Building Social Impact at SuiteWorld19

NetSuite has been partnering with nonprofits and social enterprises around the globe to accelerate good through technology for over 10 years. In October, NetSuite announced ‘Social Impact, Accelerated’ – a renewed commitment and increased investment in the Social Impact program, built to bring NetSuite’s resources to even more nonprofits globally in the spirit of fostering further social change.

While nonprofits contribute the pivotal piece to this puzzle, true social change is dependent on the involvement of our broader community, including commercial organizations. Thus, NetSuite is excited to launch the first ever Social Impact track at SuiteWorld19!

The new track will feature 10 sessions, all developed to inspire attendees to create social change in their own organizations, both in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

*Note – if you aren’t already registered for Suiteworld, you can attend all sessions in the entire track for free when you use code CDHOME19 to purchase the Discover Pass

As a preview, here are a few of the sessions that you can expect to inspire you at the event:

The Future of Social Impact: Organizing Your Business to Do Good While Doing Well
Commercial businesses are increasingly organizing their resources and operations to make the world a better place. In this session, NetSuite customers who have structured as social enterprises, benefit corporations (B-Corporations) or corporate foundations will share how and why they chose this path and executed on their vision, and the impact it’s had on their operations. Attendees will leave with a game plan for how a company can mobilize passion, resources and strategy toward building a better world.

Impact Investing in the Nonprofit Community
Impact investing refers to the practice of making capital investments in companies, organizations and funds in order to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact along with a financial return. In the session, NetSuite customer TechSoup will detail how it is introducing a direct public offering (DPO) to provide impact investment opportunities to people of all economic backgrounds. The session will explore how nonprofits can structure, raise capital for and prove the viability of an Impact Investment fund. It will also explain how organizations and individuals can learn from traditional investors to ensure that their impact investments not only generate returns, but achieve social and environmental goals.

Harness the Inner Hackers in Your Organization for Social Good

What if companies devoted just one day to allowing their skilled employees to help nonprofits solve problems? Imagine a shipping company working with a food distribution organization to streamline operations, or an advertising agency helping a growing nonprofit build their fundraising strategy. This session will explain how NetSuite’s Buildathons and Hackathons match employees to nonprofits for a day spent addressing real challenges. Members of the Coca Cola Foundation Philippines will share their experiences with these events and the direct impact they’ve had on their work in the Philippines. Attendees will leave with a tangible format and approach for leveraging their employee base to create something similar.

This year’s conference will also feature our 6th annual Hackathon 4Good as part of our Pro Bono program. The annual event brings together over 100 developers, customers, partners and employees to develop innovative protypes for our Social Impact customers. This year teams will be working with MANA Nutrition and Art in Action to address their challenges, and compete to build the top solutions! 

How to Join a Nonprofit Board to Fuel Your Career and Passion 
You don’t need to serve on the board of a publicly traded company to reap the benefits that board service can offer your career. Serving on a nonprofit board can help build new skills, expand a network and drive your passion through social impact. This session will show how to match your interests with nonprofit organizations, and share personal service experiences. NetSuite Customer, Art in Action, will join NetSuite on stage to explain how you can become a valuable asset to any charity.

For a full list of sessions in the track, please visit the Social Impact session catalog.

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Key Tips for Scaling Your Startup from Jason Calacanis

LAUNCH founder Jason Calacanis recently sat down with NetSuite to share what he’s learned over a career in which he’s invested in more than 200 startups, including unicorns like Uber, Thumbtack, and Robinhood. Some of his insights are surprisingly counterintuitive, others refreshingly down-to-earth. They’re all expressed in the kind of frank, practical terms that the industry has come to expect from one of its boldest voices.

In the webinar, Calacanis explained what works in the earliest stages of a startup’s existence doesn’t necessarily attract angel investors; what an angel investor sees as a sign of promise might strike a venture capitalist considering a round of Series B financing as a threat to ROI or a negligent investment altogether. Businesses in the startup phase that anticipate these challenges make the best possible case for the kind of financing that drives increased market penetration and valuation.

