The balanced scorecard as a tool for restaurant management

After the vicissitudes of the 80s, the environment in which the different companies worked had a profound and radical change. From a simple, static, true, homogeneous and favorable environment, they began to manage in a complex environment, with high dynamism, insecurity, very heterogeneous and hostile. The catering sector was not exempt from these damages. Tracking and adapting to market changes became an indispensable condition for those businesses that really had the goal of achieving success. The increasingly drastic and hasty transformations imposed on him, the condition of assuming the far-fetched tendencies of an increasingly demanding client and with a greater number of offers to choose from.

The elements of quality and efficiency began to prevail in the commercial environment as the client had a greater number of options to choose from. With the development of products based on quality and worsening competition conditions, a new concept emerged as it was no longer enough to satisfy the needs of the market with quality. It was necessary to surprise the client with a management of excellence covering all spheres of the company.

Today organizations have understood that to ensure the quality of their products and services they must put aside those practices that only focus on the financial aspect to adapt their control systems of management to theories that consider intangible resources as an important variable for the profitability of the company in their analyzes. In this context, the contributions that have been developed as part of the new and modern school of Administrators, and although the Balanced Scorecard (IMC) as an instrument that combines tangible assets as intangibles in its structure, it has ceased to be an adolescent to become an Adult, today it constitutes an important artery to achieve results. desired.
In the article that is presented, I will expose those issues related to the design of the Balanced Scorecard, going through the redefinition of strategic planning, the elaboration of the strategic objectives and indicators for each perspective, up to the preparation of the control mechanisms that will allow verify compliance with the objectives. All of the above will be possible if it is accompanied by an information system and a database that helps the measurement and verification of the indicators of management daily and permanently, so that the progress of the company can be visualized, as well as relevant and quality information is obtained to facilitate the best decision-making strategic and the efficient use of available resources.
Balanced scorecard
The Balanced Scorecard (IMC) has its antecedent in the idea of ​​using a set of indicators to obtain information on management. Its closest precedent is a tool called Tableau de Bord, or Dashboard, emerged during the XNUMXs in France, which included in a document various ratios for the financial control of the company. Over time, this tool evolved towards the combination of financial indicators with other non-financial ones that allowed control the different business processes.
The first formulation of a BSC concept appeared, in the early XNUMXs, as a result of studies carried out by two prestigious North American consultants: Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton; who noticed the limitation that resulted from essentially using the traditional financial accounting indicators to measure the performance of the company, since they only explained what had happened and, therefore, only allowed a reactive management instead of a proactive one. By linking the traditional financial indicators, those of a non-financial nature, they achieved an assessment of intangible resources that are of great importance within the company, such as know-how, organizational culture and information technologies.
The next step of advance occurs with the same maturation of the tool. When implementing the CMI, several managers generalized the desire to see it not only as a measurement model, but as an instrument that communicated the strategy to all levels of their organizations, and aligned their companies with the new strategies conceived. The need to link in the WCC not all the indicators carried by the institutions is highlighted, rather only those that were related to the strategic processes, those that contributed to the achievement of the strategy.
Another contribution was the result of research by Reanissance Solutions Inc. (RSI) that demonstrated the possibility and effectiveness that a compendium of indicators among the four perspectives could communicate from the objectives to which they responded and help to put into practice a single strategy. This allowed us to glimpse the cause-effect relationships that were developing between the Scorecard indicators. It was seen, then, how the cause-effect relationships established between the objectives for the different perspectives described the strategic trajectory; how investments in employee requalification, information technology, and products and services would help dramatically improve financial performance.
How does a CMI work?
First of all, it is based on the vision, that is, the management of a company wants to reach an ideal state, which is its vision for the future. Consequently, the strategy is designed, which constitutes the vehicle to reach that desired state. In the case of a profit-driven company, the greatest aspiration you can pursue is to meet an ideal financial goal. To achieve this, excellent customer performance is required, which is underpinned by consistent management of internal processes. Because this is not the current state of the company, but a desired one, it is necessary to use the perspective of training and growth.
It is in the perspective of training and growth where the leap is fostered to cover the differences between the current state and that desired for the organization. First, the gap between the current and desired state is identified. Then an apprenticeship is planned, either in terms of training the company's human capital, its management methods and / or new technologies, focusing on the specific elements that will cover the previously identified gap. The ideal performance in the other perspectives is achieved through the cause-effect relationships established between them. The end result will be the achievement of the financial goal that is pursued with the strategy.
