Case study proposal
1. Case Study Proposal
This Case Study will be on Applebee’s International experience with management information systems to illustrate the importance of information systems for business operations, growth and prosperity. This is especially true when we are in the Information Age today, and enterprises are increasingly becoming global and borderless, spreading around the world. This requires that an accurate, reliable and timely information system to deal with the challenges posed by globalization and the “global village” phenomenon.
This research study will serve to illustrate how companies can utilize management information systems for strategic purposes as well as operational management. It will help to broaden our understanding of how operations management can contribute to an integrated business strategy, as well as the growing importance of timely and accurate information flows which are reliable all the time, and it’s impact on business practices and expansion in today’s globalized world, where competition is increasingly intense due to global competition, and competitive/strategic advantage is now an essential ingredient for corporate success, not merely a tool for greater profits.
Case study proposal
2. Background Information
Applebee’s International. Inc, is a multinational food service corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. It develops franchises and operates casual dining restaurants in 49 states and 14 international countries under the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar brand. Each Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is designed as an attractive, friendly, neighborhood establishment featuring reasonably priced, high-quality food and beverage items, table service and a comfortable atmosphere appealing to all ages and people. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is the largest casual dining concept in America, both in terms of number of restaurants and market share. As of l)etc. 25, 2005, there were 1 .804 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants., of which I ,3 18 were operated by franchisees and 486 were operated by the company. ( www.Applebees.com)
According to a recent analysis by Lockyer (2005), Applebee’s International Inc. reported a 1.3-percent increase in system-wide same-store sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 21, with that monthly result suppressed by a dip at the company’s restaurants for the fifth time in the past six months. Applebee’s also reduced its third-quarter and full-year earnings outlooks.
Same-store sales rose 2.2 percent at franchisee restaurants but fell 1.5 percent at corporate units, versus year-earlier levels. Applebee’s, which is operator or franchisor of 1,741 casual-dining restaurants, said guest traffic fell between 4 percent and 4.5 percent at its corporate units, which comprise about one-fourth of the chain. Applebee’s noted continued weakness in its Midwest and New England markets, as have other chains, such as PF. Chang’s China Bistro and Outback Steakhouse.
For the first eight weeks of Applebee’s third quarter, through Aug. 21, system wide same-store sales increased 1.4 percent, reflecting a 2.2-percent gain at franchised units and a 0.9-percent drop at corporate restaurants. Applebee’s said that “based on the current consumer environment” it anticipates same-store sales for the rest of the year to go down as much as 3 percent or rise only up to 1 percent at its restaurants, while franchisees see same-store sales staying flat or growing by up to 3 percent.
Applebee’s also reduced its third-quarter earnings-per-share forecast to a range of 32 cents to 35 cents, from a prior forecast of 37 cents to 39 cents. It also lowered its full-year earnings-per-share guidance to a range of $1.33 to $1.40 from a range of $1.44 to $1.47.
The latest financial reports by Applebee’s International, Inc. recorded comparable sales for the four-week period ended January 22, 2006. System-wide domestic comparable sales increased 6.3 percent for the January period, and comparable sales for domestic franchise restaurants increased 6.7 percent. Comparable sales for company restaurants increased 5.3 percent, reflecting an increase in guest traffic of approximately 1.0 percent, combined with a higher average check. System-wide comparable sales in the prior year were negatively impacted by approximately 2.0 percent due to severe winter weather.
2.2. Market Strategy
According to Rosenfeld (2000), Applebee’s formula for growth, which it calls “conscious cannibalization”, is to flood a territory with stores in order to gain brand recognition and market dominance, rather that following the conventional wisdom of carefully spacing out restaurants so that the sales of one doesn’t eats into the sales of another. Rosenfeld documents how back in 1988, when Applebee’s franchisees Abe Gustin and John Hamra bought the chain from W.R Grace and Co, with the number of stores numbering 54. As of 2000, Applebee’s has nearly 1,200 restaurants (and nearly 1,700 today), with more than 240 million visitors passing through the doors of an Applebee’s in a single year (1990), pushing system wide revenues over the 2 million mark.
