Management by the Numbers: Benchmark Integrates New Properties into Company Management Processes Quickly with Private-Cloud Back Office System
Benchmark Hospitality International is growing. The company’s fuel-injected expansion to more than 38 properties, 6,000+ rooms, and creation of its Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM division, underlines its ability to capitalize on opportunities for investors and owners. Benchmark expertly leverages its team’s financial and management skills and is a leader in putting technology in service to the bottom line.
Successful management comes from by-the-numbers decisions
“Benchmark understands what makes a great hotel, resort, or conference center and how to run it profitably,” said Darrin Pinkham, vice president of information technology for Benchmark. “The way a property is designed, managed, and positioned in its market all contribute to solid operation; there is no magic. Basing day-to-day management decisions on the numbers is another big part of successful management in today’s economy. At one time, we had to wait until month end or later to see property financials. We do not have that luxury today, so we built a centralized ‘private cloud’ technology hub and data gathering platform. Now our managers make decisions based on month-to-date performance every morning.”
Benchmark created the industry’s first ‘private cloud’ to reduce ownership costs, protect data
Three years ago Benchmark invested in the hospitality industry’s first ‘private’ cloud platform to host its propertys’ systems and data. The virtual platform enables Benchmark to reduce hardware costs for investors, protect corporate and guest data in a secure off-property environment, and collect and process performance metrics for its hotels. Benchmark uses the Internet-enabled Profitvue enterprise back office system from Aptech Computer Systems to centralize property accounting.
“Benchmark’s growth strategy means that we add properties on a regular basis. Technology plays an essential part of hotel operations and we wanted to standardize our systems to build efficiencies for greater profitability,” Pinkham said. “For example, we use the Profitvue back office accounting system at all our properties, which include luxury resorts, hotels, and conference centers. The system is Internet-enabled, so the only back-office hardware our hotels need is a PC. The same is true for our front office systems. This is a great savings for our owners.” Pinkham noted all Benchmark systems and property data are centrally hosted in Richardson, Texas at the same data center responsible for NASA’s systems.
Profitvue handles accounting for Benchmark’s conference centers, resorts, and condos
“Profitvue is flexible enough for us to have a standard chart of accounts and general ledger for all our properties, including condo rental, luxury resorts, and yacht slip resorts,” Pinkham said. “This means when we take over a new property we can quickly integrate it into Benchmark’s processes. We simply bring in financial team members from our other properties. They are familiar with the system and chart and G/L. It is a simple process for them to logon to Profitvue and create a new entity. We can have the new property up and running quickly without the usual hardware and software installation, and staff training. This saves time and money, and we can turn the property around much faster.”
Benchmark’s corporate cloud strategy is adding to the bottom line with sharper management tools, as well. “The Profitvue enterprise accounting system is flexible so we can build reports that compare metrics from similar properties,” Pinkham said. “We can roll up our Personal Luxury Resort & Hotel properties on one report and develop best practices around top performers.
PCI compliance was another advantage of Benchmark moving data to the cloud. Pinkham noted that Benchmark’s cloud-based system enables the company to keep all guest data secure at its hosting center. This also enables the company’s properties to conform to many areas of PCI compliance. “Our private cloud strategy benefits our financial stakeholders, management teams, and guests,” Pinkham said. “Aptech is an important part of our strategy and operations at all our properties. They understand hotel accounting and Benchmark’s business process and are always ready to support our innovations.”
Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. The company's eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark's properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.
Aptech Computer Systems
Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leads the hospitality industry in leveraging change by valuing human relationships and applying technology to solve business problems for people. The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider.
Incorporated in 1970, Aptech is a hospitality financial and operations technology solutions and service company. Aptech’s state-of-the-art back office, business intelligence and enterprise planning products include Profitvue®, Execuvue®, Webvue® and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 2,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Aptech’s solutions help customers understand their financial and operational data to lower expenses or increase profitability. Execuvue and Profitvue are registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
Aptech Computer Systems
Cam Troutman, Vice President
135 Delta Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Phone: 800-245-0720 or 412-963-7440
Benchmark Hospitality International
Contact: Ken Ellens
KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS
201-758-2864 / KenEllens@aol.com
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
180 River Springs Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.