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Expanding meant changing how FOCUS Brands operated. A new software package helped.

A year and a half after adding Cinnabon to its portfolio of five brands, FOCUS Brands, Inc.’s leadership team knew that it was time to upgrade the company’s operations technology. To that end, FOCUS partnered with Radiant Systems to integrate a new point of sale program that will help Vice President of Operations Dave McDougall, as well as franchisees, better manage the company’s approximately 5,000 units worldwide. Rollout of the new system, known as Aloha Enterprise, was completed in early May. Benefits include advanced sales analysis in real-time, timely business alerts, and customizable consolidated reporting—all readily available even in co-branded locations.

In the case of co-branded units, says Tad Phelps, Radiant Systems’s managing director of sales for North America, “We’re actually building out the database so you can have both menus on the screen. As opposed to when you’re at a single brand, where you just have one menu [on the POS system].” Furthermore, Aloha Enterprise is expected to considerably reduce the time needed to train employees, all the while allowing “comprehensive management of key processes from a central location.”

And that was just one of many amenities that sold McDougall and the FOCUS team responsible for reviewing operations technology.

Team Effort

Soon after FOCUS purchased Cinnabon in 2004, McDougall invited employees from the various departments—finance, marketing, operations, and so on—to join a task force that would identify the revamped company’s operating needs.

“When FOCUS acquired Cinnabon, we had a platform, but upon assessing it, we just didn’t feel it was going to meet the needs of our longer-term strategies for the company of five brands,” McDougall says.

Among those needs was the ability to support an international platform that allowed visibility of sales and what McDougall calls “product mix” and that provided unlimited accessibility through a web-based system. “Having a global solution was one of the key [needs] we identified. That, and it had to be web-based,” says McDougall. “[Neither] the Cinnabon program we were currently using, [nor] the one from Carvel, was going to be able to facilitate that.”

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