It almost goes without saying that the software industry is in a golden age of innovation and advancement. The phrase “software is eating the world” exemplifies the pace and the scale of change that software is still undergoing, which has pervasive impact for just about every industry out there.
Modern software operates in a never-ending innovation cycle defined by continuous development and delivery. The most innovative companies today strive to use software in their operations more strategically, which includes taking advantage of new levels of automation and efficiency that are now widely available.
This was the case for the facilities management team at Bloomin’ Brands. It identified the need to use software more strategically in its restaurant operations that span 1,500 locations globally, comprising familiar brand names such as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
Jon Ahrendt, Director of Facilities at Bloomin’ Brands, who led this initiative described the effort as the company wanting to “get from ‘zero to 60’ overnight in terms of our facilities management evolution.”
The Shortcomings of CMMS
A key requirement in this FM modernization initiative was to replace its legacy CMMS (computerized maintenance management system), which was limited in functionality to basic invoice processing and data classification. This led to several FM operational issues such as:
- Limited visibility into the scope and spending of service providers
- Inconsistent vendor management across different locations due to local sourcing of service providers
- Higher costs for repairs and maintenance overall
As the company determined that technology by itself could not solve these problems, success for Bloomin’ Brands required not only selecting a better technology solution but also the right technology “partner” who could work directly with the company in establishing and meeting its ambitious goals.
This was a key criteria of its software platform RFP, something Bloomin’ Brands asked of all the candidates. Ultimately, Bloomin’ Brands decided that ServiceChannel and its Service Automation platform would be the best partner and provided the best solution.
Why Choose Service Automation for a Facilities Management Platform
Bloomin’ Brands selected ServiceChannel partly because it was unique among the vendors evaluated for having a “dual-focused” approach toward adding value to both the customers as well as their contractors.
“We liked that they cared about their clients and service providers equally,” Ahrendt said.
“Having the right service provider at the right time can make the difference between a restaurant being able to open their doors – or not – on any given day.”
This gave the Bloomin’ Brands team the confidence that ServiceChannel was a company who could be trusted and could partner well across the entire facilities ecosystem.
Facilities Team – Software Provider Partnership Drives Strong Results
This ultimately materialized into both companies taking great strides in establishing open communications and collaboration throughout the software deployment phase and beyond. This was essential in both companies being on the same page in executing on the enterprise-wide facilities modernization with service automation as the focal point.
The results to-date attest to the success of this open collaborative approach. Since ServiceChannel’s FM software has been in place, Bloomin’ Brands has experienced:
- 56% reduction in average work order resolution time
- 88% increase in first-time work order completion rates
- 66% decrease in negative service provider feedback
- 123% improvement in service provider check-in compliance rate
The Lesson for Other FMs
The Bloomin’ Brands success is a reminder for other FMs to never accept the status quo from any of their technology vendors, especially their software providers. Software today is continuously developed and delivered as the default mode. This mode should also define the relationship between the customer and the software vendor. In the case of Bloomin’ Brands, all they needed was to ask.
For more details on the Bloomin’ Brands success story, please download the case study.
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