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CIO50 2022 #26-50 Steve Orleow, Guzman Y Gomez

  • Name Steve Orleow
  • Title Chief technology officer
  • Company Guzman Y Gomez
  • Commenced role November 2019
  • Reporting Line Chief operating officer
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Technology Function 28 in IT function, 5 direct reports
  • Related

    Steve Orleow may not have been surprised to discover low levels of digital literacy when he joined Australian-based global fast food chain Guzman Y Gomez as chief technical officer in November 2019.

    After all, the hospitality business isn’t renowned for being very tech savvy.

    Naturally, the company wanted to change this with Orleow’s appointment, with his first task being to get a better handle on “restaurant economics” with a view to driving better financial performance.

    He realised early on that data would be key to achieving this, in particular those relating to benchmarking and outlier identification.

    “The maturity of data use within the business was low with many disconnected transactional platforms and no central aggregation of this data,” Orleow tells CIO Australia.

    “The integrity of the data was not consistent, while extracting it was also challenging and could be weeks in reconciling, often too late to be able to make agile adjustments to operations and see improvements.”

    In short, a single accurate, timely source of data did not exist.

    Using what data had was able to get his hands on, Orleow and his team were able to move forward demonstrating early results from a democratic data-led approach based on providing reliable data access to everyone, which ultimately allowed for rapid scale.

    This eventually led to them creating a centralised data analytics platform they dubbed ‘Cerebro’, or Spanish for ‘brain’.

    “It was a noteworthy accomplishment of centralised, real-time data connectivity and storage, bringing many disparate platforms together in a unified view that allowed easy access to meaningful data and dashboards to the non-technical users and with deep analytical capability to the more skilled technical users,” Orleow explains.

    Cerebro ingests, aggregates and unifies GYG’s point-of-sale, drive-thru, order times and tagging, labour (there are multiple), cost of goods, ordering and recipe platforms just to name a few. All of this is orchestrated in near real-time allowing operational and marketing teams to adjust their execution and therefore, drive better outcomes from easily-accessed interfaces on their mobile phones or any web browser.

    Orleow says the deployment of Cerebro has completely transformed the business into one that is truly “data-led”, with “ubiquitous access to reliable and relevant data to anyone who needs it”.

    “Cerebro has contributed significantly to our sales growth, labour efficiency and cost reductions creating significantly better economics for our restaurants," he says.

    And Orleow notes that something he and his team take particular pride in is the fact that while relational databases are nothing new in the fast food business, “there has never been a multinational fast-food chain (including McDonalds) who can get near real time sales, transactions, COGS, labour, delivery insights, drive thru and orders times within minutes as they were happening”.

    “This represented a paradigm shift for GYG and has been a huge catalyst in its growth and operational efficiency to always be able to take full advantage of data driven decision making across operations, marketing and sales."

    David Binning

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