60-Restaurant Franchisee Reaps 30:1 ROI + from .NET Connected Business Intelligence Solution

makeshiftluteSoftware and s/w Development

Jul 14, 2012 (4 years and 5 months ago)

377 views




RGT Management

60
-
Restaurant Franchisee Reaps 30:1
ROI + from .NET Connected Business
Intelligence Solution


Published: March 2003.

To drive business performance across 60 restaurants, RGT
management needed faster, more flexible access to its
operat
ional data. XFormity leveraged the Microsoft .NET
Framework
, an integral
Microsoft
Windows component that
supports building and running the next generation of
applications and XML Web services,

to install a state
-
of
-
the
-
art
business intelligence solution

that automatically draws data
from the stores and proactively alerts managers to variances
and trends. With this fast feedback loop in place, RGT
managers can react to problems much more quickly. As a
result, they have effected performance improvements th
at have
generated more than $1 million in savings per year.

Situation

How do you get a grip on 60 fast
-
moving, quick
-
serve restaurants spread across five
states? According to Michael Roe, Chief Operating Officer of RGT Management, you
need to get your h
ands on their operational data as fast as you wrap the burritos.

“This is a quick
-
moving business,” says Roe. “If you don’t react quickly, everything’s
changed.”

But, Roe wasn’t able to get to the data quickly enough for his tastes. “We had a lot of
in
formation,” he explains. “The challenge was getting access to it.” Like many
operators within the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) industry, RGT was hampered by
the limitations of a legacy data process.

They were using
a 12 year old computer
system to captur
e data from the restaurants’ point
-
of
-
sale (POS) system. A daily
manual process was required to ensure that all of the stores submitted their feeds.
Once the data was in, the company had to initiate another manual process to decipher

Solution Overview

Microsoft Certified Partner

XFormity, Inc.

Industry

Retail /
Quick Serve Restaurants

Company Profile

RGT Management of Memphis,
Tennessee owns

60 Taco Bell, KFC and
Pizza Hut franchises, with revenues of
$42 million
annually.

Business Situation

RGT was relying on a 12
-
year
-
old legacy
system and multiple manual processes
to analyze its business performance.

Solution

XFormity implemented QSRx, a highly
configurable business intelligence
solution utilizing a pure Micro
soft .NET
Framework written in C#.

Microsoft Softwar
e



Microsoft
®

Visual Studio
®

.NET



Microsoft .NET Framework



Microsoft SQL Server


2000



Microsoft Message Queuing



Microsoft Windows
®

2000 Server



XML Web Services


Other Software



XFormity QSRx


Benefits



Fast access to performance data
saves RGT managers hours each
day and enables them to identify
and resolve problems much sooner.



As a result, performance has
improved across all 60 restaurants,
and RGT is saving more than $1
million annually in costs of goods
and labor.



Microsoft .NET
Customer Solution





the information and
generate 20 to 30 static printed reports. They then manually
exported the data into Microsoft
®

Excel for further manipulation and analysis.

Despite all this effort, RGT’s home
-
grown solution gave managers only limited access
to performance data. They
could not sort the data on demand, nor add or modify
reports without considerable labor. The solution did not have the capability to integrate
external data, nor generate alerts or exceptions based upon data content. Its reports
were not Web
-
enabled nor ea
sily distributed
.

As a result, headquarters and field management would not see the previous day’s
operational data until 12 or 1 the next day, “when the lunch rush was already in full
swing,” says Roe. “By that time, the day has gotten away from you.”


So, Roe set out to find a better solution. “I naturally wake up around 4:30 in the morning.
I wanted to be able to get up, have my cup of coffee, and see the data on my restaurants
that had closed two hours before,” says Roe. “That was the bench
mark I set.”

Solution

After researching the comprehensive range of

industry offerings, including
solutions
built on Java and Linux,

RGT Management opted for the QSRx solution from XFormity,
a Microsoft .NET Connected Premium Certified Partner
. The decidin
g factors were the
speed and flexibility of QSRx.

“There are a number of reporting engines out there,” says Roe, “but reporting is just the
tip of the iceberg. All of the other products in the business are hard
-
coded


what you
get is what you get. The
beauty of XFormity’s solution is that we can ask to look at the
data in a different way, and they can make the change within minutes. Other solutions
make your business fit them


QSRx fits your business.”

Development Process

XFormity built the core messa
ging and integration platform for QSRx on the Microsoft
.NET Framework. Using C#, the development team built an XML
-
based meta
-
data
layer on top of the Framework, defining actions for many processes including database
operations, data translation, file ma
nipulation, and integration with Web
s
ervices.

“Working with
[Microsoft]
Visual Studio
®

.NET and the .NET Framework sped us up
considerably,” says Chris Ball, Chief Operating Officer of XFormity. “We finished this
phase of the project 20% ahead of schedul
e


and that was even after we added extra
features along the way.”

