How We Solved Years of Costly Problems For A Retail Distributor

August 6, 2021 Katherine Turner-Lawrence

Something we never like to see is a company struggling with an ERP solution that not only isn’t helping them drive efficiencies and profitability, it is costing them far too much time and money to fix, maintain, and support. This was the situation with a large retail drugstore chain that recently came to us to turn things around.   

After many years of challenges, modifications, and band aid patches to their Dynamics AX system, this retail enterprise knew their current partner simply lacked the expertise to optimize their system to support their current operations and future goals. 

Their goals included: 

  • Find a trusted Dynamics AX partner with the expertise to identify and resolve longtime issues  

  • Increase warehouse efficiencies including wave picking and handheld performance 

  • Improve efficiencies and accuracy across the supply chain, including inventory, costing and financials 

  • Reduce the time, staff and budget required to maintain Dynamics 


Western Computer to the Rescue 

We were introduced to them at a conference by their hosting partner who knew the Western Computer team and our advanced expertise in Dynamics AX and particularly finance and warehousing. 

The organization had been working with partners for years to get their system properly aligned and optimized to their business. Though they were fortunate to have a highly skilled internal IT team, they spent a substantial amount of money with partners who simply couldn’t solve complex issues or adequately support their needs. Like many companies do, they tried to remain positive and stick it out but it was time to explore new options.  

There were many challenges our customer wanted to resolve that grew in severity over time. The most critical issues included warehousing inefficiencies, hardware failures, slow batch processing and store postings, poor system performance, and delayed processing of invoicing and financial statements. 


Getting to the Root of the Problem 

The first step to get our customer operating efficiently was getting to the root of the problem. We assembled a senior-level project team with extensive industry and functional expertise, including a dedicated Project Manager and Customer Success Manager to facilitate all aspects of the project. Our strong partnership with Microsoft was an additional asset as we have accelerated access to global expertise as needed. 

An in-depth discovery assessment for their Dynamics system and infrastructure and process bottlenecks revealed many areas to address. The problem was not the system itself. The overarching complication went back to the initial implementation along with years of modifications and patches to their Dynamics system from different partners with varied degrees of knowledge and expertise.  

The Western Computer team identified and prioritized several opportunities to help our customer stabilize their system, resolve performance issues and streamline their supply chain. A methodical action plan was established to address the most critical Level 1 issues, followed by Level 2 and Level 3 concerns.  


Rapid Solutions for Years of Problems  

Within a short seven-month period, Western Computer and our customer worked together to overcome problems they had been battling for many years and built a solid foundation to support the business for many years to come.  

The key to success was our understanding of how each individual issue impacted performance of the system, the warehouse, financials and the business overall. This is why we were able to provide real long-term solutions, not just short-term fixes, to help them better serve their employees, stores and customers, including: 

Optimized, stabilized Dynamics AX environment 

Performance improvements across software and hardware 

Process efficiencies, including: 

o Warehouse 

o Inventory 

o Costing 

o Handheld Devices 

o Financial Statements 

o Invoicing 

o Store Postings 

o Batch Processing 

Reduced IT costs 

Reduced time to deliver financial statements  

Shortened invoice cycle 

Improved order processing times 

Accelerated operational throughput to stores and customers 

Accurate inventory counts and costing 

Efficient wave picking and calculations 

Updated and configured warehousing devices 


For our customer, system stabilization will be an ongoing journey that is now easier with Western Computer as their partner and a roadmap focused on making progress toward their goals. 


Need to maximize your Dynamics investment? 

Beyond ERP implementations, Western Computer is a trusted partner you can depend on for a wide range of solutionsservicessupport, and strategic advisory to optimize your environment and processes. Helping our customers succeed is our passion and mission and we invite you to contact us any time to talk about your challenges and goals. 


About the Author

Katherine Turner-Lawrence

Katherine Turner-Lawrence, Vice President of Subscriptions at Western Computer, helps clients understand how they benefit from adopting ERP and CE solutions.

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