Here are a few takeaways:

Generate Revenue Right Off the Bat

Calacanis’ first point is the most important: startups should have one business model, and it should include revenue generation from day one. A long-term vision of success is what gets startups off the ground, but Calacanis warns against applying that same long-term thinking to a startup’s business model.

The days are gone when most startups could count on slowly developing a user base before introducing advertising revenue: companies like Uber and Airbnb incorporated revenue generation into their earliest business models and adjusted their revenue streams only as they made commensurate changes to their services and overall business models. In time, a startup may produce strong, reliable revenue streams through subscriptions, advertising and affiliate programs, but it’s unlikely to get anywhere near that point if its founders don’t concentrate on what works best right from the start.

Avoid the Feature Death March

If a startup’s business model should stay simple, so should its approach to product development. Founders are naturally filled with ideas for their flagship products, some of which can be incorporated in beta, others of which need to be held for future releases. And the ideas keep coming as a startup matures. That’s a good thing…right?

Not always. Calacanis notes that most successful startups focus on steady, incremental improvements to core services, not the introduction of flashy new features. A startup’s goal should be to produce deep products and services of narrow scope; this approach tends to set a startup apart from its competition and to cultivate customer loyalty. Developers, who know this phenomenon as Feature Creep, will be happier, too.

Adjust Your Team

It’s an awkward and often painful reality, but the right team for a startup’s bootstrapping phase isn’t the right one for an angel investor. Founding partners who feel right at home in the whack-a-mole flurry of a startup’s early days may not be content with just one role, or even effective in that capacity. And the distinction grows even more stark when rounds of VC move those founders up to managerial roles.

Successful startups are honest about the need for fewer generalists and more specialists as their companies grow. And they become adept, however uncomfortable the process may be, at helping people move on when the time is right. Even when those people helped launch the company from a dorm room.

Hear the rest of Calacanis’s points in his own distinctive voice.

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Personalization in Retail: Making Your Customers Feel Special

Personalization and customization seem to be the top buzzwords on the tip of analysts tongues these days. And rightfully so. Consumers expect highly personalized shopping experiences from retailers and are willing to spend more money for it. However, there seems to be a disconnect of perception when it comes to retailers, consumers and the personalization experience they are getting, according to a recent study by Oracle NetSuite in partnership with Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor, a retail consulting firm created by expert consultant and business mentor Bob Phibbs.

In the global study of 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives across the US, UK and Australia almost half of consumers (42 percent) – and almost two-thirds among the Millennial demographic (63 percent) – stated that they would pay more for improved personalization, while only 11 percent of retail executives fully believe that their staff has the tools and information needed to give consumers a personalized experience. Why is there such a huge gap between consumers and retailers and how are they solving it?

A Single View of All Customer Data 

What is making personalization so difficult? The amount of data and silos that exist in a business pose as the biggest problem. Customer activity happens all over – social, web, mobile, in stores, etc. Cross tracking gives retailers insight into the customer journey and allows them to analyze what they need to be doing to target their consumer, regardless of the channel. Combining siloed sources of customer data into a single repository to get one complete view of the customer across all channels and touchpoints will deliver consistent customer service and support personalized marketing, merchandising and targeted promotions across all channels. Having transaction data flow from all of your retail channels to your warehouse and procurement departments, and invoice and expense data flow to the finance department and customer data flow to the marketing department gives the appropriate people in your organization real-time visibility. Having a 360-degree view of each customer so that you can deliver personalized service, build customer loyalty and provide a relevant, engaging shopping experience with your brand should be a top priority.

Omnichannel Experience

Customers expect a seamless experience when moving from online to offline. The shopping experience that once began and ended in a store is now a journey across many channels—online, mobile, in-store and over the phone. The challenge businesses now face is how to create a seamless, consistent customer engagement and buying experience across all of these channels. Providing an omnichannel experience delivers on customer expectations for seamless, consistent journey anytime, anywhere and anyway. The foundation for providing a true omnichannel experience starts with the company’s core technology. The ability to deliver an omnichannel experience rests on having a single commerce platform that unifies front-end and back-end systems, and provides a central hub for order management, customer, item and inventory data. The back-end systems of the platform will then funnel data to all sales channels, ensuring that accurate information across all customer touchpoints is delivered in real-time, creating efficiencies and opportunities to improve the customer experience.

