Published on 12-Mar-2008
Validated on 01 Oct 2012
"With SAP applications on System i, international expansion of the business is a real prospect, with systematized business processes and management. IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One is ideal for ambitious companies such as Barbecue Plaza, and we look forward to seeing the solution grow with our business." - Neerada Choopojcharoen, Business Development Executive, Barbecue Plaza
Enterprise Resource Planning, Infrastructure Simplification, Optimizing IT
IBM Business Partner:
Barbecue Plaza Co Ltd in Bangkok, Thailand, operates around 70 highly successful restaurants under the Bar B Q Plaza (Mongolian), Joom Zap Hut (Thai) and Fire Place (Japanese cuisine) names. The formula is simple: customers select and grill their own food, and participate in the fun of the cooking process.
The highly successful Barbecue Plaza restaurant chain was relying on self-developed software that provided limited reporting functionality. Central food stores were often overstocked to avoid shortages at individual restaurants, and without detailed management information it was difficult to control and reduce costs. With ambitious expansion plans, Barbecue Plaza wanted to reduce inventory, increase efficiency and prepare for international expansion.
Barbecue Plaza selected an integrated solution based on SAP ERP 6.0 applications including financials, controlling, materials management, sales & distribution and production planning functionalities, running on an IBM System i 520 server. To reduce the implementation time, costs and complexity, Barbecue Plaza chose IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One an approach which delivered a ready-to-run SAP software environment in just one day.
IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One delivered a working solution far more rapidly than conventional installation. Barbecue Plaza is able to forecast restaurant demand more accurately, helping to reduce central inventory levels and cut wastage. Detailed trading data allows costs, turnover, profitability and productivity to be analyzed. New business process information allows Barbecue Plaza to prepare franchise expansion plans throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Barbecue Plaza Co Ltd in Bangkok, Thailand, operates around 70 highly successful restaurants under the
Bar B Q Plaza (Mongolian), Joom Zap Hut (Thai) and Fire Place (Japanese cuisine) names. The formula is simple: customers select and grill their own food, and participate in the fun of the cooking process.
The Barbecue Plaza Company is the biggest restaurant in the barbecue and grilling category and is considered the third largest casual dining restaurant in Thailand, ranked in the top ten restaurant chains both locally and internationally. From its start in 1987 with 30 employees, the company has grown significantly and now employs some 2,500 people.
Critical business issues
Until recently, managers relied on manual systems to report on the business. Financial and inventory data was extracted from self-developed software, which by 2007 was almost 20 years old. Without up-to-date information, materials management at the central food warehouse was neither automated nor optimized, requiring more management resources than necessary.
Neerada Choopojcharoen, Business Development Executive, explains: “Previously, business knowledge and information were difficult to access; now by systemizing the business everyone could gain access to and share the information, and help us plan for growth.
“The time taken to produce reports limited our ability to identify efficiencies. In some cases the system simply did not record enough detail. With plans to grow the business throughout the region, these were critical business issues.”
Selecting SAP software
Barbecue Plaza selected the SAP ERP 6.0 application, including financials, controlling, materials management, sales & distribution and production planning functionalities. The plan was to introduce accurate business forecasting, which would help reduce inventory levels and enhance financial controls and profitability.
“Barbecue Plaza selected SAP ERP software, providing the best fit with its restaurant business and readying the company for international operations,” says Neerada Choopojcharoen.
“SAP software is globally accepted throughout our supplier and partner chain, making it an easy choice for Barbecue Plaza. However, as a relatively small company, it was important to find a way to make the transition rapidly and at low cost, so we could gain the benefits of SAP software quickly and easily.”
Choosing the best infrastructure
The next step was to consider the best way to introduce SAP applications to the company, and choose the best IT infrastructure. With long experience of the stability and reliability of the IBM System i platform, Barbecue Plaza chose an IBM System i 520 server, with one active processor and one additional processor available on demand. The company engaged IBM to provide, install and configure its new SAP software, using IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business
All-in-One (formerly known as the ‘KOBI’ process). The solution would support around 40 users, initially at the headquarters office.
“The IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One process was essentially invisible to Barbecue Plaza,” remarks Neerada Choopojcharoen. “Our users are not particularly technically skilled, and we have a small management team that is focused on running restaurants. Our objective was to implement the right solution for the company quickly, easily and at low cost. The IBM team and SAP consultants were most impressive, and IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One delivered a complete SAP solution very rapidly.”
She adds, “IBM System i was clearly the best option for Barbecue Plaza, giving us a secure platform that is easy to manage. It was also very fast to deploy, thanks to IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business
Benefits of IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One
For mid-size companies such as Barbecue Plaza, a common perception is that SAP software requires a great deal of time, resources and budget just to install and make initial system preparations for full implementation.
IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One consists of an installed and configured package of SAP software (development, quality assurance and production systems) and IBM i5/OS, with the most current patches applied, saved onto a tape media cartridge that offers very fast installation, massively reduced implementation times, and significantly reduced cost. IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One reduces the SAP software set-up and preparation time from around four weeks to just two to three days for a three-system landscape of SAP software development, quality assurance and production systems in two logical partitions of an IBM System i 520. The methodology combines industry best practices and powerful hardware in one competitive offering – out of the box.
IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One creates complete, configured images on tape that are shipped to the local SAP software implementer, ready for installation on the IBM System i server – in this case, an i520. The SAP software can be tailored using standard industry templates before it is saved to tape, which accelerates and simplifies the implementation process, enabling the software to be brought into productive use more rapidly.
Barbecue Plaza took advantage of IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One for the installation of a three-tier SAP software landscape of production, development, and quality assurance. The tape images were restored to two logical partitions of the i520, and after slightly less than three days of on-site work, the i520 was ready to support the full deployment of the new SAP applications.
Cutting inventory costs
In the past, large stores of food were held centrally and distributed when requests arrived from each restaurant. With the SAP applications, it will be possible to forecast demand more accurately and reduce central stores. With the control offered by SAP software, total inventory can be monitored more closely, and costs can be analyzed by brand and location.
Group inventory efficiency gains will be based on data captured from the restaurants. This will enable analysis of how each restaurant actually performs, producing a systematic picture of business performance.
Opening up new business opportunities
Barbecue Plaza has been growing steadily for 20 years, and is ready to expand internationally. Neerada Choopojcharoen comments, “The introduction of SAP software enables us to streamline our operations and create a more organized and well-documented process. We can now monitor and manage items such as inventory, restaurant turnover, profitability and productivity more effectively.”
“With SAP software on IBM System i we now have a format that can be analyzed and prepared for rollout throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We could now choose to expand using the franchise model, a completely new business option not previously available to the company.
“Having selected the i520 as the supporting infrastructure for the SAP software, we are certain that it is more than capable of supporting the new workload, and we can scale up quickly and easily as the business increases.”
International expansion made possible
IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One delivered a complete SAP solution landscape to Barbecue Plaza in a matter of a few days.
“Working with SAP software is quite a transformation for Barbecue Plaza,” says Neerada Choopojcharoen. “With SAP applications on System i, international expansion of the business is a real prospect, with systematized business processes and management. IBM System i InstallOption for SAP Business All-in-One is ideal for ambitious companies such as Barbecue Plaza, and we look forward to seeing the solution grow with our business.”
Products and services used
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