REVIEWER: Venkat Kandru, senior director for EAI, MDM, IDM and SOA, Brinker International.

 

BACKGROUND: Brinker International, Inc. is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving 1 million guests daily. Founded in 1975 and based in Dallas, Texas, Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,800 restaurants worldwide and employs more than 100,000 people. Restaurant brands include Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Maggiano’s Little Italy.

 

PLATFORMS: Windows servers.

 

PROBLEM SOLVED: In the restaurant business, employee turnover is a continuing challenge. We need to ensure that training time for new hires (as well as for transferring team members) is as efficient as possible. We identified that the master data related to our restaurant menu items, price lookups (PLUs) and layout on point-of-sale (POS) system screens needed to be standardized across the business in order to simplify team member training and ensure that data related to pricing, sales volumes and new menu item rollouts was as accurate and consistent as possible.

 

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With TIBCO Collaborative Information Manager (CIM), a master data management (MDM) solution, Brinker has been able to reduce the complexity involved in managing its restaurant menu item and PLU master data, enabling this information to be centrally maintained by our corporate office instead of updated by individual restaurant managers. TIBCO CIM interfaces with Brinker’s PLU system, our restaurant POS systems and our enterprise integration layer and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, allowing data to be defined and administered at the corporate level and then distributed throughout the restaurant network. TIBCO CIM also provides an automated workflow that replaces manual business processes surrounding new menu introductions, item maintenance and change approvals. Menu layouts are now completely consistent from restaurant to restaurant, making training significantly faster and easier. Because managers no longer need to input daily menu updates into POS systems, they are able to redirect more attention to providing superior customer service, a huge differentiator. Increased data accuracy leads to fewer errors and lets us leverage sales information to make more informed decisions.

 

STRENGTHS: TIBCO CIM gave us the ability to quickly define and create a set of master data catalogues for PLU and menu items without having to spend a great deal of time and effort on programming. The product’s graphical process modeler also made it easy for us to demonstrate to the business how the solution would work. TIBCO CIM is straightforward enough for the business user to navigate, empowering them to make day-to-day changes without requiring assistance from IT. At the same time, advanced features such as configurable rules and permissions enable us to ensure that data governance is enforced on an ongoing basis.

 

WEAKNESSES: We would like to see a richer user interface and simpler implementation logic for some of the workflows as the product evolves. We understand the 7.1 product has a revamped user interface. We also had an issue with purging data from the master catalogues, which TIBCO is addressing.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA: We looked at a selection of vendors with MDM products and considered building a solution in house. Ultimately, our primary consideration was finding what product would integrate best with our existing infrastructure as well as support the diverse data needs of our different restaurant concepts. Brinker had already deployed several of TIBCO’s integration solutions as part of our service-oriented architecture (SOA) foundation, so we decided that TIBCO CIM would work well within this environment. Our success has proven this assumption correct. CIM is extremely capable of handling the diversity and complexity of our data.

 

DELIVERABLES: TIBCO CIM delivers consistent, clean menu item and PLU master data to all our company-owned restaurants. The solution also generates reports on data changes and lets us more accurately track sales information for more predictive decision-making.

 

VENDOR SUPPORT: TIBCO was extremely responsive and supportive both pre- and post-sales. The support team was proactive about fixing gaps and product bugs and quick to respond when we had design constraints or challenges, which made a huge impact.

 

DOCUMENTATION: TIBCO CIM product documentation was useful for basic software installation and configuration. Where customization was required, there were documentation gaps, and the team needed to rely on the TIBCO professional service group.

 

TIBCO Collaborative Information Manager (CIM)

TIBCO Software, Inc.

3303 Hillview Avenue

Palo Alto, CA 94304

(650) 846-1000

www.tibco.com

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