The Australian Venue Company engaged Microsoft Partner Fujitsu to help initiate an incremental transition from Excel to an enterprise cloud data platform solution with advanced analytic capability.
The Australian Venue Company had been using Excel for several business processes but found the spreadsheet creation time consuming and had recurring problems with data integrity and version control.
The Australian Venue Company worked with Fujitsu Data & AI to identify a solution, an end-to-end enterprise cloud data and analytics platform. Specifically, this included migration to Microsoft Azure, Azure Modern Data Platform, and the subsequent implementation of Power BI.
New platform acts as a single source of truth
- Improved decision making and more efficient workforce
- Scalable solution to meet new opportunities as the company expands
Fujitsu’s Data and AI team have been an instrumental partner in designing and developing cloud-based data warehousing and BI capability for our rapidly growing business.
Barry Maitland, Chief Information Officer, Australian Venue Company
In 2017, Chief Information Officer Barry Maitland engaged Microsoft Partner Fujitsu to help initiate an incremental transition from Excel to an enterprise cloud data platform solution with advanced analytic capability.
AVC had been using Excel for financial budgeting, forecasting and performance analysis for venue labour, cost of goods sold (COGS) and sales. The end-of -month process required the dreaded and time-consuming task of creating a new Excel file per venue, with new weekly budgets. Analysis was conducted centrally, then manually emailed to individual venues for action.
Recurring problems with data integrity, consolidation, and version control impacted effectiveness for venue managers, operations, and head office teams alike. Because the data could not be trusted, informed decisions on venue performance were not being made, which impeded organisation’s strategy for aggressive growth.
Barry and the Fujitsu Data & AI team worked together to identify a solution, an end-to-end enterprise cloud data and analytics platform. Specifically, this included migration to Microsoft Azure, Azure Modern Data Platform, and the subsequent implementation of Power BI.
Creating a single source of truth
Venues are complex low-margin businesses where the management of labour and COGS is fundamental to operating a profitable, successful business. Venue managers, chefs, area managers, procurement, and head office must all have access to a single source of truth to make informed decisions based on accurate data.
Over two years, Fujitsu and AVC collaborated to seamlessly integrate the Microsoft-endorsed data architecture at a pace that the organisation could absorb and manage in line with their growth, while at the same time hitting crucial milestones.
The PowerBI solution, now called FAB, accelerates data-driven decisions at scale. Venue managers, chefs, and area managers are empowered with advanced self-service data analytics to achieve business goals.
A major shift
In April 2019, AVC grew to 65 venues all accessing FAB for fast, advanced data analytics. Designed with industry leading practices and user experience research, the dashboards and reports are intuitive, fast, and easy to use.
With over 100 users regularly accessing the FAB dashboards, AVC has embraced the platform on a deep cultural level.
Row level security enables a single dashboard and report for each individual venue. AVC’s CEO accesses these individual analytics every morning, which helps drive meaningful discussions with managers about performance in real-time and on an individual venue level.
Because it now has a single source of truth, all layers of the organisation can move in unison and at pace. This has significantly improved decision-making and resulted in a more effective workforce.
With analysis processing now down to minutes (gone are the days of multiple extracts!), the procurement team has targeted, data-driven commercial discussions with suppliers to negotiate terms. Meanwhile P&L is expected to reduce the end of month process from 10 to four days.
Venue managers can easily perform self-service analytics on COGS and operational performance. Likewise, area managers keep in regular communication with venue managers via intelligent dashboards to identify opportunities and improve business performance. Impossible just two years ago, this is now an indispensable capability and an integral part of how AVC works.
Venue managers can now continually optimse their product mix by using FAB to analyse 40 stock keeping units (SKUs) by eight different categories by hour, day and season.
This data can then be compared to YOY data. As a result of these advanced analytics, AVC customers now benefit from personalised menu offerings.
Venue managers work with chefs to improve margins on menu items through analysis of recipe costs benchmarked across the organisation. This ensures that specials, like the quintessential Australian Chicken Parmigiana, are positioned with the right recipe mix to maximise the profit contribution whilst maintaining quality.
With the recent acquisition of another 87 venues in Australia and expansion into New Zealand, the future-proofed FAB solution, will scale to meet new opportunities. The Azure architecture will also enable AVC to expand into data science and help determine pricing and stock optimisation with the use of Azure Databricks.