Strand Development Company Grows and Increases Profitability with Aptech Computer Systems

  • Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.
  • 02.18.14
With the implementation of Aptech Computer Systems' Execuvue® business intelligence (BI) system, Strand Development Company grows to 56 properties.

 
“Strand Development prides itself on providing its owners with effective and accurate financial reporting on a timely basis - there is no room for error, no room for tardiness,” says John Johnson, Strand’s CFO. “We know that our continued relationship is contingent on delivering solid bottom line results. This is our top priority."
 
With 56 properties and multiple ownership entities, Strand relies on its corporate business intelligence system to automate the complex data gathering and analysis process that drives property performance reporting.
“We work for many ownership groups," said Johnson. "Some are small private companies, others are publicly traded. Most have different reporting requirements, so we need to provide property data in different ways. When we had fewer properties, the job of collecting daily hotel metrics and creating custom performance reports was time consuming, but possible. When we reached 20 properties, we realized we needed to automate the process.”

In 2004, Strand implemented the IBM Cognos-based Execuvue® business intelligence system from Aptech Computer Systems.
 
“We turned to Aptech to help us collect, analyze and report property performance to our ownership groups,” said Johnson. “An important feature of Execuvue is its ability to tie to any database or data source. Gathering data with Execuvue is faster and much easier than our earlier processes. We combine that information with metrics from STR, accounting and payroll systems for analysis and flexible daily reports. We tie our STR data to our financial data and Aptech is working with Marriott and other companies to bring in guest comment data. The Execuvue BI allowed us to grow. We employ less staff than we would have. We could not have grown without Aptech’s support.”
 
Strand’s success and growth are based on delivering solid property results to its ownership groups. Accurate, comprehensive daily reporting is how Strand measures property performance. Strand sends reports to its GMs that compare current RevPAR and other hotel performance metrics with the same period last year.
 
“The information we get from Execuvue is the lifeblood of our properties,” said Johnson.  “We also compile STAR reports rolled up by region to measure week to week performance. We recently upgraded to the latest Execuvue Cognos platform that enables us to automate specific report distribution to designated managers in any format they prefer, such as PDF or Excel. The reports are also mobile compatible. Our intranet portal can deliver them to tablets for added convenience.”
 
Strand also provides automated forecast reporting.
 
“We used to manually create forecasts for our properties; it was a huge task,” said Johnson. “Now the GMs have an input sheet, which goes into our Execuvue BI seamlessly for six-month pro forma. We also provide balanced scorecards that combine nine metrics in one report. This works with financial and non-financial information. It helps us rank properties on many factors, such as STAR, cleanliness  and financial results. All our executives get these reports via email, some on tablet. Sometimes peer pressure instills a friendly competition between properties.”
 
Accurate forecasting helps Strand properties create a better financial future.
 
“We make decisions every day that impact the future of our operations,” said Johnson. “Cash flow management is clearly aided by accurately forecasting what our staff needs will be. Execuvue delivers the data to help us make more accurate financial decisions. Our profitability is stronger because of it.”
 
Originally Strand wanted to own the property data in its BI system.
 
“As time passed we learned our initial feelings were not founded,” Johnson said. “Today we use Aptech’s ASP hosting services. Our data is on their servers so we do not have to maintain the hardware. This is more cost effective.”  



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