New Technology Directions Surface in Business Intelligence Survey

Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. today disclosed results of its å“Business Intelligence 2001å” survey conducted among ten of the industryå‘s top management firms to assess new directions in back-office and business intelligence technology. 
Two clear needs surfaced: the requirement to pull together data from separate systems into a single document; and a way to easily integrate leading economic indicators into a concise forecasting tool that could be output to an email or PDF file.

The survey polled financial executives in areas including technology solutions to accounting bottlenecks, competitive challenges, operational responses to a slow economy, workforce issues, and future technology directions.

“The rapid adaptability of our business intelligence software allows us to look at new metrics that combine both financial and non-financial data to guide our business going forward,” said Rex Warren, Vice President of Finance for North America with Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT).  That information currently includes Smith Travel Data, and will ultimately encompass guest and associate satisfaction, scores from Starwood’s hotel inspection process, and the effect of the company’s Six Sigma process re-engineering among others.

“Survival tactics in these uncertain times must include cutting overhead, improving worker and manager productivity, and managing operating expenses,” said Jay Troutman, president of Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., a leading financial and operations technology solutions and service company. 

Aptech’s business intelligence product, Execuvue*, is used wirelessly or via dial-up to support decisions as quickly as the operational data changes.  Execuvue allows web access to corporate accounting data, reservations, operational, quality control, sales, and Smith Travel Research data from any point. 


Troutman praised Aptech’s customers’ aggressive use of business intelligence to increase occupancy, control costs,  and drive up Average Daily Rate (ADR).  He also noted that the availability of the Smith Travel Research daily data program in Excel, PDF, or HTML formats further increases the speed at which financial decisions are being made.

Participants in the Business Intelligence Survey unanimously called for more automation of financial accounting and reporting processes so more resources are available for analysis.  In their discussion of system integration, executives cited payroll, time keeping, sales and catering, food and beverage, point of sales, and property management systems as examples of systems needing to operate seamlessly.

Other elements that could eliminate technology bottlenecks included a broadband corporate infrastructure for better data communication; one-time keying of hourly worker payroll data; and the ability to easily generate Profit & Loss statements on a daily basis.

Participants agreed that the economy and uncertain times have forced them to become as efficient as possible as fast as possible.  Squeezing costs and focusing on reservation and yield management systems were cited as operating imperatives.  Executives also concurred that companies using business intelligence to address these issues have a technology advantage.

There was a consensus among participants that back-office and business intelligence vendors fall clearly into two camps:  enterprise level firms such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Oracle; and vendors, like Aptech, empowering mid-sized companies with all the same capabilities but on a smaller scale.  Execuvue attaches to systems in both camps.

Financial managers also agreed they wanted to know more from their peers in the areas of technology solutions to workforce issues, and how their competitors are using business intelligence to improve their bottom line.

About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.

Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leads the Hospitality industry in leveraging change by valuing human relationships and applying technology to solve business problems for people. 

Incorporated in 1970, Aptech is a financial and operations technology solutions and service company whose products include two state-of-the-art back office and business intelligence products: Profitvue* and Execuvue.  Over 700 users, including very large chains, multiple-property management companies and single site hotels, utilize Aptech solutions to manage their financial and operational data.  By offering the hotel industry a solid resource of hospitality professionals, including staff and customers, and through its proven ability to evolve technology offerings as the market dictates, Aptech is proud to have earned 100% customer loyalty.