How a responsive IT hardware maintenance strategy slashed downtime and improved customer experience for a large, multi-site restaurant brand.
What happens when an organization with over 1,000 locations enhances its hardware maintenance strategy with higher service levels, localized engineering and parts depots, and a commitment to maximum first-time fix rates?
If you’re Brinker, which operates Chili’s Grill and Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants, it means you have cooked up something great with a new level of break/fix responsiveness. And what they discovered might just help you set a new standard for IT maintenance.
Technology & the Customer Experience
Customer experience (CX) is essential in nearly every industry, but perhaps none more so than the restaurant sector. Couples enjoying a quiet evening out, families grabbing a bite after the soccer game, or harried workers in need of a fast lunch have different demands of an eatery—but they all have high expectations.
Little attention is typically paid to the various technologies that make great service possible, from the systems that relay orders to the kitchen, to network switches that process online and to-go orders, to the access points supplying free WiFi access. But experience any technology failure and guests notice the impacts immediately.
All of this to say, restaurant technology is essential, and downtime cannot be tolerated. This presents immense challenge for IT teams overseeing multi-site restaurant operations, where facilities may be scattered across the country—and beyond.
Delivering Across Diverse Locations
The greatest challenges for Brinker were its sheer number of locations and the diversity of technologies at each restaurant. With more than 1,000 restaurants to manage and dozens of IT networking products, answering support calls alone was a complicated endeavor. Driving hardware maintenance improvement seemed impossible.
As a result, the company found itself investing substantial staff time in administering support contracts, overseeing vendors that weren’t performing, and attempting to mitigate the damage caused by excessive downtime. Then they discovered Sagent.
Right away, Sagent put Brinker’s restaurant technology under a single support umbrella. This unified the maintenance solution and simplified the contract management. Making it easy for on-site restaurant staff and IT team members to know who to call.
Even though the maintenance contract and ticket management are centralized, support itself is localized for rapid response. Engineering resources are available near each Brinker location and equipment inventory is strategically sited in market level depot locations.
These capabilities enable Sagent to manage thousands of trouble tickets 24×7 and dispatch field support anywhere—within four hours, guaranteed.
This was a huge difference for Brinker. When moving to Sagent, the company upgraded from next-day to same-day service, yet they still enjoyed a 15 percent increase in SLA achievement. In other words, they raised the bar, and Sagent, with 95+ percent SLA metrics, still meets expectations more often than their previous provider.
Additionally, first-time fix rates soared with Sagent, as engineers familiar with the Brinker IT ecosystem can accurately diagnose problems and bring the right parts to effect resolution right away.
Setting the Standard
Today, Brinker’s IT team is able to focus far more attention on high-value, strategic IT tasks to drive business growth. The company recognized Sagent’s contributions with an Above the Line Award, saying “Sagent is the standard by which all IT partners are measured!”
So how should you gauge the capabilities of your IT maintenance partners? Here are the factors delivering the greatest impact for Brinker:
- Simplified contracts—preferably an easy-to-manage, “all in one” support solution for every technology and every location
- Strong SLA achievement under a mission-critical mindset that helps guarantee any problem is resolved quickly, usually the first time
- Centralized management, localized delivery to combine the benefits of a single support provider with the rapid response of local engineering resources and nearby spare parts and equipment
- Continuous improvement driven by data analysis and insights to reduce avoidable repairs, cut costs, and slash downtime, among other benefits
You could shop around in an attempt to find this rare mix of advantages in the market. But while you’re here, why not get in touch now? Simply contact us at (866) 593-5931 to find out what a unique version of IT hardware maintenance can do for your IT organization.