By Nicole Adair

    Say you have a collection of very different hotels around the world, each with its own—very different—legacy financial reporting system.

    How on earth do you implement a corporate financial strategy under those conditions? It seems impossible!

    We sat down at HITEC 2019 and had an interesting conversation about this with Dan Rollins. Dan is Corporate Director of Revenue Management for Auberge Resorts, which has 20 high-end, very experiential, and very different hotels in some amazing—and diverse—locations around the world.

    “The problem now is that we have so many disparate standards and systems that everything is tailored to the one-offs,” says Dan. “There’s too much fragmentation.”

    “If there was more standardization, I think different vendors trying to build really cool technology on top of those would be more successful.”

    You can listen to our whole conversation here.

    Getting hotels with legacy systems all onto the same page

    Dan told us that as Auberge continues to acquire new hotels, they try to get the hotels in line with Auberge’s reporting systems as quickly as possible.

    In the meantime, he said, consolidating and standardizing data is a little bit art and a little bit science.

    Each property fills out standard Google Sheets templates for sales and marketing performance and uploads them to Google Drive.

    But that doesn’t tell the whole story because the hotels are all so different from each other.

    How do you compare numbers from a luxury hotel on a Hawaii beach with those from an award-winning resort on a private working cattle ranch in Colorado?

    So they also consider the historical performance of each hotel.

    Then it’s all pulled together into a format that lets senior leadership take a 30,000-foot view.

    ‘Slicing and dicing’ information for sales, marketing, and revenue management

    His team “slices and dices” the information so that each corporate group sees what they need to see. A regional vice president of operations, for instance, doesn’t need to see the same numbers as the director of sales and marketing.

    Revenue strategy teams look at the granular, day-to-day stuff. Some parts of the team want to see transactional, reservation-level data by the week or month.

    It’s all about creating different “cuts” based on the same information—summarizing data from various sources in ways that are meaningful for each leadership group.

    The bottom line in hotel financial reporting

    How do you take that first step, though, when you’re trying to integrate systems? When you’re trying to avoid the monotony of Excel spreadsheets that put half the room to sleep?

    You make sure you have a solid base to work from, whether it’s by working with the PMS you’re trying to aggregate or creating something on your own.

    And then tell a meaningful story about what’s happening in the business. Only use graphs and numbers, and you’ll make people glaze over. Instead, use that data to provide the granularity and to color your story.

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