REVIEWER: Donald H. Roberts, director of Financial Analysis and Reporting at Bertucci’s Corporation.

BACKGROUND: Bertucci’s Brick Oven Ristorante is headquartered in Northborough, Massachusetts, operating 90 restaurants in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

PLATFORMS: We use Dell computers. Our TM1 Server is a dedicated server running on a Windows Server 2000 operating system.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Cognos TM1 was selected to significantly accelerate the speed and flexibility of the reporting system - most importantly, moving away from the nightly batch processing.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We needed the capability to import and export data from heterogeneous IT systems, leverage ubiquitous knowledge of spreadsheets and enable scenario planning and multidimensional analysis. Since the deployment of Cognos TM1, we experience faster, more simplified budgeting and reporting; access to immediate views into each restaurant’s product and loss statements (P&Ls); analysis of regional variances in sales and product preferences, such as plates and dine-in versus takeout; resource performance; and flexibility and creativity in predicting profitability for new locations and menu items. The finance team works with approximately 200 distinct lines in each P&L report per location - meaning the performance management system needs to handle nearly 20,000 lines of data without any performance degradations. Due to the strength of the platform, the team can load cubes and punch out 101 detailed P&L reports within one hour. Instead of waiting 12 hours for information, the finance and executive teams can look at the company’s entire financials within one hour of running the report. The benefit of being able to see data so quickly versus waiting overnight for a batch process is that overnight batches sometimes fail, and that failure is sometimes not discovered until the next morning. Additionally, Bertucci’s relies on the daily update of credit card summary data to calculate the rate the company pays the merchant services for credit card processing. The team also reviews guest survey data daily to evaluate how guests perceive the experience in their restaurants, allowing for adjustments and improvement of customer satisfaction.

STRENGTHS: The biggest strength is that Cognos TM1 offers confidence in the reliability of the data to everyone in the corporation. The power of the system allows the team to easily run real-time, ad hoc reports on the status of restaurants, the areas and regions, and the financial and operation information, enabling the company to make decisions in rapid response to business fluctuations.

WEAKNESSES: With the current system, we send reports directly to team members. When Cognos TM1 is fully integrated with the Cognos 8 Platform, we will be able to take advantage of the platform’s report distribution capabilities in which each report is programmed to be sent upon completion to a specified list. SELECTION CRITERIA: The insight and information provided allows the team to make better, faster decisions. The simplicity, flexibility and speed of reporting surpassed that of all other products considered.

DELIVERABLES: Outputs provided by the system include: 90 detailed P&L reports within one hour; daily credit card summary data; analysis of guest surveys; a menu cube that allows management to look at the number of plates sold by type and by restaurant; and reports that include weather-related data, which allows executives to rule out slower sales due to weather, ensuring focus on true performance issues across the business.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We purchased the software from a value-added reseller and had great support before and after the implementation from them. Our installation was almost seamless, even though we had been using a much older version of the product. What few problems we have experienced since our implementation were resolved within hours of logging the problem with Cognos’ customer support team.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is complete and easy to understand.

Cognos TM1
Cognos
289 Turnpike Road
Westborough, MA 01581
(508) 870-0300
www.applix.com

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