Landers Credits Expansion to ePLDT's End-to-End Cloud-Based Solutions
They're ahead in the “Cloud."
With more than a million members, seven superstores and a dozen more in the pipeline, and a growing number of restaurants to its name, Unido Capital Holdings with its famous brands Landers Superstore, Popeyes Philippines, Kuya J Restaurant, to name a few, is undoubtedly a giant on the rise. And in aiming for the skies, the homegrown, all-Filipino enterprise landed in “the cloud."
Such a landing, according to Unido Holdings Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Francis Reyes, helped the Landers group expand, not only through its physical stores but also in the digital realm—even before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for such paradigm shifts in 2020.
“To tell you honestly, we didn’t pivot with Landers during the pandemic because we have already started setting up our e-commerce business, Landers.ph, way before in 2017. Because of this, Landers has enjoyed steady growth and, in fact, holds the lead when it comes to grocery shopping within Metro Manila,” says Reyes.
However, the group did have to pivot its food businesses, by creating Central Delivery, an online platform that enabled the group’s restaurants to continuously serve its customers when the lockdowns slowed foot traffic to a virtual halt. “In just 22 days, we were able to come up with Central.ph sometime in April 2020, through which we offered our customers not just delivery services, but also exclusive discounts and promos,” says Reyes, whose early experience in information technology helped greatly in leading such digital efforts.
Still, the pandemic further emphasized the growing importance of cloud solutions to modern businesses. “Cloud services were very important to us back then and is still very important to us now. We were able to mobilize and use that robust technology to go online almost instantaneously,” he adds.
A trusted, reliable partner
In undertaking these endeavors, Landers needed a reliable partner—one that would not only provide access to the necessary solutions but also empower the company and its people to understand these new technologies. “It’s also about trust. We can have access to a lot of things – information, technology, other resources – but trust is never quite as easy to access. It needs to be developed, and have a good foundation. PLDT, being around for decades, epitomizes Filipino technology. It is something we trust,” says Reyes.
With the help of experts from ePLDT and PLDT Enterprise, Reyes and his team were able to create suitable cloud-based solutions and services that helped Landers maximize programs such as Salesforce Cloud, Amazon S3, and Microsoft Azure.
A cloud-based environment gives flexibility to enterprises. Data is the lifeline of businesses today, so it is important that customers know how to store, manage, and harness its power for more informed, agile decision making.
“We’re always looking for solutions that we don’t know of yet. Obviously, there are solutions for infrastructure that had to be set up for customer support and services. These include anything from e-mail services to analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) to artificial intelligence. We have been looking for and eager to have these, and PLDT has all these in its arsenal,” says Reyes.
Among their most complex and useful undertakings is Project Giga CRM, which aims to improve contact and data management by connecting all the stores and datapoints in the cloud. It also employs a new module that greatly improves the quality of customer center support that can, for one, automatically convert messages, inquiries, and feedback from the website and other social media assets, into tickets that can be traced, monitored, and most importantly, resolved.
The new CRM system also provides a weekly report on product supplies, data on top spenders per branch, tracks the number of members converted via canvassers, gauges campaign performance by comparing costs against revenue, and monitors sign-up and renewal rates by measuring them against targets.
Growth beyond the pandemic
While the pandemic seems to be winding down, its impact on the way the world conducts business is here to stay. And Landers, having found its place in the cloud, is testament to this. At the Ph Digicon 2022, Landers affiliate Kuya j group, Chief Information Officer Dennis Jimenez said that the solutions worked because they are “scalable, agile, available and cost-efficient,” and that they intend to build on these gains in the coming years.
The Retail Ecom Business Head, Ryan Pangilinan seconded this, saying that “Today, we are assured that the right tech is always available for us and that we can make our vision happen, even during challenging times, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years.”
As for Reyes, his sights are currently set on making sure that Landers’ goals soon turn into milestones, as it gears towards having more than 20 stores by 2024 and tripling the brand’s worth by 2026.
The group is also aiming to operate 100 Kuya J and 400 Popeye’s physical stores by 2026. And such goals are seemingly within reach, judging from Landers' 53 percent growth in the past couple of years; and its recording of the highest number of transactions for Popeye’s in the Philippines, as compared to other franchise holders in other parts of the world.
Impressive as the numbers are though, Reyes maintains that their primary motivation is still the people—the priceless smiles of its more than 1 million members, more than 10,000 employees, and the thousands of others they serve through Landers.ph and Central.ph.
The best part is that Landers need not embark on such a journey alone. “With ePLDT and PLDT Enterprise, we don’t just get access to the cloud or to new technologies. We are able to sit down and think of solutions together. And that is why we truly value this partnership,” he concludes.
Learn more about how ePLDT's end-to-end cloud-based solutions helped Landers with their growth:
For more on ePLDT’s multi-cloud solutions, contact your Relationship Manager or visit www.ePLDT.com.