Buy off-the-shelf or create solutions using No-Code?
Companies undergoing digital transformation or looking to deploy solutions face a conundrum when it...
Something that often gets ignored in the hustle of managing operations in a commercial kitchen or commissary is to understand how can one adequately deal with maintenance and repairs. While it might be tempting to ignore this in the short term without a viable maintenance strategy in place, your establishment could run the potential risk of equipment failure, health code violations, and unsafe work environments for employees and customers alike. Not to mention the lost time, money, and unnecessary stress which could potentially compound the problem at hand.
To counter this threat, most restaurant chains opt for a CMMS solution. CMMS or computerized maintenance management system is a software suite built to help large enterprises such as hotels, energy plants, and manufacturing companies streamline repair and maintenance. This helps organizations to organize repair and maintenance, track data, improve efficiency, and make more informed decisions. Ultimately, while CMMS tools may be great for large enterprise organizations, they were never designed to help restaurant and hospitality operators with their challenges for repair and maintenance.
There is just one problem – CMMS solutions are usually not customized to the use-cases which restaurants might use them for and can end up costing more time and money than they are worth. Some of the potential reasons CMMS Solution might not be ideal for your restaurant chain or commissary are listed as below:
Cost – the total cost of a CMMS solution to your restaurant chain the number of sites, the users, and probably the number of work orders created. This could well be a few thousand dollars per month and this does not include the cost of onboarding, training, hiring dedicated staff to run the system, and working with your IT team to roll out a complex piece of technology for your business – all of which would bloat up the cost of the CMMS system to your restaurant chain.
Time consumption- Apart from just learning how to use the CMMS tool, the service agents require you to enter and update information about your repair and maintenance on an ongoing basis apart from analyzing data and making decisions about which assets need to be serviced and when. A technician would then have to be deployed, a work order created verification of the completion of the task and updating the invoice on the CMMS. This could well take several hours of your precious time, which could otherwise be spent on value-added activities in kitchen operations.
Limited use cases for restaurant chains/commissaries- While CMMS solutions have many use cases for industries across manufacturing, hotels, and field services, CMMS solutions are not built for restaurants and commissaries. Many of these industries where CMMS is an ideal fit is primarily because the equipment is custom and often very expensive and often needs continuous monitoring and servicing to work at an optimal level. Moreover, there is a huge workforce working round the clock to service, repair, and track R&M and to manage the CMMS solution. Restaurant chains or commissaries often do not have a full-time person trained and dedicated to managing the solution and hence might not be the best fit for the use cases which restaurant chains have. Additionally, the solutions provide endless amounts of data daily to make business decisions, which would need the expertise of dedicated staff, often at an additional cost that commissaries and restaurant chains might want to avoid getting into.
Constant monitoring and updates- CMMS would provide you with the tools for repair and maintenance, but would not do it for your restaurant. Someone in your team would monitor the software daily, update it regularly with all the patches, ensure the reliability of the data to make educated decisions. For most restaurant chains, without a dedicated resource, the same might prove to be a headache, with little time and effort to manage it effectively to view the desired results.
Now that you know why CMMS solutions are not the best fit for restaurant chains or commissaries, let’s understand how a No-Code MRO solution might help with the same. But before you proceed with the decision, these are some of the questions that would help you decide between the CMMS or the No-Code MRO solution for your restaurant.
The time you intend to dedicate – How much you value the solution to be customizable to your unique process requirements would probably be one of the biggest factors here. Additionally, you might have certain triggers in the process flow which you might want to automate; this would allow minimal manual intervention, and the process could be on auto-pilot. This would ensure that your organization runs on auto-pilot without team members having to worry about it or spend valuable cash to dedicate resources to manage it.
The budget you allocate- One might agree that the greater than the budgeted repair expenses might eat into the profits of your restaurant chain. It could be receiving payment from suppliers or vendors, automated invoicing, or something as basic as replacing the service call center with customer-facing mobile applications. The very last thing you would consider is to sort through and verify endless invoices, struggle on keeping payment deadlines to vendors or make unnecessary email or phone calls for follow-ups; which could be completely taken care of by the technology piece.
The Repair vs. Replace Decision- One of the most important aspects of managing restaurant repair and maintenance is how to make smart decisions about repairing versus replacing equipment. As you know, new equipment is expensive, but if your equipment has reached or exceeded its lifespan and you are still constantly repairing it, then you might end up spending more money than you need to.
A competent solution will be able to use data to showcase the value of your assets, track your warranties and equipment depreciation, and advise you on when it is time to repair or replace certain assets; which would further help you optimize the costs.
Onboarding or Training process: If training your team is complicated or you need to spend or additional resources to onboard a resource, then it might be more trouble than the software is worth. Understandably, all of your efforts should go towards managing restaurant operations and the entire idea of putting additional technology in place is to complement your efforts.
Ideally, the solution you choose to deploy should be simple, straightforward, and tailored to the user profile accessing it, so that the members of your team could start using it immediately.
As a busy restaurant chain looking to scale your business, you might need a repair and maintenance solution (or template) which was built for a use case like yours. Furthermore, you should be able to customize the solution to the exact requirements of your business without investing costs and time to do so.
By using Steer Platform’s No-Code MRO suite, you would have pre-built templates which you can customize using a simple drag-and-drop interface. Additionally, you would be able to build other support applications which would complement the suit of existing maintenance modules. Couple this with providing customers branded apps, web-forms, and e-commerce or chatbot channels, which could provide the restaurant chain with providing customer-facing solutions to design winning customer experiences. Finally, process automation and integration allow streamlining repetitive activities and the ability to connect easily with third-party applications via built-in recipes or direct integration.
Connect with one of our customer success team HERE for a demo to gain a deeper understanding of how Steer’s No-Code MRO solution would be ideal for your restaurant chain or commissary and take your first steps towards building a digitally connected business.
Sid Wadehra is a seasoned and a result-oriented professional with varied experience spanning geographies from leading multinationals to fast growing start-ups. His industry experience is well-complimented with business education from a global business school. Sid's expertise include digital transformation, corporate strategy, and innovation management.
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