The Liberation Group is the market leading pub, bars, eateries and drinks business across the Channel Islands with 69 predominantly freehold pubs, an award winning brewery and two well-known retail and wholesale chains.
Following significant investment in IT infrastructure and systems (including a Navision ERP system across the wholesale businesses and accounting functions and a replacement EPOS system across the managed estate), Liberation’s challenge was to introduce a single BI solution that would produce integrated reporting for its managed pubs and loyalty system. If successful, the product would be expanded to fully integrate the wholesale business, providing BI tools for the first time to this key area of Liberation’s trade.
Tahola recommended QlikView to meet their needs. “Combining their experience with ours has provided a solution which has exceeded our expectations as it is even more powerful than we anticipated”, says Francis Falvey, Business Support Manager at Liberation. “We have worked with the team at Tahola since 2000 and see them as an integral department within our organisation rather than just a supplier”.
“Breakfast has now changed for our senior managers!” continues Falvey. “They receive a 7:30am email on their Blackberry with the previous day’s trading figures and current week budget performance which allows them to monitor progress and be proactive in discussions with our business managers – even if it just a pat on the back for a good day. Once they arrive at the office, or switch on their iPads, a reporting suite allows further information on margins, sales mixes, promotional activity and control issues at the click of the mouse”.
QlikView has also enabled the automation of many manual processes. For example, Liberation’s ‘Inndulgence Club’ loyalty scheme now takes the data direct from the epos system, adds in information from an Excel driver sheet for loyalty rules and points information and their SQL database for membership details. It then produces not only the statements and handles customer enquiries, but also provides full, up to date analysis using reports developed in- house. This has allowed the expansion of the scheme where membership has now grown 7 fold. The time saving is also a huge benefit as the manual process was 4-5 days each quarter (and it was only performed once a quarter as a result). The new processes are run monthly in a few minutes and previously unanswerable customer queries can be resolved in seconds. The labour savings made during this part of the QlikView implementation alone have all but covered the costs for the entire project to date.
According to Falvey, there have also been—and will continue to be—many additional benefits that were not part of the original specification because as they learn more about themselves and their business using the enhanced information they can access, they are in a position to quickly develop the solution using in-house report writing skills that have been learned along the way.
“We now trend our data at all levels and that has allowed us to negotiate better supplier deals, quickly identify new sales trends, source new products in weeks rather than months and see if a new menu is working in a few days. It could not have come at a better time for us. Investing in this inexpensive solution during the economic downturn has helped us keep our heads above water, stay ahead of our competitors and it has paid for itself within months.”