• The Art of Pitching: Is it Overrated - or Essential?

    Pitching… that thing we force notoriously introverted geeks to do for funding. The main idea is that an entrepreneur — unless his name is Elon Musk or Tony Stark — has limited resources and needs the financial support of pockets that are substantially deeper than his own.

  • What to Expect: New Changes Coming to Lease Accounting Standards

    The upcoming revision to lease accounting standards was one of the topics discussed by the HFTP Hotel Advisory Council in their February 2018 meeting. The surprising conclusion from the council: The hotel industry in general is not prepared for the changes, and there is no viable off-the-shelf software that any of the members were aware of that would assist with the accounting for the new standard.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

    This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

    The HFTP Americas Research Center has developed example job descriptions for club accounting positions. The process involved reviewing sample job descriptions, and compiling the information into standardized job descriptions.

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RateGain Announces "Lightning Refresh" feature on their Hospitality Rate Shopper Solution

RateGain ·25 April 2018
London, UK, 25 April, 2018: RateGain Technologies, a leader in hospitality and travel technology solutions, today announced the launch of a key feature, 'Lightning Refresh' to its premier rate shopper solution, Optima, that would allow hotels to refresh and receive the real-time competitor rates at the click of a button. The availability of the most updated rates, which would get reflected in the user's rate calendar in less than 30 seconds, would serve as a key input for hoteliers while developing an effective pricing strategy.With the growing competition and a hyper-dynamic market, hotels need to change their prices multiple times in a day to stay ahead of their competition. This necessitates the need for having a minute-by-minute market pulse and competitive intelligence. Using this advanced feature would not only help hotels adopt dynamic pricing but will also transform them from batch-based data processing to real-time data acquisition and actionable insights, resulting in a measurable impact on hotel's bottom line.According to Dr. Anand Medepalli, RateGain's Chief Product Officer, early feedback on this feature has been overwhelmingly positive and users feel on the top of their data needs. "We are very proud at the launch of the 'Lightning Refresh' functionality on our rate shopping tool, Optima, enabling our hotel partners to refresh rates from the OTAs in a matter of seconds. In this ever dynamic world, access to up to data could mean the difference between winning and losing," continued Dr. Medepalli.RateGain launched Optima in October 2016, as a solution to provide comprehensive rate-intelligence to hotels by tracking more than 500+ OTAs, meta-search sites, GDS, brand sites & mobile apps and more than 900,000+ rooms type data. In a very short time, Optima has established itself as a market leader, helping hotels across the globe leverage the power of price intelligence and maintain rate parity across all channels.For further details, please contact:RateGain:Enzo Aita, Global Head - Hospitality Marketing| enzo.aita@rategain.comAditi Bhandari, Senior Manager Marketing| aditi.bhandari@rategain.com------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptances of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments.
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ProfitSword Experiences Unprecedented Growth in First Quarter of 2018

ProfitSword ·24 April 2018
ProfitSword, a leading developer of business intelligence and data integration software for the hotel industry, announces the addition of 126 properties from six hotel management companies to its current roster of hospitality customers during the first quarter of 2018. These numbers represent a 74 percent increase in growth rate over the prior year's sales pace, positioning ProfitSword as a leading provider in hospitality data management, as it continues to experience strong company growth in the hotel sector."Data integration is continuously evolving and has become a top priority for efficient hotel management. Hoteliers continue to adopt new technology systems and solutions that require the use of effective data management and integration tools to get the most out of their data," says Colin Findley, VP of business development at ProfitSword. "We develop and deliver exceptional data management and finance management solutions to all of our clients, and strive to ensure that the most effective management tools are available to streamline their hotel operations."Providing the hospitality industry with a comprehensive suite of software applications dedicated to efficient and effective data management and integration, ProfitSword's platform consists of ProfitSage, ProfitWizard, ProfitPace and ProfitPlan. These cost-effective tools are specifically designed to help business professionals better manage their data for faster and more well-informed decision making, as well as detailed reporting.A solution developed to effectively manage sales data, ProfitPace allows businesses to efficiently monitor sales team efforts to ensure that the company is on track to achieve individual and company sales goals. It also allows for the comparison of sales pace to forecast, budget, prior years and same time last year trends. ProfitSage provides hoteliers with a user-friendly tool that integrates with standard business operation platforms for data collection and management. Using ProfitPlan, hoteliers can incorporate stylized report templates to produce several types of reports required to manage daily tasks and information. ProfitSword's data analysis tool, ProfitWizard, combines business intelligence, decision support, performance management and ad-hoc reporting for efficient analysis of data."We ended 2017 strong with revenue growth nearly 20 percent over 2016. However, with such a successful Q1 in 2018 and a pipeline that is expanding daily, we are excited to see where the rest of the year takes us," adds Findley. "We continue to grow our market share in the hospitality industry around the globe due to our innovative software systems aimed at making data, operational and financial management easier and more efficient for everyone involved."For more information on ProfitSword's portfolio of business intelligence optimization tools, please visit www.profitsword.com.
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Groups360 Finds Hoteliers and Planners Are Both Exploring Technology Solutions

Groups360 ·24 April 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Following the free trial period of its GroupSync application, Groups360 has uncovered industry-specific needs based on technology use, suggesting that the industry is looking for a better way to source and book meetings with more information up front."It's a time of change in the meetings industry. When we opened our doors for a sneak peek of our technology solution, we expected our users to skew toward meeting planners. Instead, we found hoteliers made nearly half of trial users," said Groups360 CEO Kemp Gallineau. "To us, this shows all parties in the industry are looking for technology solutions in this increasingly complex marketplace that can help drive efficiencies. With better information and more qualified leads, we may be able to cut costs across the board."Of those who accessed the software during the trial period, 100 percent of users went through the sourcing process, utilizing GroupSync smart search tool to find available properties, but only 20 percent went on to generating RFPs. With so many users spending their time on market screening, it became clear that sourcing remains a significant challenge in the current marketplace."Among meeting planners, the vast majority of their time and activity was centered on sourcing markets and venues, indicating to us that the choice of destination or particular brand location wasn't an automatic decision," said Gallineau. "While many planners currently choose the same property or brand for every meeting, this may be because the hotel brand only shows properties where they're looking to fill vacancies, or perhaps an intermediary has a relationship that adds bias and determines the properties they recommend, especially in light of commission changes. With an unbiased tool, our trial period users were able to see the reality of the pool of available properties that meet their event needs."During the free trial period, 50% of users spent most of their time reviewing market information--including anticipated future rates and average group occupancy--as well as 39% viewing hotel property detail and incentive pages, reinforcing the current lack of information for both meeting planners and hoteliers to make the best decision when it comes to sourcing and booking.To learn more about Groups360 or to take advantage of the GroupSync suite of tools, visit www.groups360.com.
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MDM Hotel Group Adds Aptech's Execuvue Business Intelligence System to its Suite of Financial Tools

Aptech ·17 April 2018
PITTSBURGH -- Aptech Computer Systems announced Miami-based MDM Hotel Group implemented the Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence System to automate data gathering, performance reporting and analysis for its portfolio of hotels. MDM is a respected developer that operates full service Marriott and independent properties and commercial businesses in South Florida. Aptech is the leading provider of business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "MDM Group is a dynamic operator that is literally revitalizing much of South Florida. Marriott International awarded MDM its 2016 Partnership Circle Award for being the top owner and franchise company. Aptech congratulates MDM Group's management and property teams for their effort and is grateful to be a MDM technology provider." MDM utilizes Aptech's full suite of financial hotel software solutions. In addition to selecting Aptech's Execuvue Business Intelligence System, MDM Group also employs Aptech's Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and Enterprise Back Office Accounting for its five hotels.MDM Hotel Group owns and operates some of Miami's most renowned hotel properties including the JW Marriott Marquis Miami in the heart of downtown, Hotel Beaux Arts Miami, JW Marriott Miami on Brickell Avenue, the Miami Marriott Dadeland, Courtyard Miami Dadeland as well as the planned Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center currently under development.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry.About MDM GroupFounded in 1990, MDM Group's vision has been driven by a desire to bring the highest quality amenities and brands to underserved urban markets including what is the neighborhood around Dadeland Mall, Brickell Avenue and most recently, Miami's downtown core. Soon it will embark on another game changing project, the development of the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center within the Miami Worldcenter project in the Park West area of downtown Miami. For more information visit www.mdmusa.com.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
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GDPR: A primer for everyone in travel

