Try googling SAP and Microsoft Dynamics: you will get pages and pages with comparisons documenting why one solution is better than the other.
In LS Retail, we see the world differently. For over 20 years we have been powering tens of thousands of stores worldwide with retail solutions based on Microsoft technology – and in some cases, these solutions are combined with SAP.
The DNA of LS Retail (and of our partners) is “easier, simpler, faster” – both when it comes to implementing and using our retail solutions. That does not seem to harmonize very well with the reputation of SAP, the world’s largest business software company and the third-biggest independent software provider by revenue.
Microsoft Dynamics and SAP
As a market-leading ERP solution in tier 1 retailing, SAP has many merits – for example, scalability and a second-to-none supply chain management functionality, just to mention two. Yet, high complexity and costs sometime make it prohibitive to extend SAP all the way into the individual store.
Microsoft’s General Manager for Dynamics AX Marketing once listed SAP’s lack of flexibility, time to value (SAP can take inordinate time to set up and configure), user adoption and high cost as reasons why it makes sense to combine SAP with Microsoft Dynamics solutions. He used Delta Airlines and Nissan as examples of great synergies between SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.
Andrej Zajec, Technical Sales Executive at LS Retail, has worked as an ERP consultant for over 15 years with both SAP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV in small and big companies. “In my view, SAP is the biggest ERP solution in Europe, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the leanest one. From a purely technically perspective, combining the two solutions creates an ideal setup for multinational companies, where SAP is used for consolidation and to oversee and control companies run in different countries, while Dynamics NAV (for example, as part of retail management software LS Nav) is used locally for running the business – for instance the retail stores – in a smooth and independent way in each specific country.”
The power of 3: SAP, Microsoft and LS Retail
The reason for this rational marriage is really the combination of a powerful ERP HQ solution with flexible store and Point of Sale (POS) solutions, powered by LS Retail on Microsoft technology.
What does this union bring to retailers?
- Faster deployment of retail solutions in the store back office and at the POS.
- Ease of use: LS Retail’s solutions use Microsoft standards to design a user-friendly interface, which can be customized to a personal level.
- Simple update of POS: changes in prices and assortment can be managed at local, regional, or HQ level.
- Lower total cost of ownership.
- Resilient POS machines that work online and offline, providing a high performance independent of connection to, and performance in, the HQ.
Over the years, major international retailers like adidas and H&M have engaged locally with LS Retail to exploit those benefits, by deploying LS Nav as a complete retail front end or installing LS One as a flexible POS solution.
adidas creating world-class customer experiences with LS Nav
adidas is probably one of the best-known reference customers for the full product range of SAP. However, for the very reasons Andrej describes above, LS Retail and adidas are cooperating on creating extraordinary customer experiences in over 1150 adidas stores powered by LS Nav. With the support of German LS Retail partner TSO-Data, adidas and LS Retail are reinventing and enhancing the shopping experience for customers with innovative technology. adidas is, for instance, deploying the LS Omni omni-channel solutions – including an innovative inventory app that enables staff members to send requests to the stock room without having to leave the customer’s side – on iPad minis in-store. The result? Digital retail solutions that:
- Increase net sales
- Increase the stores’ operational excellence
- Enhance the consumer experience
- Boost team satisfaction
SAP and LS One powering Heinemann Duty Free
A good example of a successful combination of SAP and LS Retail technology is a recent project with world-leading duty free organization Heinemann. LS Retail partner Poresy has started to implement LS One integrated into SAP in a number of Heinemann Duty Free stores around the world. Poresy Managing Director Sascha Voelz sees several strategic benefits in integrating SAP with LS One:
“There are many benefits in combining LS One with SAP. I want to mention the three biggest ones, in my view. First, the integration of the two systems is straight-forward and problem-free. The data generated in LS One is easily transferred to the SAP Retail System via standard SAP IDoc or ARTS format, and then processed further there.
Secondly, LS One is one of only two system worldwide that can be integrated into the SAP OPP (Omnichannel Promotion Pricing) interface. The successful integration allows prices and promotions to be kept consistent across all sales channels in SAP Promotion Management for Retail.
A third, big advantage is the offline functionality of LS One. This feature makes it possible to generate transactions and data even without a connection to the internet. As soon as the LS One system is back online, the data is then sent and compared with the connected SAP back end. This means that the data in SAP remains consistent, and the customer does not experience any outages at the POS.”
We, LS Retail and our partners, are increasingly being involved in projects that require the integration of LS One, LS Nav and LS Omni solutions with various Microsoft and SAP products, including SAP Hybris e-commerce. In the near future, we plan to strengthen further this ménage à trois; more specifically, we expect to see many more touch points between LS Retail and SAP.