Applebee’s challenge conventional market wisdom in other ways, such as designing and building smaller spaces for its restaurants, which were cheaper and faster to build, as well as easier to fill on slow moving days, in contrast to the mainstream strategy of building bigger and bigger restaurants to handle fast growing crowds. The basic rationale behind this move, Rosenfeld writes, is that “Faster is better. Get to a neighborhood before the competition does. And keep things moving by providing customers with a convenient experience.”
Creating a great experience for customers is also central to Applebee’s strategy. Each Applebee’s is supposed to provide excellent service, and as Lloyd Hill, then president and CEO of Applebee’s say, “Our restaurants are about more than food, they’re about inclusiveness, value, comfort, trust, and relationships.”. Feedback, both orientated around and from the customer and employees, are also given high importance in Applebee’s strategy. Successful job applicants get developmental feedback from the moment they start work, in order to motivate and encourage them. Random customers are given a coupon that can be redeemed by calling a toll-free number and giving feedback on a series of service-related topics. The data collected helps the company to keep track of big-picture trends and to fix specific problems fast, by putting a live operator in touch on the line with a disgruntled or aggrieved customer, before connecting said customer to a customer representative or the manager of the restaurant, who is told by Hill to “do whatever it takes to regain a guest’s goodwill”. The philosophy behind this, as told by Hill, is that “When you please a guest in that way, that guest becomes more loyal than a guest who’s never had a problem.”
Gray (2004) wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal regarding Applebee’s market strategy with regards to rural markets without a present operating restaurant. As USA’s ninth-largest restaurant chain, it’s basic strategy is to be “all things to all people”, with the Applebee menu offering all sort of food and cuisine ranging from Asian to Italian to Mexican to American and more. A reduced turn around time with regards to taking and delivering orders is also identified as a key point in Applebee strategy in targeting the time-pressed customer niche, and it is also the first restaurant ever to introduce meals approved by Weight Watchers meals, complete with comprehensive caloric information.
He further explores the expansion of Applebee’s into rural towns such as Hays, 300 miles from Denver and 300 miles from Kansas City in a region known as the middle of nowhere. He says that the biggest misperception about rural customers is that “they’re not interested in anything that can’t be bought at Wal-Mart or its restaurant equivalent”, and quotes a 21 year old single male on a Friday evening on the importance of full service, fancy meals and alcohol as saying that “If you want to take someone out on a date, you’re not going to take them to the Golden Corral,” an order-at-the- counter beef joint next door. And apparently this is what Applebee thinks too.
In Gray’s study, Applebee has opened 138 units in counties of 50,000 households or fewer, and estimates that at least 25% of its new restaurants are expected to open in such counties. This has huge potential, he notes, as the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 2,209 of the nation’s 3,141 counties have estimated populations of 50,000 households or less.
Such a strategy is attractive due to lower real-estate costs, which translates into fatter profit margins at these rural branches. Winning zoning approval for the construction of rural braches is also much easier in towns desperate for new business. But most importantly, Grey notes, the greatest virtue of such a strategy is that small markets such as that which these rural branches serve aren’t able to support two such restaurants (middle range eateries such as Applebee’s), so there is “no danger of Chili’s setting up shop across the street.”.
In 2002, the Restaurant Business (2002) reported that Applebee’s CEP Lloyd Hill told investors at the US Bancorp Piper Jaffray conference that “Applebee’s will undoubtedly acquire a second restaurant concept, but look for new ventures that play off the company’s core brand first.”. He then goes on to explains how Applebee’s generates enough cash from its causal dining business to mandate the growth of other business, with “brand extensions” being a high possibility. In particular the acquisition of a second restaurant was bandied around as being “a matter of time” by Hill, leaving little doubt that a second restaurant brand would be purchased, not created from scratch and then built up. However, Hill added that such an occurrence would not happen in the near future, as “we do not need a second concept to meet the chain’s growth targets in the next three to five years”.
