Le Meridien Park Atlantic Lisbon And Porto
Le Meridien Park Atlantic in Lisbon and Porto are both five-star hotels, part of the award-winning Le Meridien Hotel Group portfolio of 130 luxury and upscale hotels, which provides 34,000 rooms in 56 countries worldwide… Technology challenge:With major growth in the Portuguese tourist sector, Le Meridien Hotels in both Lisbon and Porto decided to upgrade their front and back office systems to improve efficiency and provide better budgeting and forecasting.
Solution:Complete Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment solution, comprised of the Epicor Enterprise suite of integrated business applications, with functionality designed for the hospitality industry and support for multiple locations, multiple currencies and full asset management capabilities. Benefits:-With its modular design, Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment provides rapid implementation.-Strong integration with Microsoft Office tools already used within the business.-Highly customisable to allow for future legal, fiscal and policy changes.-Provides real-time reporting and export to Business Intelligence tools.
The five-star Le Meridien Park Atlantic Lisboa is situated in the centre of Lisbon with stunning views of Eduardo VII Park and Marquis de Pombal. The hotel is highly regarded by the business community with 14 elegant meeting and function rooms that can accommodate up to 500 people. The Le Meridien Park Atlantic Hotel Lisboa and its sister hotel The Le Meridien Park Atlantic Hotel Porto in the north of Portugal have both benefited from the country’s economic growth and increased tourism. At the end of 2002, senior management at Le Meridien Park Atlantic Lisboa decided that a new vision was needed for the back office organisation, which would improve financial control and allow for new services to be provided to guests. The new structure would use “cell organisations” within the hotel to organise the staff around similar jobs independent of the workflow from either a revenue or cost perspective.
For this plan to work, each cell would need access to better, more timely budgeting, forecasting and operational data.One of the primary goals was to improve efficiency and switch the reporting cycle from a monthly to daily basis to allow tighter control on costs. Carlos Rosales, the CEO of Le Meridien Park Atlantic Portugal explains, “We can’t manage a seasonal business sensibly with only monthly revenue figures. We also needed to know the costs of the operation on a daily basis, because in the hotel business, tight control of P&L by lines is what makes the difference between overall profit and loss.” Modifying the hotel’s legacy Fidelio Back Office system to meet the new challenge was not possible, so the hotel approached several systems integrators and software vendors with its list of requirements.
The key criteria of flexibility, daily reporting and integration with existing systems were priorities, and after several rounds of meetings and demonstrations it was Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment that was chosen as the most suitable solution.”We looked at several vendors but Epicor already had a hospitality solution that was close to our requirements and it also has support for our existing property management software (PMS) and point-of-sale (POS) systems,” says Rodrigo Faria, CFO of Le Meridien Park Atlantic. “Epicor has flexibility to meet our individual needs and PlatinSoft, the local Epicor systems integrators, have a good track record on delivering these types of solutions to the hospitality market.”The integration project started in January 2003, and to reduce deployment time and management overhead, the main back office software for both hotels was consolidated at a single site with communication links to both hotels. With the help of an implementation team from Epicor and PlatinSoft, the first phase of the project implemented the Epicor Financials Suite. According to Faria, “the first phase of the project went smoothly and we were able to specify, modify and test the new system in less than four months.
“The second phase required PlatinSoft to create special modifications to allow data other than financial to be passed from the old Fidelio PMS and Cost Control Systems directly into the Epicor Business Intelligence modules.”We will finish the second phase of the project in October 2004, and for the moment we still use part of the Fidelio system as a basic front end as our staff are trained on it and it allows us to migrate quickly. However, the new Epicor software handles the entire management and back office procedures.””The flexibility of this solution means that in the future we can upgrade our PMS and POS systems from almost any vendor on the market and still have compatibility with our back office systems,” explains Faria.By December of 2003, with all the testing and training complete, the project was concluded and the benefits to the group were almost immediately apparent. The new intelligent data import from the hotel’s old PMS and POS systems combined with the Epicor analysis tools means that the financial departments of both hotels have access to over 90% of the daily business figures needed to make advanced budgeting and forecasting decisions.
The tools also help avoid double and triple entries, which reduce additional paper work and help the department to deliver reports on time. Faria adds, “An area where the software has really helped us is in calculating and managing the commissions paid to travel agents. The add-on that PlatinSoft created for us allows us to calculate commissions directly from client reservation with the commissions paid automatically, but with full visibility by our internal auditors. This has reduced the amount of paperwork for our accounts departments, and prompt payment is always welcomed by our travel agent partners.” In the year since the implementation of Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment, both Le Meridien Park Atlantic hotels in Portugal have successfully moved to the new “cell organisations” structure, and the transition is helped by allowing each group access to data from the Epicor Financials Suite, in conjunction with familiar Microsoft Office tools such as Excel, Word and Outlook.Le Meridien Park Atlantic Portugal CEO, Carlos Rosales believes they have made a wise investment in Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment, “I had a clear vision for what we could achieve in terms of financial control and improvements in the organisation’s management and Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment has helped us achieve this goal.
” “The last year has been one of our most profitable even with world events negatively effecting tourism in our region, and we will continue to look at ways to use information technology to help us improve our operating procedures and the services we can offer to our guests,” Rosales concludes.About Le Meridien GroupThe internationally renowned Le Meridien brand was established in 1972 by Air France ‘to provide a home-from-home for its customers.’ The first Le Meridien property was a 1,000-room hotel in Paris, Le Meridien Etoile. Today, with headquarters in London, Le Meridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of 130 luxury and upscale hotels (34,000 rooms) in 56 countries worldwide. The majority of its properties are located in the world’s top cities and resorts throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
The strategic alliance with JAL-owned Nikko Hotels, provides loyal guests access to an additional 44 properties around the world.About Epicor Software Corporation For 20 years, Epicor has been a recognized leader dedicated to providing integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) software solutions to midmarket companies around the world. With the recent acquisition of Scala, Epicor is a global leader in the midmarket serving over 20,000 customers in over 140 countries. Epicor leverages innovative technologies like Web services in developing end-to-end, industry-specific solutions for manufacturing, distribution, services, and hospitality that enable companies to immediately drive efficiency throughout business operations and build competitive advantage. With the scalability and flexibility to support long-term growth, Epicor’s solutions are complemented by a full range of services, providing a single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership.
Epicor’s worldwide headquarters are located in Irvine, California with offices and affiliates around the world. For more information visit the company’s Web site at http://www.epicor.co.ukContactDawn NichollsThe Message Machine LtdT: 01895 631448 or 01895 634573E: [email protected]