Francis Tuttle Technology Center Selects Procure-to-Pay

_DSC9205_2Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City, OK serves over 39,000 adults and high school juniors and seniors who reside in their partner school districts, with career-specific training to maintain a quality workforce, including a culinary program. Francis Tuttle also offers complete business and industry training and consulting services, short-term training for career enhancement or leisure activities, and a variety of offerings via the online campus. All programs and services maintain high standards for the benefit of the individuals served, and for those businesses who employ them. Francis Tuttle consists of three campuses and one business innovation center, along with three restaurants and two retail outlets.

After thorough research, Francis Tuttle Technology Center selected BirchStreet’s full procure-to-pay (P2P) platform. Included in the system are the eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control and Recipe Management System modules.

The decision to select Birch Street was based on an initial recommendation from another Birch Street customer, Le Cordon Bleu Lead Instructor, Kevin Quinn to Francis Tuttle’s Director of Culinary Arts, Marc Dunham. Culinary Procurement Specialist, Raymond G. Esquibel, Sr. The school had implemented a competing purchasing F&B system, but was not using the product as it didn’t fit their actual needs and was not able to track their inventory.

The Requirements

In their quest for finding the right solution, they wanted a comprehensive and customized process which was cloud-based so the system could be accessed by any of its campuses, restaurants and retail outlets. In the culinary program, instructors, chefs and sous chefs were using iPads in the classrooms, then preparing and fabricating food, and moving the food to the retail outlets. This created a complicated process with ordering, tracking and moving inventory locations.

They also needed a system where they could load a basic recipe into the system and view a list of all the ingredients and be able to order and scale all of the items. Most importantly, they needed a system that could track spending per classroom, track budgets, provide multiple inventory locations, was compatible with macros and provided accountability and knowledge of moving products.

Reasoning

“One of the biggest benefits was that BirchStreet was a cloud-based system, customizable and made our operation process easy. No licenses were needed. In addition, we wanted the students to use the system as an educational tool,” explained Culinary Procurement Specialist, Raymond G. Esquibel, Sr. “There is no more guesswork. We can become more accurate and know where the money is in real-time.” BirchStreet welcomes Francis Tuttle to its extensive portfolio and looks forward to helping higher education continue to grow even higher.

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Leisure Company Finds the Right Consistency with BirchStreet Recipe Management System

ClubCorpLogoSeveral years back, ClubCorp Holdings, Inc., a membership based leisure business and one of the largest owner and operators of golf, county club, business clubs and sports clubs with over 160 locations, selected BirchStreet’s Recipe Management System.

The Right Partner for Growth

The company, with headquarters in Dallas, TX, has over 15,000 employees and more than 370,000 members, was growing and in search of a partner who could help streamline all of their restaurants and F&B (food and beverage) outlets. ClubCorp researched many companies but felt that there was an opportunity with BirchStreet to grow together. They knew they wanted a cloud-based platform with management tools that could help operate and control their recipes.

At the time, ClubCorp had 400 recipes that were kept in an Excel spreadsheet. In Excel, managing recipes across properties was cumbersome due to all the pricing fluctuations with food cost. Their goal was to help with the F&B time management, create consistency and update pricing easily.

ClubCorp is also a partial owner and founding partner of Avendra, who is a BirchStreet strategic supply chain and procurement alliance. ClubCorp orders its food through Avendra, North America’s leading procurement services provider serving hospitality-related industries. The BirchStreet and Avendra partnership was an intricate part of forming the relationship between ClubCorp and BirchStreet.

Teeing Off with Recipe Management

Smd SalmonClubCorp’s research found that BirchStreet was able to address each requirement and more. With BirchStreet, they converted the recipes into the system and within the module, each ingredient was linked to its nutritional value as well as the preferred supplier, so pricing was available in real-time. Today, there are over 3,000 recipes in the system. Suppliers update pricing as it changes in the system, so ClubCorp no longer had to manually change any pricing. And, with the cloud-based platform, every club and golf course had access to every recipe, images, videos and more from their location to create consistency and enforce brand standards.

