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Cirque du Soleil achieves greater agility with Openbravo

Openbravo has given us the agility we needed to manage the complexity of our highly dynamic business by providing us with the tools to reduce the time spent and the cost preparing our shows.

Pierre-Luc Bisaillon, CIO, Cirque du Soleil

Dreaming the unimaginable, creating the unexpected

Cirque du Soleil is based in Montreal, Canada and was founded in the early 1980s by Guy Laliberté, who believed Cirque du Soleil should constantly aim to evoke the imagination and provoke the emotions of people around the world with its shows. Today, the company is the world leader in artistic entertainment and has approximately 4,000 employees including 1,300 artists. Since the first show in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has achieved a unique success in the entertainment industry and its shows have been seen by more than 155 million people around the world.


Increase Business & IT Agility
With several merchandising stores, resident shows in different cities and touring shows moving around the globe continuously, Cirque du Soleil required its new point-of-sale solution to provide a very high degree of agility. It wanted to reduce the excessive time spent setting up and closing point-of-sale activities for each show location and the high cost that that incurred, so ease of setting up and closing the POS terminals, and ease of maintenance were must-have business requirements imposed by the nature of its touring shows, which move frequently from one city to another. In addition, the IT department wanted to adopt a platform-independent solution that would facilitate integration with existing systems and allow them to adopt technologies to enhance the customer experience.
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Photo Credits: Liz Vandal and James Paul Correia

Enhance customer experience and increase sales
To boost Food & Beverage (F&B) and merchandising sales during and around shows, Cirque de Soleil was interested in adopting a solution that would make the sales process more efficient and enhance the customer experience. In particular, Cirque du Soleil wanted a solution that would reduce the time its clients spent waiting in line and so increase sales, and it also wanted to be able to forecast demand and manage inventory better, so as to avoid losing sales for being out-of-stock. Lastly, Cirque du Soleil wanted to make it possible to support different sales scenarios through different initiatives like the adoption of mobile devices, or the integration with the online channel.

Cirque de Soleil has always been focused on offering exceptional experiences to our visitors so we wanted to also offer a stand-out customer experience in our stores and shows, and Openbravo’s innovative solution has allowed us to do that. It helps reduce waiting times by providing a faster and more convenient checkout experience, and it opens up many possibilities to roll-out new retailing scenarios in the future. We’re convinced that Openbravo will be a key enabler of our omnichannel strategy.

Pierre-Luc Bisaillon, CIO, Cirque du Soleil
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Photo Credits: Liz Vandal and James Paul Correia


Comprehensive mobile retail POS solution for merchandising and F&B sales
For several years, Openbravo has been used in Cirque du Soleil’s merchandising stores, permanent shows and touring shows around the globe. Today’s solution comprises Openbravo POS to manage merchandising and F&B sales. Key features include a fast browse mode to reduce the time needed to add products to a ticket, a combo feature that guides the cashiers on appropriate product selection, and mobile devices, which are used by the barkers and for queue busting, thus reducing waiting times and increasing sales. The solution also includes an integration with Cirque du Soleil’s central ERP system.
Future Evolution
Cirque du Soleil and Openbravo will continue to work closely together to further enhance the customer experience.


Some of these future initiatives include central ERP system improvements, eCommerce integration for a full omnichannel retailing experience, enhanced reporting and analytics for better business decisions, and the management in Openbravo of certain back-end processes, order management system (OMS) and front-end retail operations at the locations.


Dramatically optimized IT infrastructure
Openbravo’s solution dramatically simplifies the IT department’s workload when it comes to preparing and closing each show. The flexible architecture allows to easily activate/deactivate POS terminals according to each show’s calendar, enhancing expense control and optimize cost levels. In addition, most configuration and setup activities ─ including products, prices, promotions and different tax configurations for each country ─ can now be done centrally and in advance from headquarters, which helps reduce local set-up activities, increase quality, reduce human error, and eliminate delays.
Increased customer satisfaction and sales with mobility and intuitive UI
Openbravo enables Cirque du Soleil to reduce queue waiting times and thus avoid losing sales by providing associates with mobile terminals to take customer orders while they are in the queue. At the counter, UI features like very intuitive and fast browsing for F&B products and the flexible definition and ordering of combos helps deliver a faster and more convenient checkout experience. Around the shows, barkers armed with mobile devices can also take customer orders, thus increasing the possibility of new sales.
Optimized operating expenses
Thanks to its architecture, Openbravo POS solution imposes minimum requirements on the point-of-sale hardware, which meant Cirque du Soleil could reuse existing store hardware and make use of lower-cost mobile devices to increase sales capacity in rush hours. Each touring show requires new temporary staff, usually inexperienced, to be hired, so the minimal training requirements of Openbravo POS means that new users can learn to operate the system effectively very rapidly.
Faster business insights and better control
Detailed daily sales information is available at headquarter level within hours of finishing the last daily show thanks to a seamless integration with the central ERP system. In addition, the most relevant business indicators and key information are reported directly from Openbravo which provides real-time control and monitoring of the business from the headquarters and can be reconciled at any time with the information integrated in the ERP.


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