DavidsTea is on an upward trajectory as it introduces new business channels and expands operations. Its well-designed, inviting stores, which sell 150 varieties of tea and related accessories, are bringing specialty tea to the mainstream and winning over converts in the process.
Since opening its first location in 2008, the fast-growing Montreal-based tea company has expanded across Canada, and is on track for 70 locations by yearend. It is also looking beyond its own borders, having recently opened its first two U.S. stores (both in Manhattan). The company, which already has a flourishing e-commerce business, is also establishing a wholesale/corporate operation.
It all adds up to a busy agenda for DavidsTea. And it’s one in which a new enterprise resource planning system, Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, is playing a crucial role.
“We were outgrowing the functionality of the [previous ERP] system, which was limited to supporting our retail and point-of-sale operations,” said Howard Tafler, CFO, DavidsTea. “We needed a full back-end and accounting package that could support our current business and future plans.”
DavidsTea began searching for a new platform two years ago. To support the company’s diverse operations, the ideal ERP platform had to be affordable, scalable and robust enough to support new business functionality, and open so that integration with third-party software partners would be seamless. It found what it was looking for in Microsoft Dynamics AX, an end-to-end retail solution that standardizes operations across locations.
The infrastructure, which is supported by a centralized database, manages the enterprise’s retail operations, POS, financials and accounting. To streamline the implementation, DavidsTea is working with Cole Systems, a New York City-based Microsoft partner that is helping the retailer to configure and customize the Dynamics AX system and integrate all enterprise software.
The chain began installing the platform in the second quarter of 20