Article Published: September 23, 2015
Article Published: September 23, 2015
By Michelle Szemanski, The Hardware Store
There’s a gamble behind every slice of pizza. Restaurant chains provide the food, the brands and the deals that consumers love, but also have to keep pace with customer expectations regardless of rising food costs or unpredictable wrinkles in the supply chain. When customers demand burgers on the dollar while the costs of beef, grains, and vegetables keep going up, restaurants are pressured from both sides to save the profit margin and please everyone.
And the biggest mistake restaurants make is thinking that a new promotion will solve the problem, or that they can make up for shortfalls or overstock by scrambling to reorganize resources.
Recognizing that the need for holistic supply-chain software was more critical than most companies even knew, Samarth Sarthi founded SCA Technologies in 1999. Led by Sarthi, a local entrepreneur with deep experience in food manufacturing and restaurants, the original team of four worked out of a small apartment in Shadyside, developing the software faster than the fledgling startup could find an office.
Within months, the team doubled in size and jumped to a new location in Oakland. Their first customer, McDonald’s, saw the value in their ideas and seized on their creativity before the rest of the industry was awake to the problem. SCA’s growth hasn’t slowed down since.
SCA Technologies provides a farm-to-fork analytic software platform called SCA Planner™ that gives users complete insight into the entire sourcing process and coordinates people at every milestone to collaborate for mutual success. They can evaluate every resource at their fingertips and source better product (fresh, local, sustainable), compare costs and suppliers, assess capacity, and jointly manage a lot of the risk. Because SCA Planner operates on objective data captured from the entire supply chain, the fact-based approach cuts out a lot of trial and error.
“Restaurant supply chains need to accelerate to the speed of business. They cannot afford to work in silos with fragmented information and inconsistent assumptions across different departments,” said Vishy Visweswaran, Chief Technology Officer at SCA. “SCA Planner fills a critical need today. It has allowed our clients to evaluate trade-offs across their supply chain in real-time and make smarter decisions based on reliable information across the supply chain with increased visibility.”
Visweswaran also added that SCA Planner is a user-friendly tool, with an intuitive interface and logical functionality. Clients don’t need a computer science degree to run the programs, or to rely on SCA for every analysis. Instead, SCA focuses on identifying the right build for each company and setting them up to succeed. The company offers SCA Planner as a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SAAS), making its technology rapidly adaptable, modular and scalable. Clients don’t need to wait for on-site installations or updates after the initial implementation, enabling SCA to make quick and painless updates overnight as needed without interrupting workflow.
SCA’s work certainly has an advantage over competitors, because it doesn’t really have any competitors. The company’s rapid growth from its founding to today rests on its unique solution to the inherent risk in food and foodservice industries. That unique technology was recently recognized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, who named SCA Technologies as a finalist for its Tech 50 Awards in the category of Technology Business Product of the Year.
From grocery stores to restaurants, and even to food manufacturers, consumer demand presents unrelenting pressure, and yet still changes like the wind. The answer isn’t to drive promotions even harder or hire a psychic to pick consumers’ brains. SCA software takes a difficult balancing act and allows companies to work smarter and respond quickly to fluctuations in supply or demand. While helping to protect and grow revenue, SCA Technologies restores confidence and empowers clients to run a better business, with better odds for success.