"All service information is now centralized ..." - Mathias Schätzthauer, Director Development at McDonald's Germany ...


McDonald's Germany optimizes spare parts supply based on central service management platform EcholoN

New service concept for large-scale catering facilities

McDonald's Germany has completely reorganized its service concept in order to channel and centralize the service processes around the spare parts supply of McDonald's restaurants. Since then, the central hub for the management of spare parts supply and service processes has been the EcholoN service management platform, which will be used to handle, document and evaluate all service assignments of the partners involved. The fully transparent service organization not only aims to optimize spare parts supply, maintenance costs and process costs, it also gives numerous franchisees in Germany a comprehensive information cockpit for making business decisions.

Since the opening of the first German McDonald's restaurant in Munich in 1971, the success story in Germany has continued steadily. Today, more than 1,440 restaurants and around 240 independent franchisees, which manage around 80% of German restaurants, generate about 3.1 billion euros nationwide. With approximately 2.5 million guests a day and more than 60,000 employees a year on average, McDonald's is today the gastronomic market leader in Germany.

Reorganization of the service concept

Reliable and fast service in the technology for large scale catering is essential to maintaining the smooth running of McDonald's restaurants and quality management of cardinal products. So far, the service around the spare parts supply of McDonald's restaurants was organized decentrally. To date, the service assignments have been handled directly between the individual restaurant operations and the respective service companies, which ultimately resulted in a lack of electronic system support in an increased communication and billing expenses.

"There were hardly any possibilities for effective evaluation of, for example, reaction or service provision times and for the control of service assignments, in the aging service solution, used by the company's own restaurants for more than 15 years. In addition, because the system did not provide adequate scalability for individual needs and was neither interface nor upgradeable, we decided in 2011 to re-think the past after-sales concept and set it up on a central service management platform to support our service operations."



Mathias Schätzthauer, Director Development at McDonald's Germany, sums up the initial situation. This should not only increase the transparency of the entire service organization, but also ensure better controllability of service processes. The individual franchisees should also be able to open up new potential for cost-efficient daily business. Subsequently, McDonald's developed a new, pioneering service concept for the optimization of service and spare parts processes, which has since been successively implemented in the German restaurant operations together with the service integrator and exclusive partner for the spare parts supply GEV GmbH.


McDonald's restaurant

EcholoN platform as a central element of the service network

In the course of the service reorganization, McDonald's initially made specific IT requirements, i.a. in terms of data management, automation of service processes, reliable cost analysis and electronic billing. This was intended to create the basis for successful and above all, long-term effective collaboration within the collaboration network. In the subsequent selection process initiated jointly by GEV and McDonald's, the market was then probed for suitable service management solutions.

EcholoN platform as a central element of the service network

"A franchisee-compatible licensing model was just as important to us as intuitive usability, flexible adaptability to individual requirements and comprehensive, multi-dimensional evaluation options. In addition, the new solution should also be usable on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones," summarizes Mathias Schätzthauer.


"Ultimately, the decision was made on the service management platform EcholoN from Hamburg-based mIT solutions GmbH, which already provided the largest intersection in the standard for our purposes and future development."

The decision to launch EcholoN was made in January 2012, followed by the project kick-off in February, and by May 2012, the new solution, which has since been used by around 150 users, went into live operation for the first time.


Effective cost controlling at device and service level

With EcholoN, McDonald's Restaurants, GEV and the respective service providers in the restaurant chain now have functioning and, above all, efficient service processes that make collaboration significantly easier and guarantee the highest service levels.

"All service-relevant information now runs together centrally. This is extremely important for monitoring the response times of service companies and ensuring smooth business operations. Today, we are able to accurately evaluate and compare equipment-level costs and services at the service provider level. If the number of service cases per machine or reaction times at a service provider exceeds a certain extent, the restaurant operators can hold the respective supplier responsible, fact-based on the basis of service statistics and complete documentation. With the help of the comprehensive analyzes, the restaurants can operate an effective cost controlling, ensure a reliable quality management in the service and in the medium term also optimize the delivery times of spare parts ", praises Mathias Schätzthauer. "In addition to the reduction of maintenance costs, there are also potential savings at process cost level. The ability to perform a direct and comprehensive reconciliation of EcholoNs' evaluations with contract management data as part of the audit process greatly speeds up the operations of finance departments. "


Comprehensive knowledge database

Today, the central service platform offers all those involved in the process very short, effective information paths, thereby ensuring optimal networking of all partners in the complex collaboration network. For example, if a technical malfunction occurs in one of the restaurants, McDonald's operators will contact the GEV service team, certified by various large scale catering facilities and available around the clock.

With preconfigured checklists in EcholoN, a multidimensional knowledge database, as well as integrated exploded drawings and user manuals, GEV Helpdesk employees are able to provide reliable and competent support in the 1st level. However, should telephone assistance not be able to remedy the fault, an order can be generated directly via EcholoN to the assigned service company.

The relevant fault details including the possible fault identification, article numbers and order information are then forwarded directly by electronic means. The responsible service company then orders its field technician to the restaurant via the EcholoN system and handles the order independently.

McDonald’s kitchen

Roll-out on the first 250 restaurants in 2014

After EcholoN was successfully introduced to the first 70 restaurants and the accounting processes were changed, in 2014 the connection of the remaining, a total of 250 company-owned restaurants and the roll-out to the first franchise companies followed.

In a next step, together with mIT solutions, an information cockpit was developed to provide the respective McDonald's franchisees with comprehensive service evaluations and management KPIs. The successively growing service database from EcholoN allows owners an optimal basis for internal quality management and resource management optimization. An integrated, consistent workflow system now offers operators the opportunity to implement directly targeted measures.



Image source: MC Donald's