In order to succeed in today’s turbulent business environment characterized by increasing levels of competition and ever-changing market conditions, enterprises have to change their processes in order to quickly and efficiently adapt to the changing needs and wants of the marketplace. This is especially true for businesses offering food services.
Arguably, the most radical response of a company is business transformation process. This report examines a successful business transformation process conducted by La Camera Restaurant. Specifically, the report describes the process implementation; the context in which the process was implemented, results of the implementation and concludes with recommendations for improvement in the future implementation of the transformational process at business and industry level.
Today’s business environment is marked by augmenting levels of competition and ever-changing market conditions. This is specifically true in companies offering food and beverage services. In the wake of dramatic turbulence in the environment in the environment, a company’s ability to adapt, respond and align itself with its business needs is critical for its survival and success. The big question arises as to how an organization should respond.
Among various responses, business process transformation offers radical solutions possibly as dramatic as the challenges. Business transformation process is the elemental review and thorough revamp of processes to attain impressive improvements in significant and existing measurements of efficiency.
In the past, a number of companies have risen to the occasion and implemented business transformation processes. A number of organizations have incorporated BTP’s in the past. These organizations include Tata1; BT’s Network plan2; Dell’s distribution chain scheme for electronic business3, and Wal-Mart’s supply chain enhancement via incorporating their buyers’ systems4.
This report examines process-based transformation with reference to La Camera, a Stylish, modest Italian restaurant in Southbank, Melbourne.
Business transformation process efforts are bound to fail at meeting their goals at a very high rate. The salient observation about this a failure is that an organization has to be in dire need of these changes in order to risk engaging in a business transformation process. There are three major reasons attributed to a failure of BTPs.
The first is the absence of a sufficient business case. This leads to vague prospect of the results of the BTP. Symptoms of the lack of such an understanding include overemphasis on fundamental change without sufficient focus on existing processes, underestimation of issues related to people and organizational change, and insufficient support and dedication from top management.
Another reason why BTPs fail is due to the absence of robust and reliable technology and methodologies for performing BTP so that there is a failure in executing the efforts. The last reason is incomplete or inadequate implementation5.
Transforming an organization from a function to a process focus entails a key cultural alteration. It also calls for a major change in the information systems that maintain the business.
Organizational members do not know what to expect and are often surprised, angered, or threatened by the proposed change6. If the project does not correctly manage their expectations, it will not be allowed to continue. Lastly, inadequate carry forward of “lessons learnt” and “how-to” knowledge form project to project significantly increases the probability of a failure7.
La Camera’s Transformation Process
Facing increasing competition from other players in the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia, the management of La Camera Restaurant identified four focused used strategies for the company. These include operational excellence, focused used revenue growth, knowledgeable and committed workforce, and excellent marketing.
Each of the strategies was spelt out in terms of key performance indicators, financing sources strategic considerations with noticeably distinct accountability centers and due dates for deliverables. The processes affected included ordering of meals, bartending services, and beverage services.
La Camera, the transformation process resulted to a better support team among the coworkers. The staff not only helped one another during peak hours but also encouraged one another to offer their customers the best services possible. In addition, they constantly reminded one another of the restaurant standards.
This kept them versed with the quality of service they should strive to deliver to their clients. A blue print transformation process leads to a better organization structure among the employees. The workforce culture becomes suitable to the transformation8. For, instance, an employee who was initially a bartender in La Camera before the transformation process was in a position to learn the menu and procedures on the bill since the changes meant it possible for the staff to take orders over the phone.
This implies that, an effective transformation process in business leads to the versatility and agility among employees hence complementing one another in the workplace9.
In deed, recent research posits that there is a close link between customer satisfaction and support system among employees, employees’ determination to provide better service and support from seniors.
To add on, the study also indicated that support system among coworkers guided by a specific set of standards is instrumental in motivating employees to provide better client service. As such, a blue print business transformation process should endeavor to come up with a well-managed work force it terms training and motivating staff10.
A blue print business transformation should lead to automation of manual activities. This reduces the cycle time and improves the efficiency11. In La Camera, orders were taken manually before the introduction of the transformation processes. This process was tedious and time consuming. It meant that only the employees familiar with the menu and the dishes’ specifications could handle the customers.
However, with the introduction of ordering and booking, the process was meant effective as it became less involving breathe use other employees previously not able to handle customers face to face due to their commitments could now answer a call for an order or booking. This automation also reduced congestion in the restaurant. Initially, customers the used to crowd it while booking or ordering.
Apart from automation, a blue print business transformation strategy should result to processes becoming more efficient in line with the desired objective and business vision. In the case of La Camera, new coffee machines were installed12. After the introduction of these superb machines, it was now possible to make quality coffee easy and fast than before. This innovation was in line with the company’s belief that “Food is Life”.
Since life is dear and one should safeguard, the transformation changes ensured that the customers consumed quality products that were made using quality machines in the shortest time possible. The transformation process at La Camera also saw the introduction of a new set of wine glasses. This set had a uniform shape complete with the restaurant logo. The innovation made the serving of wine easier, hence, faster. In addition, it also helped to market the restaurant’s name through the logos leading to an increase in sales.
