Natura &Co: Global beauty group leverages e-commerce to accelerate business growth and contribute to a sustainable future

Made up of four iconic beauty brands—Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop—Natura &Co is the fourth largest cosmetics company.

Ranked as the second largest direct sales company on the globe, its products reach consumers through a network of 8 million consultants in Brazil and abroad. It operates in more than 110 countries with more than 3,700 stores and 35,000 employees.

Largely accelerated by the pandemic, the company embarked on modernizing its IT infrastructure and advancing its data capabilities to successfully drive digital innovation and meet the changing market needs and emerging consumer trends.

THE CHALLENGE

Innovation has been central to Natura &Co LATAM's core values and permeates across all functions in the company, especially software development.

The business needed to shift from its primarily peer- to-peer, direct sales model to an entirely digitally- enabled one in order to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience to customers across multiple channels and touchpoints.

Having one of the largest SAP implementationsn Latin America, the organization needed more flexibility with its ERP systems supporting key lines of business—from accounting and invoicing to supply chain management—to rapidly process huge volumes of online orders, build and launch new functionality and applications, and ultimately fulfill requests from the business in a more efficient way.

In an effort to keep pace with its DevOps practices, the team looked for a solution that could provision data in a consistent, rapid, and automated fashion but also:

  • Serve up fast data for high quality software releases
  • Work hand-in-hand with its DevOps workflow and automation efforts to speed up software release cycles
  • Save on storage and associated power and cooling

THE SOLUTION

Natura &Co LATAM deployed Delphix, an API-first data platform, into its DevOps workflows to automate critical data operations, such as versioning, delivering, and refreshing test data.

The new data infrastructure brings both speed and stability, specifically:

  1. Time to provision and refresh data reduced from 48 hours to 1 hour — With Delphix, teams have faster data availability and streamlined integration testing. Standing up a complete SAP application environment takes 1 week instead of 3 months. Leveraging orchestration tools such as Jenkins in coordination with Delphix, teams also stand up integrated environments spanning the data sources for key billing, analytics, and sales representative apps to streamline the testing of complex workflows.
  2. Higher developer productivity — The data controls with Delphix remove the traditional hurdles of getting test data sets. Development and QA teams can easily bookmark, reset, archive, and share copies of test data without involving database administrators via API or at the click of a button.
  3. Monthly (every 30 days) to bi-weekly (every 15 days) releases — With access to data-ready environments, development teams can perform parallel testing for higher testing efficiency and faster delivery times.
  4. 90% storage reduction — Delphix’s data virtualization technology can spin up or spin down virtual databases as needed, decreasing data footprints by 10x and thereby reducing electricity and carbon emissions. It cuts back the environmental impact of the technology.

Successful digitalization is impossible without data competency. Businesses, like Natura &Co, that embrace data automation can innovate at speed and contribute to a sustainable future.

To comply with the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), the business plans to adopt Delphix’s masking technology to automatically identify and mask 100 TB of data across all non-production environments.

THE BENEFITS

By investing in green data automation capabilities, the 52-year-old Brazilian company continues to be a leader in the direct-to-consumer space with a digital business model that demonstrates resilience, sustainable business practices, and growth.

Devoted to sustainable business practices since it was founded in 1969, Natura was the first publicly traded company to receive B Corp certification, which recognizes organizations that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, in 2014. In 2020, Natura &Co became the world’s largest company to be a certified B Corporation. This recognition was achieved in conjunction with and as a result of Natura’s own recertification process, which in 2020 reached record score. The B Corp certification path was followed by The Body Shop in 2019, and by Aesop in 2020. Avon is on track to achieve B Corp certification by 2025.

The business reported double-digit revenue growth in Q1 2021 earnings report, powered by a surge in digital social selling and e-commerce across all brands, outperforming the entire global cosmetics, fragrance, and toiletries market.

Our network has the power to transform the lives of four and a half million consultants and sales reps in Latin America alone. The speed required to meet the demands of the business demanded great efforts on the part of the IT team, especially with regards to scalability and integration. Our data strategy has helped us progress more quickly.
Renzo Petri
Head of Cloud Platform Engineering and DevOps, Natura &Co

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