An inside look at one VAR score with Dunkin Donuts reveals

Document Sample
An inside look at one VAR score with Dunkin Donuts reveals Powered By Docstoc
                                                                                                   FEBRUARY 2006
                                                                                            AN EDGELL PUBLICATION

                                                                                               EXCLUSIVE STUDY:
                                                                                      VARs on Vendor
                                                                                            Supply Chain

                                                                                      Five Steps to
                                                                                   Security Success

                                   An inside look at one VAR’s score with Dunkin’ Donuts
                                   reveals winning game plan for quick-service success

                                                                    Fran Brennan, vice president (left), and John
                                                                    Herman, director of operations, Boston ECR.
             [COVER STORY: SLAM DUNK!]

       An inside look at one VAR’s score with Dunkin’ Donuts
       reveals winning game plan for quick-service success


VSR   16   FEBRUARY 2006
                                            y almost
                                            any standard,
                                            Boston ECR
                            would be considered a small
                            business — successful, but
                            small. The systems integrator
                            employs approximately
                            50 people, who are located
                            in offices in Boston (its
                            headquarters), Fort Lauderdale,
                            Chicago and Providence, Rhode
                            Island. Size hasn’t hindered
                            Boston ECR’s (BECR) ability to
                            gain a big client, however. The
                            company provides point-of-sale
                            (POS) systems to approximately
                            3,500 Dunkin’ Donuts franchise
                            locations in the U.S., and
                            has learned, first hand, the
                            challengesand opportunities
                            of providing solutions to
                            the quick-service restaurant
                            (QSR) segment.

                               A custom-designed security and POS system
                            has helped Boston ECR target quick-service
                            restaurants and win big business from Dunkin’
                            Brands. Pictured left to right are Boston ECR’s
                            John Herman, director of operations,
                            and Fran Brennan, vice president.

                                                      VSR    17   FEBRUARY 2006
              [COVER STORY: SLAM DUNK!]

         BECR initially focused on fine din-     same services. “So, we’re always trying       purchases the cash register hardware
      ing when it started in 1981. That          to figure out a way to get one step           from Sharp and configures the sys-
      changed in 1989 when the company           ahead of our competitors.”                    tems, adding the EPROM software
      — which then consisted of 14 people           Consider BECR’s custom solution, EZ        customized to Dunkin’ Brands’ specifi-
      — began selling Casio cash registers to    Connect, a wireless monitoring and sur-       cations and linking peripherals such as
      Dunkin’ Brands, parent of Dunkin’          veillance system that has been deployed       Epson printers. Once they’re config-
      Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo’s.         in about 30 Dunkin’ Donuts stores. “We        ured, BECR tests each system.
      The relationship lasted about eight        built it, wrote the code for the software,       When a franchisee places an order
      years, until Dunkin’ switched to an        and built the DVR,” Brennan says.             for a system, BECR employees send
      internally developed system.                  EZ Connect obtains data from both          one to a Sharp reseller near the fran-
         In 2000, BECR again began working       the POS system and security video cam-        chisee. The reseller delivers the system
                 with Dunkin’ Brands, sup-       eras, allowing for surveillance, loss pre-    and trains employees at the Dunkin’
                   plying EPROM cash regis-      vention and exception reporting. The          locations. “It’s all done under the
                                                                                               guidelines of Boston ECR and Sharp
                                                                                               Electronics,” Brennan says.
                              “Once you’ve sold your solution                                     BECR requires resellers to sign ser-
                                                                                               vice level agreements that spell out
                                 to the franchisor, they can make                              required commitments. For example,
                                                                                               the reseller must return any calls from
                                     it a choice to their market.”                             a franchisee concerning a non-work-
                                                                                               ing printer within an hour; calls con-
                                           FRAN BRENNAN,                                       cerning programming issues are to be
                                            VICE PRESIDENT, BOSTON ECR                         returned within four hours.
                                                                                                  To be sure, some resellers sign the
                                                                                               agreement, and then find they can’t com-
      ters; the company was one of the first     EZ Connect system will note when a            ply with the terms. To reduce the possi-
      resellers to offer them, says Fran         refrigerator door has been left open for      bility of such an occurrence, Boston ECR
      Brennan, vice president of BECR. They      an unusually long time, for example, or       carefully selects dealer partners, Herman
      are similar to PCs in that they have a     when a string of atypical transactions,       says. For instance, the reseller must have
      touch screen interface, yet the software   such as void sales, occur at a register.      obtained Sharp product certification,
      that runs the register is embedded on a       These exceptions to normal opera-          and be willing to dedicate an appropriate
      chip, rather than a hard drive. As a       tions trigger an alert that can be sent via   amount of resources to Dunkin’ stores in
      result, Brennan says, EPROM registers      voicemail, e-mail or text messaging.          their area. In larger markets, at least three
      tend to be less complex and more robust    That way, QSR operators can remotely          employees typically are required. Once
      than PC-based registers, and work reli-    monitor their stores.                         selected, resellers undergo about a week
      ably day after day.                           Another step in working with               of training in Dunkin’ programs and the
                                                 Dunkin’ Donuts is the partnership that        POS system.
                                                 BECR has established with Sharp
      Tailor made                                Electronics Corporation. The company

