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October 6, 2022

By Waqqas Mahmood, Director of Strategic Consulting at Marcum Technology

Unlike anything else, the US economy is being pushed by socioeconomic forces (including Covid-19, inflation and high employee turnover) and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). we have seen in the past. These sometimes competing forces are converging to transform the hospitality, food and beverage and retail industries, creating both challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs, property managers and board members to realize tangible business value.

By their very nature, these industries are extremely competitive, and it is important to keep up with the latest technology trends to maintain market position, increase operational efficiency, increase revenue, and improve customer experience. However, persistent labor shortages and the challenges of maintaining a legacy of IT/technology systems and practices have also opened up some important opportunities, creating operational efficiencies through automation and other technologies. attracting and retaining top talent with an innovative and collaborative organizational structure; and a data-driven inventory management approach where both business and technology are aligned.

Intelligent Business Operations

Smart business refers to advancing the operating model through technology, processes, data and people. It drives new ways to create efficiencies and better experiences for both customers and employees, resulting in faster, smarter products and services.

Integrating key IT systems for food and beverage organizations, such as point of sale (“POS”), enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) and human resources information systems (“HRIS”), can provide benefits throughout the operation. Combined with Standardized Operating Procedures (SOPs) and processes, operators and managers can see transaction-level details that enable them to make more informed decisions about product offerings, procurement, staffing, and well-managed financial controls and management.

Intelligent IT systems integration provides a central system built around a scalable and secure IT architecture, SOPs and well-defined financial controls, enabling managers to achieve operational and cost efficiencies.

Innovative and collaborative organizations

The hospitality industry, especially the food and beverage (F&B) industry, is deeply rooted in friendships between competitors, partners, vendors and communities. When COVID-19 first appeared and the foodservice industry felt its devastating effects, restaurants turned to each other for support. In many cases, this societal shift saved many small eateries from closing their doors forever. From sharing the cost of bulk food purchases to opening community pantries, the collaborative spirit is still alive and well and helping the entire industry recover.

Whether it’s partnering with other catering or hospitality establishments, introducing new menu items, or testing new digital channels such as e-commerce, a mobile app, or third-party delivery services (GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, etc.), a key component to long-term success is cultivating a culture of innovation. We’ve seen success with this approach when operators build a multi-skilled team to analyze menu items, recipes, financial performance and customer demands. To do this effectively, operators need to attract, hire and retain the right people, especially in leadership roles. Hiring a chef who encourages junior culinary staff to come up with new menu items and collaborate with other areas of the business can help create a culture of innovation where it’s okay to make mistakes and learn to improve.

Data-driven inventory management

Establishing an overall enterprise-led technology strategy where an inventory management system is designed to manage multiple vendors, categories, and application programming interface (“AP”) integrations to manage vendor management processes such as procure-to-pay (“P2P”). ) is critical.

By understanding and leveraging data, F&B and hospitality operators can make smart budgeting and forecasting decisions in real time to ensure they succeed in challenging economic conditions while remaining relevant to their customers. F&B, retail and grocery procurement is a critical success factor. Procurement in these industries tends to involve many suppliers, even for smaller businesses, including quick service restaurants (QSRs).

With the application of these advanced technologies, there is a huge amount of guest/customer data that helps business managers and operators deliver desirable products, menu offerings, and grocery retail items. The use of customer relationship management (CRM) systems and/or a loyalty program can also provide insight to help create overall business strategy, product mix and opportunities to enhance and delight guests as digital customers.

Adopting these business-centric approaches, selecting, implementing and integrating core hosting systems such as ERP, finance and accounting, HRIS, e-commerce and CRM can prove to be the secret sauce (no pun intended) needed for sustainable success. . Technology needs a comprehensive digital strategy that is measurable and tangible for operators, business leaders and board members.

Marcum’s advisors can help organizations through the very complex process of creating and executing intelligent business operations. Marcum Technology works closely with IT leaders to leverage deep organizational and domain knowledge and ensure forward ownership. For more information contact #AskMarcumTechnology