Headquartered in Dubai, Cravia is one of the fastest growing food and beverage (F&B) organizations in the region. With different brands and chains in its portfolio, Cravia needed to centralize its business processes and operations on a single platform. It streamlined its financial records and achieved more supply chain efficiencies by implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Finance and Operations. Using Microsoft Power platform, Cravia also boosted its workflow efficiency and data visibility. With reduced manual processes, human error, and dependencies, the company now has more freedom to grow.
Since 2001, Cravia has served excellent food and offered world-class hospitality services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It serves millions through franchises of chains such as Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and others. “Cravia is focused on only one thing: providing high-quality food to our customers,” says Fahd Nazir, CIO at Cravia.
In 2021, Cravia was managing the different chains independently. This resulted in multiple challenges to manage finances, supply chain, and inventories, which slowed down processes across brands and offices. The team didn’t have sufficient visibility of procurement and human resources, making it challenging for management to track inventory and other resources or events. Lack of automation and business inefficiencies made scaling up a challenge, particularly when the demand for Cravia’s brands rose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We already had an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in place, but it was not centralized. Different servers were producing different reports for various teams, and we had to recompile them,” says Nazir. “This took a lot of time. It was also important to have the necessary information readily available for all employees, especially those in our head office.”
Towards more centralization
“Because it’s all in one environment, we have better control, and the IT department can easily manage our processes.”
“When we were deciding which ERP solution to choose, I was leaning towards Microsoft because it’s a brand I have trusted for 20 years. Microsoft also offered a comprehensive solution for what we needed and a smooth implementation process,” explains Nazir. Cravia implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management with the help of Microsoft Gold Partner, Business Experts Gulf.
Everything from payroll to recipe management and procurement to customer loyalty is now processed and automated in one system. “Because it’s all in one environment, we have better control, and the IT department can easily manage our processes. We also save time on handling our finances and supply chain and reducing human error, thanks to automation,” says Nazir. “I’ve found the system easy to use, scalable, and secure.” Cravia also updated its standard operating procedures, relying on Microsoft collaboration tools such as the vendor portal. “We are already seeing increased efficiency in processes such as payables, payments and production. This allows our accountants to spend a decent portion of their time on data analysis which in the past would have been spent on entry,” adds Syed Adeel Ahmed, Group Financial Controller at Cravia.
“Gaining access to real-time data is a game-changer. Once we have more visibility, we can optimize our operations to produce more savings.”
Furthermore, the team can now access real-time data with Power BI, enabling them to be more agile and flexible in solving issues and minimizing losses. “Gaining access to real-time data is a game-changer. Once we have more visibility, we can optimize our operations to produce more savings,” says Nazir. “We have centralized all our processes which has provided visibility on our end-to-end workflow. Now that our data is traceable, we can identify exceptions in a timely manner and create more accountability for individual tasks,” adds Ahmed.
Equipped for growth
Having a centralized system has also set up Cravia for seamless business growth in new locations. “We have full control of our resources and operations in new locations, making it easy to create a guided environment where new teams can access only specific systems. Since we integrated our customer relationship management (CRM) software with Outlook on Microsoft 365, creating new users or giving them access has been straightforward.”
With Microsoft 365, Cravia can more easily access files and emails. This facilitates seamless handovers between teams when taking over work. “We don’t need to learn everything about a project’s background beforehand because anyone can easily access files and information online. This smooth continuity has also been a game-changer for me,” says Nazir.
Partnering for the future
“We see our partnership with Business Experts Gulf and Microsoft as a long-term strategic investment that makes Cravia a technology enabled restaurant operator.”
As Cravia continues to serve customers in new locations, the team looks to leverage more Microsoft solutions. “We’re still only using 20 percent of the features available—there’s more to explore,” shares Nazir. “In the future, we will be looking to rely on Microsoft’s point of sales services. Currently, we have 40 virtual machines hosted on Azure and are migrating most of our services to Azure to generate better business continuity, data security and reliability,” explains Nazir. “We will completely integrate our sales and our human resource solutions in the system,” adds Ahmed. “We see our partnership with Business Experts Gulf and Microsoft as a long-term strategic investment that makes Cravia a technology enabled restaurant operator.”
For further success, Cravia hopes to continue its partnership with Microsoft in the years to come. “Microsoft Dynamics 365 has become part of our DNA. There are many new brands and countries in the pipeline. And wherever we go, Dynamics 365 will go with us,” he concludes.