Thinque Systems Corporation, a provider of e-customer relationship management and mobile field force automation solutions, announced April 24 that CKE Restaurants, Inc. has selected Thinque’s Merchandising Sales Portfolio (MSP) program to further automate and enhance CKE’s quality assurance program for its Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain.

CKE will utilize Thinque’s MSP software solution to automate the reporting process for food safety and quality assurance inspections for the 914 Carl’s Jr. locations in the United States. Thinque’s MSP product was one of the first applications of its kind to run on low-cost Windows CE devices. MSP is a powerful data collection application that offers a robust feature set within an intuitive and easy-to-learn user interface.

“We chose Thinque’s MSP program because we can reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and generate a competitive advantage with their technology. MSP will enable us to decrease our operational expenses by providing us with real-time information and the ability to produce audit reports faster, providing better information to our restaurants,” stated Greg Stanton, food safety and quality assurance manager for CKE.

The program replaces handwritten paper-based systems that take days to process and are difficult to extract trend and pertinent information. “Merchandising Sales Portfolio allows the users to stay connected regardless of the environment and provides an effective and flexible way for the field-based inspectors, management and franchisees to have access to real-time, actionable data,” comments Bridget Karlin, chairman and co-founder of Thinque Systems.

Merchandising Sales Portfolio (MSP) is an easy-to-use, Web-enabled solution that automates field-based, in-store data collection, manages the field force, customer service and quality assurance efforts and performs market analysis to optimize merchandising. The sophisticated web-based architecture allows management and mobile field force users to create and edit call reports, tasks and objectives anywhere and on any platform. Management can instantly view reports anytime with the use of a conventional Web browser. Using MSP, management can create tasks, objectives, build and assign call reports to specific representatives and territories via a Web browser. A field user can access call schedules and complete call reports via a browser. Merchandising Sales Portfolio’s Web-based interface delivers a powerful, collaborative channel for real-time data analysis and stronger customer relationships.

In addition to the core Web-based program, MSP has three additional modules. The Region Manager module offers a multi-tier hierarchy to efficiently manage and adjust territories for customers and sales representatives. With this multi-tier regional management capability, detailed reporting enables the user to coordinate with various levels of customer-specific and region-specific activity, as well as the ability to adjust service coverage according to customer needs within a geographic segment. The Call Report Builder module has an enhanced feature set that permits users to create Multiple-Choice questions. Additionally, the user has the option of editing any of the elements within a call report and have it automatically updated using the Dynamic Questionnaire feature.

MSP has a flexible architecture that supports both a client/server and nomadic environments with access to the application provided via the Web or interactive voice response (IVR). The client/server version communicates to an SQL database via TCP/IP or wireless connection. MSP’s robust functionality allows the user to operate from any platform: Microsoft¨ Windows CE, palm, pen-based devices or notebook computers. MSP’s optional IVR module, Merchandising Sales Portfolio Touch-Tone, allows field reps to enter data for call reports using a touch-tone telephone instead of connecting to the Internet.

CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, franchisees and licensees, operates more than 3,800 quick-service restaurants, including 934 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in 13 Western states and Mexico; 2,788 Hardee’s restaurants in 34 states and 11 countries and 122 Taco Bueno restaurants in Texas and Oklahoma.

Thinque Systems Corporation develops and markets wireless, mobile electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) and field force automation (FFA) software solutions to the Global 2000. Thinque’s solutions are designed to support the specific requirements of the mobile field force. Thinque’s unique and sophisticated activity-based programs automate recurring business processes. Thinque’s enterprise synchronization/data warehousing features enable companies to cost-effectively connect with their mobile workers facilitating faster time to market and improved business processes. Thinque supports Microsoft¨ Pocket PC and Windows CE-based devices, palm, pen, laptop, and desktop computers, thin clients, IVR and wireless mobile computers. In addition, Thinque software is available through its ASP service, offering customers a cost-effective, quick-to-implement solution. For more information call 1-877-Thinque or visit our Web site at