Smarter and faster with integrated ERP
With a booming tourism industry, an iconic Queenstown destination is applying digital technology to maintain the competitive advantage and deliver outstanding customer experiences for every guest it welcomes. Millbrook Resort, well-known for the up-market accommodation it provides thousands of visitors each year, has MYOB Greentree at the centre of its complex operations. The enterprise resource planning solution was implemented by Verde Group which has also integrated the business software with the Opera reservation system. The result? A company-wide solution which delivers the visibility, control and efficiency which underpins a great hospitality service.
Situated just 25km from New Zealand’s premier visitor destination, Queenstown, and only a kilometre west of Arrowtown, Millbrook Resort is one of Australasia’s leading five-star accommodation providers. Spread across more than 500 acres, Millbrook Resort is comparable to a small town, comprising of luxurious accommodation, a championship world-class golf-course, four restaurants, a day spa as well as a health and fitness centre and property for sale. Millbrook Resort, called ‘the most beautiful place in the world’ by a guest, employs close to 300 people.
‘“There’s nothing else like it in New Zealand,” says Darren Auld, Millbrook Finance Manager.
That fact also means the resort required a suitable system capable of handling all aspects of its business.
However, it was saddled with outdated core financial systems which were failing to meet the needs of the burgeoning business. Shortcomings were particularly obvious in supply chain management, job costing, purchase and inventory control, the organisation sought a better way.
As a big believer in embracing technology to work smarter and faster, Auld led the process to effect positive change, saying businesses that do not adapt run the risk of missing out on opportunities in the future.
“The New Zealand visitor industry is booming with total tourism expenditure reaching NZ$36 billion in the year ended March 2017 – and recently, for the first time ever, Queenstown Airport reached two million visitors in a single calendar year,” Auld points out.
“To keep pace, tourism businesses now need to have real-time visibility of everything from job cost management and human resources to workflow, supply chain, and payroll as a way of increasing efficiency.”
He notes that like many Kiwi companies, there was a sense of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – an approach which has as a drawback allowing advantageous technological developments to pass by. “In the past, we used to make do with the systems we had, but as we grew, it became apparent we needed a richer set of tools to help manage growth – technology that increases productivity and efficiency, while reducing labour costs.”
Millbrook looked to Verde Group for an improved solution which puts MYOB Greentree at the centre of the company’s operations. The flexibility of the software, however, also meant Millbrook could retain the Opera Reservation System which the resort had found to be a highly suitable solution for managing its front office hotel and accommodation requirements.
Verde Chief Executive officer Penny Boland says Greentree effectively integrates Millbrook’s many financial processes. “MYOB Greentree allows Millbrook to scale by tracking their finances and inventory in real-time, giving them greater accuracy in their business forecasting and managing the increasing complexity that comes with an expanding team,” she says.
Probably the greatest advantage of the new system is also a general one: it provides visibility across the multifaceted operations and business units at Millbrook. Lead implementation consultant Amanda McGeorge goes into more detail: “This implementation had firm targets for anticipated benefits. With the nature of the resort, which has some privately owned properties and others owned by Millbrook itself, and all managed by the resort, it was necessary to implement a financial system which provided for detailed tracking of all expenses and incomes related to every property.”
The level of detail is fine and Verde delivered an integration between Opera and MYOB Greentree which now fully automates a process which was previously handled in disparate systems.
A major benefit relates to Millbrook’s property development operation, where significant sums of money are involved. Greentree’s job cost module provides for accurate tracking of the various components of taking bare land and creating a habitable property, bringing complete and easy visibility to a once-opaque aspect of the business.
The Greentree eDocs module revolutionised accounts payable. Invoices are emailed directly into Greentree, with immediate visibility as they arrive within the ERP system. This accelerates payment to suppliers, ensures nothing falls through the cracks and, crucially, eliminates a previous drift of paperwork. “This was a steep learning curve for the accounts payable department, but it has delivered a big boost; only 5 weeks in and already, Millbrook’s is the cleanest accounts payable desktop I’ve seen,” McGeorge remarks.
Reconciliations happen faster (and on demand), costs are managed better and, thanks to the companywide system, department heads can run reports at any time to track progress and performance. And, as a result, controls are vastly improved, too. Auld confirms it: “When we generate our month-end financial reports, they can be automatically calculated using real-time data for adjustments and balances – all without any human intervention. We’re also able to easily manage our inventory which is delivering huge gains in our efficiency.”
Auld says the solution is easy-to-use and cost-effective, making it easy for people to collaborate and reducing the risk of human-error. “It allows our team to work with anyone, anywhere. We’ve got staff members who would not – or could not – have worked together just five years ago, but can now thanks to new technology, they are providing up-to-the-minute information.”
He reiterates the value of a good system properly implemented by a knowledgeable partner: “In the past, we used make do with the systems we had. But technology provides outstanding benefits. Technology not only makes business life easier for your team, it can reduce your labour costs quite significantly.”
“When we generate our month-end financial reports, they can be automatically calculated using real-time data for adjustments and balances – all without any human intervention. We’re also able to easily manage our inventory which is delivering huge gains in our efficiency.”