McDonald's, as the world's leading food service retailer, serves some of the world's favorite foods - World Famous French Fries, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Chicken McNuggets and Egg McMuffin - in its more than 30,000 restaurants in 118 countries, serving 46 million customers each day. Also, McDonald's is one of the world's most well-known and valuable brands. It holds a leading share in the globally branded quick service restaurant segment of the informal eating-out market in virtually every country in which it does business. In the Philippines, McDonald's has been one of the leading quick service restaurants in the country. Managing a company with the size of McDonald's is a mammoth task. As a result, managing its day-to-day operations is a major challenge and that the information and communications technology requirements and infrastructure should be well placed. In this age where technology is a key element in ensuring a company's success, McDonald's opted to avail of the help desk service from Fujitsu Philippines, Inc. (FPI).
With over 180 company-owned branches nationwide, McDonald's was having difficulty in managing its different hardware and software store systems. According to Executive Vice - President Kenneth S. Yang, it is not the nature of the company to put up an IT unit, hence the decision to follow the model of a Help Desk was an inevitable recourse. Moreover, this is going to be cost-effective for the company. "Initially, about six years ago, McDonald's availed of the Help Desk Service from a competitor. After a year or two, FPI won in the bidding for the service. The Asia Pacific market being serviced by FPI is also the same market being serviced by McDonald's, thus FPI has more or less the same market," says Yang when asked why McDonald's chose FPI as the service provider. He said that the identical market niche is a good background in servicing the existing customer base of McDonald's.
With the implementation of the Help Desk service outsourced to FPI, several aspects of the McDonald's operation were addressed. One of which is the monitoring of the inventory systems, the applications of the SMS, and monitoring of documents. Eventually these tasks grew to include hardware management systems. The Help Desk service also improved the service of McDonald's by ensuring that the store systems in all branches are up and running all the time. As an example given by Yang, in case where a store has five Point-of-Sale stations, any trouble that will arise in one of the POSs will surely affect the service quality for the given number of customers at that particular time. This is of course a non-issue anymore because FPI takes care of the help desk function to provide technical support. Another benefit would be that previously, it took McDonald's about a whole day to provide technical support service to a store. Now, with FPI's Help Desk service, it only takes half the time because any problem can be addressed from the Help Desk's end. IT Directions
"We are following the US market in terms of growth, so this year, we will continue with the specific projects that have been started last year and the consolidation of the different applications, so that the stores can access the applications using the Internet, " says Yang when asked about the company's IT plan. Expounding more on the network consolidation, Yang described that the store network is a project that allows the company-owned stores to be connected either via broadband or frame-relay. This allows the company to retrieve some information from and to the stores from the Help Desk for updates of the pricing, downloading of memos etc., as well as email exchange of information from the head office and suppliers. Easy communication provided by network consolidation also covers the local announcements from the head office to the stores. The...