Financial Reporting Tool Equals Time Savings for Destination Hotels & Resorts

By Martin Stanton, VP of IT, Destination Hotels & Resorts | April 08, 2010

Destination Hotels & Resorts (www.destinationhotels.com) functions with a lean IT support staff and is constantly looking for more efficient ways to operate. After installing Oracle's E-Business Suite (www.oracle.com) in 2006, the company gained unique insights into business and financial performance, but soon found that financial report generation within Oracle was time consuming for finance and accounting users. Destination Hotels & Resorts needed a tool that would allow these users to spend more time analyzing data rather than querying and formatting it for presentation.

In early 2007, a project team began the search for an easy-to-use tool for daily, monthly, yearly and ad hoc reporting. Like most financial professionals, the 100-plus business users at Destination are extremely familiar with Microsoft Excel, so the team was looking for a tool with a similar front end that could drill down to specific Oracle data. The software also needed to support queries and the creation of ad hoc reports from Oracle data with no assistance from IT, and have the ability to query from both Oracle datasets and non-Oracle databases while integrating the data in a single report.

Destination ultimately chose GL Wand from Excel4Apps (www.excel4apps.com), an Excel-based Oracle General Ledger reporting tool. Excel4apps was the only vendor that allowed Destination to test their product "live" against the organization's data and metrics, and the team ranked it the highest among all the systems for its ease of use and overall functionality. In addition, during the testing phase, Excel4Apps provided technical resources who partnered with Destination to quickly create a "day-level" query for both non-posted and/or posted journals. This day-level query was critical due to the standard hospitality industry requirement for daily operational reporting at multiple properties.

Destination installed GL Wand in April 2007 in less than a week; controllers and financial/business analysts were able to begin using GL Wand literally within minutes of their training session and without assistance from IT.

GL Wand is centrally administered but used throughout the U.S. by more than 30 properties, many of which include spas, health club facilities, golf courses and conference centers. Destination uses it to look at historical trends and as the genesis for budgeting and forecasting. With GL Wand, Destination can report not just the performance of each facility, but across facilities, from its Oracle data. Destination also uses GL Wand to view labor and staffing information to address opportunities, such as whether a restaurant server should be off duty because he or she is approaching overtime.

The time savings for Destination's 100-plus business users is perhaps the biggest benefit of GL Wand. Reports, schedules and scorecards that used to take developers and analysts hours, days, weeks and even months to develop, test and roll out, now take literally minutes.
 
Martin Stanton is the Vice President of Information Technology for Lowe Enterprises / Destination Hotels & Resorts. He has more than 22 years of hospitality experience with a focus in finance and technology.
 

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