The Future of Personalization

There is no question that offering personalization to customers is becoming the norm for retailers. But while retailers may have the potential to offer those customized and tailored experiences to their customers, they also need the financial resources available. The challenge around personalization is that it has expanded past recommending “similar products” to a consumer and instead trying to create an experience inclusive of their likes, dislikes, etc. Instead of personalization, it is now turning into an experience for the consumer that is relevant, instore and online. To have a truly “personal experience” for your consumer, your online and offline presence needs to be seamless. The retail landscape is changing too quickly to waste time and money recommending products to customers that already have it or are not interested in buying. Instead, by enforcing a personalized ecommerce site and product pages, you will save time for your customer by showing them relevant information and ultimately increasing their lifetime value. It will also drive higher engagements levels and keeps your customers coming back. Delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time is more necessary than ever before. With the proper technology and priorities in mind, retailers are making the move to provide a more seamless experience all while learning more about the customers they serve.

Learn more about the future of personalization in the retail study.

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The Best Restaurant Inventory Hacks to Reduce Food Costs

Inventory is a primary expense at any restaurant, accounting for up to 35 percent of total costs. Therefore, to run the most efficient and profitable business, restaurant owners must be skilled at inventory management. But management of inventory remains a challenge across the United States, with some restaurants wasting up to 10 percent of all food purchased. A large portion of this waste is due to poor inventory control. To be a sound restaurant owner, you must understand the basics of inventory control. However, great managers also employ a variety of inventory management hacks, which allow them to squeeze more profit out of every dollar.

The Basics of Inventory Management

There are a few must-haves in any restaurant inventory system. The items listed below are fundamental aspects to include.

A Digital POS System – Gone are the days of handwritten ledgers for POS orders and tracking. Today’s restaurants need digital tracking methods. A digital POS simplifies order tracking, reduces errors and provides a range of data and charts to help operators located new efficiencies.

Utilize the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) Method – FIFO method requires inventory to be lined by expiration date and in-times, so you utilize all inventory effectively and safely. FIFO helps you develop plans to use perishables so food doesn’t go to waste, better track inventory usage and adjust order quantities based on the restaurant needs.

Stay Away From Excess Inventory – Overstocking leads to many inventory issues like wasted products, cash flow issues and even health concerns. Always set limits on your storage facilities and keep only stock that is necessary between orders. It might take time to discover the optimal inventory between order periods, but the results will be well worth the effort.

Engage Your Entire Staff – Your entire staff needs to understand the importance of inventory control and the impact it has on profitability. A team with an eye toward inventory management can help address issues and produce the best results. Also, training multiple staff members on inventory systems allows for a second pair of eyes, as well as backup in case of any staffing issues.

Check For Losses – Inventory is an expensive restaurant asset that needs to be protected. It’s important to schedule regular inventory checks to be sure there is no missing product or losses. If you find inconsistencies in inventory quantities, do everything in your power to solve the problem moving forward.

Inventory Hacks to Increase Profits

Outside of the standard procedures, the best restaurant operators use inventory hacks to build more efficiencies and profit into inventory controls. The inventory hacks listed below will help take your inventory management process to a whole new level.

Do Price Comparisons – Managers in charge of inventory should regularly check the market for price comparisons. If you can decrease item costs without a reduction in quality, it may be time to switch suppliers.

Perform Item Checks – Compose daily checks on items that have the most shrinkage and determine what’s causing the issue. Typical problems are employee theft, over-prepping, over-portioning and over-ordering.

Cross-Utilize Ingredients – Cross-utilizing ingredients in several menu items throughout your menu will reduce inventory costs. A thoughtful menu plan can help streamline inventory needs.

Release Inactive Inventory – Get rid of any inventory you’re not using. As long as a product is sitting on your shelf, it costs you money. If you have inactive stock, sell, liquidate or give it away.

Protect Your Investment – Theft is an unfortunate reality in the restaurant business. Protect your assets by locking down inventory. Make it clear to all staff that theft is taken very seriously and develop an ethical company culture.

