CUSTOMER STORY

Multichannel Customer Experience by Lojas Lebes

Explore Lojas Lebes' journey in creating a seamless multichannel customer experience, integrating diverse technologies for superior
retail service.

Meet the Customer
Lojas Lebes: Shaping a multichannel customer experience with integration and automation
Since its founding in 1956, Lojas Lebes has become one of the largest retail chains in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the extreme south of Brazil. Today, the company has expanded to neighboring states and has around 350 stores, 3,000 employees and one million active customers. In addition to offering retail products such as fashion, accessories, furniture and appliances, Lojas Lebes has diversified into logistics intelligence, healthcare and financing and loans.
Challenges
  • Boost a local family business into a national retailer
  • Digitize the business to meet the changing needs of consumers
  • Create a compelling multichannel customer experience
  • Migrate to a new ERP and integrate new and legacy systems quickly
Outcomes
  • Reduced integration time for new software from 9 to 3 months
  • Launch of the e-commerce website with the option to sell with credit from physical stores
  • Integration of more than 800 services into the new iPaaS and expanded the portfolio to include the sale of health and insurance services in physical stores and on the e-commerce website
  • Customer experience improvements by seamlessly connecting business services, POS system and e-commerce website
  • Customer Loyalty and Engagement as Customers Migrate to Digital Channels
  • Growth from around 150 to 350 stores
  • Automated financial closing for all stores with RPA
  • Increase sustainability by automating green electricity bill management

webMethods has become the foundation of our strategy to modernize our business and create an omnichannel customer experience. Thanks to its ready-to-use connectors, we can quickly integrate technologies and launch new services for our customers. With ARIS RPA, we also achieved significant efficiency gains by automating back-office processes.”

- Rafael Antunes , Head of IT, Lojas Lebes
From family business to multichannel retail

In recent years, Lojas Lebes has undergone a period of transformation. The company's presidency passed from the founder to the eldest son in 2015, and the board of directors now has non-family members for the first time since its inception. Furthermore, the business has been expanding: in 2018, it had around 150 stores. Today, it has around 350, with a much wider geographic reach.

“Lojas Lebes was always a traditional family stores chain for the local community,” explains Rafael Antunes, Head of IT. “Customers took out credit in stores and returned in person to pay the debt in installments. But times are changing.”

The company's directors wanted to modernize the business. They knew they needed to keep up with evolving consumer expectations 24/7 and remain competitive. Through digital transformation, Lojas Lebes wanted to open up new opportunities and services, including online sales, multichannel cross-selling and offer the customer a more integrated and interactive experience.

To make this happen, the company outlined a strategy to fully integrate its legacy systems and digitize many of its processes. The first step was to replace its legacy ERP with SAP S/4 Hana. The challenge was then to integrate the store's POS system (Linx Storex), the virtual store (Linx Commerce) and more than 70 satellite systems with the new ERP.
 

Integrating data quickly and automating routine processes

To realize its strategy, Lojas Lebes needed the ability to “plug and unplug” connectors for new solutions as quickly as possible—and connect its data across a complex legacy and modern architecture. All of this needed to happen with an emphasis on safety and the low maintenance required for an efficient business. After researching the market, the IT team identified Software AG's webMethods as the best-in-class solution. With its plug-and-play model and everything-to-everything integration philosophy, webMethods is an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) that helps connect applications, apps, events and B2B across and beyond the enterprise.

The platform was implemented in 2018 with the support of PSW, an official partner of Software AG. “PSW contributed a lot of knowledge to the project, bringing best practices and recommendations for implementations and updates,” explains Antunes. “They also passed on their valuable knowledge to our team.”

Since adopting the solution, Lojas Lebes has continually used webMethods out-of-the-box connectors to integrate business applications with its core systems. “webMethods has become the technological heart of Lojas Lebes,” says Antunes. “This allows us to add and remove technology very quickly and with the certainty of governance and stability across our operations.” The migration to SAP S/4 Hana is an example of this. Thanks to webMethods, Lojas Lebes was able to simply disconnect the legacy ERP and connect the new one. Today, the company has already used the solution to integrate more than 800 services.

“The biggest benefit has been the speed of integration and scalability,” says Antunes. “Implementing new software took around 9 months. Now it’s done in just 3 months.”

In 2021, Lojas Lebes took another step to accelerate digitalization by adopting ARIS RPA for its back-office operations. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) consists of configuring and running software robots to automate repetitive, high-volume, rules-based tasks.
 

An integrated company that drives customer satisfaction and cross-selling

webMethods' ease of use allowed Lojas Lebes to quickly implement a wide range of new business solutions. The launch of a new e-commerce website proved to be a major asset when the Covid-19 pandemic forced temporary closure store in 2020. “During this difficult time, our e-commerce site provided us with a continuous stream of revenue,” says Antunes, “and this meant that customers could continue to pay their credit installments online, which was a big advantage compared to many of our competitors.”

As part of its diversification strategy, Lojas Lebes stores have used webMethods to launch new hyperconnected services that include offering online medical consultations via subscription. Other recent releases include extended support for electronic devices and insurance against cell phone theft and damage. “webMethods has made the introduction of new services much easier because it integrates technology quickly and robustly,” says Antunes.

The customer experience has also become richer and more integrated: customers can now purchase the same services in store and online, regardless of the technology used in the back office. The company's health services, for example, use another supplier's platform. webMethods provides B2B middleware between the third-party platform, the POS system and the company website. The strong integration between different technologies enabled Lojas Lebes to explore cross-selling opportunities with its customers across different channels.

More recently, the company automated its back-office operations through ARIS RPA. A single RPA robot became responsible for taking care of the various financial closing processes for all stores in the country. This helped to reduce costs, increase efficiency and accuracy, and free up employees for more skilled tasks.

RPA has also had a positive impact on sustainability. Electricity for all stores is supplied through photovoltaic panels installed on the store roofs and in the parking lots of the administrative center, as well as in solar parks owned by Lojas Lebes. With ARIS RPA, the company was able to develop robots that control and manage invoices for different electricity operators. This helped to simplify energy management and increase greener operational efficiency.

 

Continue Elevating Customer Experience with Next-Level Integration

Lojas Lebes continues working to create greater integration between the technologies in its physical and virtual stores. “We are focused on bringing the best experience from each channel in a unique and consistent way to all of our customers”, says Antunes.

The company's management has expressed interest in Super iPaas—the platform that combines webMethods with StreamSets to take integration to the next level. With Super iPaaS, it's simple to integrate apps, data, API, B2B and events into a single unified platform. For Lojas Lebes, opportunities include greater productivity, agility and governance across the company.

“We are very happy with what we have achieved so far with webMethods and ARIS RPA,” says Antunes, “and we look forward to developing more services and offering our customers a fully integrated and even richer experience.”

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