                                                                                               BOSTON ECR
      BECR took several steps to prepare         engages Sharp dealers to deliver and
      for its work with Dunkin’ Brands. For      provide Dunkin’ franchisees with train-
      starters, management built a staging       ing and support for the POS systems.
      and deployment center at its Boston
      headquarters. Employees use this
                                                    This arrangement allows BECR to
                                                 offer an extensive network of local
                                                                                                by the numbers
      space to load, test and validate the       support and sales teams, says John                 50          Employees
      hardware and software that make up         Herman, BECR director of operations.               25          Years in business
      the Dunkin’ Donuts POS systems.            “We have another fifty resellers out
         Also key to the relationship is         there that each have four to fifty peo-        10,000          Solutions installed
      BECR’s commitment to innovation and        ple.” Rather than having all these peo-         8,000          Clients
      advancement, Brennan says. The sys-        ple on staff, however, BECR can call on
      tems integration field is competitive,     them as they’re needed.
                                                                                                  66%           Increase in business
      and many resellers offer many of the          Here’s how the process works: BECR                          over past five years

VSR    18   FEBRUARY 2006
                                                          [COVER STORY: SLAM DUNK!]

                                                                                              ing sector requires continually selling a
                                                 QSRs unwrapped                               new business owner on a POS system,
                                                 As Boston ECR’s experience illustrates,      and then configuring it for that partic-
                                                 the quick-serve restaurant sector offers     ular restaurant’s needs. “It’s like selling
                                                 resellers solid business opportunities.      to a franchisor over and over again,”
                                                 However, clients don’t come easily.          Brennan says. BECR still does some
                                                 “It’s a long sales cycle and tough busi-     fine dining work, however, the split
                                                 ness to obtain,” Brennan says.               now is about 80 percent QSR, and 15
                                                    Many franchisors, including Dunkin’       percent fine dining.
                                                 Brands, have high expectations. “First,
                                                 they don’t want problems,” Herman
                                                 says. “If there is a problem, they want it   The business of “now”
                                                 resolved quickly.” The POS systems           The QSR sector has several other dis-
                                                 must work reliably, as Dunkin’ fran-         tinguishing characteristics. For
                                                 chisees literally depend on them to          starters, it’s a “now” business, says
                                                 operate their stores.                        Myron Staszkow, associate vice presi-
       TOUCHMONITORS                                Dunkin’ Brands tested BECR’s sys-         dent with Sharp Electronics’ POS divi-
      WITHIN EVERYONE’S                          tem extensively before deciding              sion, and a former restaurant operator.
           REACH.                                whether to offer it to the company’s         “You prepare it right now and it’s
                                                 franchisees. They evaluated the sys-         done.” Operators who prepare too
                                                 tem’s ability to ring up products quick-     much food waste time and money;
                                                 ly and accurately, and to handle the         those who prepare too little lose sales.
                                                 variety of items, many of which are             POS systems deployed in the QSR
                                                 seasonal, that Dunkin’ offers. The loss      sector typically need to
                                                 prevention group tested the system to        include drive-through
                                                 verify that it contained a non-reset-        functionality, as well
                                                 able grand total that tracks every trans-    as the ability to auto-

      For affordable reliability, ScanSource
      suggests the 1515L and 1715L LCD              “Franchisors don’t want problems,
                                                    and if there is a problem, they
      touchmonitors from Elo TouchSystems.
      These cost-effective, entry-level models
      are ideal for the retail and hospitality
      markets. Typical applications include
      point of sale (POS), point of service,
                                                    want it resolved quickly.”
      loyalty systems and countertop kiosk
      information systems.
                                                    JOHN HERMAN, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, BOSTON ECR
      The ScanSource Advantage:
      • The largest product inventory            action rung through the machine.             matically ring up an order for a sand-
        in the industry
                                                 Finally, several franchisees tested the      wich, fries and soft drink as a “combo”
      • Expert sales and tech reps for
                                                 system’s performance in about a dozen        meal. In QSR restaurants, the check
        pre- and post-sales support
                                                 locations. Altogether, the process took      prints before the food is prepared; in
      • Online Ordering and Configuring tools
                                                 about six months.                            contrast, in fine dining, the check
      • Powerful business building tools
                                                    Once a VAR has obtained a fran-           often isn’t printed until the customer is
                                                 chisor’s business, however, it can be        done eating. “In QSRs, you want to
                                                 lucrative, Brennan adds. “Once               keep the line flowing, so you finalize
      to see how we have your hospitality        you’ve sold it to the franchisor, they       the transaction and get the check out,”
      solution needs covered.                    can make it a choice to their mar-           Herman says.
                                                 ket.” The POS system offered by                 Finally, QSR operators tend to
                                                 BECR is one of two that Dunkin’              be price sensitive, says Debbie
                                                 Brands franchisees can choose.               Klintworth, Epson product manager.
                                                    In contrast, working in the fine din-     And, given the rough environment of