The next step was to adapt this platform for the specific needs of the QSR industry.
Using detailed documentation from RGT, the XFormity Engineering team developed an
XML Schema represent
ing the standard performance data for quick serve restaurants.
This would allow for the
Microsoft .NET
-
connected
solution to be applied to other QSR
franchise owners regardless of their specific requirements.

XFormity then customized the solution for RG
T Management, designing the
Microsoft
SQL Server


database architecture, the data import process, and a generic reporting

Reliable access to all our critical
performance data has allowed us
to shift our attention from
gathering
information to
managing results. Our results
have improved without a net
increase in time investment by
our management team.
Employee satisfaction is at an all
time high and, best of all, so are
our profit margins. What a great
win for our company and
emp
loyees!


Michael Roe

Vice President, Operations

RGT Management



framework leveraging the .NET Connected QSRx Interface components. Given the
speed of the development tools, XFormity was able to put

the solution in production for
RGT Management in just 14 weeks.

“And, the beauty of this solution is that now that the groundwork is laid, we can put
QSRx into production for other customers in just a week or so,” says Ball.

How It Works

An ASP solut
ion, QSRx automatically captures point
-
of
-
sale (POS) feeds from each of
RGT’s stores, along with other data feeds from YUM Brands (the franchisor). It then
aggregates this data into a SQL Server data repository. The QSRx Rules Engine
analyzes incoming da
ta, applies business rules established by RGT, and generates
actionable alerts, exception
-
based reporting, and balanced scorecards. The solution
also consumes one Web service, a weather feature that captures data to factor into
RGT’s analysis of consumer
behavior.

QSRx operates as a
Microsoft
Windows Service. The solution is configured via XML
documents to process messages from MSMQ queues. All processing is autonomous;
continuous monitoring and error handling is built into the architecture.
The QSRx
s
olution has no limit to the number of stores and/or users it may support, and additional
processing power may easily be added to meet growing demand.




Ease of Access & Administration

QSRx has answered the needs of RGT Management for anytime, anywhere a
ccess to
comprehensive, up
-
to
-
date business intelligence. Users can access a wide range of
XFormity’s QSRx solution
integrates point
-
of
-
sale
data from 60 stores with
other external data feeds,
and automatically
generates analytical
reports, variance alerts,
and
Balanced Scorecards.

analytical data either through an Internet
-
based portal interface or via WAP
-
enabled
devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. The system automatically generates an

industry
-
leading Balanced Scorecard, which integrates data from multiple sources to
provide an intelligent view of the entire corporation.

QSRx gives users extensive control with full query capabilities of both current and
historical data and ease of a
dding or modifying reports. At the same time, it takes the
burden off users by proactively delivering alerts by email, pager, or fax whenever a
designated variance occurs, such as when a daily report is missing or a store’s
performance rating (drawn autom
atically from the franchisor) falls below standard.

As an ASP solution, the system requires very little resource expenditure for RGT to
manage or maintain. Data feeds and other processes have all been automated and
require no support from the client. And
, the user interface is so intuitive that no training
was required for RGT Management to start using it.

“Administration is so simple,” remarks Roe, “we can reorganize a market or move a
restaurant from one manager to another in about one minute. We coul
d go out
tomorrow and buy a franchise operating a completely different system and work it in in
a couple of days or less.”

Benefits: $1 Million Annual Savings and More

In a short time, RGT has found that this single, low
-
cost management tool has had a
m
ajor impact on its bottom line. In such a large, highly competitive industry, which has
seen recent disruption even at McDonald's,
RGT is now enjoying their best financial
performance ever.

Management Empowered

With comprehensive performance data at thei
r fingertips, Roe says that RGT managers
can make better

decisions regarding such things as promotions, labor investment, and
capital purchases
.

“We are operating on a much higher level,” Roe says. “We never would have been able
to connect the dots like

this before. When all of the information is in one place you can
start seeing trends


and that helps you to catch issues before they become real
problems.”

And, management has gained a tremendous time advantage. “Now, if there’s a cash
shortage or dep
osit missing, I know before 6 in the morning and have emails fired off
before the restaurant staff arrive for the day,” he explains. “It’s very powerful.”

This has increased manager productivity significantly. By being relieved of data
-
gathering tasks, c
orporate executives have gained 5
-
10 hours, and field managers 10
-
15 hours per week.
“Field managers rave about the improvement in information access
and the reduction in time to get to critical performance data,” says Roe.

Armed with up
-
to
-
date analytica
l information and extra time, RGT managers have been
able to turn greater focus to solving problems on site. “Now, field managers are ready
Users can

access the
analytical data 24/7 via
Web browsers or WAP
-
enabled mobile devices.

to hit the road at 7:30 am because they’ve got what they need,” explains Roe. “They’ve
been able to spend much mor
e of their time actually managing


coaching staff and
generating operational improvements.”


Payoff in Performance

Being able to identify and resolve problems sooner has lead to clear, concrete results
for RGT Management. “For example, we have seen impro
vements in inventory
shrinkage and cash theft,” says Roe. “That’s because we now have daily alerts
identifying ‘red flag’ events as they occur, whereas we used to have to wait days,
weeks, or even months for audits to indicate violations.”

