How to save almost USD 135.000  using iiko

Enerel Opanasenko, CEO of Serj Group (Mongolia), told us about how iiko helped his company save about 380 million tugriks (135.000 $!)

Serj Group is the largest restaurant chain in Mongolia. Serj Group unites establishments of different concepts - both traditional restaurants and the "Milaya" chain of Russian cuisine. For Mongolia, this is a unique format: no one sells dishes by weight anymore, so we have no competitors. We have a total of 25 culinary offerings and 4 restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Our first restaurant opened in 1999 and it was Ukrainian cuisine. In Mongolia, Russian and Ukrainian cuisine is well known and loved, this has been the custom since the days of the USSR. We opened several more restaurants very quickly and began to develop as a chain.

In 2014, various foreign franchises began to come to Mongolia and the market began to change dramatically. Competition has increased and we are thinking about changes that will allow us to maintain growth rates in the new environment. This is how a new conceptual fusion restaurant was created. We named it Sto by Serj. When people hear "one hundred" and see Russian cuisine, they think that it is "one hundred grams" :) But we put a different meaning in this name: firstly, this is the old name of the street on which the restaurant is located, and most importantly, in this in the restaurant everything is one hundred percent - food, drinks, and atmosphere.

The restaurant opened on October 1, 2020, and then a pandemic came to our country. Before that, there was not a single case of Covid-19 in Mongolia, so we worked without lockdowns. The first case appeared in November and we were immediately completely closed. Now not a single restaurant is open, even for delivery, since the very type of such activity is prohibited. But our cookery works - we prepare food in our own kitchen factory, and most of the points of sale are located inside supermarkets.

In order to provide centralized accounting, we needed a single system to automate the entire network. Before iiko, there were no solutions in our market of such a scale that is necessary for our company. Currently, 80% of our establishments are working on iiko. The first improvement that we immediately felt was real-time inventory control. This was the main pain - before we only had automated cash register, and we ran the warehouse in a separate program and accountants had to manually transfer data. Now we see data on warehouse and sales in real time. Now that everything is closed, iiko allows us to work remotely and keep records from home.

By the way, we have implemented not only management accounting on iiko, but also fiscal one. We've set up a full cost calculation for each dish, including all overheads and depreciation. This is very convenient - accountants do not have to work in two systems. In addition, we can make quick decisions in situations with frequent changes in product prices. This is another feature of our market. For example, meat: despite the huge livestock in Mongolia - 75 million heads - in winter, prices for it can rise to the level of European ones. Now I can remotely see in iiko how many dishes were sold where, at what price, what is the total revenue, and so on.

Every day I look at the shifts in iiko - who opened and when, how much they earned. I check the balances every week. And our sales and marketing department constantly uses ABC analysis for food and goods. We hold weekly meetings where marketers tell us what they want to change: packaging, packaging or technical map, promote some dishes or remove them from sale. We now make these decisions based on recommendations from iiko. The specificity of culinary is that we have a very small margin - we mainly make money on volumes, so the profit depends on the correctness of such decisions. Previously, we used another system and could not get such data from it.

It has become very convenient to keep cash records and work with invoices. Previously, we often had problems with suppliers due to the fact that part of the invoices was lost and we could not make the payment on time. Sometimes they even had to pay late fees. Now all invoices are in electronic form and the accountant immediately sees the terms of all payments in iiko. Now we pay all suppliers on time.  

At the end of November, we started to roll out delivery in culinary areas, it's great that with iiko you can do it quickly - not every company here can afford it. Therefore, we will again be ahead of everyone. With iiko, we have saved a very decent amount of money. We have calculated that the total savings will be around USD 135.000. We just stopped incurring losses due to the lack of normal accounting! For example, we did not take into account the consumption of the same disposable bags, we just looked at how many were left at the end of the month. Weekly analysis of dishes, recipes and timely introduction of changes also significantly reduces costs. Abuse has been drastically reduced - products have ceased to "disappear" from the warehouse. Previously, we simply pledged 6% of profits for various losses and spoilage. When we started using iiko, these costs began to decline very quickly. In addition, now we can reduce the staff of accountants, and this will give us about 5% more savings.

When we first started implementing iiko, there were a lot of funny mistakes. For example, there was such a case - I go to look at the leftovers, and there are 6 tons of Vigora seasoning in the warehouse! It turns out that the accountant mixed up the units of measurement - instead of the number of packages, she put in kilograms. We figured it out right away, changed the data and the balances were immediately recalculated correctly. There was also a curiosity at the checkout - they made a mistake when setting up user rights. As a result, the saleswoman, when closing the shift using manual input, indicated some crazy millions in the revenue. We went to iiko reports and were surprised - where did we get the extra $ 500,000? :) Immediately corrected the rights, of course. Now everything has been set up properly and such incidents do not happen anymore.

Enerel also runs Global Smart Systems, an iiko partner in Mongolia. He and his team have put a lot of effort into localizing the product. Due to the pandemic, the start of iiko sales had to be postponed a little, but work will resume in January.

- We are the largest restaurant company in the country, and iiko works great for us. It means that it will work for others too - smiles Enerel. We are also absolutely sure of this and wish both of his companies great success!

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