One can only imagine that when Whitbread Plc decided to reposition and reflag two dozen properties — while simultaneously also upgrading them and three dozen other properties with Newmarket International Inc.'s suite of market-leading automated sales and catering tools, it represented a significant deployment challenge.
Dan Hiza, Newmarket International's Managing Director - Europe, Middle East & Africa, said the company's ability to connect 61 Whitbread properties on a single database with a common architecture was a key driver in the install partnership.
Kate Roberts, Hotel Systems Manager for Whitbread's Marriott-branded properties, concurred.
"We needed the ability to send, receive, manage and track sales leads across multiple sites so we can cross-sell our brands and properties for optimal yield. Newmarket gave us that ability and much more," Roberts said. "Now we have a centralized database that allows us to view and share real-time availability and yield information, and qualify and respond to leads electronically in seconds. Now we can synchronize our hotels and corporate offices so we can close on significant sales opportunities.
"Thanks to Newmarket, now all the key information is right at our fingertips — a few keystrokes or mouse clicks away — for us to use and share as we wish, when we wish," she said. "In today's increasingly competitive climate, a company's success hinges on one's access and ability to react to critical information. As we complete this automation, we will maximize productivity and profitability across all 61 hotels involved — and that's a competitive edge that's hard to place a price tag on."
Roberts said Newmarket proved its connectivity capabilities and commitment to the client during a seven-property pilot project that began in March 2001. The success of that install lead to Whitbread deciding to deploy a suite of Newmarket solutions across 61 properties — including Delphi Multi-Property Edition, Delphi Global Sales Edition, NetData Analysis, NetXchange MeetingBroker Edition, Computer-Based Training and Virtual Classroom Training.
"In January 2000,we acquired 36 Swallow Hotels, 24 of which we decided to keep and reflag as Marriotts," Roberts said. "Those 24 properties were running manual Sales & Catering diaries, so we wanted to get them automated as soon as possible.
"It wasn't as simple as just carrying over the Sales & Catering system we had in place at 25 other Marriotts, because that system did not give us the automated cross-selling capabilities for which we were looking," she said. "Newmarket's solutions give us this critical capability and they interface seamlessly with our existing Property Management System."
Roberts said Newmarket's solutions are stand-outs for their multi-property functionality. She said the user-friendly, Windows-based solutions are proven to improve information flow, productivity and profitability with feature-rich, flexible management and reporting tools.
"The expanded reporting capabilities of each of the Newmarket solutions that we decided to deploy further increased the value proposition for Whitbread," Roberts said. "On our old Sales & Catering system, our access to
reports was far more limited in that the data was not as in-depth, not necessarily real-time, and definitely not as customizable. In fact, for certain reports, we even had to place orders and wait to pay for outdated information."
Newmarket's Hiza said that the company's unique Computer-Based Training and Virtual Classroom Training solutions will continue to save Whitbread considerable travel time and costs. These cost-saving solutions expand
employees' access to training modules and ensure consistent content delivery so staff can fully leverage these leading-edge technologies.
"Another key selling point was that our market-leading products are backed up by professional people proven
globally," Hiza said. "Newmarket has a solid reputation for delivering world-class training and technical support
"We have found that Newmarket's Computer-Based Training is a most-efficient delivery mechanism when trying to
catch up to speed both existing employees on new systems and new employees on existing systems," Roberts said.
"Newmarket's Virtual Classroom is another value-added because it allows us to conduct training sessions across
multiple sites, saving us considerable time and money.
"We have two Virtual Classroom trainers who each can teach up to 12 employees at 12 different locations all at
the same time," she said. "Newmarket's leading-edge tech tools and training represent a powerful 1-2 combo that's
difficult to duplicate anywhere else in the marketplace."
About Newmarket International
Newmarket International, "the makers of Delphi," is the leader in delivering groups, sales, catering and banquet software solutions to global travel and entertainment organizations. Hotels, Casinos, Visitor Bureaus, Meeting Houses, Convention Centers and Arenas all use this powerful technology. Newmarket International provides competitive advantages to all of its customers by enabling leads to electronically transfer across cities and around the world. By harnessing award-winning technology and support, the industry's best return on investment, domain expertise, and a commitment to the travel industry, Portsmouth, N.H.-based Newmarket enables customers to increase efficiencies and maximize profits. For more information, please visit www.newmarketinc.com
.About Whitbread Plc
Whitbread Plc, a well-known name since the late 18th Century, is a conglomerate operating hotels, restaurants and health clubs. The company's Whitbread Hotel Co. acquired the franchise rights to the Marriott name in the U.K. in 1995. Today, Whitbread Hotel Co. operates nearly 325 hotels under the Marriott and Travel Inn brand flags. The company's stated goal is to have 450 hotels comprising 36,000 bedrooms, employing 20,000 associates by 2005.