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

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

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.”