ITs Desilicious

DQI Bureau
New Update

Nirulas, a popular family restaurant chain in India, has been an early

adopter of technology. The legacy system consisted of many DOS based programs

for billing as well as certain other support functions. The legacy systems,

however, were slow, difficult, had no data visibility across departments, and

were expensive to maintain.


IT Hatchway

FY 10 started with all the new solutions in place. It has been a very

successful makeover with a very marginal creep in project timelines and zero

cost increment. At present, the IT infrastructure is managed by efforts of the

in-house team and a vendor providing the FMS," says Arun Raj G, GM, IT, Nirulas.

The requirement for a new billing solution emerged when the software was

required to have a feature which would help in configuring promotions,

discounts, and deals. "A need was felt to have a single new PoS solution to

handle all functions at the back-end, and thus we decided to implement ERP. We

also felt the need to centralize the home delivery order system. Therefore, the

process was outsourced to a call center," recalls Raj.

For home deliveries, the company has developed a web based application in

ASP.NET with MSSQL for database. One part of this application is used by the

call center where agents take orders and punch it into the system. The other

part helps restaurants in processing the orders. Each customer is identified by

his phone number and each restaurant has its unique trade area which is mapped

into the software.


There has been a rise in sales through

the online shopping cart after we relaunched it
Arun Raj G, GM, IT, Nirulas

To manage the back-end, Nirulas has chosen and implemented the SAP ECC6

version. The database used is DB2 and is running on IBM P5 servers operating on

AIX. IBM SAN solution has been implemented for storage and IBM Tape drives for

back-up. To manage the front-end, the company has implemented MaitreD POS

software running on IBM PoS hardware and Windows platform. The chain of

restaurants are connected to the central server at the head office through

Internet for daily updates and data transfers.

Scaling Challenges

"One of the biggest challenges was acceptance and ownership of the project

and the related changes by end users. We overcame this challenge by involving

end users and key people from all departmentsright from the time of creating

the RFP, through evaluation and selection process of solutions," adds Raj.


Another big challenge was that all projects were done simultaneously along

with the day-to-day functioning of the company, and the total span of

implementation was seven to eight months. This has resulted in the reduction of

a large amount of data entry work, inventory and wastages, thereby reducing the

working capital requirements.

Future Plans

Nirulas is already doing marketing and promotions through SMS. It has tied up
with Tata/VSNL to provide Wi-Fi at the Noida Hotel and many of its restaurants.

Blue-casting has also been used for effective marketing of various products.

"There has been a rise in sales through the online shopping cart after we

relaunched it," says Raj.

Priyannkaa Dey