Rotate Inventory Managers – Change inventory managers over time. This method assures that multiple staff members are trained in tracking methods and helps keep employees honest.

Track Actual vs. Theoretical Inventory by Ingredient – This metric highlights the variance between theoretical inventory usage (based on menu item sales) and actual usage (including waste, over-portioning, etc.). Generally, the variance should be less than 1 percent. Tracking this variance by ingredient will reveal where you need to focus.

Set Inventory Goals – Goal setting is an essential aspect of any business, which also applies to inventory management. Setting monthly inventory-related goals such as food cost percent, actual vs. theoretical percent, and overall inventory value will align your team and lead to cost reductions.

Good Inventory Control = More Profits for Your Restaurant 

Following standard inventory controls and procedures is a must to maximize profits at restaurant locations. But the best operators go beyond the basics, pursuing new inventory hacks on a constant quest for greater efficiency.

NetSuite Makes Support for UK’s Making Tax Digital Initiative Easy

Making Tax Digital (MTD), the HMRC initiative that requires UK businesses to submit their tax returns and payments online while also keeping digital records of their taxes, becomes mandatory from 1st April 2019 with businesses required to submit from a list of HMRC compliant software (of which NetSuite is one) or an API-enabled spreadsheet.

For many, this will be a significant change from their processes today, as not only do they manually re-key their VAT returns into HMRC’s online portal but they also have transactions in multiple ERP systems, separate commerce platforms or even spreadsheets.

NetSuite delivers functionality to support UK VAT registered businesses and provides a simple mechanism to help those businesses meet the mandatory VAT filing requirements. For existing NetSuite customers, the MTD features are available immediately at no additional cost and with no costly implementation required.

NetSuite customers are simply required to enable the International Tax Reports SuiteApp. Enabling this will allow HMRC-compatible MTD links, HMRC VAT filing capability and audit trails, meaning compliance can be supported almost instantly thanks to the powerful NetSuite tax engine.

MTD is the latest example of tax authorities across the world making rapid changes to taxation, ranging from enforcing economic entity registration, VAT charged on consumer location, digital reporting to electronic invoicing. All of this creates additional complexity in financial management and reporting for a vast majority of businesses – which is where NetSuite can assist.

NetSuite is designed to help global enterprises meet their complex tax compliance and reporting requirements. It supports more than 100 countries, delivering automatic feature updates in line with changes to local tax requirements, meaning that customers are seamlessly compliant.

Through several VAT rate changes (examples include three UK rate changes from 2009 to 2011, and in Spain the obligation to file in almost “real time” basis with SII), NetSuite has demonstrated its ability to respond quickly to changing business conditions in near real-time and then communicate a single, best-practice message directly to customers via the cloud-based platform. Customers continue to enjoy tax compliance without needing teams to monitor compliance changes, boosting productivity and maintaining focus on the growth opportunities before them.

If Making Tax Digital affects your business, or for expert guidance, please get in touch to find out how NetSuite can help.

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The Crucial Decision That Helped St. HOPE Refocus on Its Mission to Help Others Pursue Excellence

If you pay a visit to the Oak Park neighborhood outside of Sacramento, California, you’ll notice a bustling coffee shop and a beautifully renovated theater, students walking from Sacramento High School and people stopping in the Underground Bookstore.

But it wasn’t always this way. 

Historically, Oak Park was an under-resourced community with high poverty and crime rates. The school system suffered and less than half the students from Sac High actually graduated.

That’s why former NBA player Kevin Johnson vowed he’d return one day. He knew he needed to make a difference in his hometown and help kids just like him create opportunities to succeed. In 1989, he fulfilled his promise, returning to Oak Park to create St. HOPE Academy, an afterschool program for 12 African-American boys at Sac High.

Fast forward 30 years, and that academy has turned into St. HOPE, a nonprofit education and economic development corporation with the mission of “helping others pursue excellence”—the meaning of H.O.P.E. Now run by CEO Jake Mossawir, the organization has grown into a charter network—composed of an elementary school, two middle schools and Sacramento High School—as well as 20 small businesses that provide nearly 300 jobs and catalyze more than $43 million in economic and real estate investment. 