Roe also repor
ts that this fast feedback loop helped the company bring its average
drive
-
through time down by a remarkable 25 percent. “QSRx allowed us to see where
the problems were, and then coach our staff appropriately,” he says. In addition, the
company has seen
accountability rise. “We used to have an 80% report rate from our
stores. Now, it’s up to 95
-
98 percent.”

These performance improvements are also showing up on the radar screen of Taco
Bell corporate. In just 12 months, RGT has seen its “secret shopper”

scores


service
ratings made by anonymous evaluators

go up by 3 to 4 percent, a significant gain
across 60 decentralized outlets.

Bottom Line Results

These performance improvements have not only made RGT’s staff, customers and
franchisor happy, but they

have also resulted in real financial gains. Roe estimates that
last year the company cut its cost of sales by 1 to 1.25 percent and labor by nearly 1
percent


which adds up to over $1 million in annual savings.

“Our revenue has increased significantly
in the last year,” he says. “While various
factors went into that, QSRx has definitely been a key contributor.”

Yet, as an ASP
solution, QSRx required little up
-
front investment from RGT, and is costing the company
just $36,000 per year in subscription f
ees. Thus, RGT Management calculates that
they are reaping a return on investment of over 30 to 1.

Extending the Benefits

In the process of developing the QSRx solution, XFormity and RGT Management have
developed a strong partnership. Fueled by the suc
cess of their work to date, they are
now looking to integrate more data sources into the system and extend the benefits of
QSRx to other areas of operation in the company, such as Accounting and Human
Resources. They also plan to integrate more Web servic
es with the franchisor.

“QSRx has the potential to help us increase our productivity and accuracy in every area
of operation,” Roe concludes. “We see it as a full circle solution.”



For More Information

About XFormity

4220 Proton Road, S
uite 105

Dallas, TX 75244

Tel:
972
-
661
-
1200

Fax: 972
-
661
-
1214

E
-
mail:
info@xformity.com

Web site:
http://www.xformity.com/

XFormity, Inc., based in Dallas, designs
and implements superior Business
Intelligence sof
tware for large and mid
-
size clients, with a focus in the Retail
vertical. The Company along with its
strategic partners is able to rapidly roll out
flexible, extensible solutions on top of the
Microsoft .NET Framework. These
solutions offer an immediate,

quantifiable
ROI to the customer.

XFormity’s mission is to champion cost
effective, high performance Business
Intelligence technology, leading to
measurable improvement in process
management and a permanent, growing
ROI for the customer.

About Microsoft

For more information about Microsoft
products or services, call the Microsoft
Sales Information Center at (800) 426
-
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft
Canada information Centre at
(877) 568
-
2495 or (905) 568
-
0434.
Outside the 50
United States and Canada,
please
contact your local Microsoft subsidiary.

For more information about Microsoft
solutions, visit
www.microsoft.com/casestudies
.

The Microsoft .NET Framework
is an integral Windows® component for build
ing and
running the next generation of applications and Web services. It provides a highly
productive, standards
-
based, enterprise
-
ready, multilanguage environment that
simplifies application development, enables developers to take advantage of their
exist
ing skill set, facilitates integration with existing software, and eases the challenges
of deploying and operating Internet
-
scale applications. The Framework consists of two
main parts: the common language runtime and a unified, hierarchical class library
that
includes a revolutionary advance to Active

Server Pages (
Microsoft
ASP.NET), an
environment for building smart client applications (Windows Forms), and a loosely
coupled data access subsystem (
Microsoft
ADO.NET).

For more information about the Framewo
rk, go to:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/


Microsoft Visual Studio .NET

is the rapid application development (RAD) tool for
building next
-
generation Web applications and XML Web services. Vi
sual Studio.NET
empowers developers to rapidly design broad
-
reach Web applications for any device
and any platform. In addition, Visual Studio .NET is fully integrated with the Microsoft
.NET Framework, providing support for multiple programming languages
and
automatically handling many common programming tasks, freeing developers to rapidly
create Web applications using their language of choice. Visual Studio .NET includes a
single integrated development environment with RAD features for building Web
appli
cations and middle
-
tier business logic, and RADXML designers for working with
data.

For more information about Visual Studio .NET, go to:

http://www.visualstudio.net/


To acquire Visual Studio .NET,

please see
your reseller or go to:

http://shop.microsoft.com/devtools/default.asp


Microsoft Visual Studio is at the heart of MSDN® Subscriptions, a premier software
service that provides developers with

the latest development tools and technologies.

To learn more about MSDN Subscriptions,
go to:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/prodinfo/overview.asp






2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

This case study is for informational purposes only.
MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The
information con
tained in this document represents the
current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues
discussed as of the date of publication.

Microsoft,
MSDN,
the .NET logo, Visual C#, Visual
Studio, the Visual Studio logo, and Windows
are either
registered tradema
rks or trademarks of Microsoft
Corporation in the United States and/or other
countries. The names of actual companies and
products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of
their respective owners.