Pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has implemented a Business Objects business intelligence tool to speed up the transfer of data between applications, while cutting cost and levels of manual intervention.
As M&B's chains - which include All Bar One, O'Neills, Harvester and Browns - have grown, so has the amount of data it stores on disparate systems.
The company wanted to consolidate this data without throwing out existing IT systems, and cut back resource- and time-intensive processes.
It decided to implement Business Objects' batch integration tool, Data Integrator, and its management dashboard builder, Application Foundation, for monitoring key performance metrics on top of the core query, reporting and analysis system.
"This project has been all about reducing our reliance on our warehousing team's knowledge and bringing information into the business that is data-driven and can be defined once and exposed quickly to our users," said Paul Tomkinson, M&B integration manager.
The company has ageing archive and point-of-sale systems in outlets that are almost 12 years old, with "plans to change these and bring them into the real-time world," but did not want to implement a new data warehouse or write new interfaces for its existing IBM RS6000.
John Phillips, M&B data warehouse manager, added: "The system allows transaction-level detail from our outlets to move into our warehouse in near or real time. This allows us to do exception reporting a lot quicker."
When M&B implementated PeopleSoft human resource software, Data Integrator allowed the information to be moved across to the new HR system in 50 days rather than the 400 it would have previously taken.
"We are still struggling to comprehend how much time this is going to save us in the long run," said Phillips.
In the future, M&B plans to use Data Integrator's web services facility to classify, track and monitor its real estate assets. It also has plans to use the Application Foundation tool to support regional managers and provide them with relevant performance details.
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