Bespoke enterprise business system to replace Excel, cutting thousands of labour hours p.a.

Delivering real-time business insight

Project description

CH&Co Group is a contract catering firm with revenues of over £200m, and a team of 4,500 providing services to over 400 operations across the UK and Ireland.

The challenge that they faced was that their EPOS, reporting and supply chain data existed in different systems. The resulting poor data integrity, time-consuming data entry and inaccurate information compromised decision-making and kept the cost of maintaining the systems high.

We designed and built a bespoke SaaS system, hosted securely on the cloud, that integrated all their different elements of financial data (EPOS, SAP, product, menu, unit, user, and financial), leaving the source systems untouched.

This involved us following a Discovery phase, mapping out the different data sources, their formats and frequency of updates in order to determine a functional, consolidated database design.

Establishing a well considered database design was the cornerstone of the system’s success. Only by fully understanding Catermasters’ business, goals and systems, were we able to create an intelligent database design. From there, we integrated the most valuable and easiest to integrate data, gradually working towards the more complex.

Drawing the data together was only one half of the equation, understanding how the business wanted to interrogate and analyse the data was the other half. Understanding how businesses work is a passion of ours. A lot of technology firms like focusing on the technology, we don’t. We like to focus on the business, how it makes money and how our software can make it more money.

Having that deep understanding helps you design and build systems that are right, intuitively right, for the business. Systems that help either save or make it money.

In the case CH&Co Group, with Excel removed, the business began to get accurate, on-demand financial and sales reporting. Unnecessary admin hours were removed and the maintenance cost dropped significantly.

The core database design has not changed since the system’s launch, despite numerous functional upgrades to accommodate an expanding business – the sign of good Business Analysis.

The headline numbers since launch are:

  • 4.1million of unit sales tracked over 220 sites
  • 8,000 labour hours
  • £000s saved p.a.
  • 100s of hours saved in admin time p.a.
  • 100% elimination of Excel-based errors
Project details
  • Client : Catermasters
  • Category : Reporting
  • Date Created : September 2013 - present
  • Website :