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Uno's Monitors and Analyzes Sales Performance with Matryx98

Published
  • October 01 1998, 1:00am EDT
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PLATFORMS: Matryx98 provides OLAP analysis on an Oracle7.3 database operating on a HP9000/I70 UNIX Server. All clients are Windows 95.

BACKGROUND: Uno Restaurant Corporation, the parent and owner of Pizzeria Uno Corporation, is a $200 million publicly owned company whose common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UNO. Uno Restaurant Corporation, through subsidiaries and affiliates, and Uno's franchisees now operate 166 full-service establishments in the United States, Puerto Rico and South Korea. The company also operates a consumer food division, which supplies American Airlines, movie theaters, hotels and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated Pizzeria Uno brand products as well as certain private-label products.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Uno sought a decision support system to access the company's menu item sales database. This database contains over eight million rows of detail item sales for over 2,000 food and beverage items sold at Pizzeria Uno. The considered system had to allow Uno to leverage the investment it had previously made in its Oracle database, it had to provide a seamless link to Microsoft Excel and, most importantly, it had to be simple enough for the casual user and powerful enough for high-end business analysts.

STRENGTHS: Matryx98 provides easy access to Uno's Oracle database. It did not require adjustments to the existing data structure (no cube building); its user interface is not "like" Microsoft Office--it "is" Microsoft Office; the implementation was complete in less than one week; and Matryx98 was the most economical and valuable decision support system evaluated. Stone, Timber, River spent their time developing a robust query engine and then added Microsoft Excel to the front end. The result is a non-proprietary front end and a scalable decision support solution that provides Uno with superior ease of use, excellent performance, broad portability of reports and extensive data analysis tools including dynamic SQL generation, drill down, drill up, charting, pivoting, filtering, mapping, and more. With less than 30 minutes of training and point-and-click selections, Matryx98 places our menu item sales data where our users want it--in Microsoft Excel.

WEAKNESSES: Matryx98 should allow for customization of the query selection screen and provide an easier method for reviewing query selections previously made.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Uno needed a decision support system that would leverage its previous investment in the Oracle database, provide rapid response to queries and seamlessly move data to Excel for manipulation and reporting. Matryx98 does not require a strict star or snowflake schema, and no "cube building" is required. Uno analysts now receive query results in seconds or minutes as opposed to hours. And, Matryx98's Excel interface allows our analysts to build complex ad hoc reports in a non-proprietary environment and distribute those reports to anyone with a copy of Microsoft Excel. (Matryx98 is needed only to directly query the database or to refresh existing reports.) Stone, Timber, River's fixed-fee pricing for Matryx98 noticeably excludes per-day consulting charges and supports their claims of product performance and ease of implementation. To assist us in our evaluation, Stone, Timber, River provided Uno with a complete working version of Matryx98 accessing Uno data 48 hours after we sent them a slice of our menu item sales database.

DELIVERABLES: Matryx98 is used primarily by the Uno marketing department to monitor and analyze sales performance throughout the company's 166 affiliated restaurant locations. The ad hoc analysis capabilities of Matryx98 enable our business analysts to continuously evaluate restaurant performance including the impact of new menu items and promotions. Matryx98 plays an important role in menu planning and, therefore, restaurant profitability.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support is excellent. Strong on-site implementation assistance was included in the product license fee, and Matryx98 was up and running in less than one week. Stone, Timber, River's Web site includes an e-mail support forum and a summary of frequently asked questions. Timely support is also available via an 800 telephone number.

DOCUMENTATION: The written and on-line documentation is thorough and easy to understand.

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