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Digital transformation enhances the Shakey’s ‘fun, family and pizza’ experience

From left: Cian O’Neill, COO and CMO of Microsoft Philippines, Mauch Franco, Shakey’s Philippines, CIO, and Jorge Concepcion, Shakey’s Philippines, GM.

Two years ago, Mauch Franco, CIO at Shakey’s Philippines, experienced how it was difficult for them to cater to the needs of their guests, especially during special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, or whenever Manny Pacquiao has a fight, and other big functions. It is during these events when demand is at its peak as people usually come to Shakey’s to celebrate.

From left: Cian O’Neill, COO and CMO of Microsoft Philippines, Mauch Franco, Shakey’s Philippines, CIO, and Jorge Concepcion, Shakey’s Philippines, GM.

Behind this troublesome situation was an old infrastructure that could not deliver what was required to efficiently serve guests.

“We have our own infrastructure that supports our servers. The problem usually is on-premise, which includes factors such as hardware obsolescence, and capacity problem. Every five years,

we have to replace them. Every five years, we have to scale up,” Franco relates.

Realizing the fact that their system cannot support the demand during peak times, Shakey’s only recourse was to embrace digital transformation to streamline its operations, putting a lot of emphasis on the delivery service.

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“One of the things that we’re currently working on is our retail system. In essence, what we want is to have a basic integration of various systems that we’re using. What we want is to have our systems integrated to become much more seamless, meeting our production requirements faster, and be able to identify bottlenecks to the system. We want to know when and at what point certain deliveries are asked,” explained Franco.

Bye, bye old hardware; hello, cloud

The transformation started with the retirement of Shakey’s old hardware, and partnered with

Microsoft to replace these with Microsoft Dynamics AX that runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud system to support its delivery system. Its online portal as well as servers also had been migrated to have the scalability it needs.

“We know for a fact that cloud technology can actually help us change all processes. We want to

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reap all the benefits of cloud technology and this is the reason why we partnered with Microsoft – to provide the infrastructure we need,” Franco said.

Franco said they chose Microsoft because they need to support the business. “It was a choice between continuing to buy very expensive machines to be used on-premise versus getting services of Microsoft infrastructure which will help us reap back scalability demand, he said, explaining that during peak days, we need to scale up the capacity of servers so if we buy solutions from Microsoft to be able to scale up when and if we want, it doesn’t make sense. It now becomes more cost-efficient and effective in our needs as demands change every year.”

The migration, which took about a year and three months, was prepared by both Shakey’s and Microsoft and its partners. “It’s not all in one time. We gradually focus first on the system that we need the most. Like our online system which we prioritized to be on the cloud,” said Franco.

Franco said the number of people needed to migrate to the new system depends on how big the system is or on what you intent to do. “Once you discuss your plans with your business partners, they should be able to tell you how many resources are needed and sometimes, a lot of people are involved at the start and in the end, there are a couple of people doing the fine-tuning.”

Major systems

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To date, there are two major systems categories that are deployed at Shakey’s. One is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which includes its financial, inventory and warehousing systems; and the second is its retail systems which include POS, people management, kitchen management, table management, and recipe management. Part of its retail systems are delivery system, website and mobile app.

Although the systems have been deployed and helped Shakey’s in its operations, there are challenges the company had to contend with while embarking on its digital transformation. The major challenge is change management as they’re transforming from manual to a paperless environment, which to its employees constitute a big change. Besides, the transition process must be well-planned and designed when a new system needs to be rolled out.

“Employees, even those who don’t want the change, need to learn as we don’t want a situation that affects the operations while we are putting in the new system. We have to plan or design the system well in order to be able to transition smoothly. Our management is very much supportive of the digital initiatives which we are doing and we’re thankful for that as they can adapt to the changing times,” said Franco.

“Wow-ing’ support

During the first year of systems integration, Shakey’s had to scale back seven times. This is something that is quite impossible. But with the new system, Franco said, “we are able to do so because of the scalability that we have in our new infrastructure. This, of course, has been translated to more guests especially our ‘Super Card’ customers being able to order more than what we were able to have in previous years. This way, it makes it more convenient for our guests to avail of both dining, carry out and delivery services.”

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“This is where the “wow-ing” support for our guests was experienced in our delivery segment,” according to Jorge Concepcion, General Manager at Shakey’s Philippines. “ I think when connections and communication are integrated, you will be able to have efficiency.”

“In Shakey’s organization, which consists of 200 stores nationwide, we talk about ‘wow-ing’ function. We should always be better than before. We have to constantly wow our guests. We should be better than what our guests expect, claims Concepcion.

Key ingredient: A good database

Shakey’s also leverages on the use of its database to make sure it helps improve operations and the services its guests deserve.

“We have the benefit of a good database. Our Super Card base covers millions of Super Card holders. Our online delivery is among the top segments of our retail systems used in our stores nationwide. This is an opportunity for our guests,” Concepcion said.

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Franco, likewise, said they are also able to use analytics tools to enrich their data. One of these tools is the Power BI which is now used by their Marketing and Sales departments in order to have the ability to analyze data.

“Two years ago, our online service could not handle the demands. Today, it comes to a point where we have to say ‘No’ as we reached the production peak.”

More payment channels

 

As part of its operational efficiency transformation, Shakey’s will come out with other payment channels to wow more its guests. The company is currently supporting credit cards, PayPal, debit cards and cash payments as 85% of transactions in the Philippines still done in cash. It will also soon support ‘bitcoins’ for more convenience for its guests in transacting with Shakey’s and be able to deliver its products whatever payment channel is used.

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The systems integration implemented in Shakey’s did not affect its employees. There was no reduction in terms of headcount. The company, instead, transforms what they are doing to better their lives.

“If they do a lot of overtime before, now they can be able to do their work more efficiently and be able to go home on time. When they are now in an environment where they have a lot of data to work with, they actually work more efficiently instead of wasting time doing things two, three or more times. With the new system, they do it once. Repetitions in their work are removed, and in fact, we’re hiring,” said Franco.

Shakey’s has gained from the deployment of Microsoft cloud system in its operations. “Scalability, predictability and security are the benefits Shakey’s has derived from its systems. And with Microsoft, being ISO-certified, our data is actually much more protected in their environment,” claims Franco.

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