The Alila group stepped into the Indian hospitality market in December 2009 with a property in Goa—Alila Diwa Goa. This year the group is setting up another base at Bengaluru (in December 2010), with Kochi and Kozhikode as the next destinations. Since Alila Diwa Goa was a new property, the hotel needed to track a large variety of room consumables and raw materials in stock and circulation, keep track of hotel usage by corporate customers, and monitor credit in client billings.
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Alila required an ERP application that seamlessly integrated with its property management system. It had to help the hotel maintain records of inventory, payables and receivables. Automatic reports had to be sent in desired formats to the head office. Sage Accpac ERP fitted the bill very well on these fronts, as it is provides real-time inventory control. It also helped that Sage is the group’s preferred vendor for its other properties worldwide. However, Alila clarifies that it didn’t blindly opt for Sage Accpac ERP just because it was a global favorite.
The hotel’s evaluation list included other software players in the hospitality industry like Prologic, Scala and Alifa. Says Ajay Gamre, the brand consultant for information technology and security for the Alila group, “As an IT consultant, it is very important for me to do value engineering on all software that comes to us before freezing on any vendor. We therefore had a demo version installed in one system. We obtained technical specs for all the software that vendors were billing us on and tested the actual capabilities.”
Once Alila was convinced of the software’s capabilities, it began hunting for a Sage Accpac ERP implementation partner. Out of the many evaluated partners, Greytrix, a premier partner of Sage worldwide, also sent its proposals which turned out to be in sync with the hotel’s requirements. Since Greytrix was able to format the systems and encode them as per Alila’s requirements, the hotel zeroed in on them.
Alila Diwa Goa currently uses Sage Accpac ERP version 100 with general ledger, accounts payable & receivable, bank reconciliation, systems manager, inventory, TDS and purchase order modules. The solution was implemented by Greytrix. The order was booked in September 2009 and the hotel went live for a trial run in November 2009.
According to Jitendra Somani, the head of consulting at Greytrix, the entire training and implementation cycle was completed in two months with the Alila Goa team’s active support. This includes configuration, installation, customization, integration with Micros Fidelio (a project management system) and customized MIS reporting.
Since Alila Diwa Goa had provisioned good lead-time, there team did not face major difficulties while implementing Sage Accpac ERP. Proper planning also helped on this front. “There were occasional small glitches like certain codes not fitting, but they were fixed by Greytrix,” notes Gamre.
Post the Sage Accpac ERP implementation, the inventory control module keeps a check on the circulating stock. Prior to generating invoices, cash and credit card payments are checked at the front desk.
The hotel has a total of 12 servers including Micros Fidelio, Sage Accpac ERP, Infrasys (point of sales), Active Directory, additional domain controller for all users, backup server, email server, Internet server, CCTV server, PBX voice call server, PBX voice mail server, and interactive TV server. In addition to these, the hotel has a core switch and the distribution switch which distributes the LAN and WAN connections depending on every user’s access rights. The hotel spent close to Rs 1.3 crore for its entire IT setup (including the Sage Accpac ERP) as it was very particular about software licensing and customization of reports. The entire Alila group uses a CRM built in-house using Filemaker Pro for all its locations.
After the Sage Accpac ERP implementation at Alila Diwa Goa, Greytrix has started work on Alila Bengaluru. “We started the process of implementation at Alila Bengaluru from early September 2010. It will be a super-fast ERP deployment by any standard, since we have targeted the end of September 2010 for our ‘Go Live’ This means just a month for this aggressive implementation cycle,” informs Somani.