3. Information Technology
One of the first and most important implementation and application of Information Technology by Applebee’s was the 1996 introduction of OSCAR, or Operating Strategically Competitive Applebee’s Restaurants, a computerized management package designed to tie together Applebee’s proprietary point-of-sales systems with a full line of information-and-management packages for front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations. At that point of time, its proprietary point-of-sales systems were and still are a highly evolved version of the DOS-based POS system from Hospitality Solutions International Inc.
These integrated management packages includes modules to address sales forecasting, labor management, inventory control and food costing, according to Applebee’s then senior vice president of administration, Steven K. Lumpkin. OSCAR’s labor management program is expected to help reduce overtime costs by blocking or questioning early clock-ins, and make suggestions regarding more effective staffing patterns for handling peak traffic. A function that allows them to use a POS terminal to request shift changes, which will be presented to the manager when scheduling is done, will also be implemented. Procurement staff at the unit level will also be able to use OSCAR to order suppliers from major distributors 24 hours a day, similar to an early level e-procurement system. One of the more important and critical aspect of OSCAR is that it was designed to be scalable and extendable, with plenty of management functions that can be added to OSCAR in the future, extending it’s flexibility, usefulness and longevity.
This inventory ordering system was then expected to save buyers time by allowing them to adjust standing orders to meet current demand and needs, or to quickly reference a products database for the quick compilation of new orders. It will also be able to route portions of the order to the actual distribution centers handling the products involved, allowing buyers to get immediate confirmation on pricing, availability and the date of shipping. The instant feedback that results was expected to permit real-time order changes, and to effectively eliminate unexpected distributor substitutions or partial orders that can not be fulfilled effectively.
OSCAR is also able to link electronically to certain Applebee’s suppliers through their proprietary system, such as Kraft, which has agreed to modify their proprietary system in order to accept electronic messages that are used by OSCAR to connect with distributors. The purchase and use of OSCAR by franchisees has not been made compulsory, and the cost of development will be underwritten by Applebee’s International. Franchisees will have the option of using Applebee’s proprietary POS system or another of their choice.
3.2. ERP and Plumtree
Applebee’s currently has an ERP system built around software from PeopleSoft which was rolled out without major customization, and provides the backbone for many of Applebee’s information technology systems and initiatives. The ERP system is integrated with Plumtree’s portal software, deciding that Plumtree’s functionality outclassed its rivals enough to make the challenges of working with multiple vendors worth handling. (Cowley, 2005) Applebee’s has been making use of Plumtree’s to conduct user analytics across it’s 1,800 odd restaurants.
In 2000, Applebee’s selected EatecNet as a management tool for its then 250 odd company owned stores. The central EatecNet database runs on Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 at its Kansas City headquarters, and is linked to remote locations through six Citrix Application servers, with all figures and data being real time except for those from sales that poll up to the Kansas City headquarter nightly (Harler, 2001). The search by Applebee’s for a better inventory control and yield management system was started two years before, as Applebee’s had no good way to track waste management among other metrics, with the goal of knowing what was used and what ought to have been used in the preparation of food to control food quality and cost. Everything was based on historical data and food budgets from previous years, which was highly unsatisfactory and not very accurate. The initial rollout to company stores was completed on the 1st of May, 2000. New stores will be added and come online, using the EatecNet system with a browser-based interface.