St. HOPE is a self-sustainable nonprofit that’s completely revitalized Oak Park. 

However, the organization was also overseeing all of these entities through an entirely manual operation, using Excel spreadsheets and an outsourced third party to manage finances. Not only were these processes costing the organization time and money, they were also taking St. HOPE leaders away from focusing on the mission.

Thus, when CFO Julian Love joined the organization in 2016, he knew St. HOPE needed to find a new solution. He wanted a cloud-based software that could run St. HOPE’s entire operation under one umbrella. Love was also adamant about a system that could get the organization up and running as quickly as possible.Watch the video above to find out the role SuiteSuccess played in St. HOPE’s decision to implement Oracle NetSuite and how that decision has helped the organization scale back on their head count, provide raises for teachers and focus more on the mission to serve Oak Park.


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Implementing a Cloud ERP Implementation in Three Months? It’s Possible

For United Talent Agency the beginning of 2017 started out like any other year. By the end of April, an unexpected external event propelled UTA to conduct a rapid response ERP implementation with Netsuite Professional Services. By the Fourth of July, UTA was up and running on NetSuite OneWorld against all odds.

Adjusting to the Evolution of Entertainment

Founded in 1991, UTA is one of the world’s leading talent and entertainment companies. The company – which represents many of the most acclaimed figures across film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content, as well as corporate clients – is headquartered in Beverly Hills with offices in New York, London, Nashville, Miami and Malmö, Sweden. It’s known as a passionate advocate for artists, creators and innovators.

As the entertainment business has evolved, so has the way agencies represent clients. Streaming services, digital delivery, new outlets and a shift in the movie business have all meant massive change.

“There has never been a period of greater transformation in our industry than what we are experiencing today,” said Greg Yen, UTA’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer. “At UTA, we’ve kept pace with that change by expanding beyond our core talent representation business to offer even greater support to our clients across digital platforms, branding, communications, business affairs, and more.” In one case that meant helping a well-known actor launch a vodka brand.

UTA has also grown inorganically through several significant acquisitions over past years in the areas of music, broadcasting, speaking, eSports and digital branding.

From a Small Agency to Global Player

That growth and diversification brought with it some distinct challenges. With multiple acquisitions, UTA had multiple lines of business to monitor, each with their own processes and a range of accounting systems from QuickBooks to Dynamics GP to Sage 300.

“We were forced to move from a midsized company culture to a larger business mentality very quickly,” Yen said. “With that, we knew that we had to rely on best-in-class systems and processes to accommodate our current state as well as our future growth.”

To help with that, UTA brought in a NetSuite partner to implement a custom developed settlement solution for UTA’s live touring business in January 2017, with plans to extend it further throughout the company after the initial phase.

Changing Plans On A Dime

Then April 11, 2017 hit. UTA, like other companies in the industry, were hit with a malware attack that forced the company to shut down parts of its information systems. For most organizations, an attack like that, is cause for re-evaluation of security protocols, employee habits and a scramble to learn what may have been lost. For UTA it was also a catalyst to transition to new accounting software.

UTA determined that its legacy Sage 300 ERP system was no longer up to the task of managing the increasing complexity of the broader company’s financials.

“We knew we had to update our financial systems to accommodate the growth of both the industry and the company,” Yen said. “Once we realized the time and effort need to rebuild Sage, we decided to accelerate the ERP implementation. Our goal was to go-live in two to three months with a target of July 2017.”

NetSuite Professional Services Comes to the Rescue

Fast tracking a new, additional implementation with some key challenges was going to be a daunting task. UTA turned to NetSuite Professional Services to help with the ERP implementation.

“They understood our businesses really quickly and asked intelligent questions,” Yen said of the NetSuite Professional Services team that came on site for much of the work. “What was really impressive was that they were able to grasp the nuances of the business and craft a solution that made sense from a user interface and workflow point-of-view. We were very fortunate to have a very capable team in place.”

UTA hit its July 1 implementation deadline with the general ledger structure and accounts payable functionality. Importing historical balances, foreign exchange, and financial reporting followed shortly thereafter allowing the company to successfully report its September quarter using NetSuite.

