Inspire Brands Inc. Project Management

Project management is defined as a systemized approach to defining, organizing, planning, monitoring and controlling projects.  In order for a project to be run even somewhat efficiently, these key aspects of project management must be present.  Unfortunately, even if all of these aspects are run well within a project, not everything will be perfect and there will likely be some setbacks.

In the era of technology that we live in, some projects have been taken over by algorithms and robots, and I wouldn’t be shocked if this trend continued.  But most projects still require human labor in order to be executed.  Before any project is started there must be people in place that are capable of doing the job.  This is an important part of any project in order for anything to get done.

A lot of people like to focus on the tasks within a project and the final goal, but it is interesting to look at what group or team is being set to take on the task.  I was fortunate enough this past summer to be included in the expansion plans of the company I worked for.  Witnessing all of the moving parts of organizing and planning was great experience and makes me think about what goes on within other projects when I see them.

Recently, Arby’s acquired Buffalo Wild Wings for about $2.9billion, but this is only the start of a much bigger project.  Executives have created Inspire Brands Inc., which will now oversee Arby’s and the newly purchased Buffalo Wild Wings.  Inspire Brands Inc. will look into many more acquisitions across different sectors to create a different kind of restaurant experience.

Merging the two restaurant chains and trying to turn around Buffalo Wild Wings’ struggling financials are already big projects, but looking to acquire even more pieces to this greater puzzle will make everything even more complex.  Taking the right steps in managing this project will be important moving forward to make sure that each acquisition is a smart one.

Some aspects of managing this big project can go back to the fundamentals of project management.  Inspire has already defined what its plan is moving forward, but now the firm will have to get the right people into place in order to organize, plan, monitor, and control all of its future moves.

In a project as big as this one, there are some things that might be important to consider.  After seeing a small-scale expansion this past summer and the challenges that came along with it, I can’t help but think of the challenges that might be faced during this much larger project.  Consider what some challenges might be moving forward for Inspire and what some options may be to help improve how the project could be managed.

 

Links:

http://www.mcall.com/business/retail/mc-biz-arbys-buffalo-wild-wings-20180205-story.html

https://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/arbys-ceo-were-not-done-buying-brands-after-bww

9 thoughts on “Inspire Brands Inc. Project Management

  • February 8, 2018 at 8:33 am
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    Matt, this is an interesting topic. Acquisitions like these happen often in the business world, and it will be interesting to study this one from a project management perspective. In my opinion, Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are very different company’s looking to satisfy different customer demands. While Arby’s, and Inspire Brands as a whole, will have an outside perspective and look to steer Buffalo Wild Wings in the right direction, it will be interesting to see how it changes. I think it will be important for Buffalo Wild Wings to maintain its identity as a sports bar, whereas a switch to a fast food restaurant like Arby’s would, in my opinion, be unsuccessful. I will be interested to see what changes Inspire Brands makes to Buffalo Wild Wings.

  • February 8, 2018 at 12:21 am
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    Matt, after reading your post, I couldn’t stop myself from reminiscing about the strategies for change and, specifically, process re-engineering. It’s clear that Buffalo Wild Wings needed to shake things up due to their struggling financial situation, but it was Arby’s who made a really smart move by acquiring the struggling company. I absolutely love the food at Buffalo Wild Wings, but some things like their service definitely have some room to grow. This is an incredibly large project for the new Inspire Brands Inc. to undertake, but if they can accurately pinpoint the problems, plan diligently for them, and effectively manage risk and control performance, this could turn out to be a very lucrative purchase for them.

  • February 7, 2018 at 11:46 pm
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    Matt,

    Great topic. One of my favorite types of business are large acquisitions by large firms. It is something that is obviously not only complicated, but something that must be perfectly planned out before the acquisition. An investment as large as this one means that financial analysts and planners have worked tirelessly to decide whether or not this acquisition would be beneficial to them. Not only that, but they also have some ideas that the company they are buying have not thought of themselves.

    I think one of the most instrumental parts of this type of project is hiring some of the most creative and intelligent minds to take on a task as large as this one. It requires ingenious thinking, outside the box, to produce a financially and sustainable outcome. The market place is competitive, and no matter how big your company becomes, there are always minds out there looking to improve upon what you have done.

  • February 7, 2018 at 10:59 pm
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    Matthew, I thought looking at project management from the perspective of the labor force involved was very interesting. From our last class discussion about project management, its easy to think of project management as a very systematic way of controlling each decision. While this is true, it is also important to remember the human aspect of how businesses operate and deal with problems.