Flip.to Blog·16 April 2018
GDPR. It’s a regulation that, in just over a month, will have a huge impact for marketers everywhere. While building compliance into our platform, we’ve gotten a ton of questions as to why it’s important, and how we’re handling the shift. To help, we’re raising awareness industry-wide with a primer on how it affects all of us in travel.
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VENZA presents the GDPR Readiness Survey

Venza Group ·10 April 2018
Daniel Johnson, Partner/Co-founder of VENZA, designed this survey to assess the level of compliance and awareness of organizations in the hospitality industry. Questions not only cover basic demographics, such as country and organizational size but also measure concern about fines and expenditures for compliance and gauge awareness about individual articles that impact the hospitality industry. This survey also identifies the level of urgency among organizations, if any, before this regulation goes into effect.Daniel brings to this survey extensive knowledge of the GDPR, having just co-chaired the HTNG GDPR Work Group, through which approximately 50 industry colleagues produced a hospitality-focused GDPR white paper and an accompanying self-assessment tool. These materials will provide organizations within the hospitality industry significant assistance in their preparation for the GDPR. Daniel also helped to architect hotel data flow charts as a member of the HFTP GDPR HDPO Task Force. These flowcharts illustrate data flow scenarios for the guest journey, third parties that provide hospitality services, and more.With numerous keynote speaking engagements already completed for this year, Daniel has had many opportunities to ask hoteliers about their GDPR preparedness. What will VENZA's confidential survey reveal about these same hoteliers and their level of concern for protecting European data subjects? Find out by taking part in this survey and reading the results in the summer edition of Hospitality Upgrade Magazine!The survey will be available from April 9-30, 2018. Participants will not be required to provide their names to take part in the survey, so all answers will remain confidential. Please click this link now to participate.Upon completion of the survey find out more about GDPR at these webinars scheduled for two sessions daily on April seventeenth and eighteenth with times for both Eastern Standard Time and Central European Time. You can access specific times and register for webinars by going to www.venzagroup.com/event/. All webinars will have a question and answer session at the end to help clarify any of the material covered. No two webinar sessions will be identical, so feel free to sign up for multiple sessions.About VENZADrawing on decades of experience, VENZA can help organizations mitigate their data security vulnerabilities and ensure compliance, keeping guests and their data safe from breaches. By delivering a security solution for readiness, reassurance and response, VENZA offers 360-degree visibility for proactive management of risks--so users can focus on guest service and building trust in their brand. Better visibility means better defense. Know the risks, protect the enterprise with VENZA.More than 100+ countries look to VENZA for tools, technology, and strategic security support. Founded in 2008, VENZA is a privately held company, headquartered in Roswell, GA. For more information, please call 770.685.6500 or visit VENZAgroup.com.
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VENZA presents free GDPR Essentials Webinars

Venza Group ·29 March 2018
With the May 25, 2018, deadline for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) quickly approaching VENZA is hosting four free webinars for the hospitality industry. Daniel Johnson, Partner/Co-founder will be guiding you through key aspects of the regulation and how GDPR impacts hoteliers who either solicit bookings from Europe-based persons ("data subjects") or who monitor their behavior.The coming enforcement of Europe's data protection law, demands that both hoteliers and their information system partners take a hard look at how guest data is processed. Roles determine responsibilities. Responsibilities convey obligations. Failures to meet obligations carry consequences.Earlier this month, Johnson co-chaired HTNG's GDPR Work Group consisting of around 50 industry colleagues to produce a hospitality-focused GDPR white paper with an accompanying self-assessment tool. These materials help the industry prepare for the GDPR. Also, as a member of the HFTP GDPR HDPO Task Force, Daniel helped architect hotel guest data flow charts. This set of flowcharts illustrate data flow scenarios, involving parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more.The webinars are scheduled for two sessions daily on April fourth, seventeenth and eighteenth with times for both Eastern Standard Time and Central European Time. You can access specific times and register for webinars by going to www.venzagroup.com/event/. All webinars will have a question and answer session at the end to help clarify any of the material covered. No two webinar sessions will be identical, so feel free to sign up for multiple sessions.Find out how GDPR will impact your organization before the upcoming May deadline by registering for a free webinar.About VENZADrawing on decades of experience, VENZA can help organizations mitigate their data security vulnerabilities and ensure compliance, keeping guests and their data safe from breaches. By delivering a security solution for readiness, reassurance and response, VENZA offers 360-degree visibility for proactive management of risks--so users can focus on guest service and building trust in their brand. Better visibility means better defense. Know the risks, protect the enterprise with VENZA.More than 10,000 organizations in 100+ countries look to VENZA for tools, technology, and strategic security support. Founded in 2008, VENZA is a privately held company, headquartered in Roswell, GA. For more information, please call 770.685.6500 or visit VENZAgroup.com.About GDPR Essentials Powered by VENZA and facilitated by our approved coaches, GDPR Essentials informs your GDPR task force and aligns them to the tools and documents they need for compliance.Coaching Clinics cover vital topics, both legal and technical. Conducted over multiple sessions, each Clinic affords participants practical, hands-on guidance from a GDPR expert.Small-group formats foster peer-to-peer sharing and serve as a cost-effective solution for organizations adverse to expensive, one-on-one consulting fees.Topics include:Revising legal agreements (i.e. MSAs, SLAs)Revising data processing agreementsData mapping and risk identificationThe mechanics of consent managementDesignating a Data Protection Officer (DPO)And many more...Post-Clinic, custom Field Guides serve as practical and invaluable DIY resources. Documentation Platform A repository of indispensable documents and templates such as:Checklists and ToolsDocumentsPoliciesDIY! -- Users can customize the documents.Program CoordinationSuccessfully addressing the GDPR's legal, technical, and operational requirements demands organizational coordination. The VENZA Customer Success Team helps with schedules, reminders, and communications.
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Top 4 Ways to Negate the Effects of the New OTA Accounting Standards