Further, a blue print business transformation makes business policies be changed making them accommodate the transformation program and policy. At La Camera, a new service was introduced that changed the company’s rules. Initially, the company did not have a take-away alcohol service13.
However, with the introduction of the transformation process, the restaurant incorporated the service into its services. This new service made the staff more aware of the liquor licensing laws in Victoria, and the new rules and regulations in the liquor industry. For instance, all new staff has their RSA certificate.
This implies that a blue print business transformation should not only be relevant to the individual industry but also in the entire industry. At La Camera, the altering of its services to include a take-away alcohol service led to an increase in profits for the business. It also allowed La Camera to market its name14.
Gaps in the La Camera’s BTP
Despite the fact that the business transformation process at La Camera was a success, there were gaps that needed in case the top management of the restaurant wishes to introduce a similar project in the future. To begin with, several departments were concerned about what was in store for them with the BTP.
This curiosity and anxiety derailed the early stages of implementing the project. Another gap or rather a challenge during the process was resistance to change. Like many of the customers, it was discovered that in spite of flexibility and capabilities brought in by the new changes, some coworkers were not comfortable working in the new areas as was required per the BTP15.
Conclusion-Summary of the main findings
Coming up with a suitable business transformation process is not an overnight affair. The initiative starts with an objective. Objectives may include market control, an undertaking into new markets, making more profits, contenting one’s customers, and managing resources.
Other goals for business transformation may entail organizational expansion or managing any business calamity whether present or in the near future. In the case of La Camera, the business transformation was triggered by an urge to satisfy its customers and organizational growth to include new services such alcohol take-away16.
After coming up with the objective of the business transformation process, the next step entails generating ideas to counteract the problem. Ideas are analyzed to verify their viability. After passing the viability, a policy is evolved, and as a result, a plan is drawn to implement the same. The execution is then carried out. It is succeeded by the appropriate supervision result and taking remedial measures to ascertain that the preferred goals are realized.
The business transformation process at La Camera provides insights on what a BTP should entail. Nevertheless, the restaurant has to consider a number of recommendations given the gaps that existed in its project. To begin with, their workforce should be trained to inculcate skills required for the new expected roles.
Another point to consider is culture management. With every main transformation, the business’ work culture changes17. In addition, to counter the gaps of resistance to change, curiosity and anxiety, clear communication should be given a priority.
This can be implanted with intranet. Internal communication among the project’s team members can be facilitated through frequent meetings, and presentations by coordinators at cross-departmental meetings it is possible to have a heterogeneous workforce and as such, the changes need to be managed well in order avoid mid-way a failures.
Further, each business transformation process ought to be supported by a well-defined strategy. Lastly, there is a need to develop a feedback mechanism to collect information linked to the transformation results18.
Andmine, La Camera Southbank Newsletter. Web.
BT Website, BT’s 21st century network. Web.
Chandran, P. M., Wal-Mart’s supply chain management practices, ICMR Case collection. Web.
Dwyer, J., Communication in business (4th ed). French’s Forest: Pearson Education, 2009, pp 12-20.
Grover, V. & Markus, M. L., Business process transformation, M.E Sharpe, New York, 2008 pp 237-247.
Kraemer, K. L., Dedrick, J & Yamashiro, S., Refining and extending the business model with Information Technology: Dell Computer Corporation. The Information Society, 2000, vol. 16, no. pp. 5–21.
Perumal, S. & Pandey, N., Process-based business transformation through services computing. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2008, 47, pp1-5.
Prem, H. & Mathew, G.E., Defining Business Transformation. Web.
Susskind, A.M., Kacmar, K.M & C.P., Borchgrevink, How organizational standards and co-worker support improve restaurant service, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 2007, 48: p. 370-81.
Tata Motors website, Nano. Web.
Vigil, M., ASIL BTM Methodology, end-to-end business transformation. Web.
1 Tata Motors website, “Nano” Retrieved.
2 BT Website, “BT’s 21st century network”.
3 K. L., Kraemer, J., Dedrick, & S., Yamashiro, Refining and extending the business model with Information Technology: Dell Computer Corporation, The Information Society, 2000, vol. 16, no. pp. 5–21.
4 P.nM.,Chandran, “Wal-Mart’s supply chain management practices”, ICMR Case collection.
5 V. Grover & M. L., Markus, Business process transformation, M.E Sharpe: New York, 2008 p. 237-247.
7 Grover & Markus, 239.
8 Andmine, 2010.
9 J., Dwyer, Communication in business (4th ed). Pearson Education, French’s Forest, NSW, 2009 pp 12-20.
10 A. M., Susskind, K. M., Kacmar, & C. P, Borchgrevink, How organizational standards and co-worker support improve restaurant service, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 2007, 48: p. 370-81.
11 Perumal, & Pandey, 2008, 47, p.3
12 Andmine, La Camera Southbank Newsletter, Retrieved from www.lacamerasouthgate.com/index.php?nav=Newsletter
13 Andmine, 2010
16 Andmine, La Camera Southbank Newsletter.
17 S., Cunningham, & G., Turner, Media and communication in Australia, Allen & Crows, NSW , 2010 pp 93-95.
18 Perumal, & Pandey, 2008, 47, p.3