The company operate cafes and restaurants in workplaces throughout Scotland.
Each location operates relatively independently but must report weekly on all activites, including all transactions for purchases, sales, petty cash, cash sheet, stock and payroll.
The primary key requirement was to provide an online service that would allow each manager to enter all weekly financial transactions for their location, then be able to consolidate all the data for consumption by the central accounting system. Despite its complexity, the system had to be simple to use, and quick.
A secondary key requirement was to be able to communicate information effectively with the managers.
Each cafe/restaurant buys a wide range of products, including food, cleaning materials and consumables, from many different suppliers. Although most of the locations will use common suppliers, each location's price for the same product may be different. And each time they are invoiced for a product, a check must be made to ensure the price is not significantly different to the last purchase.
Each week, the managers need to enter details of all invoices, credit notes, sales, petty cash, daily cash book and payroll. When they close off the week, all transactions are rolled forward into the central accounting system. Invoice data is used to produce the monthly stocktake report and valuation.
Head office staff need to have access to an admin back-end system where they can manage the system, including access rights, the product database and all transactions.
Database design was crucial to this project. We spent a lot of time designing a product database that would support individual pricing of common products for each restaurant, and at the same time provide fast access when adding invoices and credit notes.
When the manager logs into the system, they are presented with a dashboard that shows totals, transactions reminders, and any communications from head office, so they can quickly see what needs to be done that day. There is also an internal news section.
Data entry uses Ajax throughout, again for fast processing and ease of use. Input of a product name usually finds the product after 2-3 keystrokes. Historical transactions are always available, so the manager can quickly check on transactions from a previous week.
The back-end management system is very comprehensive, allowing head office staff to smoothly manage and monitor large amounts of financial information, keep in touch with the remote locations online, and forward the consolidated data to the accounting system.
Blot Design demonstrated a totally flexible and highly professional approach throughout our project and met every target, budget and objective with a seamless process from start to finishSimon Harrison, MD