Baking Mobility into Operations

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — April 07, 2014

If you don’t live in New York City, where can you get an authentic bagel? Manhattan Bagel for one—an Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. brand. The company is the nation’s largest operator of bagel bakeries and a leader in the quick casual segment of the restaurant industry, owning retail brands Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel.

With a mission “to redefine the quick casual neighborhood café,” the company is also redefining its processes. Expanding its existing MicroStrategy enterprise analytics platform will enable the company to also expand to mobile capabilities. Einstein Noah’s mobile app will provide store-level information to its management team. 

The focus will be on migrating from traditional grid reports to delivering similar information in a highly visual and interactive manner to generate rapid insight into operational performance at the store, region and brand level.

Mobile Master Data
The company had been using the MicroStrategy solution for about 10 years, but, with a major business intelligence (BI) initiative in 2013, the increased investment included licensing for a mobile app, according to Daniel Cunningham, Senior Vice President – Information Technology, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc.

Prior to implementing the solution, the company had a combination of manual and automated processes and disparate data sources. “We knew launching a mobile application would be critical to gain buy in,” said Cunningham. The wide-ranging BI project also includes a focus on data governance and master data management.

Providing “one version of the truth,” as Cunningham puts it, consists of a lot more than mobility, but without it, an effective mobile strategy would not be possible. After all, data that is not clean, is not of much use. “This involves creating a single enterprise data warehouse, applying rigorous data governance and maintaining strong controls over our master data. We won’t be doing this overnight,” he noted.

Tablet Success
At this point, senior management is using the app, but it’s not yet been rolled out to the store managers or employees.  Still, benefits have already been realized. Cunningham explained, “Currently, our senior operations managers (regional VPs, directors of operations and area business managers) and executive management have access to the solution. For our major operations initiative, we are now able to provide more information and better detail. While this is a big win, the bigger win is transitioning this group to a visual solution on a tablet.”

In the past, leadership would have to open up their laptop and download the reports to review the information. Now, they have the data readily and easily available. “They can spend less time getting the information and more time analyzing it,” he noted.

Additionally, according to Cunningham, the more time the senior operations team can spend with their staff and guests, the healthier the organization is. “If they have better, easier access to the information they need to run the business, they will have more time to focus on areas that have an impact.”

He said that the adoption and response to the new solution is “overwhelmingly positive.”  The app is delivered via iPads, devices that many were already comfortable with, so there was little issue learning and using the new tool.  Plus, functionality and user experience were kept in mind during the design phase.
 
Customer Facing
Einstein Noah is also using MicroStrategy Mobile to monitor restaurant evaluation information from customer surveys providing feedback regarding customer satisfaction. Tracking sales and cost information for each individual store will be combined with customer service ratings, providing company leadership a more detailed view of store and staff performance.  

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