Oliver Companies Strengthens Performance with Aptech

  • Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.
  • 05.08.14
Oliver Companies use Aptech Computer Systems to tap portfolio data analysis for idea sharing in order to strengthen performance.

Oliver Companies operates 13 properties under multiple flags from Florida to Wisconsin. While its hotels include Hilton, Carlson, and IHG brands, plus independents, its management focus is on two, often competing goals, customer satisfaction and bottom line profitability.
“Our hotel staff’s primary goal is to create the best possible customer experience, whereas everything I do is based on dollars and cents," said Oliver Companies controller Christopher Hedblom. "We are all about merging these two crucial aspects of our business into one common mission. Aptech allows us a greater ability to accomplish this."

Oliver Companies’ properties are widely scattered across the U.S. and each is a separate entity. Gathering property performance data and providing general managers with input on daily financial analysis is a top priority.
“When we were smaller, our properties sent their daily audit packs by email," said Hedblom. "There was a long delay between data creation and our analysis flowing back to the properties, which they use to better manage. As we added hotels, the manual processes became increasingly difficult. We automated with Aptech’s Profitvue enterprise back office accounting and Webvue data gathering solutions. This streamlined our processes and put audit information in our GMs' hands in a far more timely fashion.”

Oliver Companies expanded its financial management platform in 2014. “Our recent business intelligence system implementation gives our GMs more information to manage with,” said Hedblom. “We use the Execuvue® BI system to gather property performance numbers, analyze the data and run blanket reports with comparisons based on anything we want. We have multiple flags, but we can compare them apples to apples. We can even check the price of linen at our Embassy Suites compared to a Country Inn and Suites. This kind of analysis is exciting to me as a controller. If we save a few cents per room every night over a year, it is big money. We do this with Execuvue.”

Business intelligence reports give Oliver Companies’ property managers daily operating metrics for better decisions. “We are already seeing benefits from our Execuvue system,” said Hedblom. “The BI reports help our GMs manage with a more timely pencil because we get their data to them quickly. If it takes a month to get their performance metrics to them, we lose a month’s smarter management decisions that could make money or save it. Execuvue provides us with customer service and cost/revenue comparisons quickly so our managers can act on them faster. Our regional managers send specific reports to our GMs. Regional can stay in tune with GMs and what they need.”

Idea sharing between general managers is one of Oliver Companies’ successful processes. “Execuvue identifies when one hotel is doing something really well,” said Hedblom. “Then our managers can get together to idea share what is working financially. We used do lots of face-to-face idea sharing on customer service improvements. Now we are able to do this with finances, and we are just getting started.” 

Oliver Companies’ automated processes are yielding benefits on many levels. “Our GMs love the timeliness of the reporting,” said Hedblom. “They understand and embrace the reporting because they realize time is of the essence when it comes to implementing the information that informs decisions that affect everyone related to the hotel. On the front end, the speed, accuracy and efficiency of data collection are big advantages of our business intelligence platform. On the back end, the flexibility of data analysis is great. With the system gathering each property’s data, we do not have to collect, enter, and store it. This is a huge help.”

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