Yield management using technology such as EatecNet can be expensive to run, and the cost would be prohibitive for a single unit or restaurant, but for a restaurant chain, especially for one as large as Applebee’s, the payoff can start to hit the books within the first quarter after installation. Yield management systems automates what used to be a manual process of financial reporting among other things, and being able to track purchasing information electronically is critical to food cost savings, as being able to track and store a purchasing history on each item at ay time makes a huge difference on purchasing costs. For example, in 2001, it was reported that the application of EatecNet software helped to cut the cost of French fries by $500,000. (Harler, 2001)
Restaurant employees are able to utilize Applebee’s corporate intranet through EatecNet, for real-time access to applications as well as the centralized database. The EatecNet system permits restaurant employees to perform daily management duties while the hosted-applications approach eliminates i) the need to download, upload and synchronize data shared by headquarters and restaurants, ii) the need for software updates individually out in the field, and iii) simplifies data backup and archiving.
At the store level, EatecNet can be used daily to handle purchase orders, physical inventory counts, recording of spoilage and loss, and the handling of receiving among other functions. Sales data are automatically and regularly posted to EatecNet by each Applebee’s point-of-sale system (OSCAR, which will be discussed later). EatecNet is also used to generate an assortment of financial and operations reports based on individual store, region and chain-wide performance. Furthermore, EatecNet can even export relevant data to Applebee’s enterprise accounting system. EatecNet also helps Applebee’s to calculate daily recipe requirements and food sales, assisting managers in making use of inventory figures to get a store-by-store comparison for business analysis and yield management purposes.
3.4. EatecNet and Instill Integration
In 2002, Instill Corporation, a leading provider of supply chain solutions for the food service industry, seamlessly integrated and rolled out their respective systems at Applebee’s. Prior to this integration, Applebee’s corporate units had been using Instill Procurement as their ordering system for 9 months. This system allowed unit managers to efficiently place their procurement orders online, as well as facilitating Applebee’s in driving compliance through the control of unit level order guides. EatecNet enabled Applebee’s to reduce their food costs, effectively manage their inventory and improve on their operational efficiency.
According to Applebee’s Vice President of Information Technology, Ms. Tamy Duplantis, the real benefits, especially at the unit level, of the two systems occurred when the integration of the two systems was carried out. After the integration, whenever an order is placed on Instill’s systems, it electronically populates the EatecNet system so that the order can be received without any re-keying from the delivery document into the back-office system. This integration is saving Applebee’s unit managers three to four hours per week, with the elimination of the non-value added and redundant activity representing a significant savings, allowing unit managers to focus on serving customers better and more efficiently. (Eatec, 2002)
Applebee also has a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place called CSI, which is designed to work through the point-of-sale system of each Appleebee’s restaurants, allowing staff to present a survey at the point-of-purchase and point-of-service, which a customer can take part in to get $3 off the bill, according to Lumpkin, Applebee’s chief development officer. (Waters, 2000) This feedback and customer input is taken seriously at Applebee’s as Seth Jensen, Senior Manager of Business Analysis within the Finance Group at Applebee’s says: “We want our guests to have a voice in saying what they prefer on our menu, Customer input serves as a valuable complement to the creativity of our culinary team, enhancing the team’s ability to develop menus that satisfy our guests’ preferences.”. (Teradata)
3.6. Teradata Data Warehouse
As understanding customers’ preference is a key business strategy at Applebee’s, an efficient method to gather, collect, store and analyze all of its customer input data became critical, which led it to choose a data warehouse solution from Teradata. This data warehouse can be considered the nerve center of Applebee’s information technology systems, as well as it’s core strategic tool, as it collects information from all of the systems described above in use in company-owned stores, from OSCAR, EatecNet, CSI, as well as a financial system from J.D Edwards etc, all (data) of which can be retrieved and used for all sort of useful analysis, to achieve goals in sales and marketing, as well as to analyze strategic issues and to formulate business strategy.
