Au Bon Pain


Background In 1978, businessman Louis Kane wanted to make authentic fresh reads and croissants available to everyone, everywhere. Today, Kane’s vision has come to life with 300 Au Bon Pain café bakeries around the world. Headquartered in Boston’s Seaport district, Au Bon Pain has become a cornerstone of the urban scene where the world lives, works, shops and plays—in office buildings, college campuses, transportation hubs, malls, museums and hospitals. Challenge As a domestic and international café chain, both independently operated and franchise owned, data is critical for tracking payroll and making budget projections at headquarters and in its manufacturing arm. 15 years ago, the management team at Au Bon Pain’s corporate headquarters was using legacy Cobol systems in accounting and finance to produce standard print files, but they didn’t have the ability to manipulate the data. None of the information was aggregated. It was difficult to extract insights. And the process was labor-intensive and inefficient. “We tried a number of products along the way such as free programs and some fairly inexpensive solutions that allowed you to do batching manipulations, but the interface was very specialized and basically required a programmer to use it,” said Lorelei Fritsch, Director of Planning and Analysis for Au Bon Pain. “We just recently switched payroll systems. Without Monarch the cash piece would have become an IT development project since we had to get aggregated information over to the new system. Using Monarch for the data collection and formatting helps with reconciliation in Trintech. e greatest benefit is the calculated fields. Without it, IT would have had to design a system and pull data out as well, or script an automatic feed which would have slowed everything down,” added Fritsch. Results Monarch has become an essential tool that Fritsch relies on daily or budgeting, forecasts and reconciliations. It has enabled her team to be much more efficient with their time, extract the information they need quickly and reduce the burden on IT. “When someone throws data at me I go right to Monarch,” said Fritsch. “Without it, it would take me two full days to create and QA a year-long forecast, but with Monarch it takes five minutes.” Au Bon Pain Based in Boston, Au Bon Pain has 300 franchise and independently-owned cafes around the world where people work, live and play. Industry Retail Challenge Prior to using Monarch Au Bon Pain had no efficient way to manipulate the data, aggregate it, or extract business insights without IT’s intervention. Solution Au Bon Pain uses Monarch Complete in the cash reconciliation process, payroll reporting, labor distribution, budget planning and analysis. Benefits Today, Au Bon Pain no longer needs to rely solely on the IT department to extract data. e team can slice and dice, manipulate and aggregate the data themselves as well as glean insights quickly. Results With Monarch, Fritsch is able to produce forecasts in minutes instead of two days which frees up IT staff to do other important tasks. And the ability to extract and manipulate the data herself lets her be more efficient and accurate with her budgets and forecasts.