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Accurate planning and forecasting within any hospitality organization is challenging, as it’s a sector prone to disruption from external factors such as customer trends, weather conditions, and social and political events. When you’re operating on the scale of PPHE Hotel Group, that challenge intensifies.
PPHE Hotel Group was already moving towards a more agile approach to financial planning, but when the pandemic hit, this strategy became a top priority for the organization. More accurate forecasting and up-to-date insights became crucial to guiding the organization through the disruption and responding to a frequently changing market.
In this article, Manuel Ramírez Rodríguez, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at PPHE Hotel Group, shares three key lessons learned as the organization undertook a transformative project across financial planning – to reveal just how important agile financial planning and forecasting is today.
No matter how closely you monitor internal performance metrics, it’s never going to comprise a complete picture of what can affect your organization. Instead, you need to pair internal insights with what’s happening in the wider market and environment surrounding your business.
This was a key priority for PPHE Hotel Group. Previously, the group often found it easy to compare how its hotels across different locations were performing, but difficult to understand why some were doing better than others.
“Sometimes these things could be market-related, rather than about the individual performance of the hotel. So, we wanted to enrich performance KPIs with qualitative information that would explain why we were seeing these results,” says Manuel.
Using the Board platform, PPHE Hotel Group incorporates a wealth of additional data sources in its financial planning. These include internal metrics such as revenue and profit benchmarks, and valuable external metrics such as how properties are performing compared to the market averages, online reputation scores, and how weather patterns and flight schedules affect hotel performance.
Operating on the scale of PPHE Hotel Group is difficult at any time – but during the pandemic, when all its hotels were facing a shared challenge, it became essential all its teams were equally equipped.
Initially, the company had multiple databases, which meant the same KPIs would often appear differently depending on the screens its employees were looking at. “We knew consistency was important to gain the trust of our main stakeholders,” says Manuel. “We wanted a single version of the truth to make sure our decision making was aligned across the company.”
The Board platform now acts as a standardized source for the organization, offering all the company’s 120 stakeholders the same, accurate insights whenever they need them – presented in a simple and easy-to-use format.
“With Board, we can ensure there aren’t different Excel files flying around containing different numbers that would make it difficult for us to forecast accurately. We have everything we need in one place.”
When PPHE Hotel Group’s stakeholders were under pressure to make fast and strategic decisions during the pandemic, their ability to understand the performance of their hotels at a granular level became critical.
This meant measuring specific details around guest behavior, restaurant bookings, room bookings, and much more – all to implement accurate, driver-based planning.
With the Board platform, Manuel and his team have these capabilities and can take weekly snapshots to assess the accuracy of their forecasting. Plus, the team can conduct scenario planning based on a variety of different variables to see how the company could respond to any kind of disruption.
“At a time when decision making was paramount in hospitality, we were able to provide relevant information to key stakeholders faster,” says Manuel.
We’ve only covered a small part of PPHE Hotel Group’s impressive story here. You can watch the full webinar here, where you’ll hear Manuel go into greater detail on the challenges his team faced, how they overcame them with the Board platform, and how other businesses can follow in the company’s footsteps.
You’ll also get a chance to hear from an expert at Board, who will share why agile financial planning and forecasting is so important today, and how you can embrace it.
Discover how Board empowered PPHE Hotel Group on its financial transformation journey