Van Der Valk

A centralized view of data with BOARD provides a robust platform for management

The Company

Established in 1939, Van Der Valk (www.valk.com) is an international corporation with nearly 100 locations worldwide and revenues of over 100 million in 2012.

Van der Valk is a family-run business with a long history. The chain has scores of hotels and restaurants in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao providing "good value for money". Van der Valk wanted to achieve the same thing with the implementation of BOARD, which allows managers at every location to use their own accounting applications and databases whilst putting quick and handy analysis at their fingertips.

The Challenge

The key objective of the project was to provide Van Der Valk with improved monitoring and budgeting, as well as a clear and controllable view of business analysis by day and month, with the ability to view and enter figures on mobile and tablet devices in the future.

Van Der Valk keeps a close watch on budgets, purchasing and sales
Thanks to the implementation of BOARD, Van Der Valk International is able to successfully compare the performance of various hotels with up-to-date and reliable information. Edwin van Heteren, CFO of Van der Valk International, explains:

"In the past, it always took a long time to clarify the how and why of certain financial figures. With all the different versions of Excel in use, it was like comparing apples and oranges. Thanks to BOARD, it's easy to drill down to the source so we can manage the business based on up-to-date and consistent figures. That also saves me a lot of work when I have to present the figures to external financiers."

THE OLD SITUATION? Excel Spreadsheets with Changing Formulas

"Years ago, we set up our own Excel sheets for generating monthly reports with sales and purchasing data, expenses, and occupation levels in our hotels and restaurants. As the hotel managers and administrators had a habit of changing the Excel formulas, the figures were neither consistent nor comparable. The result: errors with almost no way of tracking down the cause. BOARD enables us to improve the quality of our management information by consolidating and checking it in a secure environment."

WHY BOARD? All-in-One, Good Value for Money
Van Heteren continues:

"A thorough comparison of different vendors showed that only BOARD offered a solution, linked to Account view, that is primed for use in the hotel and restaurant industry. One of the other vendors even wanted to build the system from the ground up. That seemed too risky, as the ultimate result is always a gamble and the costs can be hard to predict. With BOARD, we can consolidate all our business information (financial, room occupation, personnel hours and payroll) in one convenient screen and run quick analyses."

 

WHAT MAKES IT SO SUCCESSFUL? One Single Point for CPM and BI Expertise
One of the BOARD International partners spelled out to us how to consolidate useful information in BOARD so that we all use the same data for analyses without any extra, error-prone work. Since it is linked to the source data, we always work with one up-to-date version.
One mouse click is all it takes to run a check on our general ledger calculations. Plus, now our financial reports are much more advanced.

The partner's added value is the BOARD expertise that it combined with knowledge of business processes in the hotel and restaurant industry. BOARD International previously completed a highly complex Business Intelligence and CPM implementation for Park Plaza Hotels with success. We were allowed to take a look behind the scenes there and got a very honest picture of the real-life benefits in a similar company, not to mention all the potential snags involved in a BI and CPM implementation. 
 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES? Up-to-Date, Consistent, Improved Management
BOARD has a direct link to Hotel Concepts and other business-critical applications that we can use to manage our business processes. That simplifies implementation so it can be completed within budget and on time and so we get the functionality we want. Comparing the cost of accommodation, purchasing and personnel is much more effective this way. And now we have also added a server so that BOARD has sufficient processing capacity for the managers at all our locations. They are discovering all the new possibilities.

BOARD consolidates restaurant and hotel purchasing and sales data from different applications and combines it with the number of hours worked, for instance. The results are presented in convenient graphics, such as with meters that flash red and green when performance levels are off average. That helps the managers keep a grip on the business. Now, they can use this consistent, up-to-date data to hold monthly budget meetings.
 

Future Plans

Other Van der Valk branches had witnessed the benefits of BOARD and use it now as well. Since a lot of our managers use tablet devices, we asked the partner to make BOARD accessible on mobile devices. That will also pave the way for its expansion in the future.
Based on what we've seen so far, we are fully convinced that the partner will make a success of the new project, too.

The Benefits in a Nutshell

In a few words, these are the main benefits perceived by Van Der Valk:

  • Link to general accounting applications, such as AccountView, and hotel and restaurant-specific applications, such as Aloha (POS software), Hotel Concepts, Nostradamus (time clocking)
  • Less prone to error
  • One centralized, up-to-date "version of the truth"
  • Primed for future expansion (e.g. mobile access or BOARD on Tablet)