HEBS Digital ·26 March 2018
The new accounting standards require the entity designated as the principal in the sales transaction to record the revenue on a gross basis. The principal controls the good or service before that good or service is transferred to the customer. In the current hotel - OTA relationship, the hotel is the principal, since it is the entity responsible for providing accommodations to the guest. The price of the hotel room sold by the OTAs is determined and enforced by the hotel via rate parity clauses in the agreements with the OTAs, so that the OTAs do not take any inventory risks.These new standards stem from The Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) revised guidelines for recording revenue. A private, non-profit organization, FASB is the ultimate accounting standard setting institution in the United States. Its primary purpose is to establish and improve generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) within the United States in the public's interest. The FASB's Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 606 contains these new revenue recognition standards, effective 1 January 2018 for public companies, and no later than 31 December 2019 for all other companies. The new accounting guidelines clarify how revenue should be recognized for goods and services. Additionally, the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Financial Management Committee has followed suit and issued guidance on the new revenue recognition standards' effect on the hotel industry. The Financial Management Committee, too, has provided a modification to the Uniform System of Accounts (USALI) related to gross versus net revenue accounting, incorporating the new revenue recognition standards.How is OTA revenue being recognized today?There are two prevailing OTA business models that affect how revenues are being recognized at the present:Agency/Retail Model: The guest reserves the hotel with the OTA but pays at the hotel. This is the traditional travel agency commission model: the hotel collects the face value of the reservation (room rate + local taxes), recognizes this gross amount as revenue, and pays the OTA a commission, which is recorded as COGS (Cost of Goods Sold). The new standards will not affect this agency model.Merchant Model: The guest both reserves and pays for hotel accommodations with the OTA. In turn, the OTA deducts its commission from the gross amount collected and pays the hotel the net amount (room rate minus commission). The hotel recognizes this net amount as revenue, and the OTA commission does not get recorded as COGS and in any way in the hotel's profit and loss (P&L). Currently, recognizing revenue from the OTAs as "net" inevitably lowers ADRs and RevPARs, but the true effect remains "hidden," since net OTA revenue is bundled with gross revenue (direct and OTA). The new standards call for the "gross" OTA revenue to be recognized in the property P&L and not the net as it is done currently, and the commission collected from the OTAs to be recognized as COGS. How will the new OTA revenue recognition standards affect the industry?The new OTA recognition standards will have a negative impact on hotels that are overly reliant on the OTA Merchant Model. This will result in:Recognition of higher COGSHigher franchise fees under the current franchise agreement model, where fees are calculated as percentage from the gross room revenueHigher management fees under the current agreement structuresLocal taxes such as occupancy and room taxes, CVB marketing contributions, etc., which are typically calculated as percentage from the gross room revenueUltimately, lower profitabilityAll of this will impact properties and lead to an increased recognition of their reliance on OTAs, since all of the OTA commissions (agency/retail and merchant) will be reflected as COGS in the property's P&L. Why higher distribution costs are detrimental to any hotelAs one of the main cost drivers for properties, distribution costs have been rising steadily over the last six years. This is due to OTAs increasing market share by over 40%, in comparison to hotel direct bookings (Kalibri Labs). Now, adding the OTA commissions from OTA Merchant Model bookings to the COGS line item in the property P&L will show the true cost of OTA distribution; this will generate a number of issues for managers, leading to difficult conversations with ownership.With the exception of distribution costs, hoteliers have very little leverage over the six main cost drivers in hotel operations:Labor CostsDebt ServiceFranchise FeesReal Estate TaxesUtilitiesDistribution CostsThe importance of these cost drivers varies, and largely depends on the size of the hotel, condition of the physical plant, whether the property is branded or independent, amount of debt, and geographic location. However, distribution costs have been rising at a rapid pace across all properties.What can hoteliers do to soften the negative P&L impact of the new OTA revenue recognition standards? The new OTA revenue recognition standards will force hoteliers to finally take OTA distribution costs seriously. There is only one approach to lowering OTA distribution costs: Invest smartly in the property's direct booking strategy and focus on shifting share from the OTAs to the direct channel.Across HEBS Digital's hotel client portfolio, the average direct booking distribution cost is 4.5%, including website cost amortized over 36 months, full-service digital marketing costs (SEM, SEO, online media and retargeting, social media, email marketing, smart data marketing), consulting and strategy services. Compare this to an average OTA commission for independent properties of 18%-25%.Here are the most important action steps for hoteliers to consider:1. Adopt a "Direct is Always Better" Top-Down StrategyAdopt a company-wide "Direct is Always Better" strategy with the primary goal of generating more direct online bookings and shifting share from the OTAs to the direct channel. Without such a strategy, the property ends up with under-staffed and under-budgeted direct online marketing efforts, bandwidth and focus.Who at the property "owns" the website and its results and performance? Whose salaries and bonuses are determined by the website's revenue and ROI? Who is incentivized when the market share needle is moved from OTAs to direct online bookings? Most properties and hotel companies do not have clear responsibilities and incentives assigned to direct online channel production, resulting in a very muddled --but convenient for some--picture of channel contribution, ADRs, and distribution costs.When the property embraces a "Direct is Always Better" strategy, the on-property team sets a primary goal of generating as many bookings as possible via the direct online channel, by far the most profitable channel today. The team can then work together to seize market share from the OTAs as a united front. A comprehensive strategy should include direct booking share benchmarks and objectives, employee responsibilities, performance compensation tie-ins and bonuses, guest "book direct" value adds, and more.Educating the property staff that direct guests are the best guests and empowering them to be responsible corporate citizens are key steps to the overall strategy. "The Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of direct guests is far greater than CLV of guests acquired via OTA," confirms Michael Harris, VP of Ledgestone Hospitality, LLC. "Direct guests' average length of stay is greater, net profit is better, therefore CLV is also bound to be greater."2. Start Treating Direct Online Distribution Costs as... Distribution Costs:Currently, direct online bookings and their distribution costs come from the Sales & Marketing Budget, a line item in the property budget.Take into consideration Scenario A:An online travel consumer comes to the hotel website, likes the property location, product and services, but finds a better rate on Expedia and books there. The distribution cost is either not reflected in the P&L at all if this is a merchant booking, or goes under COGS/Travel Agency Commissions in the case of an agency booking. The COGS line item is rarely scrutinized, and has practically no budgetary limitation. On the contrary, any increase in the COGS line item puts a dent into G&A expenses, which limits direct distribution even further. This "unlimited commission potential" allows OTA bookings to grow unrestrained by the property budget, at the expense of direct online bookings.In Scenario B, this same online travel consumer comes to the hotel website, likes the property location, product and services, likes the rate and its inclusion of a unique value-add, and books there. The distribution cost (the prorated website and digital marketing expense required to engage, bring in and convert this travel consumer) comes out of the Sales & Marketing line item, part of the G&A expenses of the P&L, which is severely restricted and often subject to budget cuts.Same travel consumer, same booking dates, entirely different treatment of the distribution costs. Note the contradiction: The most cost-effective bookings--from the direct online channel at an average distribution cost (CoS) of 4.5%--are severely restricted by the property's sales and marketing budget, while the most expensive bookings--from the OTAs, with distribution costs of 18%-25%--are allowed exponential growth.The Sales & Marketing line item in the property budget for many properties also includes payroll for the sales and marketing staff. Why is that? "Pure" online advertising/marketing expenses necessary for generating direct online bookings should be separate from the payroll for sales and marketing personnel. Likewise, the Revenue Management team payroll should not be included in COGS/Travel Agent Commissions, but rather in the overall Payroll Expenses. Unless the property has a Digital Marketing Manager, fully dedicated to generating revenues via the hotel website and digital marketing, payroll for the sales and marketing staff should be treated as labor costs and made part of the general labor cost line item of the property budget.If we separate the actual advertising/marketing expenses, the majority of which now go to digital, it is very easy to determine the cost per direct booking (digital advertising/marketing expenses/website bookings) and easily compare this to the OTA distribution cost. Recognizing direct distribution costs as COGS will supplement the property's ability to adequately fund direct online channel efforts, boost bookings via the property website, and drastically decrease OTA dependency. Lowering overall distribution costs will allow the property to fund payroll and staff empowerment, renovations and product/services improvements, invest in human resources, and add a hefty chunk to the bottom line.3. Invest in Direct Booking-Generating Digital Marketing and TechnologyEndemic under-investing in direct online booking-generating technology and digital marketing has led to OTAs gaining 40% of the market share over the past five years.Have you visited your own property website lately? How did you feel about the experience? Have you visited your website via mobile and been frustrated by poor usability and download speeds? Did you know that according to Google, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load? When was the last time you ran a multichannel digital marketing campaign for your hotel? Are you engaging your past and future guests via smart data marketing, programmatic advertising and dynamic rate marketing?To achieve a level of real success and lessen dependence on the OTAs, hoteliers must invest adequately in the correct website and digital technology and marketing techniques to engage past, present, and future guests and drive direct bookings throughout the entire path to purchase.HEBS Digital has a comprehensive whitepaper on the subject. The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning is available for download and provides hoteliers with a concrete roadmap to jumpstart the property's direct bookings and guide its digital marketing and distribution strategy throughout the year. With so many moving pieces in a hotel's digital budget--enhancing the property website, revenue-generating technology, smart data marketing--it's important to create a strong plan that is realistic and aligned with your business goals.4. Adopt an Effective Merchandising Strategy to "Sell on Value" Vs. "Sell on Rate"The commoditization of the hotel product, in which hotels are forced to compete with the OTAs strictly based on rate, leaves hotels little opportunity to communicate the value of the hotel product to potential guests. The OTAs have mastered the "sell on rate" game, and hoteliers have little chance of winning this battle. To combat this, hoteliers need to re-learn how to "sell on value" as opposed to "sell on rate," and need to adopt an effective website merchandising strategy.The direct online channel offers limitless opportunities for the hotelier to present the hotel product and value proposition directly to the online travel consumer. A strong merchandising strategy is centered on communicating the unique features of the property (hotel services, meeting and event space, the latest promotions and special offers, local attractions, and more) and focuses less on the rate alone. A strong website merchandising strategy allows the hotel to showcase merchandising content on the prime real estate of the website--front and center of the visitor's attention--and personalize relevant content based on the user.Implementing a strong website merchandising strategy will maximize room bookings and revenue on the property website, generate group leads and RFPs, sell and promote the hotel services (dining, spa, etc.), engage and convert potential customers, and more. ConclusionThe new accounting standards for OTA revenue recognition call for the "gross" OTA Merchant Model revenue to be recognized and not the "net" as it is done currently, and the merchant commission collected from the OTAs to be recognized as COGS in the property P&L. These new standards will have the biggest impact on hotels that are reliant on the OTA Merchant Model and will result in lower profitability due to higher COGS, higher fees which contractually are calculated as percentage from the gross room revenue: franchise fees, management fees, etc., higher local taxes such as occupancy and room taxes, CVB marketing contributions, etc.In light of these new OTA revenue recognition accounting standards, lowering distribution costs by increasing direct bookings and shifting share from the OTAs should become the top priority for the hospitality industry in 2018. Direct bookings' distribution costs average around 4.5% (HEBS Digital client portfolio) versus OTA distribution costs of 18%-25%.How can hoteliers achieve that?By adopting a company-wide "Direct is Always Better" Strategy with the primary goal of generating more direct online bookings and shifting share from the OTAs.By recognizing direct distribution costs as COGS in the property P&L - in exactly the same way as OTA commissions, thus helping to adequately fund direct online channel efforts, boost bookings via the property website and reduce OTA dependency.By adequately investing in website and digital technology and marketing techniques to engage past, present and future guests and drive direct bookings.By adopting an effective merchandising strategy to "sell on value" versus "sell on rate," a strategy centered on communicating the unique features of the property (hotel services, meeting and event space, the latest promotions and special offers, local attractions, and more).
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Agilysys Participates in HTNG Whitepaper on GDPR