VSR    20    FEBRUARY 2006
                                                        [COVER STORY: SLAM DUNK!]

                                                QSR restaurants and kitchens, it’s         “They’re looking for faster operations.”
                                                important that all equipment be            At the same time, technology stan-
                                                extremely durable and easy to clean.       dards have become more open, mak-
                                                   Epson printers are used in many         ing it easier for restaurant owners to
                                                Dunkin’ stores and, similar to Boston      replace components, rather purchase
                                                ECR, its willingness to customize          entirely new systems.
                                                products has been key to success, says        Resellers need to be willing to make
                                                Klintworth. Of the more than four mil-     the modifications or assemble the
                                                lion Epson TM-T88III printers sold,        unique systems that customers want,
                                                many into the hospitality sector, about    Wise says. “That differentiation allows
                                                half are customized.                       the reseller to win deals.”
                                                   Epson has modified its firmware so         This is key, as different restaurant
                                                that Dunkin’ franchisees who had been      owners will have different needs,
                                                using printers from other manufactur-      Staszkow of Sharp adds. For instance,
                                                ers could easily switch to Epson.          almost every restaurant owner recog-
                                                “Epson supports interfaces to older        nizes the need for an inventory control
          BEST TIP YOU’LL                       generation, legacy POS terminals,”         system. However, one might want to
           GET ALL DAY.                         says Barry Wise, president of Wise         measure the cost and amount of ingre-
                                                Retail Consulting and a marketing          dients used in different dishes. Another
                                                consultant to Epson.                       might want to know how many items

                                                    QSR owners are realizing that to boost speed
                                                    and efficiency, it can make sense to replace
                                                    a piece of equipment even if it’s not broken.
      If you want to offer highly durable          Wise also encourages resellers in the   have been sold and how many are left.
      components to your end-users, with a      QSR sector to take note of several            To adequately serve clients,
      high margin for yourself, we have the
      answer. Pioneer’s All-In-One Terminals    emerging trends. One is the shift to       VARs need to ask three questions,
      are fast and powerful. And they pair      receipts that are labels, and adhere to    Staszkow says. First, they need to ask
      perfectly with Ithaca’s 610 thermal       the To-Go bag or box, indicating the       what the restaurant owner wants.
      printer—a tough, two-color inkjet         contents inside.                           Second, they need to ask why the
      specifically designed for the kitchen.
                                                   Some QSR operators are using labels     owner wants a particular system and
      The ScanSource Advantage:                 to provide even more information,          finally, they need to ask how the
      • The largest product inventory           Wise says. For instance, a few provide     restaurant owner sees the system
        in the industry                         nutritional information, while some        working within his or her operation.
      • Expert sales and tech reps for          QSR operators that offer home delivery        Extracting useful answers isn’t
        pre- and post-sales support
                                                are printing directions to customers’      always easy. “These are tough questions
      • Online Ordering and Configuring tools   homes on the labels.                       for restaurateurs to answer,” Staszkow
      • Powerful business building tools           In addition, more QSR owners are        says. “Most don’t understand what it is
                                                changing their habits when it comes to     they really want.” To help them, VARs
                                                purchasing technology. Previously,         need to spend time actively observing
      to see how we have your hospitality
                                                they tended to buy entire systems and      the restaurant’s operations, he says.
      solution needs covered.                   keep all components until some part of        “Our best strategy in this case is to
                                                the system simply stopped working.         illustrate the success of past clients,”
                                                   Now, owners are realizing that to       says BECR’s Brennan. “The new client
                                                boost speed and efficiency, it can make    can see what worked for Dunkin’ for
                                                sense to replace a piece of equipment      example and we can modify the solu-
                                                even if it’s not broken, Wise says.        tion to their needs.” V

VSR    22    FEBRUARY 2006

Shared By: