The proposition is simple and elegant: provide luxurious, handcrafted jewelry that’s affordable to all women at any income level. Since 1982 that’s been the mission of Pandora, a Danish jewelry maker known for its charm bracelets. Today, Pandora is ranked among the three largest jewelers in the world, with its designs sold in more than 70 countries through more than 10,000 franchises, concept stores and independent retailers.
This year the company is on track to sell US$1.5 billion of product, globally. Part of the secret to Pandora’s success and rapid growth is its focus on creating memorable moments for customers, a philosophy that extends from the retailers that sell its product to the consumer who buys it. To achieve and deliver these memorable moments, the company has trained a team of account managers and visual merchandisers who take great care in equipping the local jeweler and enabling them to deliver an outstanding customer experience so that they are successful selling its product.
Behind all the attention to crafting, merchandising and selling a high-quality product is an end-to-end solution powered by Microsoft technologies that has enabled Pandora to take an innovative approach to improving the customer experience.
The solution consists of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, including Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, SharePoint Server, Windows Azure and Office 365. Tying them all together is Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which helps drive greater efficiency through the development of new business tools and standardizing workflows across the company.
Overseeing Pandora America’s technology initiatives is Phillip Kennedy, director of IT. Before working at Pandora, Kennedy consulted the company on its use of technology and was partly responsible for the company’s investment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
“Four years ago, Pandora’s visual merchandisers relied on email and a photo-sharing website, SmugMug, to keep track of interactions with retail outlets and the merchandise displays they tried in the past,” says Kennedy. “What they needed was a formalized process for tracking conversations with retail outlets and cataloging past product merchandising.”
Kennedy and his colleagues developed a solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Server, which equipped a team of 100 visual merchandisers across the Americas to upload and organize photos, store contact information and measure the business results of their monthly store visits.
With Kennedy at the helm of its technology efforts in the Americas, Pandora has since expanded the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, using it as a development platform that brings greater structure and consistency to processes and workflows throughout the company.
Now when a Pandora account manager walks into a customer’s store, he or she has access to the full range of information related to the customer’s business. The account manager can look at past reports, access marketing and business plans, and view information related to sales performance, product sell-out and customer service issues — essentially they have a deeper understanding of their customer than ever before.
Having access to this full range of information enables account managers to drive more informed and proactive discussions around how retailers can better address their customer needs, improve processes and grow their business. That could mean being more selective in the products kept on hand or employing more effective marketing tactics, such as participation in Pandora promotions or cooperative advertising agreements.
Beyond the traditional use of CRM to manage customer relationships, Kennedy is also using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help Pandora’s team of in-house designers manage the creation, printing and broadcast of its advertising campaigns. Collectively, Microsoft Dynamics creates an end-to-end customer experience that has helped drive consistent growth in revenue of more than 230 percent for the company globally over the past four years, to the point where Pandora is now the second largest jewelry manufacturer in the world based on sales. But Pandora isn’t stopping there.
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes the ability to access social tools such as Yammer to enable social networking within the company’s firewall. Kennedy is using that capability to full effect, enabling employees to stay continuously connected with colleagues, prompting real-time conversations that can help accelerate decision-making and workflow processes.
Using a combination of Yammer and Lync, the Pandora Americas IT team has created a solution that helps trainers communicate with the field. A handpicked team of visual merchandisers and account managers, known as “super-users,” communicate with trainers via Lync and Yammer on a weekly basis, and then pass on what they’ve learned to their colleagues via these social technologies to ensure consistency in the Pandora experience.
In addition, Kennedy’s team is using Yammer to enable sales managers so they can have access to and quickly get an overview of what’s happening in their region. In addition, having access to information that shows what is working in one region versus another is giving Pandora’s visual merchandisers the ability to find new ideas for creating jewelry displays based on what’s worked well at other stores in the region.
The Yammer functionality is initially being rolled out in the Americas, with plans to eventually include them when implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM globally, within the next year.
The integrated reporting features in Pandora’s existing solution, combined with social tools integration and redesigned user experience of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, will provide Pandora with greater clarity about what the individual customer needs and ultimately help reveal opportunities for additional growth.
Kennedy is pleased with how things are going and notes that Pandora is selling as much jewelry as the company can make. But he’s well aware of the threat of complacency.
“Pandora’s success depends on monitoring the fashion trends, listening to what’s important to our retailers and our customers, and adapting as quickly as we can,” says Kennedy. “That really comes down to making sure we have as much information from as many places as possible and having access to the right analytics to make the right decisions. With Microsoft Dynamics we have a solid foundation in place that gives us those capabilities and the ability to scale with us as we continue to grow.”
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Microsoft News Center Staff