Jardine Restaurant Group (JRG) is a leading restaurant group in Asia. With more than 850 outlets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Myanmar, and Vietnam, the group employs more than 27,000 people.
To strengthen cost management and turn budgeting conversations into a strategic discussion, JRG decided to switch from its previous, spreadsheet-driven top-down budgeting process to zero-based budgeting (ZBB) in Hong Kong and Taiwan markets. “Following traditional business processes, we would carry the same budgeting assumptions from last year to this year,” said Ran Zou, Senior Project Manager at JRG.
Switching to ZBB meant working with larger data volumes and many more data points, making the traditional budgeting process a non-viable option. Implementing ZBB would require an entirely new enterprise performance management (EPM) solution that could cope with a company’s complex operations and diverse financial system landscape. “The ZBB process was complex, particularly given the need to capture data down to a granular level,” said Zou. “So we needed a system to better control the timeline and ensure accuracy.”
JRG tasked its implementation partner with finding a suitable EPM solution and decided to move forward with Bizview, which is known for its speed of implementation, its appealing, modern user interface, and the low total cost of ownership.
One critical aspect was to configure a driver-based model across JRG’s four business units, while also having the system ready to support the upcoming yearly budgeting cycle.
Building to Success with Bizview
Despite the timelines and the expanding project scope, JRG’s implementation partner, in close cooperation with the insightsoftware professional services team, completed the implementation in 12 weeks. This included creating approximately 90 budget templates, 20 dashboards, 3 analytic reports, configuring a 3,700-tasks workflow, and training and onboarding over 80 users.
A key enabler for the fast implementation was Bizview’s web-based, spreadsheet-like interface that allows users to use Excel formulas to quickly create budget forms with complex business logic that helps contribute to a shallow learning curve and fast time to value.
Budget templates were created for:
- Capex: Covering IT projects, new stores, renovations, etc.
- Cost of Sales: Encompassing approximately 2,000 SKUs
- Cost of Labor: To track direct crew labor, management labor, and benefits
- Premises: Covering rent, parking, government fees, signage, etc.
- G&A Labor: Incorporating salary and allowances, benefits, finance, operations, IT, etc.
- G&A Expense: Including flights, local transportation, lodging, repairs and maintenance, office utilities, etc.
Bizview is now used by three different kinds of users:
- A small number of super-users who manage the system and grant access, etc., and are part of the budgeting project management team
- Power users who are package owners covering JRG’s 16 different types of cost area/packages (e.g., repairs and maintenance, travel, etc.). They have access to budgets at a granular level, as well as analytics and KPI dashboards.
- Around 50 input users, generally restaurant or area managers covering one or several restaurants. They enter budget figures for their specific units, but across different packages.
“This year, I have two of my business units that use Bizview and two that don’t,” said Zou. “The workload involved in getting to the bottom of the budget assumptions is very different. The teams that don’t use Bizview have to go back and search in various record-keeping systems to look for all the detail, which is more time-consuming.”
Dashboards were created for executives, budget owners, and package owners, and were customized for each package to capture each package’s specific dimensions and details. On top of this prebuilt analytic, ad hoc reports for key budgeting categories were configured (e.g., cost of labor, repairs and maintenance, etc.), which were published as bookmarks, so package owners could always access quick summaries to answer their questions. “Pre-set dashboards make visualization much easier,” said Zou. “The real-time update during the budget process, increased visibility and convenience have proven to be important benefits for us.”
Within Bizview, workflows allow for status tracking and automates the approvals process. With over 80 users set-up on the system, Bizview’s role-based security ensures that each person can only access the specific cost packages and/or cost centers that they are meant to see.
With more than 600 drivers built into the budgeting models, the organization gets significantly increased visibility into costs. “Now I can see exactly what’s driving the costs and how much we spend in each bucket, for every single store,” said Zou. “Now we can have more informed and strategic discussions with our budget owners.”
“The main advantage is a ‘one-to-zero’ benefit: Bizview enabled a more efficient and effective process to deploy ZBB. If we were to collect a lot of information in a consistent format manually, it would have been very time-consuming.”
With a tight deadline and the need to configure the solution in detail according to JRG’s requirements, the project was delivered on time. JRG has already seen significant results from implementing Bizview, including:
- Creating over 90 planning templates and rolling out a brand new ZBB process to more than 80 users in under 12 weeks.
- Implementing a large, complex planning model spanning 30 different dimensions, covering more than 210 stores.
- Increasing visibility into costs, with over 600 drivers built into the model.
Next year, Zou is confident that Bizview will help them manage their ZBB process effectively across the whole organization: “It helps promote transparency and a culture of cost ownership among users.”