Punch's daily cash returns digitised and automated allowing greater governance and transparency

Pubs go digital with Appian; Procensol

    • Punch is one of the UK’s leading pub companies. They are a long-term user of the Appian digital transformation platform and engaged Appian partner Procensol in early 2016 when they needed to extend the capability of their in-house Appian development team.

      Procensol was pleased to be able to support Punch with their Appian enabled digital transformation, and in particular the modernisation and digitisation of its Daily Cash Records management process. Being able to provide local, skilled, senior Appian practitioners who can quickly understand a client’s needs is often important, particularly when a client needs immediate support.

      Punch understands the need for strong business management and robust systems and processes to enable them to focus on staying ahead of evolving consumer tastes.   They operate in a market that is heavily regulated, has experienced significant change in terms of legislation and competition, and that is heavily at the whim of consumer preferences.  Automation and digitisation of key processes such as the Daily Cash Records management process that Procensol developed in Appian allows Punch to gain greater governance and visibility of trade within its pubs.

      Until the process was digitised, reconciliation was manual, somewhat cumbersome, and data was siloed. The Daily Cash Return project means that data is no longer siloed, and that Punch has near real-time transparency into income and expenses for hundreds of pubs nationwide.  The new operating format also enables Punch the ability to scale, meaning the application can be rolled out to properties as required.

      A little more about the Punch Appian Implementation by Procensol

      Rapid deployment: Procensol was approached by Punch in early 2016 and quickly translated the Punch  business requirements into the development scope for the Daily Cash Return development project, which would allow Procensol to deliver in less than 10 weeks.  Procensol’s Chris Stevens, an accredited Appian A-Score consultant, was the lead designer on the project.  Chris was responsible for the design and development of the application and adopted Agile project methods to manage the planning of sprints and releases in order to meet the delivery deadline.

      According to Punch’s Head of Business Support, Chris Mountjoy, “Chris at Procensol made the scoping and development work feel effortless. He got to work quickly to understand the Punch business processes/ ways of working to ensure he fully understood what we needed and as importantly why. Procensol adopted an agile “build, test, deploy” approach which enabled a quality solution to be delivered at pace and crucially within budget. This was our first engagement with Procensol and, having used them again since, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

      The project went into pilot in July 2016 with just 5 sites, growing rapidly to 7 sites in August, 54 in September, 120 in Octpber , 137 in November, 151 in December and 192 today.

      With ePos integration at a trading session level, the application provides visibility of expected cash on site and banking’s, machine float movements, cash payments from float and their approval. This enables automatic postings into Punch’s accounting system, JD Edwards and automated alerts where cash variances require investigation. This means the finance team can focus on highlighted exceptions rather than routine transactions.

      “Without the rapid development of our Appian solution, working with Procensol, we would not have been able to scale the number of Retail Contracts as rapidly without a significant increase in head count,” added Mountjoy

      Intuitive User Experience with Simple User Interface: The development made extensive use of Appian’s dynamic SAIL forms to provide a rich user interface that guides the user through completing a submission.  A simple, intuitive user experience was critical to ensure seamless transition from spreadsheets to using the new application.  The main users of the application are publicans whose primary role is operating their pub(s) and so the less time and effort they need to spend learning how to use a new application, the better.   Also well received by the user base was the use of Appian ‘Sites’ capability which allows Punch to control and simplify the user experience.

      A little more about being a Pub operator in the UK

      According to IBISWorld[i], legislative, social and economic trends have all negatively affected industry revenue and profit performance. Despite a stronger consumer backdrop in recent years, increases in beer duty, declining alcohol consumption and competition from cheap supermarket alcohol have weighed on many operators. Furthermore, industry players have been pinched by the rising prices of beverages and food, higher rent costs and increased business rates.

      The pub market in the UK has estimated annual sales of around £22 billion and despite the challenges noted above operators who set themselves up to quickly respond to evolving market conditions and have the technology and business processes in place to help them deliver great customer experiences and value are the ones who will be successful.

      Learn more about Procensol’s Appian development services practice:

      View a video interview with Punch Taverns by Appian:

      Source: [i] Pubs & Bars Market Research Report | SIC I56.302 | Jun 2017

  • About the Author


    Procensol is recognised by major enterprise clients worldwide as a leader in building process-centric solutions for Business Process Management, Digital Transformation and Innovation.

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