Innovative IT firm AAG has launched a tasty new product – a multi-functional mobile device to be used throughout the national high street restaurant chain Prezzo. The device will be used to make bookings, help manage stock taking, display chefs manuals and to provide access to Prezzo’s internal systems all from one device without being tied down to one location.
AAG, based just outside Chesterfield, is known for bespoke devices and was able to help when Prezzo, with 300 UK outlets, needed a tablet rugged enough to survive in the heat of the kitchen yet good-looking enough to mirror their sleek brand image.
Despite much research, the Italian chain couldn’t find a suitable off-the-shelf product, and turned to AAG who planned, designed and tested the specially created tablet in just three months. Six weeks later it was manufactured and supplied with a rugged case, both fully branded. This solution allowed the Prezzo team to add extra accessories and functionality as required.
AAG has developed the unique system dubbed ‘CYOD’ (Create Your Own Device) which provided Prezzo with the bespoke product it stipulated.
David Broom, IT Director at Prezzo shared his experience of commissioning AAG to deliver a bespoke device solution in this Q&A.
What was the reasoning behind incorporating technology into your restaurants?
The industry we operate in is fast paced and innovation plays a large role in it. In order to provide the best dining experience for our guests, we are always looking to introduce new technology into our business.
How are you using the devices in your restaurant?
This particular technology allowed us to achieve a number of tasks from just one device but also allows for future scalability, should we wish to add new systems or services later on. Currently we are using the tablets to move towards a paperless process for training and reporting, however in a few months, we will begin using them to take bookings and replace our bookings diary.
What challenges did you face during your search for an ‘off the shelf’ device?
The biggest issue we had was production life of a device. Off the shelf solutions tend to have a limited lifespan with newer products being regularly released. When this happens, it can cause a bit of a headache for us. Not only do we end up with a mix of generations of technology across our outlet, we have the added workload of having to re-test and configure.
How did you find AAG?
Our procurement department took the lead in finding the right company to work with.
Did you initially think that ‘creating your own device’ could be a viable option?
At first we thought it might be more expensive and result in a long wait for production, however we were pleasantly surprised on both accounts.
Who decided to look at this innovative way of solving your problem?
It was something our procurement team brought to the table.
Were you sceptical about opting for a bespoke solution?
When it doesn’t come with a big brand name punched into the side of it, there is always a worry about quality, longevity and economies of scale.
What were your reservations and how did AAG work with you to overcome them?
The fact that devices were being produced on the other side of the world and all based on a demo unit sent to us was a worry. It also didn’t help that we hadn’t gone down this path before. However talking to the team at AAG, looking at previous projects they had completed, and keeping in close contact with the guys helped overcome this.
Now that you’re up and running with your new devices, how do you feel a bespoke solution has benefitted your organisation?
The three big benefits for us are cost, options and length of life. We were able to bring down costs considerably, have a say in what the device looked and felt like and finally have reassurance that in a years time we will still be able to get more built to the same spec.
How did you find the process?
Really straightforward – the team came to us, they brought us samples and then delivered the finished product – we didn’t even have to leave the office!
What surprised you the most about your new bespoke devices?
The biggest surprise was the cost saving over an off-the-shelf solution and the speed at which they could be delivered.
What has the feedback been like from your staff?
Really positive – they don’t know the difference and performance wise they are living up to expectations.
What advice would you offer to others who may be weighing up the option of ‘off the shelf’ or creating their own device?
Definitely explore the option – we are now looking at another device for a different project through the same process with AAG.
Would you recommend AAG IT to other companies looking for a bespoke device solution?
How important is technology in relation to your customer experience?
Technology comes second after food for our customer experience from a business perspective. It enables us to provide a more superior level of service throughout.
For more information about our CYOD stock or to discuss a truly bespoke solution visit https://www.cyodevice.com/
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