Supercharged Operations Management

How hospitality & retail data can trigger site actions and help Ops Managers focus.
Joe Cripps
Jul 2021
6 min read
Supercharged operations

How hospitality & retail data can trigger site actions and help Ops Managers focus.

Meeting and beating Head Office targets is a daily concern for Operations (Ops) Managers. A typical day could consist of ‘checking up’, redirecting staff or products to cover shortage, and supporting site managers.

Ops Managers will manage on average 8 sites, each day they’ll build a ‘sh*t list’ to target sites in trouble.

In Hospitality, the Key Performance Indicators of success are sales, labour and product cost. But that’s only part of the Ops picture: new openings, compliance, social media, maintenance, training — the list goes on.

How do Ops manage this delicate balancing act? Phone, email and Excel. They’re working overtime just to steady the ship, trying to prioritise where to focus their effort. As a result, they can only manage a limited number of sites and growth of the brand itself is constrained.

Actioning Insight

We’ve already learned that replacing Health & Safety paperwork with Trail increases visibility, and therefore the number of sites which can be audited.

“With Trail, each auditor increased the number of sites they could manage by 75%” Enterprise Inns

If Operations managers were given the tools to focus on the right sites at the right time, they could double their efficiency. The idea of producing a report showing KPIs and thresholds across all the operational systems from EPOS to Labour is not new. There are some excellent solutions out there, e.g. Tahola. But insight alone doesn’t change behaviour — it’s not enough.

Insights should automatically trigger site actions, tracked to resolution by Ops.

For example:

  • Four staff leavers in a week could trigger a staffing & motivation review and a task for online learning.
  • A dip in sales could trigger a new promotion.
  • Missing Health & Safety tasks could trigger an audit.

An insight or risk-based approach helps scarce Ops resources to go further. By focusing on the worst offenders and automating part of the correction strategy, more sites achieve better results.

How can this be delivered in practice?

Historically this sector was dominated by older technology companies, direct Integrations were costly and complex . Both suppliers and in-house IT teams have spent years building complex integrations to closed systems like Fourth, Oracle (Micros) and more.

Three things are apparent to us in working with customers:

  • Unlocking trapped insights is a no brainer. The insights may already be there but they are trapped in the confines of PDFs and huge inboxes.
  • Distributing actions to sites requires a consumer grade technology — It really is the only way busy teams will actually use anything at all. A simple, rapid, traceable delivery mechanism is a must for a workforce with millennial expectations.
  • Harnessing actions needn’t be costly. New tools like Zapier, IFTTT and can help unify email, SMS, calendar and project management tools. These services allow actions in one system to be distributed via another. We are making extensive use of this modern approach to integration. Make sure you ask your technology suppliers about their strategy for this.

Unlocking insights from existing systems, turning them into actions and moving to a more exception-based approach for Operations Management will allow managers to handle more sites, helping fast growing brands to grow more quickly and more sustainably.

What customers are saying

"Trail has given us realtime insight into every facility across our estate, so we can react to maintenance issues before they become large."
Scott Vernon
Chief Financial Officer
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"We rarely provide training to our guys, they just bought into the idea straight away. I love that I have a full visual of everyone's activity in front of me."
Katrin Toots
Compliance Manager
“Probably my favorite system. The uptake on it was so quick, and support has been great.”
Matt Pinchard
HR, Systems & Compliance Manager
“The EHO visited almost every site last year and every store was given a five star rating."
Jay Brown
Operations Chef

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