P.F. Chang's Keeping Tabs on Supply Chain Thanks to Workday

A P.F. Chang's branch in Houston, Texas. Picture: Business Wire
P.F. Chang's' adoption of Workday and its Enterprise Management Cloud means the restaurant chain has been able to enjoy a host of supply chain benefits

P.F. Chang's China Bistro has long recognised the need to streamline its operational processes.

In order to achieve this, the casual dining restaurant chain has primarily focused on two core strategies: investing in people and leveraging technology. 

Crucial to turning vision into reality has been P.F. Chang's' adoption of Workday and its Enterprise Management Cloud, which gives organisations of all sizes the power in the areas of finance, HR, planning, spend management and analytics.

It means P.F. Chang has been able to unify data across various departments and empower employees with mobile self-service options. 

Other benefits include:

  • Gaining a real-time single view of organisational data across HR, operations, finance and IT
  • Empowering restaurant managers and employees with mobile self-service options
  • Enabling more efficient recruiting, onboarding, scheduling and talent management
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Workday solves siloed data problem

Historically, one of P.F. Chang's major frustrations has been its struggle with siloed data, which is often the case at companies with a global reach. 

In these situations, information is stored in separate, isolated systems or departments within an organisation, making it difficult to access, share or integrate across different parts of the business.

This lack of integration can result in various issues, such as duplication of efforts, inconsistent or incomplete information, inefficiencies in processes, and difficulty in making well-informed decisions based on a comprehensive view of the data.

For P.F. Chang's, this was all too familiar, with operations and smooth decision-making hindered by having information scattered across different systems and departments.

However, adopting a unified system in the form of Workday helped the business overcome this issue by consolidating data and providing a single source of truth accessible to all relevant stakeholders.

"Workday truly became a one-stop shop for all of our employees within the company," explains says Lisa Gressel, General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer at P.F. Chang's. 

"This made for ease of operations within our corporate headquarters and also facilitated the growth within our restaurants."

A P.F. Chang's restaurant in the UK. Picture: Business Wire

Benefits throughout the supply chain 

Workday has also enabled P.F. Chang's to speed up its period-close process, allowing restaurants to close out a certain period, get results and quickly provide them to operators – who can then delve into each category and assess what action can be taken to improve the next period.

Explaining this in greater detail, Art Kilmer, COO at P.F. Chang's, says: "My business leaders can adjust, make decisions and take action involving procurement and supply chain teams early in the process for corrective courses where they need to.

"Workday has helped us get better at avoiding some of the mistakes, pitfalls and waste in the organisation. Our vendors have seen that we become more accurate in our forecasting and helping them forecast volumes, and the more quickly we can process updates to agreements contracts. Everyone benefits from that. Our supply chain group can make us aware, 'imports are being difficult right now, we're having challenges with containers'."

A forecasting boost

Restaurants have always suffered when it comes to unpredictability, never knowing quite what's around the next corner – especially in recent years given the repeated obstacles they have encountered. 

Art adds: "One of the biggest challenges for restaurant operators is, ‘how do I know exactly what’s going to happen each day within my businesses?'"

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With more change on the horizon, P.F. Chang's has been utilising Workday scheduling to provide reliable demand forecasting and employee schedules.

In the past, team leaders had limited access to information and were creating schedules without trusted data to make them more informed, such as skills coverage, employee responsibilities and personal preferences. Not only are businesses at risk of being over or under-staffed in these situations, but also face the possibility of a lower retention rate.

Thanks to automated scheduling suggestions provided by Workday AI, P.F. Chang's has made its restaurant workers a visible priority across the company.

Much of this positive change stems from machine-learning-based demand forecasting. Surfaced data offers a granular level of detail, with each new forecast building upon lessons learned from the previous iteration.

“It’s learning while we’re learning,” adds Art.

Whether reacting quickly to specific requirements caused by new events, or freeing up managers to speak to customers on the restaurant floor, AI is behind every major innovation for forecasting.

This approach aligns perfectly with Workday's capabilities, whether it's providing employees with transparent access to data, guiding senior staff decisions or improving the supply chain.

Workday truly plays a pivotal role in enabling P.F. Chang's to uphold its commitment to talent and excellence.

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