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Profitability Essentials: How to Help Your Hotel Department Heads “Think like a CFO”

on November 11, 2010

Provide Managers Daily Visibility into Department Budgets and They Will Manage to Achieve Profitability Targets. 

November 11, 2010 – Successful hotel management means mastering the art of balance to achieve profitability. Operators must provide guests with facilities and services that inspire repeat visits while staying within budget and maintaining a healthy bottom line.

The power to enact this type of strategic thinking comes from department heads having access to current budget and performance information. Monthly revenue forecasts and expense budgets are basic necessities. But managers also need a clear daily picture of how their decisions affect forecasted targets, labor productivity, and profitability. When department heads have real-time measure of daily performance against longer-term budgeting and forecasting goals at their fingertips, they can manage their departments like a CFO with a focus on profitability.

Even highly-motivated managers can find it difficult to “think like a CFO” using typical data sources like revenue forecasting, labor forecasting, and food cost systems. A recent survey of 100 hotels and 600 department heads revealed that:

  • Less than 10 percent know their month-to-date and month-end financial goal.
  • Less than 5 percent know their actual month-to-date performance.
  • Less than 3 percent know their month-end and next-month forecast.

Most department heads are focused on their immediate responsibilities and managing staff, which leaves them little time to print and study forecasts or profit and loss reports. Moreover, at most hotels these reports are generated monthly, not daily, and are not available to property-level managers until month end. However, when department heads understand their budgets and update them daily with their department’s revenue and costs, they have a tool CFOs use to meet profitability goals.

Information that inspires action
To think like a CFO, department heads also need visibility into other areas of property operations. Managers who can compare their department’s daily performance management with those of other profit centers can objectively assess results, identify best practices, and adopt those that are appropriate. Transparency among departments also encourages staff to provide current numbers, and in many cases, it also stimulates a spirit of competitiveness between managers to see who can supervise their team for the most profitability.

An ideal solution would provide managers with daily data that is easy to access and that would let them update their department’s metrics quickly to protect their time. Additionally, it would deliver forecasts for revenue and labor scheduling, as well as occupancy. For any information to be actionable, it also must show department budgets and performance compared to plan for revenue, expenses, and labor hours graphically on one screen. For full-service properties a management intelligence system must also display the same information on food costs.

A rolling one-year room forecast is the foundation for department staffing
A rolling one-year room forecast is the strategic foundation for departments that base staffing on occupancy. The ideal system would build an occupancy booking pattern knowledge base that enables the department heads to shift resource allocation, whether staffing, food delivery and other areas, appropriately to optimize profitability.

A software solution that delivers this data should enhance, not complicate a department head’s daily operation. Managers must be able to easily access a simple one-screen graphic display of the daily data for profitability-focused, management.

Remote access enables flexible management
A web-based solution would enable the management team, from department heads to corporate executives, to log on and monitor operations on-property or remotely. Data from individual properties could also be rolled up and structured to provide top management with a variety options to compare department performance across multiple properties and detect patterns.

Leading international hospitality software integrator d2o is now implementing its Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite in the US hospitality market. PMI delivers strategic daily management data that inspires department heads to think like a CFO to more than 400 European properties as well as to US hotel companies. The integrated solution is unique in the hospitality industry and has a proven record of enabling managers to run their departments more profitably. PMI is the first and only hotel management software that connects the entire property management team at all levels and guarantees complete ROI in the first year of its use.

Click here to view a PMI demo: www.d2o.biz/humanized-webcast

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About d2o

d2o is a hospitality industry innovator in integrated software solutions. Its Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite enables hotel and resort department heads to “think like a CFO” and intelligently manage their daily costs in, on average, 5 minutes a day. PMI Revenue and Productivity and PMI Planning enhance and integrate currently installed standalone solutions. PMI combines data on labor and food cost productivity, rolling daily revenue forecasting, and budget planning into a single system. PMI eliminates the stress of daily, weekly, and monthly reporting deadlines by improving delivery of performance information. PMI Planning also distills the normal 3-to-6 month budget planning process into just several hours at month’s end. Please view a PMI demo here.

Founded in 2000 and based in Norway with offices in Atlanta, d2o has won numerous international business awards for dramatic growth. Awards include the Deloitte Norway Technology Fast50 every year since 2007 and Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast500; the Gazelle Company award for fast growing, profitable Norwegian companies every year since 2006; the highest financial reliability rating of AAA from Dun & Bradstreet every year since 2005; and HSMAI Award for Service Company if the Year 2009 Clients include Hyatt, Radisson, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Golden Tulip, Prince Resorts Hawaii, Rica Hotels and WORLDHOTELS. For more information on d2o, please visit www.d2o.biz or contact Scott Bunce at (970) 389-4187.

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d2o
Scott Bunce
Managing Director North America
Alpharetta, GA
Phone: +1 (970) 389-4187
Email: scott(at)d2o.biz
http://www.d2o.biz/

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Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
180 River Springs Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Twitter: @Juliesquires
Phone: (404) 256-5512
Email: Julie(at)softscribeinc.com
http://www.softscribeinc.com

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