Sage Hospitality Resources, LLC sets high standards for itself in every operational area and meeting its goals is driving company growth. The Denver, Colorado-based hotel company has 48 properties in its portfolio and delivers solid profitability to its owners, personalized service to guests, and professional support to its associates. An impressive list of deliverables and one that Sage is leveraging its extensive technology resources and hotel computer systems to achieve.
“Sage is unique because instead of choosing which of its stakeholders to satisfy first — owners, guests, or associates — it is successfully fulfilling the requirements of all three simultaneously,” said Courteney Parker, Senior Vice President — Financial Services for Sage Hospitality Resources. “We designed our entire corporate technology infrastructure, hospitality accounting software and hotel management software to accomplish this task.”
Until recently Sage used a number of separate systems that included accounting, guest services, and ADP reporting applications to generate information to be manually entered into a corporate macro-based version of Excel. The process was lengthy and labor intensive, and the output was not available to managers until month-end. This changed in mid 2005 when Sage upgraded its corporate information systems by consolidating all of its operating, accounting, and guest data in a single centralized business intelligence software database for instant management access to operating information.
Sage installed the ExecuvueÂ® Cognos-based business intelligence system from Aptech Computer Systems to house and organize the combined operating data from its properties and make it readily accessible to managers. “We use to spend most of our time reviewing and entering data from separate systems. Now we are utilizing an enterprise business intelligence software system and our focus is on analyzing our property information for better decisions.” Sage is using its new business intelligence application to provide operating information from every property and department down to the account line level. It also uses Aptech’s TargetvueÂ® budgeting and forecasting tool to automate ‘what-if’ analysis, in conjunction with Execuvue to create advanced flexible reports for owners and managers. “Both applications are Cognos-based. We chose to work with Aptech and install its tools because they know the hospitality business and how to apply the right technology.”
Parker reports that Sage has also transformed the way it thinks about many areas of its operations thanks to the new database technology. “We used to enter our budget numbers on a blank sheet to work through the ‘what-if’ mathematics, but Targetvue enables us to roll our actual data into go-forward forecasts we can quickly modify. Our managers enter percent increases or decreases to existing budgets to create global changes that test the impact of a possible strategy. They do not have to adjust every line.”
Having continuous access to all its propertys’ operating information is providing Sage the tools to build management dashboards based on actual performance compared against Targetvue forecasts. “The Aptech database, reporting, and budgeting tools are all part of the central Sage corporate system,” said Courteney Parker. “The Targetvue forecasting module is the main touch point for our property managers; they can look at budget metrics compared with daily performance side by side.” Parker also noted that being able to build customized PDF operating reports for its owners and managers any time during the month with Execuvue is a great operational improvement over the days when her team had to wait until month-end to analyze performance.
“My job for the past year has been to help all our properties understand how to access and analyze information in Sage’s new business intelligence database tool set,” said Brian Treadwell, Asset Manager for Sage Hospitality Resources. “Execuvue’s functionality allows managers to see a top-to-bottom P&L for their properties and query the information to improve their performance; they have never been able to do this before.”
Aptech assisted Sage’s IT team in creating the channels to move property data from its 48 hotels into new consolidated data tables to make it accessible to Sage’s executives for analysis. Brian Treadwell said, “Now we are able to perform nearly any type of comparative analysis to evaluate property performance any time in the month. With Execuvue and Targetvue all mining information from a single database, Sage only needs one application suite to make faster decisions based on current information.”