Blue Mountain Resort Scales Large Amounts of Data for Better Customer Service to Guests
John Gowers, IT director, Blue Mountain
Jul 1, 2007
Blue Mountain is Ontario's largest mountain resort, located just 90 minutes north of Toronto. The resort is a four-season recreational and conference facility destination. In 2002, with 13 different lines of business, including restaurants, ticketing, call centers and lodging, we needed a comprehensive software package to run traditional budgeting, consolidation, reporting and forecasting as well as performance analysis on revenue trends.
We faced two further complicating factors. With multiple lines of business, the software package we selected had to be able to draw on many different types of applications and data sources. It had to be easy to install and maintain because we only have three IT staffers and could not afford to have any one employee dedicated full-time to maintaining the system.
Our existing system was not robust enough to handle all of the company's data input. In a business that has so many variables - weather, hotel occupancy, season ski packages and holiday events, to name a few - it simply took too long to run the real-time daily reports we needed to shift priorities appropriately. Also, because that system was not automated, it increased the time IT spent waiting for reports from disparate data sources.
After reviewing a number of options, we settled on Applix's performance management solution TM1, a complete application that streamlines the performance management process and includes planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analysis. In a controlled rollout, we introduced Applix's software to each line of business, one at a time, based on when each seasonal business opened. In each case, we started by configuring the financial applications based on previous expectations from the old system. If we faced an anomaly between our expectations and the actual numbers, we dug down...