One important piece to the revenue management puzzle is streamlining operations to cut costs. DocMX, from Sydney-based software development firms iT4 Australia, was designed to aid that process through document management and workflow automation.
According to Aaron Belton, head of global hospitality, DocMX, the software automatically processes hospitality information from any source, be it third-party systems (PMS, POS, Events, etc.), paperwork such as guest registrations, folios, email reservation backup and electronic documents, into an easy-to-use interface that saves time and resources when operating one or many hotels.
“Our dedicated DocMX team has worked hand-in-hand with hospitality professionals for 15 years, to find a solution to operational challenges and pain points specific to the hospitality industry,” he said. “Challenges range from the time-consuming process of running paper-based reports from multiple sources, to freeing up time-poor staff for guest services and value-add tasks.”
DocMX technology makes it easy to search for important information, automatically retrieving and reconciling documents like supplier invoices and purchase orders, the company reports. It eliminates the time-consuming process of searching for supporting documents or investigating variances, and removes the need for printing documents for sign-off and storage by different departments.
“Our customers can standardize and streamline operational activities such as the daily revenue audits, accounts payable and receivable, HR and payroll report processing and much more,” said Belton, who co-founded iT4 Australia in 2006. “The automation of these processes equals time saved and requires fewer resources, which results in money saved. DocMX is easily structured around an organization’s policies and processes to standardize efficiencies, security and savings.”
He pointed out that DocMX is different from other document management software because it is a “ready-to-go, all-in-one solution.”
“There are many document management solutions out there, but such enterprise solutions are typically costly, ill adapted or developed at great expense to satisfy hotel processes,” Belton said. “Other software providers may require a hotel to use several different software packages: one to manage and store documents, one to capture and automate key information, one for e-forms and another to create workflows for sign off and completion.”
DocMX is a cloud-based SaaS solution accessed from a secure web browser. The technology is set up as an independently hosted Amazon Web Services (AWS) client environment. All data is stored in secure, enterprise-grade AWS servers dedicated to the client organization.
“Hotels or hospitality groups will work hand-in-hand with DocMX to structure the technology around client processes and policies,” said Belton. “A management company can choose to set up several of its hotels in the same system with property-level security incorporated in all systems, sharing resources and complexing tasks. DocMX has implemented several such shared services centers around the world, typically automating up to 70% of transactions and thus enabling one finance staff member to service three properties, and even more in case of smaller properties.”
DocMX has features that are tailored to each hotel’s specific requirements. Among them are data and document capture; advanced search; smart assistance, where AI suggests related documents, values or coding and warns of discrepancies, among other things; and workflows, which is rules-based technology to automatically trigger actions for pre-defined conditions.
There is also a dashboard that provides an overview of outstanding tasks, plus management-level overview of a hotel’s performance and compliance; e-forms and QR technology; a mobile app to access information and documents on the go; and external portal access for third parties such as suppliers and internal/external auditors.
DocMX is currently operational in around 60 hotels in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Netherlands and Portugal. According to Belton, Hilton, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels and Accor are flagship clients. The company is currently expanding operations into the U.K., China, Japan and Southeast Asia.
One such client is InterContinental Cascais-Estoril in Estoril, Portugal. Diogo Gaspar, income auditor and business analyst, IHG Hotels & Resorts, out of Lisbon, said that the hotel turned to DocMX due to the difficulty of manually auditing vast amounts of paperwork.
“We were wasting so much time auditing all the piles of paper each day,” he said. “With reports flying around, it was a struggle to ensure timely reporting, and sometimes papers were missed. With a centralized office, upgrading from to a digital platform removed the need to manually check all the papers. This has been particularly useful during the pandemic, as it removed the need to travel to the hotel to check papers and reports manually.”
The Workflows feature has especially been helpful when reviewing and auditing reports, noted Gaspar.
“[It] helps us to track the progress of reports, their real-time status and who is managing them,” he said. “As an income auditor doing everything on paper, it used to take more than two hours to audit reports every day. With DocMX, it takes just 30 minutes to complete the same task.”
Gaspar said he learned by “watching sample videos and simply navigating the system,” adding, “I have been able to teach the staff in the hotel directly, showing them all the software’s features they’d need in order to do their tasks and each process.”
He added, “Everyone is happy and keen to learn how to use the software and make use of all of the features within the program. To date, we’ve been so pleased with how the software has helped us streamline processes; it offers so many possibilities, which we look forward to discovering further.”