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26.03.2021 | Halonen and Carlson choose Efima to implement their new unified commerce solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce

26.03.2021 | Halonen and Carlson are upgrading their commerce solution to a modern, cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce solution delivered by Efima with the aim of creating more personalized and multi-channel shopping experiences. The unified commerce solution streamlines all core functions required for modern and traditional commerce to one digital platform, which enables more seamless buying and selling experiences for both customers and staff.


Two Finnish sister companies, fashion store Veljekset Halonen Oy and department store and hardware store chain Oy Carlson, are taking a significant leap towards more multi-channel, digital customer experience by upgrading their current commerce solution to a modern, cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce solution. Efima Oy was selected to implement the new digital heart of Halonen and Carlson.

"We call our solution the digital heart of Halonen and Carlson, as the solution covers all possible ERP components needed for today’s commerce and brings them together to a one unified digital business platform", Efima's ERP Business Director, Kai Lyytinen, describes. Based on customer needs, the solution covers cash registers, CRM and e-commerce platforms, as well as background functions supporting the actual commerce, including supply chain management and financial administration. "All business and customer data float through the centralized digital heart, enabling first-rate information-based decision-making both externally and internally”, Lyytinen adds.

The digital heart can agilely be connected to other systems owned by external service partners, suppliers, and customers. This is made possible by an integration platform provided by Efima, called Efima Integration Layer.

When the two sister companies, Halonen and Carlson, were looking for a new commerce solution, the goal was to make their sales channels more in line with the modern times – to serve a modern customer. “Digital commerce places new demands on our ERP system. At Halonen and Carlson, providing high-quality customer service has always been something we take very seriously. Today’s customers, however, expect the same high-quality service anytime and anywhere. To provide high-quality service across all channels, both offline and online, finding a system that supports creating multi-channel customer experiences was a lifeline for us”, Erkka Sarnola, Carlson's Development Director, explains. “With the solution implemented by Efima, we can meet our customers' expectations – and even exceed them – without compromising on our quality standards”, Sarnola believes.

Since the solution covers both traditional and modern sales channels, it enables customers to have unified shopping experiences at each contact point, as well as seamless interaction between different buying channels. “When in addition to cash registers, also background functions are brought to the same platform, all of our business processes can be interconnected and harnessed to support the buying process in real time. For example, logistical processes can be activated simultaneously with the purchase transaction, enabling us to offer our customers new, flexible ways of buying, such as click and collect -deliveries”, Sarnola explains.

Sarnola also sees the modern, digital commerce solution enabling more personalized customer service as a major advantage: "When all customer encounters take place on the same platform and our customer data is not fragmented into several different systems, we can serve our customers better in the future."

In addition to the high-quality customer experience, the employee experience weighed at least as much in the balance, when Halonen and Carlson were choosing their new commerce solution. “A unified solution that stores all of our data makes our products and customers more visible to our management, stores and individual store employees. For example, our in-store employees now have a holistic view on the customer they are serving as well as on our products, delivery options, and other stores – and, above all, in one place.” The digital tool travels with the sales personnel as a mobile version, and they now have easy access to all product, inventory, and customer information, regardless of their location in store.

Both Lyytinen and Sarnola are pleased with the partnership the three Finnish companies have formed. “At Halonen and Carlson, everything we do is based on high quality. We saw Efima having the same ambitious quality standards, and Efima has already provided added value to our operations”, Sarnola describes. “It's an honor for Efima to be part of building this great Finnish success story. The modern, cloud-based digital heart updates agilely and scales according to Halonen and Carlson's business growth. Our customers no longer need to worry about updating old technologies – instead, they can focus on what’s the most important for them – that is, providing high-quality service for their customers”, Lyytinen concludes with a smile.

Additional information:
Efima, Business Director Kai Lyytinen, 040 830 1217

Veljekset Halonen Oy is a trendy and up to speed Finnish fashion store. Since 1932, Halonen has grown to be one of the largest private fashion stores in Finland. Halonen has stores in the largest cities and shopping centers, as well as an online store. Their selection includes high-quality clothing designed for Finnish consumers. Clothes are responsibly made and are made to last. The head office of Halonen is located Helsinki, and Halonen employs approximately 300 professionals.

Oy Carlson is the largest private department store and hardware store chain in Finnish Lakeland, founded in 1859. In addition, Carlson has two home department stores in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and an online store. Known for its professional service, Carlson employs nearly 300 professionals. Carlson's business is centered around memorable customer experiences, comprehensive product selection and a wide range of services that are available through various shopping channels. The selection includes clothing and footwear, sports and leisure, household and interior products, home technology and construction products. Carlson invests in experientialism and responsibility. The company's head office is in Kuopio.

Efima Oy supports and improves large and mid-sized organizations' business with ERP, financial management and RPA & AI solutions, outsourcing services, and consulting. We strive to provide the best service within our industry and to be an exceptional workplace for our experts. In 2021, Efima has almost 250 employees. Efima's revenue in the last fiscal year was approximately MEUR 18, and the company has offices in Helsinki, Tampere and Austin, USA.