The Kempinski Hotels Story
The Kempinski name is proudly borne by a growing collection of distinguished properties around the world. With 75 five-star hotels in 30 countries, Europe’s oldest luxury hotelier, with a history of more than 110 years, began in 1897 in Berlin.
New hotels are continually added to the collection in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, within Kempinski’s ambition of delivering exclusivity and individuality to each guest. The portfolio includes historic grand hotels, city hotels, outstanding resorts and superior residences, as well as famous names, such as the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin and the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
Today, the Kempinski ethos remains unchanged; each hotel employee is committed to providing guests with memorable journeys inspired by exquisite European flair. The belief is that life should be lived with style!
Keen to embrace the benefits of technology, Kempinski Hotels wanted an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that could deliver efficiency gains within each hotel and increase visibility into expenses across the entire organisation.
Budget was a key component of the project, the chosen solution needed to deliver on investment and have the capacity to scale and expand as the company grew.
The company had been using separate systems for accounts and inventory management and tracked travel expenses on spreadsheets. After reviewing several solutions Microsoft Dynamics NAV was selected as it delivered scalable functionality at an affordable price and could be customised to add further features.
Monique Jaqqam, Vice President of Finance at Kempinski explains: ‘The hospitality industry has been slow to embrace the benefits of technology as customisation and integration costs have been price prohibitive. Microsoft Dynamics NAV offered the core functionality we needed and could be extended through add-on applications.’
"...Microsoft Dynamics NAV was selected as it delivered scalable functionality at an affordable price and could be customised to add further features."
Ease of deployment
With 75 hotels across 30 countries, swift and efficient deployment was key. The solution is gradually being rolled out across the entire group, giving each Kempinski hotel identical back office processes. A configuration template has been developed that is re-used for each deployment. This ensures a consistency in hotel operation and user experience.
In addition, the company integrated nHanced 365, an add-on created by The NAV | 365 People and certified by Microsoft. It’s a collection of additional modules commonly requested by Dynamic NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central users, which have been developed into a range of enhancements that extend the value and versatility of a customer’s existing Dynamics NAV solution.
Efficiency and increased visibility
Dynamics NAV enables the company to optimise efficiency of inventory management and increase visibility of expenditure across hotels. The company has greater transparency and is able to drill down into all expense entries.
Each hotel has stores containing an extensive array of fine wine, champagne and spirits for guests. The Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin carries a total inventory of €600,000 and across the entire hotel group the inventory investment extends into tens of millions of Euros.
Dynamics NAV improves inventory processes by providing mobile functionality to employees via a handheld device that is used to scan items removed from stores. Previously, this information would be written in a log and entered into the system at a later date. By replacing paper-based methods and providing real-time visibility, the stores management has an accurate view of inventory and improved stock utilisation.
When the roll out is complete Dynamics NAV will be used across the company from stores management, purchasing, and finance through to hotel departmental managers and regional management.
Complete automation with nOra
The company has a purchase order approvals process that requires differing levels of authorisation depending on value. Since deploying Dynamics NAV | 365 Business Central the previously manual task has been completely automated - thanks to super-user nOra!
Automated user nOra (an acronym for NAV Open Response Architecture), is a permanently logged-in user of Dynamics NAV, with access to her own email. It's her job to make the process of workflow seamless and as well as purchase orders, nOra also administers the expenses workflow.
Monique comments: ‘Expense and purchase order approvals were previously manually managed tasks, now nOra does it all - it just happens automatically!’
"In addition, the company integrated nHanced 365, an add-on created by The NAV | 365 People and certified by Microsoft."
Core functionality with maximum flexibility
Whilst Dynamics NAV is the primary back office solution, the company has a room booking system where guests can reserve rooms and pay deposits. Guest invoices are generated within the system and linked into Dynamics NAV where payments are posted on a daily basis. Additionally, a separate forecast and budgeting tool delivers and receives updates from Dynamics NAV on a monthly basis, ensuring a single repository of information that delivers one version of the truth.
The key driver for selecting Dynamics NAV was the flexibility it offered. The solution delivers excellent core functionality that can be extended with the range of applications developed specifically for the platform.
Monique explains: ‘A hefty ERP system was beyond our price range and presented features we don’t need. The appeal with Dynamics NAV is that we can customise the solution, sourcing add-ons for features that we need.’
"A hefty ERP system was beyond our price range and presented features we don’t need. The appeal with Dynamics NAV is that we can customise the solution, sourcing add-ons for features that we need."
Reduced cost and increased efficiency - Previously, the inventory and accounts system worked in silos, requiring entries to be posted twice. With no duplication of effort the company is now able to reduce operational costs.
Inventory management - Automating processes within stores improves the management of inventory and increased transparency of usage.
Business clarity - Increased visibility of daily financial transactions delivers a single centralised view enabling better decision-making.
Monique concludes: ‘The NAV | 365 People has helped us to customise the solution to our requirements, improving business visibility and efficiency. Over the course of the year we intend to develop the solution further, achieving greater synergies through having more hotels sharing the same platform and database. The improved data sharing will enhance management decisions and improve business outcomes.’Read more