“One of the biggest benefits from BirchStreet is that we achieve consistency and quality across all of our clubs and restaurants,” explained Jeff Robinson, Recipe Development Specialist who is the gatekeeper of ClubCorp’s Recipe Management System. All recipes have templates and pictures to help insure all dishes adhere to their brand and core standards. With consistency, supplier and buyer compliance is also achieved. Further, the products are linked in the system to their supplier and reflect minimum and maximum pricing, including total recipe cost, so there are no surprises. Robinson emphasized, “The methodology, ingredients and costing is all in one place in BirchStreet, which makes my job easier.”

Rolling Out New Locations

Tile FishDirector of Culinary Development Jeff Zimmerman’s role includes onboarding new properties with BirchStreet’s Recipe Management System. ClubCorp is in the process of acquiring Sequoia Golf, which will add 50 new locations. The new properties will have access to the existing “tried and true” recipes already in the system, but often, a new Chef has several signature dishes which are incorporated into the system. Each recipe and menu item is checked every 60 to 90 days to determine its profitability and popularity. ClubCorp routinely turns their menus four times a year as seasons change. BirchStreet’s suppliers and pricing connects directly into ClubCorp’s internally developed F&B Dashboard, which focuses on results-based menu engineering and costing for their menus.

Conclusion

“We have more visibility and accountability with increased financial progress by using BirchStreet,” stated Zimmerman. “BirchStreet Recipe Management System has automated the way we do business, saving us time, reducing expenses and enhancing the quality and consistency of our culinary program.” ClubCorp and BirchStreet continue to grow together and create great experiences on the green, in the club and behind the scenes in the “back of the house.”

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BirchStreet Passes SOC Audit with Flying Colors

SOC-Service Org_B_Marks_2c_WebPart of running a successful business means ensuring that your company has the right controls over data access and IT. BirchStreet authorized a SSAE 16 SOC (Service Organization Controls) Type 2 audit conducted by Moss Adams law firm this past month and was pleased to announce that we passed with no exceptions or issues.

BirchStreet routinely sanctions process and data audits, which is commonly requested by perspective and existing customers from a legitimate third party. The SOC audit gives insight into how we run our controls, servers and internal processes. The auditors review each department, code of conduct, steps of implementing new code and software changes, how we test, IT rights, data collection, disaster recovery, customer support processes and much more.

Thron Havens, Director of IT at BirchStreet explained, “This is the IT version of a financial audit. We aren’t required to do this, but it shows our existing and future customers that we take the right steps and processes in protecting our data.” For BirchStreet, the SOC audit is considered an accomplishment due to the preparation of internal data collection, processes and refinement prior to the audit. The American Institute of CPAs instituted standards by which to judge companies, and their favorable opinion is valuable.

“This was the smoothest first time audit,” noted Moss Adams auditors. “BirchStreet has always striven to maintain the highest standards so we are pleased to be reassured again that all of our processes, security and data collection is streamlined and working well for our customers,” said Havens.

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Case Study: Coastal Sunbelt Produce Shines with PO Automation

Coastal Sunbelt logoCoastal Sunbelt is one of the largest distributor of produce and dairy in the Mid-Atlantic region. They supply produce to hundreds of customers in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Passionate about using organic, fresh and local produce from the best farms, Coastal Sunbelt has its heart in the right place. The company has a strong sense of values and strives to give back to their community with weekly charity donations.

Their logo is symbolic in many ways, but has a pineapple, which is a universal symbol of hospitality and recognizes the industry they serve. “Tall and majestic, it represents our strength and our ability to meet customer needs in a demanding and changing environment.” One segment of Coastal Sunbelt’s customers are hotels, which includes hotels that utilize BirchStreet’s strategic partner, Avendra (North America’s leading procurement services provider serving hospitality-related industries). Many of BirchStreet’s customers use both Avendra and Coastal Sunbelt to buy their produce, such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Omni Hotels & Resorts.

