Benchmark Powers Expansion with Centralized Accounting Platform

  • Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.
  • 10.04.12
Benchmark Hospitality International is growing. The company’s fuel-injected expansion to more than 38 properties, 6,000+ rooms, and creation of its Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM division, underlines its ability to capitalize on opportunities for investors and owners. Benchmark expertly leverages its team’s financial and management skills and is a leader in putting technology in service to the bottom line.

Successful management comes from by-the-numbers decisions

“Benchmark understands what makes a great hotel, resort, or conference center and how to run it profitably,” said Darrin Pinkham, vice president of information technology for Benchmark. “The way a property is designed, managed, and positioned in its market all contribute to solid operation; there is no magic. Basing day-to-day management decisions on the numbers is another big part of successful management in today’s economy. At one time, we had to wait until month end or later to see property financials. We do not have that luxury today, so we built a centralized ‘private cloud’ technology hub and data gathering platform. Now our managers make decisions based on month-to-date performance every morning.”

Benchmark created the industry’s first ‘private cloud’ to reduce ownership costs, protect data

Three years ago Benchmark invested in the hospitality industry’s first ‘private’ cloud platform to host its propertys’ systems and data. The virtual platform enables Benchmark to reduce hardware costs for investors, protect corporate and guest data in a secure off-property environment, and collect and process performance metrics for its hotels. Benchmark uses the Internet-enabled Profitvue enterprise back office system from Aptech Computer Systems to centralize property accounting.

“Benchmark’s growth strategy means that we add properties on a regular basis. Technology plays an essential part of hotel operations and we wanted to standardize our systems to build efficiencies for greater profitability,” Pinkham said. “For example, we use the Profitvue back office accounting system at all our properties, which include luxury resorts, hotels, and conference centers. The system is Internet-enabled, so the only back-office hardware our hotels need is a PC. The same is true for our front office systems. This is a great savings for our owners.” Pinkham noted all Benchmark systems and property data are centrally hosted in Richardson, Texas at the same data center responsible for NASA’s systems.

Profitvue handles accounting for Benchmark’s conference centers, resorts, and condos

“Profitvue is flexible enough for us to have a standard chart of accounts and general ledger for all our properties, including condo rental, luxury resorts, and yacht slip resorts,” Pinkham said. “This means when we take over a new property we can quickly integrate it into Benchmark’s processes. We simply bring in financial team members from our other properties. They are familiar with the system and chart and G/L. It is a simple process for them to logon to Profitvue and create a new entity. We can have the new property up and running quickly without the usual hardware and software installation, and staff training. This saves time and money, and we can turn the property around much faster.” 

Benchmark’s corporate cloud strategy is adding to the bottom line with sharper management tools, as well. “The Profitvue enterprise accounting system is flexible so we can build reports that compare metrics from similar properties,” Pinkham said. “We can roll up our Personal Luxury Resort & Hotel properties on one report and develop best practices around top performers.

PCI compliance was another advantage of Benchmark moving data to the cloud. Pinkham noted that Benchmark’s cloud-based system enables the company to keep all guest data secure at its hosting center. This also enables the company’s properties to conform to many areas of PCI compliance. “Our private cloud strategy benefits our financial stakeholders, management teams, and guests,” Pinkham said. “Aptech is an important part of our strategy and operations at all our properties. They understand hotel accounting and Benchmark’s business process and are always ready to support our innovations.” 

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