An interview with Seth Jensen,Senior Manager of Business Analysis, and Dan Harkness, IT Project Manager (Schwartz), discusses how the use of the Teradata warehouse has helped in improving and increasing the efficiency of the organizational processes at Applebee’s, from labor management to business analysis to menu formulation to sales and marketing, among other things. For example, Jensen describes how the data warehouse system can be used to analyze the relevant data to determine what particular food product guests ordered in a certain region over the past two years, versus what guests ordered in other market, and then build an index using the results and a similar meteric. This index will then help Applebee’s to determine whether an item will be profitable enough for Applebee’s to offer the product in question. This sort of comparisons is made possible, and even easy, by having the necessary and massive amounts of data readily available, which is exactly what the data warehouse does. This also enables Applebee’s to design the most efficient and profitable menu item, which contributes the most to Applebee’s bottom line.
Furthermore, Harkness also illustrates how the data warehouse system can be used to analyze labor issues by monitoring how many people should be staffed for a particular restaurant, at a particular time period, on a particular day. This is done by projecting the expected human traffic through the data warehousing system, up to the point of forecasting optimal staffing volumes in 15 minute increments. This means that the general manager can now control his/her labour costs more effectively, as they will be able to run their labor at a cost-efficient level without hurting the guest experience or spilling costs. This also allows the general manager to predict from year to year what any particular day would look like in terms of customer volume, so that the restaurant can be staffed accordingly and be able to run at a maximum degree of efficiency from a labor standpoint.
Jensen also explains how the data warehouse helps in achieving sales and marketing goals, by making possible analysis which extends and assists the understanding and assessment of the marketing and sales campaigns that Applebee’s run, such as limited-time offers and themed menus. Before the implementation of the data warehouse, information was taken from campaign tests within a certain region and then projected onto their proprietary system. This approach meant that Applebee’s executives could project inaccurate purchasing figures, since region specific preferences were not similar throughout the nation, which meant that different preferences and tastes in different regions were not taken into account. The data warehousing solutions allows Applebee’s executives to compare indexes by region and purchase and distribute more intelligently, enabling Applebee’s to avoid product shortages and overruns. This gives Applebee’s the flexibility to focus on new campaigns, rather than worrying about how to utilize obsolete or excess inventory.
Finally, Jensen explores the possibility of using the data pulled from the CSI system and stored in the data warehouse system to learn more about customers. He however cautions that privacy issues are very real and such an approach needs to take into account these issues very carefully, but illuminates possibilities as devising a loyalty program and using Teradata’s capabilities to analyze customer data to mine and extract all sort of useful information such as spending habits, preferences and location. The main consideration should be making sure that the value proposition for such an approach or program is good for the customer, and yet does not violate their privacy.
3.7. Teradata Data Warehouse Technical Aspects
Moving onto the technical aspects of the Teradata system adopted by Applebee, the Overland Park, Kansas headquarters is Applebee’s nerve center. It houses an Ethernet-based local area network (LAN) connecting the company’s main computing systems and platforms, with a two-node NCR WorldMark 4850 with 360 gigabytes of storage being the main analytical tool. It runs UNIX and houses the Teradata data warehouse, and Microstrategy 7.0, an online analytical processing tool that runs in Windows-based four-tier environment acts as the system’s query agent and reporting tool.
The Teradata and MicroStrategy systems is connected to a wide range of custom-developed and over-the-counter software systems via the LAN, most of which have been described above, extracting useful data that allows the staff to track and analyze sales, preferences and trends. A frame relay, wide area network provides point-of-sale information from individual Applebee’s restaurants to the Teradata data warehouse. Food-cost management information is stored into the data warehouse regularly. Teradata also collects data from several in-house applications, such as systems for sales auditing and labor management. In addition, the data warehouse receives data from a J.D. Edwards financial system residing on an IBM AS/400.
4. Research Note
4.1. Objectives of Case
The objectives of the case is to research, document, compile and then analyze the available literature, reports and previous analysis regarding Applebee’s utilization of information technology systems, and in particular, management information systems, to address key business issues, changing business circumstances, and to shape, follow and expand key business strategies and core areas of focus.
