Critical issues in information systems
In our work supporting the change management of the hospitality industry, we have often come across realities that are interesting from the point of view of the potential of the assets under management, but which have failed to express it.
We have drawn from these experiences various aspects and limitations that have manifested themselves on several occasions as if there were a thread linking them.
1) An information system divided into many subsystems (Pms, general accounting, warehouse/economy, revenue management) which do not communicate with each other and, therefore, with an infinity of data managed independently by each department, using various methods (Excel above all) and which change, even arbitrarily, depending on the needs or information required at the time.
2) a poorly structured management control system in that it focuses only on “strictu sensu” revenues and operating costs, losing sight of the importance and relevance of undistributed costs and KPIs and without a reference plan (budget or multiannual plan) or even objectives to be achieved.
The effects on Management Control
The combination of these two aspects has a major effect on the company’s ability to control, plan and measure results in a timely manner and take action to adjust performance, and is reflected in aspects such as:
- arbitrariness of the figure, which differs according to the interlocutors and is never reconciled with the general accounting system and, therefore, ultimately with the financial statements;
- timeliness of information and, therefore, of the system for reporting and monitoring company performance;
- the substantial uselessness of reporting data compared to what it should be used for, i.e. a tool for the management and constant monitoring of company performance against the set objectives.
But there is another aspect that we believe to be just as important and whose usefulness is, in our opinion, an absolute necessity, which has been highlighted even more by the complex moment in which our companies are living: the lack of a plan, a budget, a structured reporting concerning the non-economic aspects of the company: the asset side, treasury management, the cash plan, an investment plan integrated with the asset-financial components and aimed at the reasonable expectations in terms of both economic and cash impact.
Very often the lack of this information and/or its monitoring, planning and control, appears to be one of the primary causes in generating situations of financial tension up to the point of company crisis.
From Anglo-Saxon management we know that Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity, but Cash is King or perhaps even better, Cash is your reality. Empirical evidence suggests that there are several reasons for these shortcomings:
- the lack of an appropriate managerial culture within smaller organisational structures because, in reality, entrepreneurs feel the need for greater control and planning, especially when things are not going well, but consider this to be more of an unsustainable large company approach;
- the (presumed) cost that a structured information architecture requires both in terms of software and the professional skills required.
It is true that an advanced management control of a company requires an adequate IT structure and professional figures (typically CFO and controller) that perhaps in smaller companies tend to be replaced with the figure of the accountant or “do it yourself”. However, all this has a significant impact on business performance in both the short and medium term, especially in periods of great turbulence and uncertainty, where the ability to make course corrections and plan in the best possible way are necessary conditions to avoid being unprepared and thus run serious risks to business continuity.
Partnership with HSL Hospitality
La partnership con HSL Hospitality ha rafforzato la nostra proposizione per il mercato alberghiero anche ad impatto internazionale, ampliando il range di competenze offerte ai nostri Clienti.
HSL Hospitality è leader nel settore della consulenza con l’obiettivo di trasferire valore alle Imprese dell’Hospitality Industry. Il tratto distintivo di HSL Hospitality è di mettere a diposizione delle PMI del settore, competenze ed esperienze manageriali multidisciplinari. Attraverso questa modalità organizzativa HSL si pone al fianco di ogni Imprenditore per supportarlo sia negli indirizzi strategici, che in quelli per ottenere una miglior gestione degli aspetti operativi. Attraverso questa partnership HSL fornisce competenze professionali e verticali alle Imprese alberghiere aiutando il management nell’analisi di mercato, nell’ottimizzazione dei flussi aziendali e nella funzione del Controllo di Gestione integrate ai servizi offerti da Exigy con il meglio dei prodotti Microsoft, al fine di ottenere adeguate performance aziendali.
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