Bass Hotels & Resorts Puts Emphasis On Quality At Conference New Group, Web Site To Give Revenues A Boost

SAN ANTONIO, TX? Bass Hotels & Resorts is looking to boost revenue for its franchisees through the creation of a new group within the company that uses technology as a strategic platform. BHR officials also announced the launch of a new corporate web site as well as a new Y2K contingency planning program. The announcements were made during BHR?s annual general manager?s conference held here last month. The new Information Services group is comprised of the Strategic Services arm of the company and the Information Technology department which includes telecommunications, software and computer systems. It combines the existing revenue-producing components of BHR into a single entity. The new group is designed to allow BHR to ?vault over the competitors,? said Doug Lewis, CIO and executive vp. ?We will build a truly exceptional revenue-generating machine.? Strategic Services is made up of e-commerce, relationship marketing, purchasing, reservations and global sales. BHR is committed to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of these revenue-producing components as well as exploring ways to draw in new business, according to Lewis. ?Doing business on the Internet is about speed and agility, and it opens up vast possibilities for doing new business,? he said. Lewis also announced that call volume increased by 5% over last year, Priority Club enrollment increased by 83% and the purchasing team negotiated contracts that resulted in savings of $50 million. ?But we can do more,? Lewis said. Information Technology is engaged in upgrading Holidex, improving HIRO and replacing property management systems. ?These changes and upgrades should be absolutely transparent to the guests,? Lewis said. ?It has to be done without sacrificing service.? BHR is giving franchisees (except Holiday Inn Express) three vendor choices for PMS replacement: Micros-Fidelio, MSI and Medallion. For Holiday Inn Express, MSI and Medallion are the choices. ?These are browser-based systems that are very easy to use,? Lewis said, adding that the new systems can interface with POS and PBX systems. Holidex, the company?s 34-year-old reservation system, will be restored over the next two years to make it more accurate and easy to use. The new web site, located at www.basshotels.com, showcases each of BHR?s hotel brands: Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts. Content includes franchise information, company news, investor information and job listings. In addition, BHR announced that the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites web sites have been redesigned. ?They are easy to navigate, have new functions and more hotel-specific information,? Lewis said. Users can search the brand sites for the best non-member rate and receive reservation confirmation via e-mail. Priority Club Worldwide also has a newly enhanced web site that allows club members to check their account information and point balance, view an account summary as well as calculate what?s needed to reach the next highest club level. Regarding Y2K readiness, BHR officials are urging franchisees to implement a hotel-level contingency plan before the millennium bug bites. At a workshop during the conference, Jane Weeks, senior director of Global IT Project Services, said hotels may experience disruptions from outside forces. Public infrastructure such as water, electric and transportation services may experience disruptions that impact the hotel. Another important consideration involves the risk of suppliers and other business partners who are not prepared for any possible Y2K glitches. ?The risk is not limited to internal systems failures,? Weeks said. ?Your contingency plan should include the failures of others.? Testing fire alarm systems prior to New Year?s Eve, being prepared to equip guests with flashlights and training hotel staff over the next few months were some suggestions. Ch

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