Bistrot Pierre adopts Power BI for new management information system
Le Bistrot Pierre Ltd has grown steadily from its early days in the Midlands and now has over 22 restaurants throughout the UK serving classic provincial French dishes.
The management team recognised that effective control of this growth – in terms of operational strategy, budgets and resources - would require a system that could measure and monitor results against key performance indicators (KPIs).
Although most of the data required to manage the business was held in Bistrot Pierre’s existing systems and databases there were concerns about data consistency and how readily this data could be extracted and consolidated to provide effective management information.
Another factor was the high level of manual work required to manipulate and analyse the data. The degree of system knowledge required for reporting created key person dependencies and heavy workloads for managers who were inevitably diverted from business growth activities.
Hospitality sector specialist in reporting and business analytics, change++, was asked to propose a Business Intelligence (BI) solution to meet the changing needs of the group.
From the outset, Bistrot Pierre stated a preference for a simple-to-implement, simple-to-use tool that could be used to generate reports combining data from their EPOS systems. Additionally, the BI application would need to be suitable for use by the finance team, all experienced Excel users.
Microsoft’s Power BI and Azure SQL Database were proposed for the implementation to take advantage of a cloud infrastructure providing reliability and future scalability.
The first phase of the project was to implement change++’s hospitality data warehouse model to underpin the flexible reporting requirement. This enables Bistrot Pierre to generate vital ‘sales mix’ reports and addresses the following types of query;
• Sales volumes and revenues – by site, sales area, session
• A dish’s performance (sales volume and revenue) compared to a previous year, by site, region, whole business
• Effectiveness of loyalty schemes and promotions
• Spend per head – i.e. gross sales per cover. Needs to be capable of analysis in different ways, e.g. split by session, spend on promotions vs. a la carte spend, etc.
The solution change++ has delivered gives the Le Bistrot Pierre Ltd a flexible and comprehensive BI system, underpinned by a data warehouse that can combine data from a range of disparate sources.
As the infrastructure makes use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, there are no capital costs, performance can be dynamically scaled, and it is available from anywhere or any device with internet access.
This provides the foundation for all future performance reporting and analysis. Complemented by Microsoft’s Power BI, a suite of business analytics tools that provides users – head office teams and regional managers - with self-service dashboards, flexible reporting and sophisticated analytics.
Multiple benefits include;
• Management is now closer to performance data than was ever possible, and able to take action more quickly
• High level dashboards of KPIs can be viewed on tablets or smartphones, with the capability to ‘drill down’ to and filter operational data
• All reports are available on compatible Windows and Apple IoS devices via the Power BI Mobile app
• The cloud-based solution means there is no requirement to manage on-site infrastructure, servers and systems, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership
According to Laura Cox, Commercial Accountant and Systems Manager, at Bistrot Pierre, “We recognised the importance of investing in a BI system that is scalable and can meet performance management information needs as the group expands. We’re confident that change++ has delivered a solution that can grow with the business and we are already reaping the benefits of improved insight.”