The Jean Coutu Group has enlisted a solution from Microsoft Inc. to manage all of its retail operations.

Jean Coutu Group, retail operations, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics for Retail, Canadian drug chain, Alain Boudreault, PJC Jean Coutu, point-of-sale, drug stores, Windows tablets, mobile POS strategy

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Jean Coutu Group to deploy new retail management system

November 21st, 2013

REDMOND, Wash. – The Jean Coutu Group has enlisted a solution from Microsoft Inc. to manage all of its retail operations.

The software giant said Thursday that Jean Coutu plans to implement Microsoft Dynamics for Retail, which will manage the Canadian drug chain's operations from its headquarters down to the point-of-sale devices in stores.

Plans call for Jean Coutu to deploy Microsoft Dynamics to its more than 400 drug stores, 3,000 POS systems and 11,500 devices beginning in 2014.

"We knew we wanted a system that we could scale for future growth and gave people across the company the information they need to do their jobs. Microsoft Dynamics provides that flexibility, along with an easy, familiar interface," Alain Boudreault, vice president and chief information officer at Longueuil, Quebec-based Jean Coutu Group. "This will help us better serve our customers now and in the future."

Jean Coutu employs more than 19,000 people and operates a network of more than 400 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Sante and PJC Sante Beaute. Besides running these retail operations, PJC also responds to the needs of its franchise network by providing an array of technical and professional support services, as well as the supply, warehousing and delivery of products.

According to Microsoft, the drug chain needed a new, integrated system to manage its retail operation because its current system was nearing the end of its life cycle. As the selection process began, Jean Coutu managers found it difficult to find a single solution and opted to consider one solution for the retail headquarters and store management, and one for the POS system. But then they came upon Microsoft Dynamics for Retail and concluded that it would be able to meet all of the pharmacy retailer's needs in one solution.

Microsoft Dynamics for Retail encompasses such functions as POS, omnichannel management, store operations, e-commerce, merchandising, customer care, social commerce, financials and supply chain. A key element of the integrated solution, Microsoft noted, is that it provides a "RoleTailored" experience by surfacing relevant information based on the user's role.

"The fact that Microsoft is providing us with an end-to-end solution makes it so much easier to envision our future technology plans and the future of our retail business," Boudreault stated. "We are also considering deploying Windows tablets as part of our overall mobile POS strategy and are excited at the potential Microsoft can bring to PJC."