Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (CRW), the Dallas-based operator of T.G.I. Friday’s and Pick Up Stix restaurants, uses business intelligence software from Cognos to identify discrepancies between prices they’ve negotiated for food supplies from their vendors and what their vendors are actually charging them on invoices.
Here’s how it works: Cognos parses all of the company’s invoices from suppliers and contracts with food vendors in CRW’s Oracle data warehouse to see if any of the vendors are actually charging restaurants for food at a higher rate than the chain had negotiated. Since CRW contracts with a variety of different suppliers for meats, dairy products and produce, it also uses Cognos to pinpoint the suppliers that offer the best deals-and stick to them.
The company saved $200,000 in 2003 by remedying these discrepancies and by giving more business to suppliers with the most competitive prices.