Intelligent hospitality planning gets 5 stars at PPHE Hotel Group
This global leader maintains its competitive edge unifying financial and operational data with Board.
International hospitality and real estate company PPHE Hotel Group is a long-standing user of the Board Intelligent Planning Platform™. Having already transformed FP&A and management reporting with Board, the organization tackled the ever-disruptive hospitality market by expanding its use company-wide. The result is an intelligent hospitality management platform, built using Board, that enables agile, data-driven decisions based on 20 data sources. Managers can react to market changes with speed while ensuring service and ESG targets are met.
- Industry: Housing & Real Estate, Tourism & Hospitality
- Department: All
- Properties owned: 49
- Hotel rooms: 9,400
- Value of property portfolio: £2 billion
PPHE Hotel Group (formerly Park Plaza Hotels Europe) is an international hospitality real estate company with a £2 billion portfolio. It operates 49 upscale hotels, resorts, and campsites with brands like Park Plaza, art’otel, and Arena. Properties are located across 8 countries, totaling more than 9,400 hotel rooms and 6,000 campsite pitches. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, the company differentiates itself through its strong service delivery ethos and continues to grow via its integrated “Buy, Build, Operate” business model.
The challenge: Planning in a disruptive hospitality market
PPHE is a long-term user of the Board Intelligent Planning Platform. The company’s FP&A activities had already been transformed thanks to a successful Board financial reporting and analytics project in 2009 that was expanded into a strategic planning solution in 2017. These projects replaced rigid, inconsistent, manual processes with a single platform that offers the flexibility to examine numbers from different perspectives, identify changes in business patterns, and standardize management reporting. As a result, the time taken to carry out FP&A processes was radically reduced.
At present, uncertain market conditions caused by global disruption continue to put the hospitality sector under pressure. Well-positioned to tackle this challenge head-on with Board, PPHE recognized an opportunity to maintain its competitive edge through data-driven decision-making based on both financial and operational data.
The solution: An intelligent hospitality management platform
Embarking on a project to expand the existing Board-based FP&A solution to the wider organization, PPHE’s finance team held a roadshow to discover the data expectations of key stakeholders. A total of 20 data sources were eventually integrated into the platform, including financial, operational, benchmark, online reputation, productivity, procurement, and ESG metrics relating to all of the company’s locations.
Using this combined data, the delivery of business reports was automated, the information within them enhanced, and KPIs analysis standardized across multiple regions and departments. The result is a unique hospitality management platform, built using Board, that provides 24/7/365 access to insights that drive the company forward. Highlights include:
- Weather statistics that are likely to impact restaurant and hotel performance, utility consumption, and seasonal demand.
- Staff time and attendance data combined with business volume metrics (such as occupancy) to identify under- and over-resourcing as well as improve plan resource allocation.
- Sustainability data on electricity, gas, city heating, and water consumption to enable a proactive approach to hitting ESG targets.
- Integration of semantic analysis data to track positive/negative sentiments on customer reviews and inform decisions around drivers such as restaurant menus.
The benefits: Increased planning agility and smarter decision making
Thanks to Board, PPHE makes more intelligent hotel management decisions every day. There are 170 active Board users (revenue managers, sales department, financial controllers, hotel managers)—with many more receiving daily reports from the platform. PPHE is realizing many benefits from its business-wide Board expansion, including:
- More agile planning as accurate data is available in one place, reaches stakeholders faster, and flows seamlessly from budgets & daily forecasts into the strategic planning process.
- More informed decisions as operational and market insights complement financial statistics, highlighting correlations and potential improvement areas.
- Greater understanding of current demand thanks to near real-time data on factors such as room type, lead time, and average length of stay.
- Reduced administrative burden through automated reporting processes that free teams up to focus on looking ahead.
- Enhanced ESG efforts through visibility of hourly utility consumption by property and the ability to correct inefficiencies to reduce carbon emissions.
- Improved customer service as company-wide KPIs such as cleanliness, location, and value for money are always visible to each hotel, highlighting areas for improvement.
- Increased IT bandwidth thanks to the platform’s ease of use. People are empowered to develop on their own—without the need for IT involvement.
The future: Automation and AI
Looking to innovate further, PPHE plans to bring even more insights to managers with Board. The finance team leverages the platform’s user-friendly nature to own solution development internally, driving continuous improvement. Partner data portals will be integrated to enhance information availability, predictive analytics & AI will be introduced to provide fast, new insights, and process automation will be expanded to further reduce time spent on manual activities.