Of particular interest is the history of Applebee’s information technology strategy, and how it has successfully or unsuccessfully implemented organization wide systems with or without strategic value, and the benefits or losses that resulted from such endeavors. How such information technology and management information systems have changed the way Applebee’s International execute their business strategy and organization process is also explored and analyzed. Finally, the current state of its information technology infrastructure and strategy is discussed, with an eye of how it can be scaled, extended and modified with a view towards evolving business practices and new challenges arising from intense competition, globalization and changing business circumstances, among other things.
4.2. Topical Coverage
Firstly, a short summary of the background of Applebee’s International is given. This includes the industry that Applebee’s International is in, what sort of business it does, it’s basic organizational structure, current status and health, and basic financials.
Next will be an extended treatment and coverage of its financial health and status. A variety of financial reports from reliable, verifiable and industry-used sources such as the Wall Street Journal is consulted, and the latest information extracted and then given.
Next comes a discussion and analysis of the market strategy adopted by Applebee’s International. Current literature which documents and analyze the various analyses conducted by Applebee’s, as well as interviews of key Applebee’s executives from a wide range of sources are consulted. Industry metrics are also used to give a relative idea of the value proposition and success/failure of certain strategies adopted by Applebee’s.
Finally, an extended treatment of the history of the major information systems and management information systems designed, implemented and then used to different degrees of impact is explored. This analysis is carried out chronologically, starting with Applebee’s launch of its first major integrated computerized management package, integrating many of its existing information systems with management packages to create a true management information systems.
Information and data are drawn from a wide variety of sources which describes, documents or discusses the nature of such systems, the technicalities involved, how these systems were designed and intended to work and how they eventually work, the benefits and gains and costs involved, as well as the influences of the adoption of these systems on Applebee’s business strategy and information technology strategy.
4.2.3. Requisite Knowledge
The requisite knowledge to be able to undertake this case study effectively is an understanding of key management concepts; of basic information technology systems and what they imply and how they work, such as ERP systems, data warehousing systems, e-procurement systems, Intranets and customer relationship management systems; how the application of information technology can be and is used to achieve competitive (and sometimes comparative) advantage in an industry marked by intense competition; as well as a basic understanding of financial terms.
4.3. Case Summary
Applebee’s International is a fast growing chain of casual dining restaurant franchisees. It currently numbers more than 1,800 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, with 486 being operated by the key company and 1,318 being operated by franchisees, as of 25th Dec 2005.
Applebee’s has an information technology strategy which supports it’s key business objectives and business strategic, and has implemented a wide range of flexible, independent and yet linked (through a data warehouse system and an ERP system) information technology systems that allows it to pursue unique business opportunities and strategies, when remaining scalable and flexible enough to expand together with the corporation expansion plans.
OSCAR is an integration of its existing point of sale systems with certain management packages which carries out different functions such as sales forecasting, labor management, inventory control and food costing. It was also designed to be scalable and flexible to allow further management packages to be added on to it.
EatecNet is a management tool commissioned by Applebee’s International for its company owned stores, and is used for inventory control and yield management, among other functions. It also allows employees to access the corporate Intranet and to utilize specific applications and tools to aid in the management of individual restaurants. It is also able to generate reports and export relevant data to Applebee’s financial software system. Recently, EatecNet was integrated successfully with Instill’s e-procurement system to achieve greater efficiency and results.
CSI is a customer relationship management system designed by Applebee’s International, and intended to capture customer feedback and input at point-of-sales and point-of-purchases, in order to support its business strategy of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Finally, the Teradata data warehousing system adopted by Applebee serves as the nerve center of it’s entire information technology infrastructure, extracting, collecting and storing data from all of it’s various information technology software and systems, allowing Applebee’s International to conduct extensive analysis and achieve various goals from sales and marketing to customer satisfaction and financial performance.
4.4. Key Issues and Discussion Questions
Some key issues which should be addressed and considered in the case study:
· How the application of information technology does supports, extends and expands the strategic business goals and aims of Applebee’s?
· What new opportunities can the application of management information technology or systems offer to Applebee?
