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Data the key ingredient for restaurant chain success

Michelle Davidson | March 21, 2017
CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries uses ArrowStream’s OnDemand software to monitor all aspects of the supply chain for its restaurants, helping it reduce food costs

CraftWorks can now do post-contract audits and keep track of non-contract spending. The post-audit tells them how much restaurants are purchasing compared with what the contracts say, as well as if the prices change. For example, the price for fry oil and ketchup fell off, and they discovered within 10 days that it happened. 

The company can also see if orders for its larger brands are on spec—that the specified products and ingredients received match the contracts. Smaller brands can order things off spec, and the software monitors those purchases, too.

“We can see what’s happening to get things corrected and back to contract,” Adams said. “The visibility is tremendous. We had it before, but it was in spreadsheets and PDFs and spread out all over the place. Now everything is together in one place, and we can take control of distribution.” 

OnDemand also lets managers look into each distribution center for pricing, and if it sees a lower price, it alerts them—tells them they might want to buy from that center than the one they currently buy from. 

“We’re having conversations with distribution centers that we couldn’t have before. It used to be what I call strategic stumbling—we would just happen upon things,” Adams said.

 

OnDemand monitors distributors' inventory

CraftWorks also finds the inventory module hugely beneficial. Now the company can be proactive about managing inventory. 

“Usually I was behind the eight ball [with inventory]. A restaurant would call when they were out of something, and we’d scramble to find a solution,” Adams said. “Now we can see what is at risk of running out and be two to three days ahead of it. Inventory management is now seamless for restaurants.” 

The biggest benefit, though: OnDemand saves CraftWorks money. Adams expects the software will save CraftWorks .5 percent on food costs.

“We will be able to correct a lot of substitutions, which increase costs, and we will see savings,” he said.

 

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