After an exhaustive search for a more efficient way to manage their leasing data, they took a chance on new technology – and it paid off. Today, Nando’s is a highly-recognisable global company. It all started in South Africa, where the desire of two locals to bring the tastes of Portugal to their home country resulted in the opening of the first Nando’s store. Fast forward 30 years and Nando’s in South Africa has 280 locations operating across the country.
In early 2014, the Head of Nando’s South Africa visited Australia and had the opportunity to experience how Nando’s Australia managed its lease portfolio. What he saw impressed him, and he immediately referred the system to his team back in South Africa. That system was MRI’s. Even though this was a completely new product to the South African market, convincing stakeholders to implement it for Nando’s South Africa was not an issue.
Whilst an impressive portfolio, Nando’s discovered that the challenges of managing their retail outlets were growing as quickly as the business. Primarily as a result of managing all their lease data manually via spreadsheets.
Although Excel provided an easy tool, it proved to be insufficient when it came to:
- Accessing data remotely
- Tracking critical lease dates
- Maintaining accurate data
- Real time business and performance reporting
The problems of using Excel were accentuated by:
- • An ever-increasing number of new staff
- Geographic expansion of the portfolio
- Changing lease accounting requirements
- Tighter legal requirements
- Increased corporate governance
After managing their lease portfolio via multiple spreadsheets since the very beginning, both the staff and the business were feeling the strain of such manual processes
Drain on productivity
Nando’s manual processes were born out of necessity, not strategy. The absence of a management system that could cater for the specific needs resulted in such inefficient processes as:
- Tedious manual data entry & management
- No centralised access across the team
- Increased risk of payment errors
- Significant wasted time tracking critical lease expiries
- Human error and inaccurate reporting
Leasing Manager, Sibu Mkhonza, was Nando’s go-to contact for all leasing information – meaning much of his time was spent answering queries, instead of looking after the leases.
Nando’s weren’t oblivious to the problem that their management processes where causing. In fact, they’d been investigating options to improve their system for a long time.
However, there was nothing they could find that offered the capabilities that they needed, ‘out of the box’ – all that was available was software catering to landlords rather than tenants.
Anyone who needed information on any property data would have to phone me to look it up for them. This was extremely time consuming and disruptive
– Sibu Mkhonza, Leasing Manager
Searching far and wide for a solution
In early 2014, the Head of Nando’s South Africa visited Australia and had the opportunity to experience how Nando’s Australia managed its lease portfolio.
What he saw impressed him, and he immediately referred the system to his team back in South Africa.
That system was MRI’s. Even though this was a completely new product to the South African market, convincing stakeholders to implement it for Nando’s South Africa was not an issue,
It was one of the easiest pitches we have had in a long time. Everyone knew what we needed, and agreed MRI had the perfect solution
– Sibu Mkhonza
Taking the time to get it right
Due to the manual records and the sheer amount ofproperty information, the data migration process was important to get right. With close to 300 hard copy lease agreements to transfer into MRI Software, it was quite a task – but it was well worth the investment of time to ensure that all data was transferred correctly. The MRI Software team worked closely with Nando’s to ensure the whole migration process was as simple as possible and the data accuracy was very high.
Within two weeks, Nando’s had MRI Software up and running and the Team started to see the benefits immediately. Since implementing the core system, Nando’s have seen significant improvements in their ability to manage their leases.
They haven’t missed an option
Since Nando’s started using MRI Software in early 2015, they have not missed an option or a lease expiry as the system provides built-in notifications and easy cloudbased access to leasing data
They have a centralised property information hub
All of Nando’s leasing data can now be accessed anywhere, anytime, with just an electronic device and an Internet connection. Property and operations managers no longer have to go through multiple hierarchy levels to get their request for information sent to the head office. They have immediate access in the palm of their hand, allowing them to retrieve data while they’re in the store or on the road.
The team has unrestricted access
There’s no bottleneck to accessing lease data anymore – employees can find what they need when they need it, even those from other departments. There’s no charge for additional users, and custom access levels can be easily assigned to ensure data security.
They’ve saved significant time
Perhaps the greatest improvement is the time Nando’s have saved. The user friendly solution has provided them with mobile access, streamlined reporting and clearer visibility of their property portfolio. Therefore, staff no longer waste time on tedious lease administration and productivity has increased.
MRI Software freed up a lot of time, specifically for myself as I no longer had to constantly look up information for the rest of the staff. It was almost like we freed up an extra employee.
– Sibu Mkhonza
With the core MRI Software contract management functionality fully implemented into the business, Nando’s are now exploring further ways to generate even more productivity gains through the additional optional modules.
Nando’s have future plans to add on the LEFinancials module, to integrate and automate the processing of property invoices and payments. Also under consideration is the LECompliance module, built to provide customers with automated and detailed reporting that is compliant with the new IFRS16 lease accounting standards.
Having undertaken the full journey, Nando’s South Africa now knows first-hand the benefits of implementing a lease management solution purpose built for retail tenants.
And their advice to others? “If you don’t have a system, get one. If you do, ask yourself, is it designed for landlords or tenants?
– Sibu Mkhonza