The Old Way

Coastal Sunbelt carrots1Coastal Sunbelt’s drive to provide excellent customer service, on time deliveries and fast payments to their growers, helped them to see the importance of automation and a faster flow of data. For their customers using BirchStreet’s cloud-based procure-to-pay and eProcurement solution for automated ordering and connecting to suppliers, they knew that having a purchase order integration would speed up their processes. Originally, Coastal Sunbelt would receive and email notification that there was an order. They would open the order in their email and manually go into BirchStreet to view the order and print it. Then, they would manually enter it into their system to process the order. This was so time consuming that they had a dedicated customer service representative to process BirchStreet orders.

A Fresh Solution

Coastal Sunbelt produce“One of our goals was to streamline the order process for our customers,” stated Lindsey Marks, Manager of Hotel Division at Coastal Sunbelt Produce. She helped to get the project of PO Integration completed so that the purchase orders received from customers automatically went into their order entry system.

Marks explained how produce is a very difficult industry because of the continuous price fluctuations and seasonality of products. With approximately 3,500 product items, updating their pricing and availability is crucial to the business and customers. Now, with the integration in place, accepting electronic orders have simplified Coastal Sunbelt’s business processes.

In fact, Coastal Sunbelt’s dedicated BirchStreet customer service representative now has been given other customer service responsibilities. The company estimates a time reduction of two to four hours per day, which is up to 50% time of one employee. Efficiency and time saved in manual data entry is a clear result for this company, who is on the forefront of technology and best practices.

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BirchStreet Systems Acquires Technology Company in Singapore and China

Birchstreet_final_logoNewport Beach, CA – August 25, 2014 – BirchStreet Systems, headquartered in Newport Beach, CA and the leading cloud-based provider of procure-to-pay software systems for the hospitality industry, announced its acquisition of Brilliant Aquarius Technologies with offices in both Shanghai and Chengdu, China and in Singapore. With over 7,000 contracted properties worldwide and the growing hospitality sector in Asia, BirchStreet has strategically positioned itself to better serve and support its customers as the region grows.

“BirchStreet welcomes Brilliant Aquarius Technologies into the company. We are excited to extend our services and support to an even higher level in Asia, as well as support the tremendous growth the region is experiencing,” stated Sushil Garg, CEO at BirchStreet. According to research, China’s hotel industry is seeing explosive growth as a $44 billion dollar business with over 2.5 million rooms. It is expected to grow to a $100 billion dollar industry with 6.3 million rooms over the next ten years.[1] BirchStreet’s cutting-edge technology and functionality helps many industries improve their business processes for procurement, accounts payable, inventory, recipe management, reporting and capital budget management.

With the acquisition, the offices in Asia will offer sales, configuration, implementation, project management, training and support for customers based primarily in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The company has vast expertise in cloud-based procure-to-pay software solutions for the hospitality industry and will therefore help streamline operations for customers based throughout Asia.

ABOUT BIRCHSTREET SYSTEMS, INC.:

BirchStreet Systems, Inc. provides global enterprises with a complete procure-to-pay business solution deploying a SaaS model using cloud-based technology. BirchStreet software focuses on improving business processes by integrating eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control, Spend Analytics, Recipe Management System and Capital Budget Management modules to support the hospitality industry. Thousands of businesses in 78 countries currently subscribe to BirchStreet to connect and do business with a network of more than 200,000 suppliers. Established in 2002, BirchStreet is privately held and is headquartered in Newport Beach, California with offices in Singapore, China and India. For more information, please visit www.birchstreet.net.

[1] A.T. Kearney, “China’s Hospitality Industry – Rooms for Growth.” April 2013.

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Part IV: P2P Stories from the Road

Many of BirchStreet’s employees spend a lot of time on the road conducting sales presentations, meetings, implementations and trainings. This blog is the fourth in an ongoing series focused on encounters around the world from different perspectives and positions within BirchStreet.

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Profile

Employee: Connie

Length of time at BirchStreet: 1 year

Title: Trainer

Connie, one of our fantastic trainers here at BirchStreet, recently came home after being on the road and flying many miles in the air. After a few days back in Southern California, we were able to ask Connie her view of the world as a BirchStreet Trainer.

