Strategic Profile: Ameriking
Ameriking is one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the U.S., with 11,000 employees and $320 million in revenues in 2001. But the company was incurring substantial costs with its manual processes for disseminating sales and other information to its more than 350 restaurants in 12 states.
CIO: Hernando Manrique
Problem: Mission-critical information, such as transmitting profit-and-loss statements, was distributed manuallywhich would have cost about $48,500 in 2001 aloneand business calendars for activities like training schedules had to be synchronized by hand for the company's 11 regions.
Goal: Coordinate communications between corporate and the field, and speed delivery of critical information.
Strategy: Implement a companywide portal from Plumtree Software Inc. that could provide a platform for current and future communication and collaboration between restaurants.
Challenges: Manrique says it was important to get managers at both business units and restaurants on board, cementing their buy-in from the beginning. "One of the most difficult things in the portal business is to get the users to use the portal, so the more you automate critical processes, the more you're going to be able to get people to access the portal."
ROI: Manrique is counting on a conservative estimate of 255 percent ROI over three years, based on reduced costs of information delivery and other information delivery processes, and without any calculations for "soft" costs such as employee productivity.
Assessment: The portal, which was rolled out in 2001, has already generated substantial savings. "To me," says Manrique, "a portal is one of the most wonderful tools on the market today."