Flynn Restaurant Group began in 1999 with just 8 Applebee’s locations in Seattle and has grown to become the largest restaurant franchisee in the United States. The company has presence across the three major segments of the industry – Casual Dining, Quick Services, and Fast Casual with some of largest brands including Pizza Hut, Webdy's, Applebee’s, Arby’s, Taco Bell and Panera systems. The company operates over 2300 restaurants across the US, with 73,000 employees and $3.5B annual revenue sales. Flynn Restaurant Group’s unique recipe for success has led it to ~30% compound annual growth for over two decades.
The Situation: High maintenance and repair costs due to limited visibility into system up and downtime
Fylnn Restaurants depends on routing, preventative and emergency maintenance for its restaurant equipment to ensure 100% uptime at every location. After doubling their retail locations within a seven-year period, Flynn's maintenance and repair costs per location were extremely high and growing exponentially due to there being no streamlined visibility across retail locations for existing equipment warranties and corporate contracts.
Management would engage local technicians to resolve equipment malfunctions, resulting in higher MTTR (Mean-Time-to-Repair) and MCTR (Mean-Cost-to-Repair). This was due to the limited visibility that headquarters had for each location’s active maintenance contract; all of which were located within an SAP business system.
Without a centralized system to view relevant work order and maintenance contracts, each location would request and route them to the nearest service-contracted vendor. As a result, Flynn's asset uptime and retail location’s productivity were negatively impacted. Flynn initially considered building custom programs within their SAP business system to resolve this issue; however, the user experience that existed within their SAP system proved to be too cumbersome to scale.
The number of locations that needed to engage with these processes also made it too expensive and unrealistic to build within SAP. User experience and SAP integration were the keys to finding a solution to Flynn's problem, while also trying to minimize custom development within their actual SAP system.
The Business Challenge: distributed network with limited visibility to repaid needs
- Flynn had limited visibility into thousands of retail location’s existing warranties and corporate contracts regarding maintenance and repairs for operational equipment – leading to increased costs incurred by various locations - sometimes paying three times more than needed for equipment and repairs.
- There was no single streamlined location or process for a retail location to request a work or repair order, each location utilized their own process, causing complexity and out-of-scope spending per location.
- Core ERP (SAP) processes were hampered due to inconsistent integrations and spread across multiple systems and teams.
- Flynn's IT and development organization had other high priority projects on their plate including a shift to public cloud for all their existing applications.
|“Using Pillir gives us the speed and flexibility needed to rapidly drive our business outcomes with a lean IT staff. Flynnwas able to increase up-time on our retail location’s equipment significantly, while decreasing the cost to maintain that same equipment by digitizing our approval workflow process with Pillir. They built our first application, but now our team has the skill set to create more and are quickly leveraging the power of the EdgeReady Cloud to extend our SAP ERP business system and maximize its value.” Mike Woods CIO|
The Solution: custom mobile app integrating MDM and SAP for work orders
- Pillir designed and created a custom app with a user-centric, customized experience that tightly integrated with SAP, allowing Flynn's retail locations to create work orders in a central location that made 3rd party and corporate contracts easily available.
- Requests from each retail location were automatically sent in real time to approved vendors based on existing service contracts.
- Deployment to global locations and users was done seamlessly through integration to an existing MDM solution, as well as an integration with Flynn's custom SSO solution with secure connectivity without having to connect to a VPN.
- Hosted on EdgeReady Cloud, with no infrastructure or operational overhead added – a simple, user-based pricing model was provided, delivering a fully customized, enterprise, scalable application.
- Pillir trained Flynn's team to use the EdgeReady Cloud platform and provided support for additional application development projects.