In 1960, Denis Brault and Robert Martineau opened their first furniture and appliance store in Montreal's east end. Focused on selling a quality product at a reasonable price, Brault & Martineau grew to become a retail leader in Quebec. Today, the company has 10 megastores across the province, a 600,000 square foot warehouse and more than 1,600 employees.

CGI is working with Brault & Martineau since 2018 providing application management services for its enterprise resource planning systems. At the time, they had five branches and each one was working with a different e-commerce solution, along with an existing e-commerce platform that was expensive to operate. In 2019, they decided to transition to a more reliable, efficient and robust e-commerce environment.

CGI proposed the cloud-based, omni-channel e-commerce platform by Intershop because of the innovative and end-to-end functionality at a competitive price. With this platform and CGI’s integration expertise, Brault & Martineau would move to a single e-commerce platform for all of its branches and achieve its goals quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Dealing with pandemic challenges

When the global pandemic hit in the first months of 2020, stores started to close so the retail industry had to rely entirely on their websites to sell to their customers. Therefore, the company decided to accelerate its e-commerce initiatives recognizing they were critical for ensuring business continuity during this crisis period.

Collaborating for success

CGI’s strong collaborative relationship with Brault & Martineau was a key success factor in this implementation. They were confident in CGI’s ability to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and complete the implementation on time and on budget.

In working with Brault & Martineau, CGI adjusted to pandemic-imposed restrictions through effective remote collaboration and delivery. CGI provided the transactional website integration expertise the company required, along with experience in providing secure cloud-based application support and managing Java-based ecosystems. In addition, Intershop, as a CGI partner, jointly supported the project through highly structured, efficient and transparent implementation processes. CGI also ensured a fast, high-quality implementation through agile and DevOps methodologies.

Delivering expected benefits

CGI completed the single e-commerce platform implementation in August of 2020. The platform’s full B2C functionality enabled Brault & Martineau to expand significantly its online presence and services. For example, it now has greater capabilities for managing online promotions and pricing, delivering omni-channel offerings and leveraging customer intelligence.

With the new platform, Brault & Martineau provides a 360-degree customer experience and sharply reduced its time to market for promotions from two days to two hours. In addition, it substantially reduced its operating costs.

As a result, the new platform significantly improved the customer experience, offers a more efficient, productive and visible technology supply chain, and increased business agility. CGI helped the client navigate through the pandemic, rebound from its effects, and reinvent its e-commerce business, driving sustainable results now and into the future.