Automating Finance operations at IHG in Singapore
DocMX powers digital transformation at IHG - Holiday Inn Orchard Road, with support from the Singapore Tourism Board
With the Covid-19 pandemic raising unprecedented challenges for the hospitality industry, in 2020 the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the Business Improvement Fund that encourages hotels to adopt technological innovation, to improve productivity and competitiveness.
DocMX is eligible for STB co-funding and has been implemented at several hotels, including the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre (IHG Group). This 4-star hotel features 320 rooms and is situated in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier business and shopping district.
Collaborating with the forward-thinking IHG teams, DocMX enabled digitisation and automation of key operations in finance, accounting and revenue auditing. Audrey Lim, Director of Finance and Support, said: “We have worked with DocMX and the Singapore Tourism Board to develop digitised efficiencies within our Finance operations. An area of significant benefit is revenue audit and various finance processes where our completion time has been significantly reduced. We project that the technology will save us a lot of time, money and resources in the coming months and years.”
The 4-star IHG Holiday Inn property is situated in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier business and shopping district. It features 324 rooms, elegant dining and bar venues, pool and fitness facilities, as well as extensive meeting and event spaces.
- Unpredictable activity levels in the context of Covid-19 travel restrictions: the hotel was looking for ways to operate more efficiently, even with social distancing requirements or reduced staff levels.
- Revenue auditing was an admin-heavy task: the hotel features various services and facilities for dining, meetings, events, spa… generating revenue from many sources. The daily Certified Self Assessment (CSA), an IHG process for daily revenue auditing, was a time-consuming task.
- Inefficient and paper-based processes: every day, dozens of reports were pulled from the PMS and other 3rd party systems operating in silos, requiring daily auditing and approval and generating a complex trail of information.
- Struggle to approve reports on time with reports circulating and sometimes missed across different teams (night managers, income auditor, director of finance, general manager…).
- Paper waste: printing all this paperwork was a waste, financially but also in terms of environmental impact.
The IHG team decided to digitise aspects of their CSA processes using DocMX, starting with the Daily Revenue audit. They successfully applied for the STB Business Improvement Fund grant to help support project costs.
With the DocMX teams being familiar with the IHG policies and processes, the implementation project took mere weeks. The Holiday Inn team discussed best practices and requirements with DocMX, outlining their particular process steps aligned to global policy.
The DocMX team then configured the system to pull relevant income transaction reports into one place from the many different sources of information such as Opera, Micros, paperwork and emails, to present everything in a single dashboard customised for each team member/role.
Now, users can simply connect from any browser anywhere to quickly address the tasks and queries directed to them. During the training and handover, DocMX shared tips to help IHG best benefit from the system.
Continued development of efficiencies and savings is an ongoing process, made easier by utilising DocMX.
“An area of significant benefit is revenue audit and various finance processes where our completion time has been significantly reduced. Collaborating with the DocMX team was a pleasure, we project that this technology will save us a lot of time, money and resources in the coming months and years!”
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND SUPPORT, IHG
Significant time & cost savings for the entire team, as well as better compliance:
- The income reports are 90% automated: the system groups and distributes daily reports automatically, leaving only exceptions and errors to review manually. Audrey Lim, Director of Finance and Support, explained: “An area of significant benefit is revenue audit and various finance processes where our completion time has been significantly reduced.” Reconciliation of financial information like credit card refunds is streamlined, saving many hours each month to focus on more value add work.
- The Daily Dashboard and workflows in particular bring significant efficiency gains. Several people in the finance and management team review, comment and approve over a dozen reports each day, adding supporting information when required. Everyone is on the same page, knowing what is outstanding at a glance. This brings tangible time and ultimately cost savings to the property.
- Significant reduction in print related expenditure, having eliminated the need to print and store hundreds of pages each day, amounting to thousands of pages per week. In addition to costs savings, this greatly reduces the hotel’s environmental impact.
- Improved compliance: timely approvals, less risk of errors and failure, fully audited to ISO27001 standards. Capture and approval of data in a structured digital manner makes it impossible to lose information. The audit trail is fully documented for any future external and internal audits.
- The team is now able to collaborate remotely, from different offices or even from home.
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 Singapore data centres, the data is always accessible on a click and with no time lags.
- Data and network security: the hotel 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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