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Microsoft Dynamics CRM update adds new marketing, social functions

BY Marianne Wilson

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. has enhanced Microsoft Dynamics CRM by adding a comprehensive set of new marketing, customer care and social listening capabilities to the suite. The new release is expected in the second quarter of 2014.

The release adds new functionality to help marketers be smarter, enabling them to efficiently drive and manage their marketing campaigns, Microsoft said. The new capabilities also are designed to help businesses engage with and care for customers in a personalized manner on virtually any device, anywhere; and enhance capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 to help businesses sell more effectively. Breaking from typical industry practice, the update also brings social listening capabilities to every sales, service and marketing professional within an organization to empower more employees with deeper insights.

“Businesses want solutions that give them market insights and the ability to deliver amazing customer experiences,” said Bob Stutz, corporate VP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “The new Microsoft Dynamics CRM update democratizes social listening, adds new marketing capabilities for more impact and enables businesses to deliver outstanding customer service. With this new release, we are essentially changing the CRM game.”

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Beall’s deploys JustEnough Software’s replenishment, profiling solutions

BY Marianne Wilson

Irvine, Calif. – Beall’s has selected replenishment and profiling solutions from JustEnough Software Corporation, a provider of demand management solutions for retail, wholesale and direct-to-consumer businesses worldwide.

Beall’s utilizes existing legacy systems, so delivering strong, focused product presentations and excellent in-stocks required a high inventory investment and was very time consuming.

“We expect that JustEnough will allow us to continue to maintain a high level of customer service by helping us identify and shift our inventory investment into the styles and sizes that our customers want,” said Victor D’Amato, director of forecasting and replenishment, Beall’s Department Stores, which operates more than 530 stores under the Beall’s Department Store, Beall’s Outlet, and Burkes Outlet nameplates. “Accomplishing this with greater precision and less associate effort than it takes today is our driving goal.”

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American TV & Appliance to close doors

BY Dan Berthiaume

Madison, Wisc. – American TV & Appliance, an 11-store electronics chain with locations in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, is preparing to go out of business. The company is closing stores Feb. 18 and 19 to mark down prices and will launch its going-out-of-business sale at all locations on Feb. 20.

In a brief press release, American TV said difficult economic conditions during the last five years led to the decision to close down. The release also said employees were given advance notice of the closure and will receive compensation with benefits through an unspecified notification period, with most working throughout the closing process.

Media reports indicate the company will lay off close to 1,000 employees and listed assets of $72.56 million and liabilities of $54.7 million in a receivership petition.

“While this is a sad moment, it is also a proud moment,” Doug Reuhl, president and CEO of American CEO, said in a news release. “It’s a moment to be proud of our efforts and to be proud of what we have delivered to the community.”

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