Data-Focused Strategy and Centralized Budgets Deliver Accurate Daily Performance Forecasts to Optimize Profitability for Concord’s 90+ Chain and Independent Properties
July 28, 2016 – Concord Hospitality increases its portfolio size yearly providing excellent service and profitable results to ownerships. The company operates a portfolio of more than 90 properties that include Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, Choice, IHG, and Hilton brands. In 2015 Concord implemented a new data analysis, budgeting and hotel forecasting system to support its continued growth strategy.
Concord’s Chief Information Officer Brian Cornell said, “Accurate forecasts and budgets are essential for property profitability. Concord recently replaced its Excel models with the Targetvue Budgeting/Forecasting solution from Aptech Computer Systems. We took Excel to its limits. It is a powerful tool and we had intricate models, but Excel is not scalable for a company of our size. Targetvue reshaped Concord and positioned us for further growth. Today we are nimble and respond to changes in revenue and expenses faster.”
Forecast accuracy is key for Concord to manage owner expectations and ensure properties operate to budgeted performance. “With Targetvue, changes in top-line revenue forecasting automatically adjust related expenses and make expense forecasting more automated for the hotel teams.” Cornell said. “Targetvue data recipients are our corporate executives, accounting teams, hotel leadership teams, revenue managers, and owners. Reports are flexible and let us customize information for each customer who receives our reporting. Targetvue combined with our Execuvue® business intelligence system gives us the ability to provide daily hotel forecasting reports for our owners and Concord executives.”
Concord’s Senior Director of Business Applications Ting Hu explained why hotel forecasting accuracy is essential. ‘When property managers see they will not achieve their expected profitability, they can easily identify the areas where they must refine expenses thanks to Targetvue’s general ledger level expense detail. Our properties now have the opportunity to make adjustments based on an accurate forecast to maintain profitability.”
General Manager’s hotel forecasting accuracy is important to Concord’s growth strategy. “We measure and report forecast accuracy so that GMs can fine-tune their forecasting skills,” Cornell said. “We distribute a ‘Forecast Dashboard Report’ to managers that shows how well they are at forecasting against actual results over a rolling time period.”
Concord’s Executive Vice President of Development and Operations receives a daily report that shows how properties are tracking against budget by various thresholds. “General Managers get hotel-specific reports updated three times each day,” Hu said. “Forecast and budget changes are visible in Targetvue immediately. General Managers have the ability to run reports in Targetvue to perform further analysis. Concord uses its intranet to distribute rollup and dashboard reports for its Regional VPs of Operations and to the properties. The reporting is ‘hands-off’ and fully automated.”
Concord also employs Targetvue ‘business drivers’ as a forecasting tool. “A driver is a specific measurement, such as percentage of revenue or housekeeping hours per room,” Cornell said. “For example, we use the cost of per-occupied-room expenses as a driver. Targetvue automatically applies the updated topline forecast against the relevant expenses. The system self-maintains the strategy we establish. Our ability to forecast is much better and our ‘crystal ball’ is much larger. We see further out more accurately.”
2017 will be year two of automated Targetvue forecasting. “Next year our budget numbers will be pre-populated for the coming year. This will save even more time,” Cornell said. “General Managers will no longer be creating budgets from scratch, they will be tweaking budgets. As strategies develop, we can easily run multiple ‘what-if’ scenarios to help operations reach the best decision to maximize performance.”
Cornell takes a 50,000-foot view of Concord Hospitality operations and future growth. “Budgeting and forecasting are not a ‘one size fits all’ process. Our selection and implementation of Targetvue was exhaustive. We vetted systems and eliminated several other products. The project was extensive and intricate. Fortunately, Aptech understands hospitality and multi-property enterprise operations. They went the extra mile to help Concord develop a custom model and create processes and reports that deliver value to our ownership and management.”
Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality software for business intelligence, budgeting, and enterprise financial accounting.