Agilysys ·22 March 2018
ALPHARETTA, GA. -- Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced the release of an HTNG whitepaper on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Stephen Clay, Product Manager, represented Agilysys in the workgroup assembled to discuss the GDPR and its impact on the hospitality industry. The workgroup was coordinated by Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a global not-for-profit trade association.The GDPR is a law governing personal data, and it will be enforced starting May 2018. The aim of the law is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world. The extended jurisdiction of the GDPR will have an especially big impact on the business world, as the law will apply to all companies processing personal data of EU citizens regardless of the company's location. Failure to understand and comply with the GDPR may result in additional risks and significant financial penalties.The "GDPR for Hospitality" workgroup has met regularly since its establishment last year, to discuss the impact that the GDPR will inevitably have on the hospitality industry around the world. The aim of the group was to provide guidance for hospitality chains, trading partners and vendors to navigate the pitfalls associated with compliance to the updated law."Agilysys is passionate about personal data security and we work to make it as simple as possible for our customers and other industry professionals to comply with these new regulations," said Stephen Clay, Product Manager at Agilysys. "I'm confident that the workgroup's whitepaper on GDPR provides the information and direction that hospitality industry professionals need in order to prepare and adapt to compliance with the new regulations."HTNG is an industry association promoting collaboration and partnership among hospitality professionals and technology providers, to foster the development of next-generation solutions that will enable them to do business globally in the 21st century. The association is run by IT executives from 22 leading hospitality companies with the support of industry participants and partners.If you are an Agilysys customer and wish to obtain a copy of the GDPR whitepaper, please reach out to your account manager or contact our Sales department at +1 (877) 369 6208.About AgilysysAgilysys is a leading technology company that provides innovative software and services for point-of-sale (POS), property management (PMS), reservation and table management, inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management, and mobile and wireless solutions exclusively to the hospitality industry. Our products and services allow operators to streamline operations, improve efficiency and understand customer needs across their properties to deliver a superior overall guest experience. The result is improved guest loyalty, growth in wallet share and increased revenue as they connect and transact with their guests based upon a single integrated view of individual preferences and interactions. We serve four major market sectors: Gaming, both corporate and tribal; Hotels, Resorts and Cruise; Corporate Foodservice Management; and Restaurants, Universities, Stadia and Healthcare.Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, visit www.agilysys.com.# # #PR Contacts:MediaRobert Shecterle, Agilysys, Inc., 770-810-6046,Robert.Shecterle@agilysys.comInvestorsRichard Land, Norberto Aja or Jim Leahy, JCIR, 212-835-8500,agys@jcir.com
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Nor1 Welcomes Hospitality Industry Veteran Stuart Derricott as Director of Business Development, UK and Ireland to Expand and Strengthen Client and Industry Relationships in the Region

Nor1 ·20 March 2018
"I am very excited to be working with Nor1's amazingly versatile product suite and great team of dedicated professionals" said Stuart Derricott, Director of Business Development, UK and Ireland. "I'm eager to expand the partnerships with our existing client base and help new clients realize how dramatically the Nor1 Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform can increase revenue and guest satisfaction for their properties."Mr. Derricott most recently held positions as VP Global Sales in the Connectivity and Channel Management sectors of the Hospitality Industry and previously had an extensive career in senior management roles in the Retail Supply sector. Mr. Derricott holds a degree in Business Management and has gained many years of experience in Sales and Marketing though developing the UK market for both Multinational and Startup businesses."We are very pleased and excited to welcome Stuart to the Nor1 Team," said Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder and CEO. "We are confident that his knowledge, leadership ability and variety of experience in the Hospitality Industry and Hospitality Technology Sales will not only be a great asset to Nor1 by expanding adoption of the Nor1 Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform throughout the UK and Ireland, but also to hoteliers in the region by helping them maximize revenue, enhance guest satisfaction and create operation efficiencies at their properties."About Nor1, Inc. Nor1, Inc. is the leader in hospitality merchandising technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, with offices in Germany, Mexico, Singapore and India, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions to maximize incremental revenues for hotels and resorts worldwide such as Hilton, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, and Wyndham. Nor1's patented, dynamic decisions intelligence engine PRiME, powers Nor1's Merchandising Platform including its signature eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, and eReach products.Nor1 is creating the fusion between technology and guest experience. It's that combination of expertise and skill that have set Nor1 apart and continues to attract technology's most distinguished investors such as Concur Technologies, Goldman Sachs and Accel Partners. For more information, please visit www.nor1.com.
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Panache Management, LLC Selects Aptech Business Intelligence and Enterprise Back Office

Aptech · 6 March 2018
PITTSBURGH -- Aptech Computer Systems announced that Panache Management, LLC selected Aptech's Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence and PVNG Enterprise Accounting Systems. Panache will implement the solutions to streamline property data gathering, performance analysis, and centralize financial reporting for its eight hotels. Panache Management, LLC manages hotel brands with equity-interest. Its portfolio includes Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice, and boutique hotels.Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.Ed Ghanami, President of Panache Management, LLC said, "Aptech's systems are excellent compared to other systems we evaluated. Execuvue is more advanced at performance analysis and operational reporting. We will add properties in the future and Aptech's systems will easily support our expansion."Panache Management, LLC focuses on unique strategies for each property it operates. "Our management style is performance-driven," Ghanami said. "We look at guest feedback, revenue, and expense trends every day. We set specific goals through budgeting, market share strategies, and guest experience initiatives for each key result area. Aptech's PVNG accounting system and Execuvue allow us the opportunity to optimize performance and maximize profitability."Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "Panache Management, LLC is successful because it operates its properties by the numbers. The Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems delivered the numbers and analysis Panache's executive team looked for to extend their portfolio's success."Panache Management, LLC provides its leadership teams with relevant and timely reports to increase revenue, reduce operating expenses, and manage variances in advance in each profit center. "Because of Aptech systems' ease of use and functionality our team members are more engaged in analyzing cost and evaluating financial performance at a glance. This, combined with our operational expertise, enables our hotels to be profitable and market leaders. We do our job right." Ghanami said.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. About Panache Management, LLCPanache Management, LLC has been operating exceptional hotels in the South for many years. The company operates hotels under major brands. Panache Management, LLC is expanding its operations with a new full-service project in Fort Worth, Texas, and an extended stay hotel in Lafayette, Louisiana. The company's success based on its friendly employees, personal atmospheres, convenient locations, and cleanliness of its facilities.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
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Duetto Closes $80 Million Series D Financing Round Led By Warburg Pincus

