Gravity and Microsoft forge strategic partnership to digitise supply chains
Gravity Supply Chain has announced a partnership with Microsoft enabling it to accelerate the delivery of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.
Gravity provides organisations with real-time, end-to-end visibility of the supply chain, with its software affording predictive insights, prescriptive actions and automated decision support across a company’s global sourcing, supply chain and logistics networks.
The company will leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to continue the deployment of market-leading, differentiated SaaS solutions for its customers at a faster pace.
“Our software supports the digitisation of the supply chain of some of the world’s leading companies, allowing them to capitalise on revenue opportunities and increase customer engagement,” said Graham Parker, Chief Executive Officer, Gravity Supply Chain.
“Our partnership with Microsoft complements our mission to inspire today’s supply chains as the world moves into the digital economy age.”
Microsoft is equally keen about the opportunities the partnership provides, with Gerald Leo, Director, Commercial Partners and Small Medium Enterprises Group, Microsoft Singapore, saying: “Microsoft Azure powers high levels of organisational efficiency and facilitates data-driven decision making.
“This makes Azure the perfect platform to deploy Gravity’s innovative SaaS supply chain solutions, which will help customers digitally transform their supply chains and thus benefit from greater productivity and smarter decisions.”
Gerald added: “The partnership between Gravity and Microsoft will allow Gravity to adopt Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform and merge it with their supply chain expertise to deliver state of the art systems built for the future.”
The partnership will also see Gravity and Microsoft join forces on marketing, industry and thought-leadership events, as well as co-sell Gravity’s SaaS solutions to retailers and manufacturers. Gravity’s customers and community partners will moreover be able to utilize the Microsoft global partner network.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.