Jean Coutu to Deliver 21st Century Retail Experience with Microsoft Dynamics for Retail

Since opening its first pharmacy in 1969, Jean Coutu Group (JCG) has constantly innovated and adapted to meet the needs and expectations of their customers. The Canadian pharmacy giant has played an important role in advancing professional practice in drugstores, successfully balancing the advantages of a large chain with a relentless focus on personalized service offered by a local pharmacist.

*We wanted to make a radical shift to get into the 21st century. We see Microsoft Dynamics for Retail as a driver for that change.*

Alain Boudreault
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Jean Coutu Group

With trends in technology and online shopping reshaping the retail experience, the company was challenged to adapt to changing consumer demands, while still maintaining this personal focus. “Things are moving quickly in our space,” explains Alain Boudreault, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of JCG. “We were at a crossroads in terms of how our current technology could support shifting demands and future innovation.”

In 2012, the company set out to find a replacement for its legacy retail management system, which was nearing end-of-life. Boudreault envisioned an integrated, end-to-end system that could manage the full spectrum of their retail operation, from the back office to the point of sale, encompassing the supply, warehousing, and distribution operations for the company’s broad franchise network while helping local stores to meet the demands of consumers.

A Unified Solution

JCG evaluated several major ERP and retail management systems, finally selecting Microsoft Dynamics for Retail. The company found that only Microsoft Dynamics had the capability to support both core administrative processes and strong point-of-sale functionality within a single solution.

In addition, Boudreault saw Microsoft Dynamics for Retail as a platform that would provide the flexibility to adjust rapidly to consumer trends, and that could be tailored to the needs of the retailers that comprise its broad franchise network. “We wanted a modern platform that would allow us to evolve over time, but most important, something that would allow us to adapt and change in response to the demands of the market,” says Boudreault. “We wanted to make a radical shift to get into the 21st century. We see Microsoft Dynamics for Retail as a driver for that change.”

Microsoft Dynamics for Retail will be implemented to support JCG’s Retail Headquarters Operations and Store Operations, and provide point-of-sale functionality to more than 410 retail locations, including 2,500 POS terminals and 10,000 devices. In addition to streamlining the supply, warehousing, and delivery of prescription and non-prescription products to the franchise network, the Microsoft Dynamics solution will enable JCG to embrace emerging technologies that enhance the in-store experience for both customers and sales people.

Enhanced Customer Service

At the store level, one of JCG’s main objectives is to help store managers be more active on the floor, delivering more timely, meaningful service. Mobile point-of-sale functionality will enable managers and salespeople to interact directly with shoppers, while checking inventory, placing orders, and reducing waiting times when lines are long.

“We want to get our managers out from behind their desks,” says Boudreault. “We’ll give them the tools to get out of their offices and spend more time enhancing customer experience”

Seamless Shopping Experience

Boudreault expects that the ability to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels will become a competitive differentiator for JCG. “Customers want to shop with us in a consistent manner—not as if we’re running separate businesses,” he explains. “Omni-channel retail is still cutting edge in Canada, but consumers are beginning to expect it.”

Microsoft Dynamics for Retail supports the omni-channel vision by connecting back-office systems to online shopping and in-store POS; for example, customers can order online and pick up in-store, or in-store personnel can quickly place an online order for an item that is out of stock locally.

Platform for the Future

Microsoft Dynamics for Retail will enable JCG to offer a cutting-edge retail experience, today and in the future. “As a franchiser, we’re responsive to the demands of our customers as well as our stores,” says Boudreault. “Microsoft Dynamics for Retail offers the flexibility and the technology to meet those demands.”

Next Steps

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published March 2014

Customer Size: Large Organization
Industry: Health & Personal Care
Country or Region: Canada
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail
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