With properties in seven different countries throughout the Caribbean including Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the Bahamas, Sandals Resorts has become one of the most well-known hospitality companies since its inception in 1981 and now owns and operates 24 all-inclusive resorts throughout the region.
As the company continued to grow, decision-makers saw the increasing need for a centralized property management system that could be easily scaled to support evolving business needs. Each Sandals Resort was running its own set of technology applications, which made information exchange difficult, inefficient and often created the need to duplicate manual data entry efforts at different locations. Thus Sandals developed a strategic plan to standardize 17 of its properties on one unified system, which would promote connectivity and collaboration throughout the organization and provide enhanced service to its guests.
Defining the Project & Mapping Goals
After evaluating multiple options, Sandals decided to standardize its systems with Infor’s Hotel Management System (HMS) and Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) for Hospitality because of the vendor’s well-established presence in the industry and lightweight middleware offering, Infor ION. Using Infor ION, the company would be able to connect its locations, new and existing applications to create a unified system with a consolidated database and single sign-on access – which makes using and learning the system much more simple for employees.
Primary goals for the project were to provide centralized information access to facilitate better, faster decision-making from executives at each location. Additional objectives included more effective management of facilities, equipment and energy costs across properties through the asset management application, and the automation of daily functions across multiple departments to help improve the guest experience and boost profits. The implementation process began in December 2012, with the first property reaching go-live in January 2013. Currently four out of the 17 total planned properties are utilizing these applications, with the rest to follow in 2014 and 2015.
“Previously, we were operating multiple systems at multiple properties, which created data siloes and unnecessary administrative work for our staff,” said Stuart Delapenha, Group IT Director, Sandals Resorts International. “Now we have a single, flexible system that we can simultaneously tailor to each individual property, while still meeting the needs of our company as a whole.”
Enhanced Data and Security
Sandals has successfully created a unified, controlled technology environment that connects every area of the business – from the front end, to accounting to guest services. Property Management and Point of Sale functions are now integrated with its financial management solution, which allows Sandals to aggregate and drill down into data for greater insight into operations and spending. The company can also gather information from multiple properties in real-time to create customized, easily-digestible reports on everything from revenue and budgets to guest check-ins and inventory.
“Our IT department is better equipped to manage and process information now because we have standardized the way it is collected and stored,” said Delapenha. “We also benefit from enhanced data security, as our databases are hosted offsite, eliminating the need for us to be concerned about backing up and storing our most sensitive information.”
Sandals will also employ the application’s mobile capabilities to further increase efficiency. The front desk can instantly assign rooms or update their occupancy status, alerting housekeeping in real-time to which rooms require attention. Managers can also print arrival, departure, occupancy and forecast reports with the swipe of a finger on their phone or tablet.
Using the enterprise asset management solution, Sandals can also establish a preventative maintenance program to help increase equipment lifespans through routinely scheduled upkeep. Work orders can be created and completed faster through integration with the property management component within Infor HMS. Developing an enhanced asset management strategy will allow Sandals to promote green initiatives, reduce risk, increase equipment reliability, and more easily demonstrate compliance with regulatory standards.
“We are always looking for ways to improve and speed up our service to guests,” said Delapenha. “With real-time insight into multiple departments at 17 different locations, including enhanced visibility of facilities and equipment, we can spend less time on operations management and more time focused on delivering an unforgettable experience for our customers.”