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.
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.
"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.
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.