more functions and controls in the apps resulting in flexibility
  • Allows users to create a fully customized UI
  • Boosts employees’ productivity
  • Adding multi-data sources in a single app

 Q: What is the use of PowerApps in SharePoint?

Ans: PowerApps is a platform that allows users to create business applications that run on a web browser and on any device and there is zero coding required. When the app is created, you can publish it on the SharePoint page.

 Q: How does SharePoint integrate with PowerApps?

Ans: To do this, open PowerApps studio and open the app you want to customize or update > select Data > select Add Data > Connectors > SharePoint. Connect with a SharePoint website and select an entry in the Recent Sites list or paste or type the URL and select Connect.

 Q: How many types of PowerApps are there?

Ans: There are two types of PowerApps:

  • Model-driven apps
  • Canvas apps


          Business applications can sometimes cost a lot but thanks to these two platforms, making small business applications and sharing them with the team and employees has become the easiest thing.  

You can create apps with amazing UI and near-to-perfect responsive and mobile-friendly apps. Plus, customization of these apps is also easy.

These apps are used to boost the productivity of the employee and it also helps them stay connected while managers, executives, and CEOs can monitor each and everything.  

How to Improve Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management unites different departments of a business which also includes vendors, distributors, suppliers, laborers, and workers. Supply chain management allows the right people to make good business decisions on the basis of a data framework.

Supply chain management implementation is required by medium and large-sized organizations which means there can be different complexities. There are basic steps of SCM:

  • Sourcing supplies
  • Materials
  • Planning
  • Manufacturing
  • Delivery and returns

Each of these steps needs improvement as the business grows. These steps can be improved with the following four attributes:

  • Operations
  • Integrations
  • Purchasing
  • Distribution

SCM is a complete package for every complex and large business model and sometimes, it makes people wonder why it needs improvement. The answer is that with the increasing global demand and the raised benchmark of user experience, there will always be room for improvement in supply chain management.

Below are some ways/practices/strategies to improve supply chain management.

Hire Supply Chain Professionals

You will be surprised to know that there are very few SCM professionals in the global market and that is why you need to get your hands on the ones you find no matter how much they charge or how much time they require. Moreover, you could provide necessary training in supply chain management to your current employees.

Enhance Your Distribution Network

The more distributors are on your company’s panel, the more sales your company will have. This means that you should improve communication among your employees and distributors by all means. Make sure that the software that connects the distributors with your company is reliable and compliant and see if it is working in optimum condition.

Range and Line Up Supply Chain Team

This means assigning designated roles from the senior level staff to the laborers. Make sure every person in the company understands their job role so that everyone knows what they have to do – when these things streamline, the communication level is enhanced and your supply chain team will be aligned for any challenge. This will also allow every employee to have a say and it will encourage them to make informed decisions.

Track Inventory

No company wants to run out of stock and this is where greed comes in and makes companies buy extra stock and resulting in overloading the inventory. Overloading the inventory is hugely expensive and overburdens the supply chain team as well because they will be maintaining the inventory and they will be spending more time tracking it. Meanwhile, the trends could change at any moment and the overloaded inventory will go in partial loss. So, plan about how much inventory your company needs.

Make Strong Relationships with Suppliers

Just like enhancing communication with the distribution network, you have to establish good relationships with suppliers as well. Your and the supplier’s goals should be equally likely so that both parties work on common grounds – this results in maintaining a balance. Finding reliable suppliers is like finding a gold mine and you need to make sure that they are also satisfied with your company’s policies, so, always give them edge in every possible matter.

Track Cash Flows

When it comes to large organizations, tracking and monitoring cash flows is very much difficult and if it is not done right, there can be a lot of problems in the processing of supply chain management. In order to improve that, you need to monitor that all payments are coming and going according to the mentioned payment policies, terms, and conditions. Also, you need to keep a record of payment methods and technology being frequently used.

Create a Supply Chain Council

Just like having a board of directors, a supply chain council gives directions to companies and removes any barriers in the supply chain processing by introducing new rules and by changing the policy. They can suggest new and improved supply chain management strategies that will be rehearsed by all employees of the company including the partners, stakeholders, and CEO of the company.

Administer Operational Expenses

To improve supply chain management in any medium and large sized enterprise, make sure that you take control of operational expenses. You can create more profit and revenue by controlling operational expenses and that can be done by purchasing the right volume and right supplies for the company.

Monitor Supply Chain Metrics

Every company should have a benchmark or set a parameter that will verify the quality and quantity of stock/inventory and supply chain performance. Following are the prime metrics of supply chain management that can be tracked and monitored to improve SCM:

  • Supply chain life cycles
  • Inventory velocity
  • Sales to inventory ratio
  • Warehousing cost
  •  Accurate order rate

Systemizing Processes

To systemize every processing of the company, you need the best AI ERP. This will automate basic processing which will give more chances of improving supply chain management. For example, it can give notifications and alerts when the inventory is low and it automatically purchases and buys from suppliers. Get an ERP that automates CRM and whatever is repetitive.

Use Latest Technology

To improve supply chain management, see the departments and processing that are not giving desired results and see the latest technology that can optimize this processing and departments to produce good results.

Final Note

You can transform your company/business by improving the supply chain management core. Using these strategies at the right time and, in the right way will enable you to see a drastic rise in revenue, profits, and margins.