Duetto ·15 February 2018
Duetto was founded in 2012 by CEO Patrick Bosworth, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Marco Benvenuti and Chief Technology Officer Craig Weissman, the former CTO at Salesforce.com. The company's flagship software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, GameChanger, brought machine learning, new consumer-centric data and the breakthrough innovation of Open Pricing to the industry, enabling hotel companies to independently price all distribution channels, customer segments, room types and stay dates in real time. Duetto, headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in Las Vegas, Cleveland, London and Singapore, has quickly grown to serve more than 2,500 hotels and casinos in more than 60 countries. Those customers have consistently outperformed the market, beating their competition's rate of revenue growth by more than 6.5% since the launch of the company."As the pace of change has accelerated and the threats of digital disruption have grown, so have our efforts to help this industry we are so passionate about. We are pleased to have the support of Warburg Pincus, whose extensive experience in building SaaS businesses of scale will help drive our growth and provide solutions to more hoteliers worldwide," said Patrick Bosworth, co-founder and CEO of Duetto. "For more than a decade, hotel companies have been looking for ways to compete more effectively with online travel agencies and drive more direct business. By unifying data across the tech stack, our platform has become the single source capable of delivering true personalization to consumers. Hoteliers now have the ability to increase conversion and drive more direct engagement with consumers by personalizing pricing and merchandising at the point of booking.""Duetto has established itself as the market leader in the hotel revenue management space, providing its customers with next-generation solutions to optimize demand, maximize rates and minimize costs," said Ashutosh Somani, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus. "With its strong domain experience and deep cloud SaaS technology leadership, Duetto is uniquely positioned to bring new capabilities to the hospitality industry. We look forward to supporting Patrick and the Duetto leadership team in their next chapter of growth."Duetto's Revenue Strategy Platform brings together all core technologies and data to make them accessible through multitenant cloud architecture using AWS and MongoDB, enabling future innovations and new applications. The company's intelligent reporting application ScoreBoard forecasts and analyzes performance, delivering key insights to stakeholders across the organization. BlockBuster brings Open Pricing to contracted group business and enhances collaboration between the sales and revenue management teams. PlayMaker, the industry's first application to personalize the booking experience in real time, customizes merchandising content and offers for known and unknown guests."We want to modernize ecommerce in the hotel industry with our Revenue Strategy Platform at the center of the new hotel tech stack," said Marco Benvenuti, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Duetto. "Our cloud platform is open and agnostic and we look forward to partnering with other technology companies to unlock new ways of driving efficiencies and more revenue for the hotelier. With our agile development process, we will continually improve our core applications while looking to develop new products when there is a crucial industry need not being served."ABOUT WARBURG PINCUSWarburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $44 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm's active portfolio of more than 150 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 17 private equity funds which have invested more than $60 billion in over 800 companies in more than 40 countries. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Mauritius, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information please visit www.warburgpincus.com.
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The Countdown to GDPR is here. Is the MICE industry doing enough?

Cvent ·12 February 2018
The Countdown to GDPR is here, but is the MICE industry in UK and the rest of Europe doing enough? Recently Cvent held a webinar for more than 2,000 MICE executives - attached please see a copy of the presentation for your information.
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Urgo Hotels & Resorts Selects Aptech's Enterprise Financial Systems for 42 Properties

Aptech · 8 February 2018
PITTSBURGH -- Aptech Computer Systems announced Urgo Hotels & Resorts selected its Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting and PVNG Enterprise Accounting Systems. Aptech will automate data gathering, performance reporting and analysis, and accounting for Urgo's portfolio of properties. Aptech is the leading provider of business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."We ran an extensive system evaluation process that explored many options. Aptech had the best products and services for our hotel company," said Kevin Urgo principal of Urgo Hotels & Resorts. "Urgo and Aptech are family businesses that share similar values and corporate cultures of service. They have a great team. I would recommend Aptech to any hotel company, large or small."Urgo Hotels & Resorts develops, owns and operates hotels and resorts and provides third-party management, asset management services, development, and acquisition services. It operates independent properties as well as hotels and resorts under several brands including include Marriott, Hilton, Choice Hotels, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. Urgo Hotels & Resorts currently operates 42 properties with approximately 12 properties in development.Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president said, "Urgo is an American success story. It is a strong, growing hotel company run by family members. As they develop new properties, Aptech is ready to expand with its portfolio. Our goal is to enable Urgo to make profitable business decisions based on accurate performance data."Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Hospitality Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. About Urgo Hotels and Resorts Urgo Hotels is a Bethesda, Maryland-based hotel company that develops, owns and/or operates 42 distinctive and unique hotels and resorts with an aggregate of more than 4,900 rooms in major markets and resorts in the United States and Canada. The company develops, builds and operates for its own account, and provides third-party management and asset management services. For more information about Urgo Hotels and Resorts, please visit www.urgohotels.com.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
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IHIF 2018 Launches the IHIF Hotel Tech Hub

Questex · 7 February 2018
Technology permeates every aspect of the hospitality industry. To reflect this wide spread prevalence and demonstrating their commitment to delivering a relevant and topical event, the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) are launching the IHIF Hotel Tech Hub, new for 2018.The IHIF Hotel Tech Hub will be an immersive space where hotel owners, operators and their partners can gain the tools to understand the latest technology trends and how to use them to grow asset value, improve customer engagement and gain competitive advantage. Over 20 expert speakers will present, debate and live demo the latest technology innovations across the 3-day event.Alexi Khajavi, MD EMEA, Questex Hospitality Group said of the new initiative; "every industry event comprises a significant technology component and that is to be expected in today's high-tech world. However, the IHIF Hotel Tech Hub has been specifically designed to connect investors and owners directly with technology providers and suppliers. Our aim with this initiative is to facilitate meetings, start conversations and ultimately get deals done. I can't stress strongly enough the value of this unique proposition to suppliers and investors alike. This dedicated space will allow technology providers to speak directly to those contracting and implementing technology into hotels."Rom Hendler, Founder and Managing Partner at InnoVel is supporting the IHIF Hotel Tech Hub and said of the new initiative: "The travel industry in general and the hotel industry in particular are in a dire need of innovation and new technology solutions to stay current, efficient and attractive. Many of the technology innovations are already in existence in other industries but fail to transfer to hospitality businesses. One of the main reasons for this is that the decision makers are often leaving critical decisions around technology to their IT leaders and those in many cases are not interested in the "additional work and risks" that come with it. The uniqueness of the IHIF Hotel Tech Hub is that it is exposing the top leaders of the industry to those type of solutions. It is one of the first opportunities where small start-ups or technology providers can meet the owners, the management companies, the brands and even the private equities, all looking for ways to make their businesses more profitable."Continue to follow IHIF on Twitter @IHIF_News and use #IHIF2018 to stay up to date with the latest news from the leading annual meeting place for the industry. Also find us onFacebook, Instagram and join our LinkedIn group for industry insight and discussion.
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Prominent Canadian hotels set to install b4checkin's revolutionary payment software solution

B4checkin · 7 February 2018
b4checkin, Inc., a developer and provider of cloud-based hospitality software solutions, announced today that it is set to implement b4easypost, the industry's first revolutionary online payment and posting software solution, at two prestigious Canadian hotel properties - One King West Hotel & Residences in Toronto, Ontario (http://www.onekingwest.com) and the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, Alberta (http://www.rimrockresort.com).b4easypost, developed by b4checkin, works to provide an online platform for guests and meeting planners to seamlessly make deposits and payments to a hotel, then automatically and securely posts those payments to the property management system (PMS). This eliminates the need for paper credit card authorization forms, which, aside from their inconvenience, are prone to human error and contrary to PCI compliance standards. Additionally, this end-to-end electronic solution significantly reduces credit card chargebacks to the hotel. By facilitating protected e-commerce transactions, there is also a significant cost reduction for hotels."In an age where hotel properties - or any company for that matter - are still dealing with paper-based credit card authorization forms or having to manually post transactions into their PMS and accounting systems, our software is the only fully integrated and PCI-compliant solution," said Saar Fabrikant, President and CEO of b4checkin. "As guests now expect every form of payment to be available to them online with a safe and seamless presentation, there is no reason why all properties shouldn't do their best to uphold strict data security standards without manual work. b4easypost gives hoteliers what they need to propel their businesses forward."The Rimrock and One King West - at 343 rooms and 355 rooms respectively - will join a diverse group of properties globally already benefiting from this unique solution. b4easypost represents the latest in a long line of products built by b4checkin to help hotels streamline operations and improve the guest experience, all while saving on the bottom line."We're excited to have a payment solution that addresses our need for facilitating deposits that were previously done manually with paper based forms," said Trevor Long, the General Manager at The Rimrock Resort Hotel. "Guests prefer to have everything be available online, for ease and clarity. b4easypost will bring us up-to-date with consumer trends and save us money in the process."Specific to these two properties, b4easypost will primarily help to quickly process online guest payments without the need for a reservations agent to manually process these transfers, thereby significantly reducing the manhours required to handle these tasks. Both of these contracted installations are a direct result of b4checkin's completion of an Oracle Validated Integration of b4easypost with Oracle Hospitality OPERA, the world's most widely used PMS."Besides its powerful online payment portal capabilities, what intrigues me most about b4easypost is how it will reshape our accounting processes," said Andrea Parkinson, the Controller at One King West Hotel & Residences. "By getting rid of those annoying paper credit card authorization forms, the posting process is faster and we won't be bogged down by chargeback disputes. And then there are the fantastic savings associated with that including labor reductions, lowered transaction fees and almost no printing costs. I wish had this platform years ago!"
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The Clock is Ticking Towards GDPR Compliance; If Your Hotel is Struggling, Beekeeper Can Help

