Edward Tatro, Founder & CEO
Outfox Solutions—the provider of one of the first cloud-based transaction systems—was founded in an era when the cloud was not a common phenomenon among businesses. During that phase, the market did not have much to empower the operating component of restaurants and hotel chains from the technology standpoint. Edward Tatro, the Founder & CEO of Outfox Solutions identified these dynamics of food and beverage space as an opportunity to venture into this sector with a capable cloud-based solution that could help streamline their supply chains and purchase activities. “Our technology has the supply chain capability that can be applied to any industry because we handle everything from forecasting purchase and labor requirements, getting real-time bids from suppliers, confirming delivery, updating inventory and validating invoice receipts and prices against the supplier bids. The whole data that we manage is in food, back office labor, beverage and operating supplies, but our product can be applied to any sector,” explains Tatro.
In an interview with CIO Applications, he goes on to talk about Outfox Solutions’ journey along with its foresightedness to address the clients’ requirements.
Shed some light behind the conception of Outfox Solutions and its initial days.
When we established Outfox, the hospitality supply chain was not as advanced as other industries. Owing to the lack of operations focus, limitations of the traditional client-server environment and absence of efficient business models, the supply chain side of hospitality business operations had been badly neglected.
We considered these factors and started our venture to help companies manage overall operations, improve cash flow, and profitability.
We worked with a particular client in our initial days, which had a clear foresight and also helped us in establishing our product into what it is today. This gave us a brief idea about the product that we were going to develop. Further, to get better visibility into the demands of food and beverage industry, we worked with a couple of independent food chains. It significantly helped us in designing the fundamental framework of our solutions. When we launched our product, we did not have any specific business model to follow and sought the support of industry experts who helped us shape our product so that it could sustain and bring value to the food and beverage industry.
Could you brief us about your clients’ challenges and how do you address them using your product?
Having gained extensive experience of working with startups for more than a decade, I have gathered a lot of knowledge about the issues with supply chains and inventory management. I was aware that the POS terminals, which restaurants used at that time, had limited usage and were not contributing to managing their functions.
Our team members had the foresightedness to realize that the conventional management systems were becoming obsolete and identified that the hotel and restaurant chains used accounting systems but did not have the capability to manage procurement, inventory, menu, and labor requirements. We thus developed a cloud-based supply chain solution that could manage everything.
Please provide detailed insights on your cloud-based solution and its benefits for your clients in the food and beverage industry.
We are the first company to introduce the concept of a market exchange platform that helps compare the pricing of up to twelve suppliers on a single computer and make informed purchase decisions. The suppliers also benefit from this software as they get to offer their products to a large number of potential buyers. With the ‘market exchange’ independent of traditional salespersons price setting, our clients report a decline of about 15 to 20 percent in their expenditures. Additionally, small wholesalers and suppliers also rely on us to manage their warehouses. We also manage the back-end processes of institutions that possess commissaries and central production facilities.
After years of experience in the field, we developed a software solution, which provides efficient administrative and analytical support to our clients. Apart from offering software solutions, we also optimize their supply chains from a business-processing standpoint. Further, the diverse functionalities of our software help the clients in running their businesses from a grass-root level. We also assist in making warehousing and commissary functions more efficient and better controlled. This helps us ensure continuous benefits to our clients throughout their business tenure.
What differentiates Outfox from its competitors and what are the company’s plans for the next few years?
Our team employs specialists who have experience in managing multiple operations and addressing day-to-day complexities of the food and beverage entities. We leverage their insights in terms of real-time market trends and build far-sighted functionalities. These regular innovations help us in predicting the demands of our clients and offer solutions that go beyond the general market trends. We are now looking forward to optimizing the businesses of larger enterprises that have been using obsolete technologies. These enterprises can cut their costs by adopting our cloud-based solutions.