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Mad Mex

MadMex leverages Microsoft cloud to spice up transformation with deep data insights

When you come into a MadMex Fresh Mexican Grill outlet you’re after something tasty, fresh, satisfying – where all the elements work well together and represent really good value.

It’s no different with technology.

Unlike made to order Baja Mexican food though, you want your technology solution to last, and be able to keep pace with your growth and innovation plans.

MadMex stuffed its first taco in 2007 and at that time it ran on pretty basic technology, mainly spreadsheets, out of a server in a cupboard.

Fast forward a decade, we are a very different organisation with outlets all over Australia and a loyal, satisfied customer base. We’ve also undertaken a significant technology transformation, largely centred around Microsoft’s cloud solutions, and now have a firm foundation for the future.

The strategy to use Microsoft was deliberate; using best in breed from a single vendor means you significantly reduce the integration that otherwise takes up a huge amount of resources. Microsoft products all seamlessly work together and there is a huge amount of partner resources out there – we’ve worked closely with Wardy’s IT and Professional Advantage which have been fantastic supports.

Our transformation to date has involved implementing Office365, SharePoint online, SQL2014 and Power BI for business intelligence and we’re now looking at the possibility of rolling out Dynamics 365 to further support our digital strategy.

One of the benefits of Azure and all the services that run on the Microsoft cloud is that it makes us nimble and quick to deploy fresh initiatives.

Moreover, we’re rolling out WiFi across all the stores – the plan is that we can integrate information from that with Dynamics 365 to get powerful customer insights that we can then use to serve up an even better experience.

By integrating everything with our Oracle point of sale system, we are able to develop “a single source of truth” that provides us with real transparency into our operations. We can create management reports at the touch of a button, and then use the insights about demand and traffic to optimise rostering and ordering.

We won’t stop there and hope in the future to start to look at machine learning which will take us that next step forward.

Because everything is in Azure, our information systems are scalable and accessible at anytime, anywhere.

The power of data analytics

Before we had this system, we were often dealing with conflicting information or out of date financial figures because everything was locked away in the Oracle system. The only way to get at it was to load it into spreadsheets and that was crippling management’s ability to make swift and informed decisions.

There was a lot of time wasted doing administration rather than making decisions.

Now it’s completely different. Our data is instantly available and we can analyse any number of different ways; at basket level or at like-for-like at store level for example.

We can start to look at the speed of service, identify the peak periods where we could bring in extra people, or the quiet times when we can reduce the rostering. We can immediately see which marketing campaigns are effective, which discounts work best.

Empowering employees through information anytime, anywhere 

Everyone is coming on the journey. Our franchisees will be able to access the system from any browser based system, and we’re also upgrading to Windows 10 so that everyone can access Power BI and SharePoint.

There will be different and controlled access levels of course – but the plan is to allow everyone a degree of self-service reporting so the stores have the clarity they need for continuous improvement.

This instant access to information anytime, anywhere is why Azure has been such a good platform for us. If we need some more space or power it’s there at the touch of a button – it’s so nimble, so fast.

It’s allowed the IT team to concentrate on enabling the business to reach their goals rather than be tied up fixing things. It means we’re involved in developing strategy, bringing the ideas to life – it’s more of a partnership.

The fact that we now have what amounts to a dashboard for control is a real game changer for MadMex.