Global QSR Company Automates Sales Reports

The Client

This quick-service restaurant group has over 50,000 restaurants located in more than 150 countries. They are one of the loved and fastest-growing restaurant brands, and many of the restaurants are franchised while others are corporate-owned.  This client required sales reporting across all of their locations and multiple brands as daily and weekly reports were done manually.

EMPLOYEES: 34,000+
INDUSTRY: Food Service / Restaurant

The Project Scope

The client’s global finance analyst extracts consolidated sales information from their IBM reporting tool as well as closures and channeling data from several emails from their business units. Finally, they pull the satisfaction rates from a web application to generate a weekly report that consolidates this information. One day before this report is generated, manual reminders are sent to respective business units that have not provided their information yet to complete the weekly reporting.

Smartbridge has extensive experience in restaurant automations

Due to the complex manual process, a significant amount of time was taken to gather and process data from multiple countries and business units. The data was manually compiled from various formats and units, then painstakingly converted into cohesive reports, and finally distributed to stakeholders. Besides that, their global finance team generates weekly reports, weekly notifications, and weekly CEO reports. This entire process is manual, repetitive, and time-consuming.

The client’s Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) team wanted to utilize and leverage the advantages of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies to automate the Sales Reporting process. The ITSS team was looking to avoid human errors, including entries, extract sales from emails, and format reporting.

The primary goal of this project was to automate sales reporting for the following processes:

  • Daily Sales Reporting: Extract emails from Outlook and identify the sales for each defined business unit market and report Daily Sales for the current reporting date.

  • Weekly Notifications: Identify the markets that did not report sales in the IBM reporting tool and send reminders for sales submission.

  • Weekly Sales Reporting: Export sales distribution reports from their IBM reporting tool for the respective reporting week and format the output with and without China locations. Formatted reports are then emailed to respective distribution groups.

  • CEO Reporting: Export the 2-year sales report from the IBM reporting tool and populate the reporting week sales into the current year’s CEO report sheet. The report is emailed to the respective team.

automate sales reports

Key Challenges

The Smartbridge team had several challenges during the project execution:

  • Extracting sales from various templates and different formats such as: PDF, Excel, missing sales, and weekly sales

  • Manipulating Excel sheets with hidden columns and rows without interrupting Excel formulas while updating multiple sheets

  • Business rules for some business units are unique to them

  • Populating the final report template utilizing formatting and unhiding rows

The Smartbridge Solution

The Smartbridge team developed a robust and firm solution to overcome the technical challenges and leverage the client’s needs.  The automation solution configures and customizes the notifications for each of the processes and business exceptions. The ITSS support team gets notified of the errors, defined messages related to errors, and attaches screenshots to the log file.

Smartbridge deployed a RPA solution with UiPath that automated processes to gather data from multiple sources, including webpages, emails, spreadsheets, and PDFs. The bot takes the data from these sources, and it then generates concise weekly and daily reporting emails.

These automations are now strategic to all of the locations and business stakeholders, including the CEO.

Deliverables to the restaurant client included:

  • Automated sales reporting process using UiPath

  • The process was split into two as a best practice in RPA for transactional processes

  • The development was executed in parallel into the different components to expedite the go-live date

  • Outlook and HTML activities were applied to extract the sales data from emails and individual templates

  • Advanced Excel activities used to provide formatting for hiding and unhiding rows

  • Excel to PDF conversions were achieved using available UiPath libraries

  • “BalaReva” packages created to easily install and use to make advanced operations in Excel

  • Custom libraries built to derive the report day and week based on the calendar date and generate all the logging information

automate sales reports

In no more than 8 weeks, Smartbridge deployed daily and weekly sales reporting that also included missing sales notifications and exceptions. This included user acceptance testing, go-live, and a few weeks of support post-go-live.

Staff members were now freed up to redirect their energy on higher executive tasks to improve productivity.

Success Through a Modernized Implementation

Smartbridge delivered a high-quality solution while keeping the client informed of the progress and challenges at all times. The client was dazzled with the solutions provided and happier with the knowledge-sharing sessions, which let them support, enhance the process, and make changes if required in the future.

Here are the time metrics that the client saved by automating sales reports:

Sales Reporting ProcessManual Execution TimeBot Execution TimeTime Saved
Daily Sales Reporting180 minutes160 minutes11%
Weekly Notifications15 minutes5 minutes67%
Weekly Sales Reporting120 minutes10 minutes92%
CEO Reporting20 minutes5 minutes75%

After the global restaurant brand implemented automated sales reports, the ROI averaged out to a 62% reduction of time spent across reporting for the two restaurant brands and 50,000 locations.

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