Beekeeper · 1 February 2018
In just a few months, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require every hotel in the world to have guidelines in place that protect European Union (EU) residents' personally identifiable information against security breaches. Any hotel that does not comply after May 25, 2018, is risking heavy fines. Beekeeper, developer of a digital workplace app where operational systems and communication channels live within one secure and intuitive platform, announces that it is already GDPR compliant and its communication platform will protect company data."Our customers' right to privacy and ensuring that their personal data is secure, is Beekeeper's top priority," said Corey McCarthy, Beekeeper head of global marketing. "In April, we appointed Dr. Amir Ameri to the new position of Data Protection Officer, and he assembled a team to make sure every box got checked. A full year before deadline, we began assessing the impact of GDPR on Beekeeper. Today, we are proud to say that we are fully compliant. This was a labor-intensive undertaking, but our scramble is over. Companies still needing assistance can visit Beekeeper's GDPR Hub and follow our journey to compliance here."What Hoteliers Need to KnowHere are nine important facts that hoteliers need to know about GDPR:The GDPR is applicable to all hotels processing EU citizen's personal data, regardless of where it is located.Fines up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater) may be levied in case of repeat and non-compliance to the regulation.EU citizens will have a right to approach the data protection authority of their choice when stating their complaint.Personal Data is defined with a wider scope, including social, mental, genetic, cultural, and economic data.The Right to be Forgotten will have an impact on hotel processes dealing with data collection, such as the purpose for obtaining the data. It will require advanced tools in dealing with search requirements.Privacy Impact Assessments will become mandatory and influence use of Privacy by Design principles to enhance both commercial and in-house developed tools, processes, and products dealing with Personal Data.Concept of Consent is reworked and made more stringent in its utilization.The Data Protection Officer (appointed internally or externally) becomes a mandatory role for any hotel or hotel company, or fines up to 10 million euros or 2% of global turnover may be levied.Incident Management and Notification for a data breach is standardized by the GDPR. A maximum of 72 hours is permissible before reporting becomes obligatory.Voice of Reason"GDPR is a far-reaching regulation and it has no limits to protecting personal data," Ameri said. "As a SaaS offering and recognized data processor, Beekeeper spent the last nine months implementing technical and organizational measures to ensure that our products and services will reduce risk for hoteliers significantly in the digital workplace."Ameri is an accomplished professional with more than 20 years of technical and leadership experience in operational risk management. He specializes in cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy fields in Swiss and international financial and banking sectors. After completing his Ph.D. dissertation in developing a framework for managing technology risks, Ameri completed his Master of Law to better position his understanding of the interaction between technology and legal and regulatory requirements."With the GDPR deadline on the horizon, hoteliers face a sprint of thorough internal evaluations to revamp policies around the collection, storage, or usage of EU resident personal data," Ameri said. "The financial implications of breaching GDPR are astronomical. We recommend mapping all data assets and appointing dedicated Data Protection personnel on a full-time or contract basis to properly oversee the adoption of high-caliber data protection processes and technologies."One of the best ways hoteliers can start their journey to GDPR readiness is by using a secure communications platform that is already compliant. Hoteliers with questions about implementing GDPR best practices should visit Beekeeper's GDPR Hub.
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Evention Processed over $1 Billion in Gratuity Payroll and 3 Million Cash Drops in 2017

Evention LLC ·11 January 2018
In 2017, Evention automated the distribution of more than $1 billion in gratuity, tip, and service charge payroll and reconciled over 3 million cash drops for its hospitality and retail clients across the globe.Tips & Gratuities by Evention, introduced to the market in 2006, manages gratuity distribution for marquee hotel clients in all major hotel brands throughout North America. During 2017, Evention Tips & Gratuities processed over $1 billion in gratuity, tip, and service charge payroll. Evention's web-based gratuity calculation and distribution provides accurate and simple gratuity management, eliminates manual-entry errors and spreadsheets, and streamlines the management process.Evention SecureDrop provides automated cash reconciliation for retail and hospitality clients worldwide, including across North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. In 2017, Evention SecureDrop reconciled over 3 million cash drops across the globe. This web-based software platform integrates Cash Recyclers/Machines, POS cash responsibilities, and Bank Deposits to provide complete automation for cash management, from the point of the cash "drop" through the posting to the general ledger."$1 billion in gratuity payroll, along with 3 million cash drops over the last 12 months are two enormous milestones for Evention," said Mike Baldinger, Co-Founder of Evention. "Our team thanks each of our clients for their trust in Evention to automate and manage these critical daily functions. We are very proud of these 2017 accomplishments, but are absolutely focused on the future and adding further value for our clients. We look forward to 2018 as we roll out more automation in our existing products, as well as launch our new Income Audit and Group Billing solutions."In 2018, Evention plans continued growth for its products, services, and team. Over the course of the coming year, Evention will expand its products to offer Credit Card Reconciliation for the retail and hospitality industries, as well as Group Billing Management for hotels. In addition to this product expansion, Evention's customer base continues to grow. At the beginning of the 2018 year, Evention reached more than1,000 world-wide software installations, which service an array of businesses, including hotels, convention centers, casinos, grocery stores, restaurants, and multiple retail verticals.
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Priceline and Expedia continue to grow but at what cost?

EyeforTravel ·13 December 2017
Both Priceline and Expedia continued to post some impressive growth numbers in their Q3 results, with double digit rises in gross bookings but these increases appear to come at an ever-increasing cost and concern is rising among investors. EyeforTravel's new reports into both Expedia and Priceline finds that investors are right to be concerned as this is a potential weakness for both companies that empowers potential rivals in the form of the main digital advertising giants Facebook and Google.Both companies saw soaring costs in 2016 continue into 2017 and appear to be trapped in a competitive spiral, focusing on matching increases in the other's marketing spend for fear of falling behind. In 2016, Priceline increased its brand advertising spend by 8% and performance advertising by 27%, whilst Expedia saw selling and marketing costs rise by 29%. Through the first three quarters of 2017, marketing spend by Priceline has grown by 22%. In percentage terms this matches a 22% increase in the broader 'selling and marketing' element of Expedia's costs across the same time frame. For the latter, selling and marketing costs now make up more than 55% of the company's overall costs, whilst Priceline's combined selling and advertising costs make up 70% of overall costs..There can be little doubt that the majority of this spend is heading over to Google, with Priceline appearing to be the more reliant on the search giant currently. Around three quarters of search engine traffic to Booking.com is generated via paid advertising, as compared to around half for Expedia. This also comes despite Expedia paying less in advertising than Priceline but is nonetheless a concern for both companies as Google continues to relentlessly but quietly ramp up its travel products.Not only are the two facing pressure from each other and the online travel agency market, but increasing pressure from their suppliers as well, as they try to recapture market share through book direct campaigns. Most of the major chains have initiated these alongside a broader consideration of what loyalty means in the industry. Combine this with a more combative regulatory environment in Europe, with wide price parity agreements being eroded, and what they will get is more competing forces for keywords and users' attention across a wider number of search terms.This has caused ripples on Wall Streets, with analysts focusing in on the growing costs and their effect on the bottom line as profit expectations are missed. After Q3 2017 earnings call for both companies, stocks plummeted, falling nearly 16% for Expedia the day following the call on 27th October and 13% for Priceline on 7th November. For Priceline this mimicked a similar stock drop following the Q2 earnings call, highlighting investor concerns.Investor concern is unlikely to dissipate as these two are reaching such gigantic proportions that their growth is likely to slow naturally anyway and there doesn't seem to be a way out of the marketing spend increases on the near horizon, with search engine marketing critical to their business models. Indeed, currently their ability to outbid almost any other player when required and their vast data regarding search term effectiveness currently makes this arena a competitive advantage for both players.Nonetheless, the question remains, at what cost? It will be critical to continue to monitor marketing spend for both over the coming years to see what the limits of sustainability and effectiveness are. As the competition intensifies across the digital travel space and tech giants eye travelTo preview and buy EyeforTravel's Expedia report, click here, or here for the Priceline report. These are part of the Future of the Online Giants series, which will cover Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor, Ctrip and Google. Keep a look out through EyeforTravel On Demand for the rest of these reports.
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Beekeeper Crisis Communications White Paper to Help Hotels with Non-Desk Workers Establish Best Practices and Foster Preparedness