    I think the case of Inspire Brands is especially interesting considering that they are acquiring two companies that have already existed on their own. Each company has their own way of implementing new processes, completing projects, and navigating the day to day tasks related to the jobs each employee is in. The parent company, Inspire Brands, might have difficulties in creating a unified approach to how its employees tackle company related problems. In their case, they might invest in company and employee training to ensure that each employee is successfully fulfilling what the parent company wants. With that being said, I think companies like Inspire should weigh the costs and benefits between conducting employee training or implementing full-scale automation of certain areas of their business.

    • February 7, 2018 at 11:52 pm
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      Jessica,

      I think your thoughts on Inspire Brands, Inc. having difficulties in creating a unified approach to company issues are interesting and definitely relevant to a newly-merged company. That in itself is a project that needs to be managed carefully using the steps we talked about in lecture, especially the last two steps of monitoring and controlling. If they choose to change up their employee training and responses to company problems in a big way, monitoring and controlling the unified training project is a must. It would also be important for a project like this to allow some slack in the budget and time, given that there could be potential issues logistically or with employees.

  • February 7, 2018 at 10:02 pm
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    Matt, your post detailing the acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings, one of my favorite restaurants, got me thinking about project management from a different perspective. As you mentioned, Arby’s did not only acquired Buffalo Wild Wings, they created an entirely new company, Inspire Brands, Inc. to manage both the restaurant chains. The newly formed company has plans to expand and acquire more restaurant chains, which requires fundamentally different processes than running a single establishment. This approach obviously means that the processes and supply chains will be a more challenging to manage and more complex because multiple restaurant chains are now in the mix.

    You mentioned that some jobs are being replaced by robots and computer algorithms, but argue that most jobs still need human labor to be executed. While I agree that human labor is necessary now, I think that as more and more businesses embrace computer automation, human labor will become less important. Specifically concerning Arby’s acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings and the formation of Inspire Brands, Inc., automation of project management could potentially be extremely helpful in cutting costs, allocating resources, and maximizing profits. The more restaurant chains Inspire Brands, Inc. acquires and incorporates into their business, the more complex their business processes and operations will be. Computer algorithms could potentially be very integral to their project management operations in the face of increasing diversity of restaurant and general complexity.

    • February 7, 2018 at 11:11 pm
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      Jake,

      I agree with your point that as Inspire Brands begins to acquire more brands, they might turn to computer algorithms. With each restaurant or store being a reflection of the parent brand, it is important that they reflect it in the best way. When the company begins to grow, it might be nearly impossible for higher level management to personally ensure the compliance of the company’s standards at ever lower level. Especially in the restaurant industry, companies want to create the best possible dining experience for their customers. In these cases, automating certain procedures and implementing various computer algorithms is a way for the company to monitor at each level, find room for improvements, and ultimately implement things that result in higher performance.

  • February 7, 2018 at 7:16 pm
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    Matt, thanks for your post. I had no idea until you posted this that Buffalo Wild Wings had been acquired by Arby’s. I know Arby’s has a relatively successful campaign strategy as of late with their “We have the meats” ads, but I did not picture Arby’s as the type of brand that would seek such an acquisition. This is interesting. However, I completely agree with you that it will be interesting to see what steps are taken in order to successfully implement and manage this project. I can attest to the complexity of managing such a project. I am currently working for a company that is undergoing a project implementation in the form of a rebrand. This company is not nearly as large as Buffalo Wild Wings, but there are still so many elements that need to be structured, documented, and controlled. Buffalo Wild Wings is a brand that exists across the country and is a huge chain as far as casual sports bars are concerned. Yet, it will be important for Arby’s to manage this project well, since Buffalo Wild Wings does have financial issues. According to an article published by The Street, Buffalo Wild Wings is grossly overpriced in the eyes of the consumer (I have thought this before). Additionally, costs have been increasing while sales are decreasing. Lastly, Buffalo Wild Wings has not been meeting promised goals, which is an issue. This is going to be a massive project to manage for the Arby’s team, and I’m interested to see what happens. This will be further complicated by the “Inspire Brands Inc.” project that the company is working towards.
    https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/14030440/1/buffalo-wild-wings-is-dealing-with-3-big-problems.html

    • February 7, 2018 at 8:02 pm
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      Hi Kyle, I enjoyed reading your comment. I too was unaware that Buffalo Wild Wings had been acquired by Arby’s until reading Matt’s post. It will be interesting to see where this partnership goes and I think Arby’s has three choices in this situation. First, Arby’s could keep Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings completely separate from one another and not change the business model or strategy for Buffalo Wild Wings. The second option, they could keep Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings separate but update the business model, positioning, and strategy for Buffalo Wild Wings. Lastly, they could merge Arby’s with Buffalo Wild Wings into a completely new, unique restaurant concept combining concepts and ideas from the original two restaurants. It will be interesting to watch how Arby’s chooses to move forward and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for any articles and updates!

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