An article in Business Week discusses how a chain of restaurants is using Business Intelligence to better understand “consumer spending patterns to make a host of decisions, from altering staff levels to moving around menu items”.
The article is entitled “Business Intelligence Software’s Time Is Now” and you can access it here. It quotes John Van Decker, research vice-president at research firm Gartner – “There’s a tremendous pressure on cost containment, on developing accurate forecasts of sales and expenses and trying to align the expense stream with projected revenue stream”.
The restaurant business profiled has 1,700 outlets in 27 countries. These receive more than 1 million customers daily. They use Business Intelligence tools to sift through the data that these sales generate to help determine the “optimal staffing level during a particular shift at a particular restaurant”.
A beverage company that is profiled used Business Intelligence software to help “tweak individual shipments to make sure they’re carrying full loads”. The BI software has turned what once was “30 hours of work into 30 minutes” and “the system has uncovered a great number of opportunities to cut costs that likely would have gone unnoticed before”.
A number of other uses of BI software are profiled. Most of these are very large organisations that spend a huge amount on their BI software solutions.
However, smaller companies can implement a BI solution for a fraction of the costs outlined in the article. There are hundreds of BI software tools available, some of which are free.
You could be using these tools today to identify areas to cut costs, customers to whom you can sell more goods or services and new products to sell that you may not have conceived of before.
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