Hilton Netherlands Shared Services Cluster
Hilton clusters finance operations to service 5 hotels in the Netherlands
Hilton operates five prestigious hotels under its Hilton brand in the Netherlands – Hilton Amsterdam, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Amsterdam Airport, Rotterdam and Den Haag. Each property worked independently, employing different teams and utilising different processes, rather than benefiting from centralised resources. That was, until 2016 when they decided to automate and cluster core financial processes.
DocMX – a trusted specialist in hospitality automation technology, and a world-leading specialist in future-proofing hospitality operations – was appointed by Hilton to assist the cluster group to automate.
With multiple teams working across the five properties, maintaining an efficient workflow was one of the main challenges faced by the team.
Standard back-office functions in Accounting, Finance or Payroll were sometimes duplicated across properties. Additionally, they relied on manual and paper-heavy processes that lacked all-important traceability. Checking and reconciling data in this way, passing reports onto department managers for approval and back-and-forth emailing in case of issues, causing unnecessary delays and disrupting the workflow further.
With different teams and processes in each property, compliance with certain group-wide policies was also a challenge.
DocMX’s expert team collected information from various client teams at each property, analysed the existing back-office processes and collaborated with the Hilton project team to design efficient and future-proofed digital processes.
The team opted for DocMX’s automation technology for the digitisation, automation and clustering of core finance processes, including Revenue Audit, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Events and Human Resources.
A centralised services cluster was established, with processes standardised across the five hotels, enabling shared resources and efficiencies to also be distributed across the group. And, during the implementation, the DocMX team was on hand to listen to the team’s exact needs and advise on optimal workflow and efficiency improvements.
During the implementation, we found the input of the DocMX team invaluable: they listened to us when needed, but also went their own way and gave advice and thoughts on efficiency improvements.
Zooming in... how does it work?
Accounts Payable: 3-way match
Invoices are sent to DocMX, data is captured with advanced Optical Recognition algorithms, the invoices are coded automatically, reconciled with POs and other data from 3rd party systems, then written directly into the finance system. No more manual input or reconciliation: 70% automated AP processing.
Paperless Night Pack
Rather than printing out daily transaction audit reports, which could reach 900 pages, data is pulled from different sources and reconciled automatically. Management review/approval is done on online dashboards. This resulted in an estimated 40h saved weekly, and an estimated $32,000 saved on pure printing, per property!
e-Forms, faster AR and more
E-forms for expenditure approvals and HR requests, streamlined General Ledger and Journal Vouchers, accelerated Accounts Receivable that allow events/sales/revenue to be processed faster… Many more efficiencies, automating up to 70% of the local “on property” administration.
Boudewijn Kok, Cluster Income Audit Supervisor at Hilton Netherlands, said “The main benefits brought by automating and clustering operations across multiple properties have been the improvement in efficiency and time savings: no paperwork anymore, no more questions where a certain document went, etc. One of the key features that made the biggest difference for us is the workflow.”
The partnership continues to grow with the properties utilising the very latest data capture and automation technology by DocMX, and benefitting from state of the art user interface and cloud technology, incorporating intelligent data capture and automation, as well as flexible mobile functionality.
- Overheads efficiencies The centralisation of services into one team enabled many savings, reducing duplication and providing better support to properties who need it. With an estimated 70% of back-office tasks automated, a single person could now service over 3 properties, resulting in significant wage savings.
- Skills sharing & service continuity All properties are able to benefit from the quality services provided by well-trained specialists at the group level. There is no more single point of failure as team members can take over in case of absence.
- Best practices and compliance Finance & HR processes are now conducted with standardised internal control, in line with best practices and Hilton group policies.
- Printing savings and environmental footprint
Printing a page costs an estimated $0.1 due to printer leasing, paper, but also archiving and destruction costs. Just with digitising 900-page Night Packs for 5 properties, our customer thus saved an estimated $76,000 per year on printing, improving its environmental footprint.
- Collaboration across department silos
With one central repository, all properties and departments are able to retrieve information and communicate efficiently. Thanks to the user-friendly and modern interface, the user adoption was quick and did not require much training.
- Transparent & auditable
Data access is limited to relevant personnel, all system actions and documents are traceable in compliance with ISO standards for data security.
More robust data security & privacy powered by Amazon AWS technology:
- In 2020 DocMX was awarded the highly selective AWS Travel & Hospitality Competency, in recognition of its deep industry expertise
- High-performing, reliable Cloud solution: with reliable hosting in Amazon’s EU data centres, the data is always accessible on a click.
- Data and network security: the hotels benefited from latest data security, encryption, back-up and recovery features from AWS – with no extra work required from in-house IT teams.
- Auditable & traceable: data access restricted, system actions and documents logged, in compliance with ISO27001 standards for data security.
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Read how a top Sydney hotel succeeded in reducing yearly printing volumes from 3 million pages to less than 1 million, providing a better customer experience, saving money and helping the environment.