The foregoing highlights the importance for the correct functioning of a CMI the formulation of an adequate vision by the organization, as well as its capacities for learning in its achievement.
Relationship between CMI and Quality
The relationship begins in the CUSTOMERS perspective when the question is asked, What does the customer want? And the answer is QUALITY. Then from the perspective of INTERNAL PROCESSES if the client is demanding quality, the processes must be managed with quality. Therefore, it is first necessary to learn what quality is, what tools can be used in management; and second, the diffusion of a culture focused on quality; This takes place in the perspective of LEARNING AND GROWTH.
Another element in this analogy is found in the need to measure quality in order to control and improve it. Measurement systems are ultimately made up of indicators. The essence of the WCC is precisely the translation of the vision and the strategy into a set of objectives by perspectives with a coherent system of indicators, which, united by cause-effect relationships, lead to the integral management of the organization.
Complementarity is also evident if we analyze the principles established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the establishment of a Quality Management System, and which form the basis of the requirements for achieving Excellence Management. . Among these criteria is the system approach to management.
This approach raises the need to "identify, understand and manage interrelated processes as a system". The organization must be seen in an integral way, as a set of interrelated processes in which the outputs of some constitute the inputs of the following. This is how the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization is achieved in achieving its objectives, and we involve everyone in quality management.
In this way the control and management of the activity of the company seen as a system and its monitoring, becomes the control and management of quality itself; It is here where the WCC plays an essential role in promoting the comprehensive development of company management based on strategy and vision.
Disadvantages and / or difficulties that make it impossible to design and implement the CMI correctly:
  • If the company's strategy is not defined correctly or is unknown to the workers, the implementation process will be difficult and, in my opinion, results that are far from reality will be generated, which will lead to an incorrect interpretation and the decisions made will not they will be oriented towards a real purpose. As long as this problem is not solved, the company will not respond efficiently.
  • As a consequence of the above, if the objectives of the organization, and its strategy, are unknown to the workers, these cease to be common for the company and therefore there will be priorities and trade offs between the different departments, who will seek to comply their particular objectives, leaving aside the general objectives.
  • The incorrect selection of management indicators, as well as the imbalance of these between the different perspectives, will not allow an exact photograph of the organization's situation at all times and will therefore deviate from the correct path to follow.
If the above is not taken into account, in addition to the fact that the CMI is not designed to communicate the strategy to the lower levels, only for the upper and middle management; that its implementation process takes a long time and it is complex to estimate cause-effect relationships, efforts to achieve better financial results, better positioning in the market and, of course, recognition through customer satisfaction and repeat, they will be in vain.
Elements of the Balanced Scorecard
Although I will not stop to conceptualize each one of the elements, given that in this magazine the topic has been addressed on various occasions if I relate them to the degree of importance they represent for the final result, which is the design and implementation of the WCC in the Restaurant.
- Mission, vision and values
- Strategic map
- The perspectives
- Strategic Objectives
- Customer Value Proposition
- Indicators and their Goals
- Responsible and Resources
The process of designing and implementing the Balanced Scorecard should start from the definition by senior management of how to compete, and then design a business model based on cause - effect relationships. Regarding the indicators, proven criteria must be taken into consideration that for each perspective the number of these should not exceed seven, which must be quantifiable and objective, as well as that their design responds to the business model.
Key aspects in the implementation of a CMI
- A simple model: The main objective of the model is not to add bureaucracy or complications, but, on the contrary, to simplify management by focusing on what is important. The key word is prioritization. It is about ordering information, projects and resources efficiently for the organization.
- Common language: the name given to the model, the perspectives and the different elements that compose it, is the least of it. The important thing is that the people who have to use it agree, that is, that there is a common language in the organization.
- Understand the model: no two companies are the same, and neither are two identical locations. Companies have adapted the model to their own needs or preferences. In principle, all the elements of the model play a role and it is important to understand their reason for being.
- Leadership: implementation must be led at the highest level in the organization. As this is an integrating project that requires time and effort, it is important to convey its relevance to the organization. This support must be continued and not only at the beginning of the project.
- Communication: For the model to be accepted and used, it must be understood and internalized by the people who work in the organization. Therefore, a good communication process is necessary. Both vertical and cross-organization communication throughout the organization is, on the other hand, one of the great benefits of implementation.

