Red Roof's Finances Move to the Cloud

By Shawn Anderson, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Red Roof Inn | October 09, 2009

In 2007, Red Roof Inn (www.redroof.com) underwent a major transformation when its parent company, Dallas-based Accor (www.accor.com), sold the 345-hotel chain to a private equity group. The most daunting challenge was that Red Rook had to quickly set up its own IT infrastructure and update many of its core business applications including budget and planning software.

Previously Red Roof used an internally developed, highly customized application, which in many ways had served the hotel chain well over the years. But as Red Roof grew, this legacy application was not a viable option for a number of reasons, including slower speed in peak times, spotty reliability, a lack of flexibility in handling the complexities of their new business structure, and inaccuracy. To the latter point, Red Roof had used a large Excel file as a supplemental budgeting tool, and importing/exporting data left the hotel wide open to manual errors.

Red Roof determined that what they needed was not only a new budgeting application, but one which was sourced and managed remotely; essentially in the cloud. The reasons for the hosted strategy included cost, the desire to have the finance department "own" the solution, rich functionality (dashboards, scorecards, etc.), and real-time support and updates. Finally, Red Roof needed the system up and running quickly.

A solution from Host Analytics (www.hostanalytics.com) met Red Roof's needs and deadlines, and was deployed in less than two months with virtually no assistance needed from the IT department.

Results Realized
Red Rook realized a number of benefits, in both operational efficiency and in maintenance and support costs. Formula errors were eliminated because the application resides in a database that is accessed through a browser. Red Roof can now perform "what-if" models as requested by senior management, which is critical due to the always-changing nature of the hotel business. What's more, the speed and reliability of the hosted environment saves a lot of time and doesn't slow down executives when they want to review budgets, nor users who are creating reports. For their part, finance and operations users can now focus on controlling expenses and maximizing revenues, instead of working on the budget.

There's also tremendous value in the cost savings achieved through the use of Host Analytics' Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. By choosing SaaS over on-premises software, Red Roof saved $150K in initial setup and development costs; $50K in annual maintenance and developer support; and $40K in annual finance overhead via synergies realized through quicker processing of the consolidations and dashboard tools.
 

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