UTA has now streamlined many of its financial processes. The financial consolidation process has been reduced from three days to one. Additionally, the reporting features give management far greater visibility into the business while proving to be a valuable tool in reporting to private equity stakeholders. Acquisitions that took place after the implementation were able to more easily integrate with the larger business through NetSuite OneWorld’s subsidiary management features.

Moving forward, UTA plans to add its international offices and continue its expansion.

“We’re big believers in NetSuite as a platform that’s going to grow with us along the way. We’re in an industry that doesn’t have a lot of off-the-shelf software but having had such a positive experience with NetSuite Professional Services, I have no hesitation turning to them the future to help build what we need.”

Learn more about NetSuite Professional Services.


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Everything You Need to Know About SuiteWorld, Then and Now

Everything You Need to Know About SuiteWorld, Then and Now

Posted by Kendall Fisher, Executive Producer and Host of The NetSuite Podcast

SuiteWorld isn’t your average conference…It’s a full-blown extravaganza filled with opportunities to grow, network, learning and more! 

But putting that into writing really doesn’t do it justice.

Thus, on this episode of “The NetSuite Podcast,” SuiteWorld creator, Jennifer Smith, (yes, she came up with the whole idea!) and the current, fearless leader of SuiteWorld, Laine Sobel, come on to discuss everything you need to know about the No. 1 cloud ERP event of the year.

Smith and Sobel dive into the history of SuiteWorld—including its genesis and convincing NetSuite founder Evan Goldberg it was a good idea—how the event has transformed over the years, and what we can expect at SuiteWorld19.

They explain how attendees from all parts of the world gather to hear inspirational success stories from companies just like theirs and get equipped with strategies to deal with industry-specific challenges. You also get the opportunity to network with more than 7,250 business leaders and explore an ecosystem of more than 125 NetSuite partners.

Smith and Sobel even drop some very exciting announcements, including details about this year’s keynotes and a few new ideas that are coming to fruition for the first time ever.

You won’t want to miss this episode, so be sure to tune in on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube.

SuiteWorld19 is in Las Vegas from April 1 – April 4.

If you haven’t registered for SuiteWorld19 yet, click here.

Smooth Sailing for Third Generation Family Business with NetSuite and Bronto

What do you do when your boat needs new sails for the 1969 Cal 20 National regatta and local sailmakers can’t make them in time? For Jim Grant, founder of Sailrite, the answer was clear: buy the materials and DIY. After making his own sails, Jim ended up placing second in the race, sparking interest from other sailors wanting to know where he got his sails. It was then when, Jim, a Professor of Political Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College at the time, began selling a collection of how-to manuals on sail making, and Sailrite was born.

Originally, Sailrite manufactured fabric and supplies for customers to make sails themselves. Today, that represents only a small market for Sailrite – it’s branched into branded tools, hardware, sewing supplies and sewing machines for DIY customers’ boats and homes. Sailrite now considers itself an ecommerce hardware store with a niche specialty related to canvas work, a strong emphasis on free training and the only company in the world that offers sail kits.

50 years of content marketing

How has Sailrite managed to create and succeed in such a niche market? From mail order to phone order to ecommerce and social sales, the focus has always been on branding and content marketing. In 1969, that meant writing DIY sails manuals and printing sailing magazines in-house. Today, that means promoting the DIY lifestyle on YouTube to the tune of 187,000 subscribers.

Sailrite creates two videos a week for its YouTube channel, ranging from 3-minutes long sewing tips and tricks, to two and a half hour how-to videos on reupholstering a recliner chair. The goal of this heavy content investment is to make Sailrite customers feel like they can be successful in their new hobby with Sailrite’s guidance, decreasing the learning curve on big-ticket items (i.e. sewing machines), resulting in higher customer satisfaction and increasing future purchases.

A family affair

Today, Sailrite is owned and operated by the second-generation of Grants, Matt and Hallie. Matt and Hallie, high school sweethearts, came to work at Sailrite right after graduating from Indiana University. The couple took over the business from Matt’s father in 2004 and together they lead Sailrite’s constantly growing list of crewmembers, including the third generation of Grants. Today, Matt’s brother, two sons and nephew work alongside Matt and Halle – truly making the business a family affair.

