Mitchells and Butlers, the company that runs the All Bar One and Harvester Restaurant chains, has begun upgrading its IT infrastructure to support real-time business reporting.
The company has started deploying Business Objects’ integration, reporting and data analysis tools as the first step to achieving its goal.
It has replaced its original 35-user Business Objects licence, which allowed staff to build their own reports, with a 1,000-user web-access version, which will
allow managers to view reports online.
Paul Tomkinson, integration manager at Mitchells and Butlers, said the business faced a problem in providing web-based intelligence to the 2,100 outlets it managed. At the same time, company chairman Tim Clarke wanted to get data to the business more quickly.
A non-executive board member at Debenhams, Clarke was impressed by the department store’s ability to report data in real time and set the same goal at Mitchells and Butlers.
Real-time access to business information is one of the ways IT can have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line, according to analyst company Gartner, which has coined the term "real- time enterprise" to describe the free flow of information across a business.
Tomkinson will support the new reporting system by upgrading the networks of existing outlets to ADSL, replacing servers in bars and restaurants and deploying a new point of sale system. When the roll-out is complete, he said, "A pint of Carling sold at the Dog and Duck at 10pm would be on our system by 10.15pm."
A key benefit of the reporting system, Tomkinson said, would be its ability to allow Mitchells & Butlers to monitor fraud in real time.