Sears Measures Readiness for 250,000 People Using Wax LRS

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Sears is a large retailer with a very broad range of products and services. To help their employee stay abreast and knowledgeable, they provide a number of online training activities and resources across multiple Learning Management Systems (LMS) and platforms. In order to transform into a multi-channel innovative retail organization, they needed to revamp their technology infrastructure.

The Problem:

Custom learning system integrations are expensive. Aggregating and normalizing LMS and other learning data is complicated. Bringing it all together to gain actionable insights is near impossible.


It’s extremely common for organizations to leverage different platforms for learning; in the flow of work, using video, and courses (blending informal and formal training). Not using a single platform like an LMS is a best practice, and it’s a scenario that’s becoming more common with the introduction of the LRS and distributed activities.

As a result, reporting on people’s competencies on-demand and at any level of the organizational hierarchy is tedious, if at all possible. Data is silo’d in different systems and it requires full-time employees to maintain, patch, and assemble reports. Getting near real time reporting is difficult, especially for an organization the size of Sears. Data is in different formats, on multiple LMS systems, and it’s really hard to organize and makes sense out of all the results.

This is a common problem most L&D organizations face today, but Sears had the team, courage, and vision to tackle it.


Sears L&D leaders partnered with Saltbox to leverage the Experience API (xAPI) and Wax LRS to help them solve this problem.

Saltbox contributed the xAPI know-how and helped Sears instrument their existing learning platforms and integrate their HR information system with Wax LRS. Once the data was flowing to Wax LRS, Sears used the Wax competency and reporting APIs to extract the information they needed.

This made it possible for Sears to slice and dice dozens of competencies, based on hundreds of activities, for 1 to 250,000 people, across any part of the organizational hierarchy, in near real-time. Whoa, that’s a mouthful and it wasn’t easy to do.

What’s great is that Sears development teams now possess the xAPI expertise to integrate new systems with their LRS, as needed.

Value to Sears:

Today, Sears reporting systems use the Wax APIs to power enterprise-wide rollup reports, available to multiple levels of the organization from the C-Level to Store Managers and L&D leaders. These reports instantly provide actionable insights into employee competency proficiency.

Sears now has visibility into all learning that their employees undertake. Additionally, they can focus on what they do best, without worrying about LRS hosting and infrastructure, by letting Saltbox deliver amazing support and service levels at scale.

Wax LRS makes it possible to instantly tell the level of readiness across any part of the organization in ways that were never possible before.

Learn more about the Sears story at DevLearn 2014 where we will present this case study in more detail.

Are you trying to solve a similar or related problem in your L&D organization? We can help. Let’s talk.

About Sears:

Sears is the world’s leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, fitness equipment and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears owns key brands including Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, with a broad apparel offering, including well-known labels such as the Kardashian Kollection, Joe Boxer, and Sofia by Sofia Vergara. Sears Holdings is comprised of 1,320 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in North America and employs over 250,000 people.