· How should Applebee improve the sustainability and longevity of its current and existing information technology infrastructure?
· How far should the integration of management information technology or systems be carried out? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of an organizational wide, fully integrated and singular management information system which can and does perform every role and task necessary? What are the associated costs?
· How can the application of management information systems help Applebee’s International to create a competitive advantage in its industry?
4.5. Suggested Responses
Responses to the key issues and discussion questions listed above should take into account and consideration the changing nature of the business landscape around us due to the increasing globalization of the world. For example, how should information technology strategy and infrastructure change in order to cope with a global expansion by Applebee? How should existing or planned management information system be structured or design to take into account such a possibility? How can management information technology systems be scaled or extended to support a global business network?
Furthermore, current issues with technology should also be factored in. For example, new advances in technology should be explored as a strategic option for Applebee to upgrade or replace its existing management information systems or software as appropriate. The high cost of a new implementation versus that of an extension, revision or add on to an existing system or software should also be reviewed.
For Further Reading
Allen, T. J. & Morton, M. S. (Eds.). (1994). Information Technology and the Corporation of the 1990s: Research Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.
Bloomfield, B. P., Coombs, R., Knights, D., & Littler, D. (Eds.). (2000). Information Technology and Organizations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Büchel, B. S. (2001). Using Communication Technology : Creating Knowledge Organizations /. New York: Palgrave.
Chan, P. S., & Heide, D. (1992). Information Technology and the New Environment: Developing and Sustaining Competitive Advantage. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 57(4), 4+.
Estabrooks, M. (1995). Electronic Technology, Corporate Strategy, and World Transformation. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Luftman, J. N. (Ed.). (2003). Competing in the Information Age: Align in the Sand (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Mcginn, D., Kudyba, S., & Diwan, R. (2002). Information Technology, Corporate Productivity, and the New Economy. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Peltu, M. & Dutton, W. H. (Eds.). (1996). Information and Communication Technologies: Visions and Realities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pine, B. J. (1996, January). Serve Each Customer Efficiently and Uniquely. Business Communications Review, 26, 2+.
Tansey, S. D. (2002). Business, Information Technology and Society. New York: Routledge.
Watkins, J. (1998). Information Technology, Organisations, and People: Transformations in the UK Retail Financial Services Sector. London: Routledge.
Cowley, Stacy, ‘Plumtree preps new portal version’, Computerworld, 7th September 2005,
< http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/erp/story/0,10801,104438,00.html >
Eatec Corp, ‘Instill and Eatec Link Procurement and Back-Office Systems for Applebee’s International’, Press Releases, April 16 2002.
; http://www.eatec.com/news_events_pr_020416.htm ;
Grey, Steven , ‘How Applebee’s Is Making It Big In Small Towns’, Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), New York, N.Y.: Aug 2, 2004. pg. B.1
Harler, Curt, ‘Profits Rock’, Hospitality Technology, April 2001
< http://htmagazine.com/archive/April2001/April2001_5.html >
Lockyer, Sarah E, ‘Applebee’s Aug. sales lag franchisees’ as it cuts EPS goal ‘, Nation’s Restaurant News. New York: Sep 5, 2005.Vol.39, Iss. 36; pg. 11, 1 pgs
Restaurant Business. New York: Jul 15, 2002.Vol.101, Iss. 12; pg. 17, 2 pgs
Rosenfeld, Jill ‘Down-Home Food, Cutting-Edge Business’, Fast Company, April 2000, Issue 33
; http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/33/applebees.html ;
Schwartz, Karen D, ‘From Bytes to Bites at Applebee’s’, Teradata Magazine Online
; http://www.teradata.com/t/page/115368/index.html ;
Teradata, ‘Applebee’s International’, Industry Solutions,
; http://www.teradatalibrary.com/pdf/eb3076.pdf ;
Waters, C.Dickinson, ‘Applebee’s tech chief handles a heaping plate of duties’, Nation’s Restaurant News, 30th October 2000
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