Location:

New Zealand

Services:

Applications

Città is a design company that prides itself on creating beautiful furniture and homewares for every room in the home. Based out of Auckland, New Zealand, they design, import and distribute a comprehensive range of homewares sourced from leading manufacturers around the world.

“The opportunity with our true omni-channel solution is being able to have full control. When communicating with our customers, our inhouse eCommerce team have been able to make fundamental changes to our website.”

Emmett Vallender COO, Città

A forward-looking business, Città were the first retailer in the world to plan their retail business in the cloud on the Microsoft Dynamics platform: providing a foundation for future growth. In 2019, Città recognised the need to move to the next phase and integrate their online presence with Microsoft Dynamics.

Challenge

Città designs and retails an extensive range of furniture, lighting and homewares across Australia and New Zealand. Operating across wholesale, retail and online, each sales channel presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. The business had already undergone a digital transformation, implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail with Finance and Operations in 2016; however, the retailer wanted to continue their operations transformation by replacing their existing eCommerce solution.

A siloed solution that lacked transparency, Città were required to outsource most of the updates on the site through a third party vendor, including adding new stock items, adding new product categories and other brand adjustments — making the business heavily reliant on the third party’s time and capabilities. This dependence caused delays in product promotions/launches, and communications with customers.

Furthermore, the eCommerce portal lacked integration to their Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations solution, hindering their ability to capture the complete buying cycle of their customers. This limitation of crossplatform sales and transparency amplified the inflexibility of their siloed eCommerce solution.

Recognising the need to manage their eCommerce portal in-house, as well as improve their customers’ engagement and buying experience, Città worked alongside DXC Eclipse, the Microsoft Practice of DXC Technology, to strategically plan their next transformation.

“Città continues to invest year on year, I suppose, with technology. We believe it’s at the forefront of everything we can do as a business. So, I think we’ll continue to evolve and develop alongside DXC Eclipse as well as Microsoft, as long as we possibly can.”

Emmett Vallender COO at Città

Solution

Already operating in the cloud on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, Città decided the next phase of digitalising their business included the improvement of their online sales capabilities, regaining control of their eCommerce portal, achieving cross-channel sales transparency and improving customer engagement and communications.

Implemented at the beginning of 2020, Città is one of the first retailers globally to implement Dynamics 365 Commerce as an extension to their existing Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain and Modern Point of Sale solutions — creating a Unified Commerce Platform.

Emmett Vallender, COO at Città explains their decision to move to Dynamics 365 Commerce, “We have Dynamics 365 as an ERP tool already, so it was a natural step for us.”

“One system, one set of rules, one process. It makes everyone’s life easier.”

Since implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has given Città a single source of truth across the business. Dynamics 365 Commerce is fully integrated with their existing finance, inventory and supply chain management, providing accurate stock levels and sales transparency across all their retail channels. “It’s a great smart online cart which can update store and warehouse stock every five minutes,” says Emmett.

Furthermore, the business is now able to manage instant updates to their eCommerce site: empowering the business and boosting engagement and communication with customers. Emmett explains, “The opportunity with our true omni-channel solution is being able to have full control. When communicating with our customers, our in-house eCommerce team have been able to make fundamental changes to our website.”

“We will continue to invest in technology and both DXC and Microsoft are key to that.”

Emmett Vallender COO, Città

Results & Outcomes

Live with Dynamics 365 Commerce since April 2020, Città employees have quickly embraced the new eCommerce solution. Emmett adds, “Dynamics for Città is a real end-to-end solution, something that as a business who does a number of things, really just means it’s one set of data. It’s one system that we can use as a source of truth for every facet of our business.”

“Having an integrated system has allowed us to better track and monitor the cross-platform sales for customers.”

Furthermore, Città has been fortunate to have their eCommerce site integrated across their entire operations, providing the ability to remain operational and agile in their go to market strategy — when brick and mortar stores were closed. The retailer has been able to maintain their operations and fulfil orders from the website, through their warehouse, and communicate directly with their customer, which would not have been possible if they were hindered by an inflexible third-party solution and partner.

Emmett explains the transformation of buying habits recently experienced and how Dynamics 365 Commerce has supported this change, “We are relying a lot more on our Microsoft eCommerce platform for sales during lock downs and also to cater to those still wary of a retail environment. Having an integrated solution means we can handle our online orders and stock control without any delays.”

“More and more furniture is being sold online. Whilst they may be viewing in store prior to purchasing, we are seeing a significantly higher portion of furniture sales being processed online. Overall, sales are strong, and I suggest this is due to far more time being spent in people’s homes. Luckily, we specialise in making people’s homes look great.”

Città has also benefitted from the ability to extend and manage new fulfilment options, offering more flexibility and convenience to their customers, including improved delivery options, and click and collect from any store.

“We’ve actually been able to redirect a lot of our customers and fulfill orders from warehouses that we have as local retail stores… Our in-house ecommerce team have been able to make fundamental changes to our website… letting [customers] know what would happen when they re-enter our stores, and actually communicate with them one on one.”

“We are currently working on implementing customer insights to better dissect and review the learnings.”

Supporting Future Growth

Considering their go-to-market strategy, Città wanted a solution that could handle their future global expansion. Being a cloud-based solution means that the same platform can be used to underpin the company’s international plans and scale to support the business now and in the future.

Emmett explains, “Whilst we trade currently in New Zealand and Australia, both for retail and wholesale, we’re endeavouring to do more global transitioning, so when it comes to scoping [our platform] right now, we needed to look at what our future focus is.”

“Alongside DXC Eclipse, what we’re doing is figuring out in three, five, and seven years — where we need to be and the decisions we need to make on the foundations of what we’re doing, so that we can operate in each of those countries.”

In the future, Città will also continue to leverage the Microsoft Stack, which is expected to have a huge impact in identifying customer sentiment and emerging trends that can drive product demand.

“A Warehouse Management Solution is our next project, then Microsoft Power BI and CRM. The closer we can get to our customer and the more we can learn from their buying habits, the better we can plan and anticipate where we need to be to service them the best.”

“Città continues to invest year on year, I suppose, with technology. We believe it’s at the forefront of everything we can do as a business. So, I think we’ll continue to evolve and develop alongside DXC Eclipse as well as Microsoft, as long as we possibly can.”

“Dynamics for Città is a real end-to-end solution, something that as a business who does a number of things, really just means it’s one set of data. It’s one system that we can use as a source of truth for every facet of our business.”

Emmett Vallender COO, Città

Why DXC

For Città, working with DXC Eclipse means having a partner who has a deep understanding of the Microsoft Dynamics application as well as the retail environment. This partnership continues to deliver ongoing value and business benefits.

“Working with DXC has been incredible. They’re willing to understand our business down to the granular level, that means that the implementation is just so much more accurate and usable when we get the end product.”

Being one of the first businesses to implement Dynamics 365 Commerce globally, DXC Eclipse and Città worked very closely with the Microsoft Product Team in Redmond, Washington. This allowed Città to ensure their solution incorporated any localisations around credit payments, payment types and freight within the solution, as required.

“Our relationship with DXC and Microsoft is a unique one, although we are not the biggest business, we do a wide range of functions and the Dynamics 365 solution is at the forefront of our key areas. We will continue to invest in technology and both DXC and Microsoft are key to that,” concludes Emmett.

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