Whitbread integrates hotel systems for £2.25m


Whitbread integrates hotel systems for £2.25m

Will Hadfield

Leisure group Whitbread has integrated the IT systems of Premier Lodge into its own for £2.25m, after acquiring the hotel chain in 2004.

Whitbread will complete the migration of the remaining few hotel sites to its network this month. The leisure group became the UK's largest hotelier when it bought the 144-strong Premier Lodge chain from the Spirit Group in July 2004 for £505m. It brought together its own Travel Inn chain of hotels and the Premier Lodge sites under a new brand, Premier Travel Inn.

Whitbread, which also owns brands such as Costa Coffee, David Lloyd Leisure and Pizza Hut, set up a shared services function last month to provide IT services to all of its brands.

Whitbread's two outsourcing suppliers, CSC and Fujitsu, were enlisted to connect the Premier Lodge sites to its IT systems.

Whitbread IT director Ben Wishart said, "Our in-house team did the high-end strategy and intellectual part without resorting to third-party support. The work that was outsourced was the dayto-day stuff."

CSC set up the Premier Lodge sites to use Whitbread's head office Oracle Finance, HR and Supply Chain applications, which run on Oracle 11i databases. Fujitsu was responsible for switching the hotel chain to Whitbread's network, which it manages.

The integration has allowed Whitbread to boost cross-selling of products. It made £16m in 2004-2005 by referring people arriving at full hotels to other hotel sites that still had spare rooms.

All Premier Travel Inn hotels now use a booking and billing system called Bart, which is supplied by Ramesys.


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