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Streamlining finance and procurement processes for a leading hotel chain

Situation

The client aimed at providing a brand-consistent experience of finance processes to customers and stakeholders.

 

The client, a leading global luxury hotel chain, has a footprint in wide-ranging travel and hospitality services. With a deep focus on excellence, guest experience and attention to personalised service, they aimed at providing a brand-consistent experience of finance processes to customers and stakeholders.

While governed by standard policies, the finance and procurement functions were spread across each unit, which had their own practices and processes. This was a complex problem that required significant manual efforts in transaction processing, offered limited insights, and was neither cost effective nor scalable. An industry that was facing increasing costs and stagnating occupancy, prior to the pandemic as well, further accentuated the problem.

Spearheaded by the Group CFO, the client wanted a digital transformation solution to continue to thrive in the increasingly complex and dynamic industry while reducing process complexities. They also aimed at transforming the operating model to serve its global operations across multiple businesses and entities as well as support their scalability requirements.

The Solution

Deploying and overhauling an operating model to serve their global operations was a bold but a critical move for the client’s business. PwC’s approach of BXT combining business strategy (B), experience design (X) and immersive technology (T) helped us work smarter and faster so we could rapidly innovate and enable the client to meet its goals. Through our BXT-led Finance Transformation Integrated Solutions (FTIS), we helped the client design the strategy and define the value by undertaking a detailed analysis of the client’s customer needs and their voice. We co-created an inclusive and compelling vision with the client. By deploying a collaborative blue-sky thinking we anticipated the future needs of the business and developed an integrated, digital fit for future design encompassing the operating model, process, experience and risk aspects. We laid the key foundations across multiple time horizons to make the client’s CoE future ready.

Over a 12-month period, we partnered with the client assessing purpose-fit technologies and co-driving their implementation along with people, process and operation model interventions to realise visible and sustainable enterprise-wide outcomes.

Impact

We implemented groups of 12 digital interventions, digitising end-to-end processes ranging from guest facing to back office operations. Each of these digital interventions was designed with a holistic art-of-possible approach across process, technology, customer experience, controls and operating model to address the clients’ current needs and future aspirations. Importantly, it helped lay the foundation for the client to prepare for unforeseen eventualities such as the pandemic . These interventions enabled centralised billing and collections during the tough Covid times to get the critical cash flowing in to a certain extent. The digitisation endeavour made the client one of the first companies in the country’s hospitality industry ready to run their business in the post-pandemic world by enabling contactless check-in and paperless billing, thus providing exceptional customer experience with appropriate safety measures.

All this leads to tangible and sustained outcomes for the client’s business:

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Helped realise nearly 27% efficiency gains

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Enabled on-time vendor payments and increased adoption of self-service, and agile processes to drive faster query resolution

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Decreased the cycle time by 30%-60% across processes

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Facilitated proactive budget control measures with 100% digital, efficient expense tracking

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Led to significant environmental impact savings ~avoided usage of 10 million pages per annum, with digital check-in to check-out and billing processes.

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The client didn’t want to just gain new insights and improve performance for themselves, they also wanted to unlock these benefits for their customers.


Jayaram Nair
Managing Director, PwC

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