Turning Data Into Information for Effective Performance Measurement
A growing quick service restaurant chain with over 800 locations spread across 10 southern states. The company prides itself on quality, customer service, and effective operations.
The restaurant’s managers were spending too much time assembling data and sending it up the chain of command and not enough time managing the restaurants. Middle management was also spending too much time compiling and distributing data rather than analyzing for trends that could guide critical decisions. Data was both everywhere and nowhere. It was difficult to consolidate data because it was stored in various sources, and calculated differently.
Smartbridge spent time with the QSR to develop common key metrics and understand reporting needs. Based on these requirements, Smartbridge developed a solution that provided:
- A web-based and mobile ready app that would allow managers throughout the company to access and query daily POS data for meaningful insights into store-level and regional operations. The company wanted to give each level of its management hierarchy immediate access to sales, labor, budget, and variance reports for each area of responsibility.
- The system had to give managers the information that they needed to make daily and midweek adjustments to their sales forecasts, purchasing, and staffing levels—in short, to respond with agility to changing market forces and trends. It would also have to be highly available and highly scalable.
- Lastly, the restaurant wanted this system up and running within six months, in time to deliver benefits in the current fiscal year.
The QSR’s new reporting portal, called the Performance Reporting System, provides a standard, consistent view of enterprise data to everyone who needs it, through a standard web browser. The time that managers used to spend laboriously typing POS data into spreadsheets is now redirected toward generating additional revenue through improving restaurant operations and increasing contact with the staff and guests.
Meaningful and Timely Data
The Performance Reporting System enables both the finance and operations department to manage business needs using the same set of financial and statistical data. Using the Performance Reporting System, managers of each restaurant post financial and statistical data daily to a central data warehouse repository, where it is immediately available for analysis by the operations staff.
The reports created by Smartbridge are customized to the restaurant’s needs. Features include parameter-driven queries, dynamically viewed selection criteria, a drill-down trending, and both push and pull subscription mechanisms.
Restaurant managers primarily analyze the POS data from their own stores, but they can also access the corporate general ledger data, labor data, and customer survey data. A dashboard on the portal currently makes available a number of the most frequently requested reports. In addition, managers can customize pre-built reports to meet specific needs and save them for future use.
Faster Business Insight
With the ability to immediately access and analyze live business data, store managers and middle managers can adjust restaurant operations sooner.
For example, a restaurant manager might see that labor costs are 30 percent higher than recommended. He or she can make immediate adjustments rather than allow excessive costs to erode the restaurant’s bottom line over the course of an entire month. Potential benefits of the information can be as simple as helping a manager set more accurate ordering levels so that there’s less food spoilage.
The reports also provide valuable trend information on issues such as labor costs, which are difficult to see with labor-scheduling tools.
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