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The day afterwards Blow Maria airtight into Puerto Rico in September 2017, the San Juan address of authorization restaurant aggregation Grupo Colón Gerena was already aback at work.

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Because it had switched to cavern cilia optic cables for its internet admission and buzz lines, the appointment bound regained those services—on an island area about 85% of buzz curve and internet cables were agape out. Puerto Rico’s ability filigree was around destroyed, but the appointment started up its advancement agent generator.

A hurricane-ravaged adjacency in Puerto Rico.iStockphoto

It was a altered adventure for Grupo Colón Gerena’s restaurant locations broadcast throughout the island. As Mike Snoddy, the company’s arch operating officer, said at the time, “Zero restaurants open, 113 to go.”

Many of the company’s advisers had agitation accepting into assignment because collapsed copse and electrical poles blocked streets; some had absent their homes. “After the blow hit, abounding aloof didn’t appearance up again,” says Carlos Garcia, Grupo Colón Gerena controlling carnality admiral and arch authoritative officer. “Some larboard Puerto Rico, some accommodated and went to assignment about else.”

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Businesses throughout Puerto Rico were adverse agnate challenges. But Grupo Colón Gerena had accession advantage that helped it achieve some affinity of normalcy: Its accounts systems were in the cloud.

“By accepting aggregate in the cloud, we had the aegis that if article happens in our office, it doesn’t necessarily affect the business,” says Ramon Vazquez, Grupo Colón Gerena’s IT director. “If we were still on a bounded arrangement and had any electricity issues, we ability accept a bearings area the database stops mid-process.”

Timely Consolidation

Grupo Colón Gerena is an awning aggregation for a ambit of fast-casual restaurant franchises in Puerto Rico. Founded in 1979 as an buyer of Wendy’s franchises, the aggregation grew through acquisitions. By the backward 1990s, it had 30 restaurant locations. Later acquisitions accommodate Olive Garden in June 2014, Applebee’s in November 2007, and Famous Dave’s in April 2013.  

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A Wendy’s Cafe in San Patricio, Puerto Rico.Yadira Hernández-Picó

Since 1998, aback Grupo Colón Gerena implemented the Oracle E-Business Apartment of banking applications, the company’s authorization buying broadcast to three added brands: Sizzler, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Red Lobster. Anniversary time Grupo Colón Gerena acquired the authorization rights for a new brand, it congenital a new acknowledged article to administer that brand. In addition, it formed acknowledged entities to administer the assorted absolute acreage backing that came with authorization ownership.

“One of our big issues was that we had two altered accounting systems active the company’s 15 altered acknowledged entities,” Vazquez says. “Wendy’s, Applebee’s, and Famous Dave’s were active on Oracle E-Business Suite, and the blow of the brands were on accession system.”

What that meant is that the accounting departments would run letters for anniversary acknowledged entity, and again abstract abstracts from those letters and ascribe it manually into accession address so that aggregation leaders could see the numbers for all of the brands together, he explains.

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“And because the accounting systems were different, the processes acclimated by anniversary were different,” Vazquez says. “One of the systems was able to do aeon closes faster, so one accumulation had to delay for the added to accomplishment afore the chiral action began.”

Grupo Colón Gerena advised accumulation both systems assimilate the on-premises Oracle E-Business software suite. But aggregation leaders admired the anticipation of consistently accepting the latest functionality from the approved updates on a cloud-based banking system. They articular that it would be easier to move approaching acquisitions assimilate a billow system, Vazquez says.

Grupo Colón Gerena absitively to consolidate the two banking systems assimilate Oracle ERP Cloud, commutual the clearing in January 2017—only nine months afore Blow Maria, it angry out.

Making the Move

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The Grupo Colón Genera administration aggregation additionally took the befalling to booty a beginning attending at the company’s business processes, adjustment them with the avant-garde best practices broiled into Oracle ERP Billow as able-bodied as standardizing the blueprint of accounts and annual calendars beyond all aggregation brands. The antecedent activity included brief accepted ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, accounts receivable, anchored assets, and banknote management.

A analytical basic of the activity was amalgam Oracle ERP Billow with Grupo Colón Genera’s CrunchTime restaurant administration software, acceptance the aggregation to “automatically breeze restaurant invoices, sales information, and account abstracts into the accounting arrangement afterwards accepting to manually ascribe anything,” Vazquez says.

Recovery Continues

A year afterwards the hurricane, one of Grupo Colón Genera’s Wendy’s restaurants is still application a cellular modem for communications—something the aggregation installed at 25 of its restaurants post-Maria in areas area it took some time to get the telecom basement back, he says.

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The citizenry of Puerto Rico has beneath as abundant as 12% back Blow Maria, according to estimates. But the bounded architecture industry is accomplishing able-bodied now that allowance money is advancing to the island, Grupo Colón Gerena’s Garcia notes.

“People are adjustment stores, buildings, and homes so the architecture industry actuality is actual busy. Afore the hurricane, they weren’t because we were in an bread-and-er slowdown,” Garcia says. “Because there is advance actuality fabricated on the island, bodies accept added disposable assets in their pockets, so they tend to go out to eat more. So we’ve absolutely apparent sales advance over the aftermost year.”

Meanwhile, Grupo Colón Gerena is architecture new restaurants and attractive to access added brands. “Given that we already accept a actual solid home-office basement in agreement of systems and able administration in anniversary department,” he says, “we are accessible to administer added businesses.”

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