Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Facebook, custom widgets
Increase profit by monitoring operations and solving problems as soon as they arise
Just a five second look at my dashboard tells me if everything’s running smoothly. It also gives me the ability to stop a problem before it grows and turns into a real headache. This instant, live access to my most important metrics is what allows me to truly relax.Paul Kisiliuk, New Business and Innovation Manager, NIU Sushi
NIU Sushi, a restaurant chain in Santiago, Chile, started their operations in 2009. They’re currently in the process of opening their ninth store, serving over 100k customers per month. They offer an innovative web-based ordering platform that maximises customer service while centralising internal management. Customers can order online and orders go directly to the corresponding kitchen.
NIU Sushi had been using different kind of dashboards for a long time, mainly a combination of Excel and SQL. But the centralized management team felt that wasn’t enough for them to consistently stay on top of operations while the company was growing rapidly and opening more new stores. They started looking for an easy-to-access system that would display real-time data in one place and be available on both desktop and mobile.
The solution was Geckoboard.
The dashboards at NIU Sushi mostly contain custom widgets connected to the company’s databases. Things that are monitored are:
• Sales in all their forms, monthly, daily, hourly, by channel, by store, by product, by product modifier, etc.
• Cancellations of various forms
• Orders in queue
• Out of stock
• Feedback from customers
• Time to completion of orders – this is connected to an alarm that goes off if a store is falling behind on promised delivery times
• Certain costs – they are in the process of integrating their enterprise resource planning (ERP) info
Paul does ad hoc analysis, mostly in SQL and Excel. Based on that, he gives new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) a place on the dashboards.
Paul also spends 20 minutes at the start of every day analyzing the data from the previous day. He looks carefully at the KPIs to search for explanations behind different metric results.
He keeps an eye on the dashboards throughout the day, whether on the desktop or in the iPhone app. Just a brief glance tells him if everything’s running smoothly. It also allows him to catch a problem before it grows into a potential headache.
Small businesses may be able to make decisions based on what they see, hear and experience on a daily basis, but big companies need data. As NIU Sushi has grown and scaled, Geckoboard has become an integral part of the decision-making process.
The company has saved money by replacing a heavy employee structure of too many layers of staff supervising other staff with a much cheaper dashboard solution that lets them control daily operations more efficiently and with a lot less people. As a result, management is much more in tune with operations and able to make sound business decisions.
As an example, the company was having some problems with a specific procedure that wasn’t being followed by take away telephone operators and was generating extra cost. A dashboard was set up that showed in real-time each time the mistake was made, giving management a chance to contact the operator instantly to explain the issue while it was fresh in his/her mind and to correct the mistake. That particular dashboard became obsolete in just two weeks as all operators learned how to do the process right.
Another example where the dashboards have helped increase profit is with menu optimisation – a fairly simple job in a small family run eatery but something that has a lot more variables in a restaurant chain. With uninterrupted access to live data, it has been easier for the NIU Sushi team to aggregate numbers and see how decisions might affect each store separately.