Beekeeper ·12 December 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- In an ongoing effort to balance hospitality and security, the hotel and lodging industry is uniquely vulnerable to crisis, and notoriously difficult to regulate. The Las Vegas shooting that occurred on October 1, 2017, is a particularly formidable example of how a lighthearted vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Recent hurricanes experienced in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico also had a major impact on the hospitality industry. The same goes for the earthquake that struck Central Mexico in September, and the wildfires that ravaged Northern California in October. This string of events is a mere microcosm of the types of situations that can wreak havoc on any hotel business.To help hotel employees think quickly on their feet in moments of danger or conflict, workforce communication company Beekeeper has released a White Paper designed to help navigate the essential preparation measure hoteliers should engage to ensure cross-organizational readiness in the event of a disaster. "Hotel Crisis Planning and Communications" will explore how internal communications strategies can be optimized by technology. To download the White Paper, which includes tips for accessing vulnerability, mitigating risk, and establishing a hierarchy of communications, click here."The main goal of any hospitality business is to give guests the ultimate experience and make them feel welcome and safe during their stay," said Andrada Paraschiv, Beekeeper Head of Hospitality. "Unfortunately, there are always unpredictable behaviors that can be challenging for hotel employees to manage while upholding their code of hospitality. While hoteliers can't predict the unpredictable, they can have a crisis communications plan in place - especially when emergency communication can be particularly challenging for non-desk workers whose roles do not require or facilitate a constant connection to a traditional email inbox. This disconnection often leaves employees without an easy way to hear organization-wide announcements, coordinate schedule changes, and even get emergency payroll access. During national emergencies, the need for having a reliable, robust, and technologically elastic digital workplace app on board becomes painstakingly obvious."Beekeeper digitizes the non-desk workforce by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform. In a worst-case scenario, an internal communications platform will enable employees to react appropriately and professionally, rather than being taken by surprise.In the event of a natural disaster, violent crime or even a non-violent threat such as fraud or information hacking, knowing how to effectively communicate with first responders is imperative, as well as maintaining a calm and collected attitude when fielding questions from out-of-town guests. This White Paper will help hotels establish a crisis preparation process that will quickly become a best practice.
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Rainmaker Announces Antitrust Clearance from U.S. Department of Justice, Clearing the Way for Completion of Multifamily Assets Sale

The Rainmaker Group ·30 November 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA -- The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, today announced that it has received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice to transition its Rainmaker LRO multifamily housing business and product portfolio to RealPage, Inc., a Richardson, Texas-based global provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry. The company anticipates the transaction closing will take place by the end of 2017.On February 28, 2017, Rainmaker announced the sale of its multifamily housing assets to RealPage, Inc. Completion of the sale allows Rainmaker to further strengthen its position as the leading provider of revenue management solutions for the hospitality and gaming industry."We are pleased to have reached this milestone and wish our multifamily team the very best," said Tammy Farley, president of The Rainmaker Group. "Our multifamily customers will benefit from RealPage's strong software platform and data analytics in the multifamily market. Rainmaker will now focus exclusively on growth and innovation for its hospitality customers. The transition is an absolute win-win."Rainmaker's revenue and profit optimization product suite includes:guestrev, an intuitive and easy-to-use revenue management solution that analyzes total guest value across a hotel or casino property to forecast and price rooms;grouprev an innovative group pricing solution that streamlines the process of responding to group RFPs by analyzing historical data, future demand, and price sensitivity to recommend the best pricing for group business;revcaster, a powerful rate shopping tool that gives hoteliers access to real-time actionable market data, so that rates can be set against the competitive landscape; andrevintel, an intuitive business intelligence solution that improves day-to-day revenue management by mining various data sets and providing deep insights at a granular level."This transaction underscores Rainmaker's longstanding commitment to its hospitality customers," concluded Farley. "The sale will allow us to focus all of our energy and resources on developing the most powerful and flexible revenue and profit optimization solutions in the industry."
commercial

Benbria Announces Distribution Agreement with TaraSpan

Benbria Corporation ·23 November 2017
Ottawa, Canada -- Benbria Corporation, a leader in the area of mobile and text-based customer engagement, today announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with TaraSpan, a leading India-based unified communication solutions provider, to offer Benbria's Loop guest engagement solution throughout the region.TaraSpan will be representing the entire suite of products offered by Benbria - all designed to help deliver a superior customer experience and drive greater overall loyalty. Their Loop Messenger suite is a personalized, one-on-one instant messaging solution that helps build powerful connections between a brand and their customers. Loop OnDemand allows guests to ask for frequently-requested items at the touch of a button, which are then routed to the relevant team members who can take immediate action to fulfill them. Finally, Loop Pulse is their mobile engagement solution that measures customer sentiment and allows you to communicate with and recover those at risk."Messaging with customers in real-time and using this as a gateway for improving their experience is key," said Jordan Parsons, CEO at Benbria. "We developed our Loop guest engagement platform and related software suite, to allow customers to communicate directly with a brand globally, and are very excited to be entering the South Asia market through our new partnership".One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is the continuously evolving expectations of the customer when it comes to access to staff and their preferred method of communication. They expect a business to offer them personalized services and value for their money along with being accessible and quick to deliver upon requests. This is the area where they need to perform extremely well in order to stay ahead of their competition. Savvy customers expect to be able to communicate with a business using their personal mobile device and expect to have their questions and concerns routed to the right person, and answered quickly. This is the challenge Benbria's Loop solution is helping businesses worldwide overcome."We believe in empowering brands by providing them the right technology so customers can have hassle free services, an improved overall experience, and drive loyalty. Benbria has a revolutionary product that is changing the way companies engage with their customers." says Nihar Ranjan Sahoo - MD, TaraSpan.Indian businesses can learn more about the Benbria suite of guest engagement solutions by speaking with their TaraSpan representative, visiting their Website at www.taraspan.com, or by visiting Benbria's global site at www.benbria.com.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in the area of mobile and text customer engagement, helping the world's greatest retail, hospitality, and restaurant brands to deliver a superior customer experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, in-store, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, Web, mobile app and kiosk - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and employees for action and closure. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to quickly enhance the customer experience during visits, save dissatisfied customers, improve in-store sales conversion rates, avoid online criticism, and foster positive reviews.About TaraSpanTaraSpan is a multinational company with headquarters in India and Canada. Our customers include some of the World's foremost technology companies and India's prominent corporates. With more than 10 years since our inception, today we have offices in India in Gurgaon, Mumbai , Bangalore & Pune and we represent and sell some of the world's best technology products in the area of Unified Collaboration to Indian corporates. Our comprehensive portfolio includes IP telephony, Contact Center Solutions, Video conferencing & Mobility Enterprise solutions.Media Enquiries:Nicole JardimBenbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.comDiwakar LoombaTaraSpanDiwakar.loomba@taraspan.co.in
commercial

SGS Hospitality Experience (HX) Helps Maximize The Hotel Guest Experience

SGS ·17 November 2017
Hospitality Experience (HX) is a comprehensive property audit solution that aims to maximize the guest experience within the hotel industry.HX is comprised of four modules of certification audits, covering: risk, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and quality of service experience:Risk: the risk module evaluates buildings, food and water safety, as well as cyber security, business continuity and overall property securitySustainability: HX's sustainability module focuses on waste and energy management to deliver cost-saving optionsCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR): this module proves commitment to CSR and risk reduction, as well as compliance and transparency to guestsQuality of service experience (QX): the final module provides an in-depth review of a property's service with a series of mystery guest auditsHX offers three levels of certification:HX Platinum: achieved with a score of 95% or higherHX Gold: achieved with a score of 85% to 94%HX Silver: achieved with a score of 65% to 84%These certifications can be used to display a property's commitment to the four important areas outlined above, ensuring an optimal level of guest experience and satisfaction.As the rates of international travel and online property reviews continue to grow, hotel brands are expected to provide exceptional service and guest experience consistently. The HX module can offer a guideline and benchmark for doing just that. It can also help:Increase brand reputationIdentify potential cost savingsProvide operational guidance and supportEnsure regulatory conformityOffer market intelligenceProvide peace of mind to managers and guestsSGS Global Head of Travel & Hospitality, Peter Hvidberg said: "Today, a minor incident can be magnified with a single online review, increasing the demand and pressure for experience excellence and commitment for all hotel brands. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ensure that your property is doing all that it can to achieve the highest level of satisfaction. HX has been designed specifically for the hospitality industry to meet a variety of needs and provide solutions to many of the issues presented today."To find out more, contact: hospitality.global@sgs.com or visit website.
commercial

