From Pumpkin Pie to Candy Cane Dreams: Executing QSR Seasonal Programs

If you’re in the QSR business you know how important it is to consistently and reliably deliver the experience your customers expect every day in every way. While QSR customers are traditionally creatures of habit, when the holidays hit they’re ready to shake things up.

Your everyday espresso drinkers bring in their children for peppermint white hot chocolate.  They swap out their requisite bagel for a pumpkin muffin, they pass up the usual ham and cheese sandwich and order the turkey gobbler, chomping it down with gusto.

The holidays signal a break in everyday routine and ritual – it’s a special time of year when customers expect something extra – something fanciful and festive.  How can you successfully design and execute a seasonal menu without disrupting operations around your core offerings? You do it through a closely controlled, end-to-end view of supply chain management.

With the complexities around delivering fresh, quality product offerings at a significant scale and favorable margins, QSRs leveraging real-time analytics are empowered to manage multiple suppliers, decentralized warehousing and delivery systems, highly perishable inventory, and thousands of stores to successfully execute seasonal programs.

The key is real-time visibility beyond just machine data and the ability to correlate streaming events to detect and remediate supply chain issues before they become large-scale problems. While machine data creates a definitive record of customer activity, transactional history, and communication threads, in a practical sense it’s essentially a log from which data is mined after the fact.

However, when there’s a storm that prevents your supplier’s truck from delivering milk to your warehouse and your truck is stuck waiting and stocked with other highly perishable supplies, after the fact analysis isn’t very helpful.  What is helpful is the ability to detect in real-time how this circumstance affects the supply chain from end-to-end.  The automation of data collection, correlation and remediation across all supply chain sources means that your stores won’t be out-of-stock or sitting on spoiled product.  This capability allows QSRs to orchestrate automated work-arounds throughout the supply chain to ensure that the customer experience isn’t compromised.

Layering on a seasonal program into an already complex supply chain management process requires careful planning and the right real-time analytics solution in place. Success hinges on a closely controlled, end-to-end view of the supply chain that extends beyond machine data and after the fact analysis. It’s about real-time visibility of what’s happening in the field and the ability to detect and automate remediation before the customer or the broader organization is adversely affected.

When you have closer control of the supply chain, you improve margins, reduce spoilage rates and mitigate out-of-stock risk. Most importantly, however, you are empowered to provide that special quality experience that your customers expect consistently and reliably throughout every store – and this is the essence of your brand’s value proposition.

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