Thinking Differently About Data, Technology and Revenue
By Sheenal Patel Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NVN Hotels | October 09, 2016
Co-authored by Vamsi Bonthala, Co-founder, NVN Hotels
The hotel business can be mired in the way things have always been done. Hotel managers input data into spreadsheets without analysis, information from different business areas isn't centralized, and hotel owners only address problems once they become chronic. Decisions are made without rigorous data to back them up, and a stagnant mentality can prevail.
It doesn't have to be that way-and in our company it isn't. When we founded NVN Hotels 10 years ago, our intent was to challenge the status quo. By coupling a data-driven approach with guiding principles that empower employees to have ownership and enact change, we've created a culture that expects and rewards excellence, which ultimately increases revenues and propels growth.
A Universal Dashboard for Shared Success
The centerpiece of this approach is a shared dashboard, accessible to all NVN Hotels' managers and senior corporate staff. The dashboard tracks critical metrics in real time. We call these metrics the NVN Key Elements, and they include data like service scores, occupancy, brand quality assurance results, gross operating profit, RevPAR, and accounts receivable. The dashboard shows us where we are at that moment and 90-day trends. It visually depicts – in green and red – where we're meeting or exceeding our goals and where there's room for improvement.
The dashboard is a central home for information from various systems – accounting, guest management, human resources – that once existed in siloes and didn't inform one another. It gives staff access to information they need without logging into disparate programs and brand portals. The dashboard has become such a critical tool for our management that we are working with a developer to build a proprietary system that centralizes and tracks the NVN Key Elements; we just transitioned from Google Docs, and the investment is already making us more efficient.