Aptech's PVNG Web-Based Enterprise Accounting Goes Live at 2 Hotel Companies

Aptech ·16 November 2017
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced Milestone Hospitality Management and Bellstar Hotels & Resorts implemented the PVNG enterprise accounting system. PVNG is Aptech's next generation enterprise accounting hotel software solution that is deployed in the cloud. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and business intelligence hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Milestone selected PVNG because Aptech is a hospitality-focused company," said Brendon Ratley, corporate controller for Milestone Hospitality Management. "Aptech understands hospitality accounting and designed PVNG's financials to conform to the hotel industry uniform system of accounts. Every other system we reviewed required a report generator to convert their system's reports. Aptech hosts our system and PVNG interfaces with our payroll and property management systems." Milestone will finalize its four-property implementation in 4Q 2017.PVNG is a totally new financial system with an easy to navigate architecture. Drawing on Aptech's vast experience and thousands of existing hospitality users, Aptech had the perfect blueprint for the next generation application."Bellstar Hotels & Resorts operates six resorts and a home office in Alberta, Canada. The home office will use PVNG for enterprise general ledger, accounts payables and financials. Our property GMs and department heads will use PVNG to review expenses and financial statements," said Leslie Ducommun, Bellstar's corporate controller. "We went live November 1st, 2017. PVNG allows us to enter our budgets and forecasts in the system and compare those numbers with the current period. PVNG also lets us download results from the Resort PMS." Ducommun noted that Stagewest Hospitality is a shareholder of Bellstar. "Stagewest installed PVNG over a year ago and it has worked well for them."Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "We built PVNG from the ground up for the web based on Aptech's 45+ years of hotel accounting knowledge. We used the most current technology platform incorporating AP, GL, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with easy to use, familiar browser navigation." The PVNG system easily handles single or multi-property accounting, and is deployed as a hosted service, streamlining common daily accounting procedures and offering highly flexible reporting.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
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Treasure Island Las Vegas Deploys B4checkin's Cutting Edge Technology To Further Protect Consumer Credit Card Data

B4checkin · 9 November 2017
b4easypost, developed by b4checkin, works by first providing an online platform for guests and meeting planners to make deposits and payments to a hotel, then automatically and securely posting those payments to the property's management system. This eliminates the need for paper credit card authorization forms, which, aside from their inconvenience, are prone to human error and contrary to PCI compliance standards. Additionally, this end-to-end electronic solution significantly reduces credit card chargebacks to the hotel. Overall, by facilitating protected e-commerce transactions, there is a significant cost reduction for hotels as well.Treasure Island Las Vegas is a 2,884 room casino hotel located on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip that uses Agilysys' industry-leading Lodging Management System (LMS) as its property management system (PMS). Following the launch of b4easypost at Treasure Island Las Vegas in late September 2017, the software has already processed and successfully posted an incredible volume of over 800 transactions totaling over 400K in the first 30 days of operation."The deployment of b4easypost is a tremendous enhancement for our hotel. It not only provides a seamless online payment portal for our customers with a great user experience but it also drastically reduces the number of hours required to process those transactions," said Careme Casanova-Dapra, Executive Director, Resort Services at Treasure Island Las Vegas. "We're excited to gain the benefits of b4easypost and integration into LMS, which allows our guests to feel more protected knowing their highly sensitive personal data, most important of which is their credit card information, is being transferred via the b4easypost advanced and secure automated payment portal.""b4easypost's implementation at Treasure Island Las Vegas is a continuation of the success we've had with this product" said Saar Fabrikant, President and CEO of b4checkin. "In an age where hotels - or any company for that matter - is still dealing with paper-based credit card forms, or having to manually post transactions into their systems, our software as the only integrated solution, has emerged as a powerful tool for any property to deploy to protect their customers' personal data and themselves. As guests now expect every form of payment to be available to them online, there is no reason why all properties shouldn't do their best to uphold strict data security standards without manual work."About b4checkinb4checkin develops and provides an innovative suite of cloud-based software solutions for the hospitality industry. Designed to help hotels better manage online reservations and measure guest satisfaction, core products include: chameleon, the industry's first online booking engine with multiple design options;b4feedback, a state-of-the-art guest satisfaction tracking and management tool; b4arrival, an online check-in system that maximizes convenience for mobile-friendly guests; b4easypost, a fully automated payment and posting solution; b4GDS, a GDS interface for properties offering a 'one-stop-shop' for hoteliers; b4golf, a golf tee time reservation solution; b4spa, a spa appointment booking solution; and b4ubet, an application that allows hotel casino players to book their hotel offers online. b4checkin is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with installations serving customers in North America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. For more information, visit www.b4checkin.com.About AgilysysAgilysys is a leading technology company that provides innovative software and services for point-of-sale (POS), reservation and table management, property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management, and mobile and wireless solutions exclusively to the hospitality industry. Our products and services allow operators to streamline operations, improve efficiency and understand customer needs across their properties to deliver a superior overall guest experience. The result is improved guest loyalty, growth in wallet share and increased revenue as they connect and transact with their guests based upon a single integrated view of individual preferences and interactions. We serve four major market sectors: Gaming, both corporate and tribal; Hotels, Resorts and Cruise; Corporate Foodservice Management; and Restaurants, Universities, Stadia and Healthcare.Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and India with corporate services located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, visit www.agilysys.com
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Viceroy Chicago Implements InvoTech's RFID Uniform Management System to Reduce Operating Costs

InvoTech ·24 October 2017
LOS ANGELES, CA -- InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its Uniform System at the new Viceroy Chicago that opened September 1, 2017, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood. InvoTech Systems is the leading provider of advanced Linen Management, Laundry and Uniform Systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Viceroy Chicago joins InvoTech System's extensive client portfolio of Hotels & Resorts worldwide. Click here for more information on InvoTech's Linen, Laundry and Uniform Systems.InvoTech's Uniform System establishes a perpetual uniform inventory and has extensive reporting capabilities to monitor inventory levels and forecast uniform purchases. The system provides significant cost saving benefits by cutting labor costs, eliminating losses, reducing purchases, and lowering laundry expenses. The uniform cleaning costs are entered into the InvoTech System and reports are provided to audit laundry expenses."Our team witnessed the Uniform System first-hand at our New York property. We wanted to start our uniform operations on the right track and provide cost savings benefits at our own property. We're looking forward to increasing efficiencies and operating costs in our uniform room," said Nienke Oosting, Hotel Manager at Viceroy Chicago.The RFID technology allows for multiple uniforms to be processed simultaneously and automatically, and the recordkeeping is also automated. The system integrates with automated uniform conveyors to distribute the uniforms to employees, and the system records which uniforms are taken by employees.The system includes an electronic signature capture terminal that records each employee's signature when uniforms are assigned. This increases accountability for the uniform department and facilitates a paperless "green" system.Oswald Lares, Director of Sales at InvoTech Systems, said, "InvoTech customers see an ROI in the first year by eliminating losses, monitoring laundry bills and reducing purchases. The InvoTech Uniform System instantly provides additional savings through increased efficiency. More than 500 properties worldwide rely on InvoTech's Uniform System to increase profitability through more efficient operations and processes."InvoTech has over 500 of satisfied clients worldwide in more than 30 countries, including hotels, resorts, casinos, theme parks, stadiums, arenas, convention centers, medical centers, cleanrooms, and laundries. Why InvoTech? Because major brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, MGM International, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, Intel, Pfizer, Madison Square Garden, and Staples Center rely on InvoTech Systems to provide operational efficiency, full-accountability, and turn-key solutions for laundry, linen and uniform management. See what our clients are saying about us.About Viceroy ChicagoLocated in the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, it houses a restaurant, rooftop bar, pool and lounge with beautiful views of the Great Lakes and Chicago's skyline. The hotel also includes meeting and event space. Seated in the region of historic buildings, the original Cedar Hotel's facade is intact for guests to experience Chicago's architectural past accompanied by its bold interior. Find out more here.

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