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Nirula's: Appetizing IT

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DQI Bureau
New Update


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Rahul Puri, Nirula's

Nirula's, a diversified group with a chain of hotels and restaurants which

caters to over 40,000 customers everyday, has lent a distinct flavor to its IT

set-up. It has leveraged the principles of distributed computing to run its

retail show very effectively.

The centralized concept of EDP was a bottleneck in faster access to

information and it was therefore decided to go for decentralized departmental

computerization. In the distributed computing principles each department/outlet

can work as an independent unit but, at the same time, all units synchronize the

relevant information.

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Nirula's has over 60 restaurant outlets and three hotel properties. The

applications at the corporate office range from Accounting & Finance,

F&B Controls, HR & Payroll, Purchase, Sales & Inventory to Business

Intelligence and operate at the macro level. Following de-centralization

principle, miniaturized versions of some of these applications along with other

specific applications are deployed at the outlets, hotel properties and

production units, allowing them to function independently. On a daily and adhoc

basis all locations upload the information and systems at the corporate office

are accordingly updated.

At the restaurants, billing is done through in-house developed Point-of-Sale

software, which is capable of being interfaced with the Guest Display Turrets

& kitchen printers and can handle promotional schemes. At the end of the

sale-day, the unit managers are able to generate cashier-wise and item-wise

sales summary and other MIS useful for decision making and strategy planning at

restaurant level. They can prepare Material Variance Report based on raw

materials received and sales done. And based on projected sales for the day

orders to the various Nirula's factories/stores can be generated.

The Property Management System at hotel properties is fully computerized,

from reservation to guest histories, and is linked to the accounting package for

accounts receivable information. The production centers run a customized ERP

System covering many areas: Production Planning & Management, Quality

Management, Recipe Management, Route & Van Management, Sales Management and

Machinery Management.

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Key

Highlights
-

Has a distributed computing setup



-l In restaurants, billing is done through in-house PoS software
Future

Plans
-

Linux on servers and desktops

Since, Nirula's is dealing with food items, which have very short shelf

life, maintaining ideal inventory levels, and planning accordingly are critical

factors. Though, online forms a small portion of Nirula's business, it

effectively complements its offline operations. Its online initiatives include

online hotel reservations and online shopping cart, the latter being

particularly popular among NRIs.

As part of the future plans, Nirula's is working on developing a closed VPN.

Presently, all the locations log in using the Internet cloud, which has

vulnerabilities on the security front. The VPN solution will help take care of

the security concerns. The company is also looking at experimenting with Linux

and is considering it as an alternative OS for both desktop and server

computing.

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