They say that big things come in small packages. A diamond engagement ring, a string of pearls, or a gentlemen’s gold signet all make eyes sparkle, warm hearts, and build loving memories—in any box. That’s why jewelers and their customers often build lifelong relationships—and Michael Hill is no exception.
Founded in New Zealand in 1979, Michael Hill is one of the largest high-end jewelers in the world. With close to 300 retail locations across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the company has faithfully maintained exclusive, long-term relationships with its customers, some for more than 40 years.
To sustain its reputation, the company used Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce to build a digital retail operations platform with end-to-end, multichannel capabilities and connected processes. By optimizing in-store operations, customer service, and other retail processes, Michael Hill has been able to successfully drive efficiencies, improve margins, and deliver stellar customer experiences.
To manage global store operations and deliver better customer experiences at scale, Michael Hill decided to replace its legacy retail operations platform with a platform that could deliver end-to-end multichannel capabilities and connected processes. So, the company worked with its implementation partner DXC Technology and Microsoft to build a retail operations platform on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and other Dynamics 365 business applications.
Matt Keays, Chief Information Officer, Michael Hill, says “Michael Hill has been running a transformation journey to completely change our operating paradigm so that we put the customer first at the very beginning, from production to fulfillment. We’ve developed a five-year relationship with Microsoft, and we saw how we could use the out-of-the-box interoperability in Dynamics 365 to help us make the business more agile and innovative.
Optimizing supply chain warehousing and shipping
The company is using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to support its warehouse management system (WMS), transform its supply chain, and connect production, inventory, and distribution directly to in-store operations and customer fulfilment. “Now that we have established Dynamics 365 as our operating WMS, the world is our oyster,” says Nat Cooper, General Manager of Global Logistics at Michael Hill. “Now we can deliver agile flow solutions that we could only dream of with our legacy systems.”
With every store integrated with production, warehousing, distribution, and online payments through Dynamics 365, Michael Hill added curbside pickup in Canada to give customers a contactless option for picking up their orders. Although the company made this change as a response to COVID-19, it is planning to continue the practice after the pandemic is over.
“Our innovation and strategy teams are already thinking about where curbside pickup can apply permanently and in what models,” says Keays. “We know we can bring it to life with the agility we’ve built by running all of our customer fulfilment processes on one platform with Dynamics 365.”
Powering daily in-store retail operations
Michael Hill also uses Microsoft Power Apps to extend its Dynamics 365 platform and accomplish day-to-day tasks in its retail stores. For example, each store manager now has a merchandising compliance app built on Power Apps. They use the app to take photos of jewelry case and store window displays and then submit the photos to the corporate merchandising team to check for alignment with current Michael Hill marketing guidelines.
“Visual merchandising is very important to us, and consistency in visual merchandising is the key business goal,” says Keays. “We can now stitch together the views of all the stores and allow our experts to review and critique and identify training opportunities for various stores. And the native look and feel and UX of Power Apps for certain business processes in stores have made it a really, really good choice for us.”
Michael Hill also creates many bespoke pieces of jewelry for customers, and when someone comes into one of the company’s retail stores to inquire about one of these special orders, the sales staff needs an easy way to look up the status. With manufacturing and supply chain activities all managed through Dynamics 365, the store salespeople can use a Power Apps app on the front end to quickly see whether a custom item has been completed and when it will be shipped or ready for pickup.
Boosting customer retention with stronger loyalty programs
With more than 500,000 customers in its loyalty program database, the company wanted a better way to manage those programs and keep customers happy. The company began using the loyalty feature in Dynamics 365 Commerce to manage its loyalty programs and has since tied it into Adobe Campaign. “The really exciting part about using Dynamics 365 is how fast we can adapt to changing business needs,” says Ian Dallas, Program Manager of Supply Chain and Finance at Michael Hill. “We are driving efficiencies in our warehouse, trialing new fulfilment models, and unlocking deeper insights into customer experiences faster than ever before.”
By building a single, centralized retail operations platform on Dynamics 365, Michael Hill will optimize its retail operations and processes from end to end, sustain lasting, meaningful relationships with its customers, and help them enhance their lives—all in small packages.