Matas is a digital trailblazer in Danish retail and uses a Machine Learning-based system to analyze data on the 1.6 million members of its Club Matas loyalty scheme, and also employs a so-called real-time data hub that connects data across sources and across systems.
Both of these systems are built into the cloud and run on Microsoft Azure – meaning that when it came time for the Group to get a new ERP solution that brings everything together, the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform was the obvious choice.
Dynamics 365 to connect up core processes
Thomas Grane, Director of IT at Matas, notes that it isn’t an outright objective to put IT solutions in the cloud, however cloud-based services are superior in several areas. Such as when you want to gather data and move it across in one fell swoop.
“The basic idea behind our Dynamics 365-based ERP solution is for it to act as the backbone of our business. It should connect up all our core processes and give us insight into everything from logistics, warehouses and stock movements, to stores, the webshop and the app – even campaigns, prices and much, much more,” explains Thomas Grane.
“Changing your ERP solution is a complex process and it’s not a job we can manage on our own. That’s why we’re collaborating with Columbus. They provide us with a competent and professional team and have know-how on what ERP systems are really powerful. They also have solid knowledge when it comes to the retail industry in terms of both technology and also business,” he explains.
The ERP partner also acted as a sparring partner during the initial phase when Matas was considering which system to choose.
“Columbus was involved in conducting a thorough preliminary analysis and helped to validate the entire project, all the way to Board approval. Now, during the project phase, they’re transitioning to a partner role where they will provide top-level expertise and contributions wherever needed. The ERP project we’re running ourselves, but they will have an important job to do as advisors who will challenge us and make sure we’re focused on what’s important. They will also be managing a friendly, critical dialog with Microsoft wherever necessary. Which it will be, from time to time,” says Thomas Grane.
“Choosing a fully cloud-enabled ERP system is a game-changer for us”
Thomas Grane sees Columbus as a digital partner that possesses a huge breadth of knowledge thanks to the fact that it collaborates with so many customers “while the only knowledge we have is from our own business.”
“When we were choosing who to partner up with on our ERP project, the deciding factor was the fact that Columbus has such a solid foundation of knowledge when it comes to retail from both a technical and a business perspective. It’s crucial for us that they understand our business. It’s important that we can draw on that. Because there is absolutely no doubt that choosing a fully cloud-enabled ERP system is a game-changer for us,” he confirms.
The digital transformation is at the heart of our efforts to improve customer experience, loyalty, sales and internal business processes – and we in the IT department act as strategic sparring partners for the business.
Thomas Grane, Director of IT, Matas
Why should customers choose Matas? “Because they know be best!”
Thomas Grane explains that the Group is striving for digital leadership, which among other things means that they want to be No. 1 in Demark when it comes to online beauty and wellbeing.
“That’s why no matter what we do, our digital engagement and our processes should all be linked. It’s very much concrete, it’s down-to-earth. Because ultimately it’s about things working both in the digital engine room and along the entire channel we use to reach every one of our customers. They should be getting competent advice and relevant, personal recommendations across all channels. No matter whether they’re in the store, on our app or on matas.dk,” says Thomas Grane.
There are going to be more and more skilled competitors in the game, and some will be global players. That’s OK as long as the customers think “I could shop on Amazon but I’d rather go to Matas because they know me better!” That’s the aim of our digital journey,” he adds.