Born in San Diego, CA, Connie did not picture herself as a world traveler and had actually only travelled several times prior to her working here. She is a recent graduate of UC Irvine with a degree in Public Health Policy and originally wanted to find a job in Student Affairs. That drastically changed when she accepted a job at BirchStreet! Now, she claims to know just about every snack in airport shops.

After several months of in depth training, Connie’s first trip was to Arkansas to visit a casino with another trainer. After that, she flew to Chicago on her first solo trip where it was -9 degrees and very, very cold. Coming from sunny Newport Beach, she was not prepared for the drastic freezing weather, and fortunately had even borrowed a friend’s snow jacket but had no gloves. In fact, it was so cold that the customer had closed down for the day, so Connie’s adventurous spirit led her to explore the city in the bitter cold. Returning back, flights were delayed due to the weather, but, she survived.

Her next trip was much warmer with a visit to the Virgin Islands, filled with sunshine, warm breezes and white sand beaches in a tropical setting. As her first international experience, it was quite an adventure to get there with several airport stops and even a ferry to get to the island.

Connie Australia skylineThe last two months proved to be the busiest yet, with back-to-back trips to both Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, then San Antonio, TX, with a next stop in Charlotte, SC before heading down under to Brisbane, Surfer’s Paradise and Perth in Australia. The difficult part of all this travel besides navigating through many airports and customs, is being a little disoriented in the hotels and time zones, as every hotel is different. The payoff is great when you get to experience different cultures, visit new places and build relationships. One of the best things about training a customer, is that Connie is usually spending a full week with that customer and they being to feel like family.

One of the highlights of her travels was being in Australia and learning new words. For example, in Australia, “chips” actually means “French fries” if you’re from the US while “crisps” mean “chips.” Similarly, in the US, we call a “bathroom” or “restroom” while in Canada they call it a “washroom” and in Australia it is a “loo.” She also enjoys learning how different clients work differently and being able to adapt and change. Some users have never used a computer before (yes, this actually happened on the last trip!) while others become super users. Juggling all types of users is a talent in itself that requires patience, flexibility and the ability to switch gears at a moment’s notice.

There is a bit of nostalgia of family and home when gone for long periods of time so Connie likes to listen to old music and watch old episodes of some of her favorite shows like Bob’s Burgers. Connie mentioned one of her favorite things about returning home from her travels is to be around familiar people and eat at In and Out Burger.

Connie hopes her BirchStreet travels take her to Vietnam, China and Europe next. Each trip provides a learning experience and new memories and she looks forward to more adventures.

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HITEC 2014 Round Up

HITEC 2014, hosted by HFTP, was considered a resounding success! The show continues to foster a great mix of education and technical promotion for the hospitality industry.

HITECFrom behind the scenes, the transformation of a trade show floor was amazing from Monday set up to 10 a.m. on Tuesday when the doors open to the attendees. Dust, construction, concrete, building, forklifts and cranes are changed to crisp, clean, colorful carpeted booths with stunning displays, alluring lighting and large screen monitors and kiosks. Everything from displays, mobility, door locks, payment options and software were showcased with hotels in mind.

Due to the specific nature of procure-to-pay (P2P) software, BirchStreet rarely sees the booth packed and overflowing with attendees, compared to our neighbor this year, Direct TV, who showcased several celebrities, but the turnout was great! Our team was thrilled to see all of our existing customers from around the globe. And, it was a pleasure to meet many new folks that are searching for the right procurement solution, as well as our media and fellow industry professionals. Quality over quantity, as they phrase goes.

The response to our two announcements – the launch of our Capital Budget Management module and our strategic partnership with BancTec to provide a comprehensive AP solution – proved to excite both customers and prospects. The Sales team is already working on giving demos and following up with requests. We believe this was our most successful HITEC show yet – so thank you to everyone who stopped by!

We are looking forward to seeing everyone next June in Austin, TX for HITEC 2015! And, if you missed us and can’t wait for another year, please don’t hesitate to contact BirchStreet at sales@birchstreet.net.

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