In his more than 26 years in the quick service industry, there is very little Steve Heuerman hasn’t seen. From his early days running a single restaurant to his current position of Director of Operations for Kava Restaurants – Tim Hortons, Heuerman has a fairly good handle on what works and what doesn’t.
He uses that insight in his current role where he oversees operations in 33 Tim Hortons in Ohio and Michigan. He has four District Managers that report to him keeping him abreast of all the relevant goings-on.
One of the things that his years in the industry have taught him is that knowledge is power. The more up-to-date information one has at their fingertips, the easier it is to make the right decisions and adjustments on a day-to-day basis. Heuerman finds CLEARVIEW provides him that kind of real-time critical information.
We spoke with Steve Heuerman about his experiences with CLEARVIEW and how it helps him with his daily work life.
What are some of the ways CLEARVIEW has been able to save your people time and money in their day-to-day activities?
I feel that CLEARVIEW is fast, it’s internet-based, and you can access the live reports quickly. It reacts quickly to what you need, so you’re not waiting long for a report to come up.
I think the reports that come up are very easy to read and that makes it more efficient for my GM to pull the report and look at it and then quickly make good decisions. This gives them more time to be on the floor and so that is a definite time-saving benefit.
Another is with scheduling. Schedules can take GM’s hours to do, but with a CLEARVIEW schedule, they can get one done pretty quickly. With the forecasting and the ideal number of shifts recommendations, completing a schedule can be done within an hour or less. Before that would eat up a fair amount of time.
I also believe that live reporting is a big benefit. We can find out what the data is at any moment and make the right decision in real-time. This gives us important knowledge for what we want to forecast and project in the future, so it makes it easier and saves time.
How have you found CLEARVIEW to make the most direct impact in your operations?
There are several aspects of CLEARVIEW that I really like, and at the top of that list is the live interactions. You can get live reports on your sales, on your cash and labor projections, and labor audits. It gives you an up-to-the-moment snapshot of what’s happening in the stores.
Another part of it I really like the scheduling feature. You can get some interesting reports that will help you run your everyday items, and that has been key for us.
What is it about the scheduling feature that you find the most helpful?
I really like the new scheduling picture where it shows more of a line bar scheduling, I think the line bar scheduling aspect is probably the best way to go.
It’s easier for managers to work with the line bar scheduling and they can do a schedule within a shorter period than doing it on paper or through other methods. It creates efficiency in what a GM can do.
How does CLEARVIEW help your chain of restaurants save money?
It saves money for us by giving us the tools and data that we need to make important decisions on the fly. Take labor as an example, maybe we need to cut labor because things are not going the right way regarding sales, so we can make that choice.
With food costs, we can easily spot and dig into variances with the biggest impact to our bottom line, determine why this is happening and plan on how to improve it.. Searching the waste feature on the inventory allows us to see how much we are wasting and where we can cut back to save money. We can use the product mix as well by looking at how much we’ve been selling and how many days we have been selling it. We can see this is how much we should be preparing, and that helps us meet that cost as well and that always helps the bottom line.
Let’s say somebody that you know is on the fence about implementing CLEARVIEW, what would you tell them?
I would tell them if they are willing to utilize what CLEARIVEW has to offer, they will get a good product out of it. In order for CLEARVIEW to support and improve your operations and performance, all every day back office tasks that you are used to doing on paper, in excel or other disparate systems, will now be centralized in CLEARVIEW, and it pays off.