- Participation: The participation of certain people who can add value, who also enrich the design of the different elements that compose it, also helps in the internalization of the model. It is not that everyone participates in all phases of the design of the model, but that different people contribute their bit at some point.

It may interest you:  16 new business rules

- Project team: it is vital to assign a work team or facilitators to manage the implementation. Its mission is to provide knowledge, guide the design and implementation process, provide methodology and monitor the project. "

Elements to consider by the Restaurant in each of the perspectivess.
Prospects are those key critical dimensions in the organization. Generally, a WCC is characterized by all four perspectives: financial, customer, internal, and learning and growth. These perspectives are the most common, because they are applicable in a large number of companies to organize the business model and structure the indicators and information. But they are not a necessary condition for having a CMI.
La financial perspective It incorporates the vision of the shareholders and measures the creation of value of the company. It answers the question, what must we do to meet the expectations of our shareholders?
La customer perspective It reflects the position of the company in the market or, more specifically, in the market segments where it wants to compete. It answers the question: what should we do to satisfy the needs of our clients?
La internal perspective It collects indicators of internal processes that are critical for positioning in the market and for bringing the strategy to fruition. It answers the question, in which processes should we be excellent to satisfy the needs of our clients?
La Perspective of learning and growth Describe the material resources and people who are the key to success for any strategy. Answer the question: what aspects are critical to maintain excellence in internal processes?
Financial perspective:
  • Growth and diversification of income:
    • Percentage of income from new services and products, introduced during a specified period.
    • Percentage of income from new customers.
    • Amount of income generated by the cooperative relationships existing between the multiple business units.
    • Increased income from a variety of products and services.
    • Price strategy.
  • Cost reduction / productivity improvement:
    • Increased productivity of income.
    • The reduction of unit costs.
    • Variety of channel mix (ways of making payments, for example Internet orders and payment processing through the same route).
  • Use of assets / investment strategy:
    • Cash cycle.
    • Improvements in the use of assets.
Customer perspective:
    • Market share.
    • Increase in clients.
    • Client retention.
    • Customer satisfaction.
    • Customer profitability.
    • Image and prestige.
    • The relationship with customers.
    • The attributes of products and / or services.
The perspective of the internal process:
    • The value chain of the internal process.
      • Innovation.
      • Operations.
      • After-sales services.
The learning and growth perspective:
    • Employee capabilities.
      • Employee satisfaction.
      • Employee retention.
      • Employee productivity.
    • The capabilities of information systems
A successful Balanced Scorecard is one that communicates a strategy through an integrated set of financial and non-financial indicators. He describes the future vision of the organization to all its members, creating a shared understanding. The CMI creates a holistic model of strategy so that each employee can see how it contributes to the success of the organization.
It may interest you:  Stressed Organizations. Why and how the Human Resources Department can intervene?
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
Last entries of MBA Yosvanys R Guerra Valverde (see everything)