Coakley & Williams Hotel Management Company has extensive experience in all phases of hotel business and property management and offers a broad range of management services, including operations, marketing and sales, accounting, and human resources. The Greenbelt, Maryland-based company manages a portfolio of more than 24 hotels.
Working to handle the needs of 24 properties, Coakley & Williams Hotel Management Company's two-person information technology department found it was spending much of its time responding to simple requests for information.
Many of information requests were routine in nature. C&W wanted to find a way to give the IT department the ability to spend its time in more productive ways, which would help C&W increase its own efficiencies.
“In the IT department, we were spending up to 50 to 60 percent of our time serving as backups for information requests,” said Stephen Hahn, Coakley & Williams' chief information officer. “It just didn’t seem like the best use of our time.”
This type of situation is quite familiar to M3, which often works with clients to make their systems and processes more efficient. M3 assesses the situation, and recommends and implements changes designed to save time, which saves money.
After a series of conversations designed to help M3 understand all sides of the issue, M3 recommended its Accounting Core solution. The software’s setup keeps each individual property’s data confidential, unless a member of a particular property is accessing the system. It also creates aggregate data to help C&W compare each property’s income and expenses against other properties of a similar size and brand.
The solution directly addressed C&W’s needs by allowing each of its managed hotels to access its financial information directly and providing the ability to look at the day-to-day performance of each hotel. After meeting with M3 and visiting their data center, C&W learned what the system could do and decided the investment was a worthwhile one.
“Each person has the ability to talk directly to M3 for support at no additional charge,” said C&W’s Hahn. “If someone can’t remember how to do a function, M3 helps out, which is a major load off of our internal IT staff.”
For Coakley & Williams, the Accounting Core software has allowed the company to allocate its IT resources in other ways. C&W’s IT staff now spends less than 5 percent of its time on hotel-related issues, and now offers its IT services to other clients as a way to generate revenue for the company.
Now, the Coakley Williams Technology Services Division serves a variety of smaller suburban Maryland businesses – including a marketing company, title company, lender and a church – that don’t have the resources to hire a full-time IT staff member.
“In essence, M3 has helped us turn our IT department from a cost center into a profit center,” said C&W’s Hahn.
There have also been other benefits. “We had a valuable accounting employee who was moving, and we were able to keep her on staff, working remotely, because of the flexibility M3’s system offers,” said Vicki Caspar, C&W’s vice president of accounting.
For M3, its work for Coakley & Williams shows the sheer power of a new approach to an age-old issue – how to get information to geographically diverse locations efficiently in an easy-to-use way.
“It’s exciting to see how accounting software, something that may seem mundane, can make such a significant impact for a company,” said Scott Watson, vice president of sales and marketing with M3. “Coakley & Williams’ ability to better leverage its IT expertise, thanks to Accounting Core, is a good example of how M3’s products can make a positive, measurable impact on a hotel management company’s day-to-day operations.”