98% accuracy in product inventory
30% faster expansion to market
Accessing scattered data to create a holistic view of a growing business
Lotus’s is a popular retail brand that comprises around 2,500 + outlets in Thailand and Malaysia, including small and medium-sized supermarkets and large superstores known as hypermarkets. Founded in 1994 by the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, the business changed hands and was held by another entity for twenty-two years before CP reacquired it in late 2020.
Building on these foundations, Lotus’s set out to double its sales in 2 years by improving customer loyalty and adopting an omnichannel strategy. To launch digital initiatives to support its strategy, Lotus’s needed a 360-degree view of its operations and customers. The company’s rapid growth led to an accumulation of multiple disparate systems and data sources across new acquisitions, partners, and supply chain operators. Therefore, it was difficult for Lotus’s to access the necessary data to gain visibility into its business. The company’s existing IT infrastructure and point-to-point custom code integration was labor-intensive and costly to connect existing systems, add new systems and access data.
Lotus’s needed a more flexible systems integration solution to connect front and back-end systems at an accelerated pace to support its sales goals and business growth.
“We knew we couldn’t build everything from scratch, despite the uniqueness of our business,” said Atiporn Jaroensri, Chief Information Officer at Lotus’s. “We needed to come up with a best-of-breed architecture.”
Creating a seamless omnichannel experience
To double its sales in 2 years, Lotus’s needed to create new digital sales channels and improve the customer experience quickly by:
- Integrating disparate systems dispersed across its enterprise and partners to launch a new ecommerce platform and a mobile app.
- Accurately tracking product inventory to achieve a seamless in-store and online shopping experience.
- Future-proofing its IT infrastructure with an adaptable system capable of pivoting to accommodate new systems and respond to emerging trends.
Unlocking data to fuel new digital sales channels for an omnichannel experience
Lotus’s needed a combination of functionalities and chose Salesforce Customer 360, deploying Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and MuleSoft Anypoint Platform.
Anypoint Platform allows Lotus’s to create the necessary data flow through API-led integration of the Salesforce clouds and legacy systems, such as billing and warehouse systems, across its enterprise, partners, and third-party platforms. Marketing Cloud is used to automate and personalize engagement and powers ecommerce and loyalty program customer journeys. While Service Cloud helps Lotus’s provide consistent service in-store, by phone, and through live chat.
Together, the integrated SaaS and legacy systems enabled the company to launch a new ecommerce platform and combine its ecommerce and loyalty platforms for a new customer mobile app — offering customers more convenient shopping and rewards options. Lotus’s extended its integration to partnering third-party systems, such as Lazada, Shopee, HappyFresh, and foodpanda, to cater to their customers’ preferred online platforms.
Data flows across the business, from in-store and online sales to warehouse management, order fulfillment, and other core functions. This digital transformation allowed Lotus’s to access reliable, near-real-time information about what items are in stock and at which location, improving availability and delivery performance.
“Speed and accuracy were key factors in the transition. We didn’t have much room for error or lots of time to achieve it. So rather than build the integration layer ourselves using our existing technology, we used MuleSoft which allowed us to complete it in 18 months for what could have taken us 5 years with custom integration,” explained Jaroensri.
Increasing sales with an agile environment
Lotus’s is now poised to achieve its goal of doubling sales in two years. Using Anypoint Platform, Lotus’s integrated more than 370 systems across its business and partners 70% faster than it would have using custom integration, enabling the launch of its ecommerce platform in just 18 months vs. 5 years.
The company was also able to quickly combine its ecommerce and loyalty platforms and launch a new customer mobile app. Even with 12 integration layers, they launched the app in just 3 months by reusing APIs.
Integration of order management, inventory, and website systems resulted in 98% inventory accuracy across more than 2000 Lotus’s stores for 250k active SKUs per store and its warehouses. This provided accurate and on-time order fulfillment, improving customer experiences.
A significant contributor to the program’s success was the ability to reuse 70% of its APIs, which helped Lotus’s to save considerable development time and costs, accelerating its speed to market. On average, project delivery times were improved by 30% for integration projects, enabling the IT team to do more with fewer resources, and enhance collaboration between key functions such as DevOps, testing, and security.
Lotus’s can now quickly add new systems to its IT environment to meet evolving business objectives,emerging market trends, and capture sales opportunities.