As the Grants start thinking of what Sailrite’s future will look like, which family member(s) will take over the business is a looming question. While Matt and Hallie have at least 10 years before they’re planning to turn over the business, they’ve already started thinking about the future transition. “[Turning the business over to] the next generation is going to be harder because there are enough family members in the business that are significant enough to the business that they need to be involved,” said Matt.

Seas share of wallet with technology

Shortly after Matt and Hallie took over the family business, Sailrite turned to NetSuite to manage everything from financials and accounting to inventory and ecommerce. With such a strong focus on content marketing, Sailrite also needed a marketing automation tool – Oracle Bronto — to better target subscribers to send more relevant content and increase online revenue. Today, Sailrite uses Bronto to send post sale information emails to customers, including how-to videos related to the purchased product. With this email strategy, Sailrite continually engages customers, builds brand loyalty and increases customer retention.

“NetSuite [and Bronto are] the backbone of our business. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the tools to garner both the loyalty from our customers and the level of support they need. NetSuite has truly been the vehicle to achieving our company goals.” Matt said.

For more insight into Sailrite’s content marketing technology strategy and how the third generation family business is planning for the next generation of leadership, download The Family Business: Success Planning webinar here.


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PPA and How Restaurants Can Best Calculate It

In our industry, we focus a lot on metrics involving time: time per table turn, table turnover rates, speed of service and more. But, often, we fail in delighting and enthralling our guests — whether first time visitors or regulars — because we don’t give too much thought into how to spend and focus our time.

There’s a hugely overlooked metric that goes underutilized in our industry – even though most of us have access to the data to calculate it at our fingertips – that gives us insight into how to focus our time: per person average (PPA).

UK-based accounting firm Chapman Robinson & Moore calls the metric an essential method to understand business performance, as well as more effectively forecast revenue.

We can calculate PPA by taking the “Total Sales Value” of a given period of time and dividing it by the “Guest Head Count” for that same period. Depending upon how much data we have access to, we can look at PPA by any number of parameters – weekdays, weekends, lunch, dinner and more, to gain deep insight that helps us optimize everything from menus to staffing.

According to Chapman Robinson & Moore, the metric “is particularly useful when broken down by the area of the business, time of day, day of the week.” For example, a new client was only measuring its ‘Average Spend per Head’ on a weekly basis and was missing insight into how different days or different times of the day impacted the mean value.

With access to data broken down day by day, the restaurant could, for instance, optimize promotions and specials on the day of the week or times of the day when those offers would have the most impact, according to the firm.

In such a way, a robust look at PPA has benefits that extend across the front and back of the house.

For instance, management can map PPA to shifts, and recognize servers who are driving higher guest check averages. Alternatively, restaurants can look at PPA by shift to recognize patterns by managers who lead during times when PPA is highest (and, perhaps more importantly, lowest). This information is invaluable for two reasons. First, the servers and managers who are performing well can relay what’s working during their shifts in training sessions with new and younger staff. It also enables leaders to recognize the contributions of outstanding servers and managers. This can foster a strong culture within the business that can help to overcome a restaurant’s biggest issue – staff turnover. Data-driven strategies also help leaders develop clear paths for additional compensation and advancement within the restaurant to once again keep the best servers and managers engaged.

To make the youngest and newest staff more mindful of PPA, the restaurant can hold contests and recognize outstanding contributions. Just be careful that such a strategy is carried out with the guests’ (and your staffs’) best interests in mind, and staff understands how to balance upsell with tact.

PPA can also help the restaurant determine what menu selections are working, including which ones people are paying more for and when they’re most likely to do it. For instance, the lobster mac and cheese may be selling wonderfully on Friday evenings, but not so much on Mondays. By having information on when to order and stock more of the most expensive foods and ingredients, restaurants can optimize food costs, and find the right targets to hit in terms of food cost percentage. The same information can be used to optimize seasonal specials for the times of the week and year when they will be the most profitable.

Adding PPA as a central metric in your data-driven restaurant management strategy is a simple yet innovate way to create experiences that will keep guests coming back, and spending more.


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