Case Study: Whitbread WIN with corporate scorecard
As the number one hospitality company in the UK, Whitbread has always measured the business performance of its individual brands to ensure their leaders and teams focus on the areas key to success.
Previously each of the Group’s branded businesses, budget hotel operator Premier Inn, restaurants Beefeater Grill, Brewers Fayre and Table Table, and the UK’s largest coffee chain, Costa, operated their own balanced scorecard system to record unit performance across a number of measures.
To provide consistency across the Group, the Whitbread Board decided to introduce a single scorecard system with a common set of measures that could be used in every hotel, store and restaurant, every strategic business unit and at Group level.
change++ was briefed to implement the technical solution for the corporate scorecard project. WINcard (Whitbread In Numbers) measures performance on a monthly basis around key stakeholders: customers, people, shareholders and community, which Whitbread calls its ‘Good Together’ strategy.
The measures, including ‘team turnover’ for staff retention, ‘brand standards’ for service quality and ‘profit’, are assessed against targets and the scores are measured and tracked as a way to provide an incentive scheme for teams. WINcard targets are set at the beginning of each year at or above the level achieved in the previous year to improve performance. In general, a green WINcard is achieved where the performance is better than both target and the previous year. An amber score is for performance that is better than the previous year and a red score is for a result below the previous year.
Data for the WINcard system is gathered from multiple sources; Whitbread’s Oracle database holds most of the financial data needed for WINcard, while data relating to customer feedback and employee measures is fed from other systems into SQL Server databases.
Monthly scorecard reports can be delivered in a number of ways; spreadsheets can be emailed or downloaded from a server, they can be printed and mailed to units without access to a PC, and the Group results are published on the Whitbread Intranet.
change++ has worked very closely with Whitbread to manage the development of WINcard and incorporate new measures every year since its introduction in 2005.
The major benefit of WINcard for Whitbread is that all brands are measured against the same criteria, making performance management across the group consistent. Financial data for each brand’s scorecard is gathered from the same source, the scorecards for each brand follow an identical layout and reports are delivered to each brand in whichever format best suits that business. Every month the results are published throughout the Group so that everyone knows exactly how they are doing against the key targets for the year.
This consistency serves not only the group as a whole, but allows each brand and the units within the brands to benchmark their performance against each other, underlining their membership of the Whitbread family and the values all Whitbread businesses share.
As Nicola Summers, Whitbread’s Head of Group Financial Reporting confirms, “WINcard is much more than a performance management system, it’s a valuable communication tool that unites our brands under one family name. change++ have worked closely with us for many years successfully turning business information requirements into reality. They built the original system to meet group needs and have implemented enhancements as required. WINcard is a fundamental part of the successful operation of the business.”
change++ Managing Director, Della Payne, adds, “WINcard is an extremely flexible performance management tool. As focus within the business changes measures can be adapted or introduced to reflect whatever the Group decides to prioritise. We’ve witnessed WINcard’s evolution into what is now a very sophisticated system for supporting improvement in people and processes and are proud of our contribution to its success.”