AccorHotels achieves an accurate financial forecast

With over 180,000 employees, 3,800 hotels, and 1,500 subsidiaries, AccorHotels needed a better process and system to run their financial budgeting and forecasting.

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Natacha Loinger: My name is Natacha Loinger. I manage the Finance Information Systems at AccorHotels.

Marie-Agnes Guy: My name is Marie-Agnes Guy, and I’m Head of the Forecast project.

Julie Rosello: My name is Julie Rosello. I’m Deputy Director of the Group Financial Control department and a Business Analyst for the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and African regions.

Natacha Loinger: AccorHotels is a global hotel group. We are present in over 90 countries throughout the world and we have a network of about 180,000 employees in AccorHotels brands globally. Our challenges related to the forecasting and budgeting process are closely related to our business and our organization. Our group comprises over 3,800 hotels, including 1,500 subsidiaries for which we wish to put together, every month, a 12-month rolling forecast, i.e. a projection for the next 12 months. Amongst these 1,500 hotels, there are small Ibis hotels without catering facilities; bigger hotels like Pullman, with over 500 bedrooms and conference centers; and there are also some Sofitel with thalassotherapy services.

Julie Rosello: The main strategic reason behind our decision to adopt a new approach was the lack of convergence (between teams) and the duration of our budget and forecast process. Today, each country has its own process and its own tools, but none really meet the expectations and time constraints of the business analysts and the hotels. We want our forecast process to be faster, more efficient and more reliable for the hotels, the countries, and the group.

Marie-Agnes Guy: The selection process took place in two phases. The first phase involved benchmarking the different solutions in the market in terms of planning, budgeting, forecasting. Following this phase, we chose four editors: two were rather traditional and two were rather innovative, one of which was Anaplan. Then, we suggested a practical case study which was quite light in terms of both volume and operational technicality, but really covered all the features we needed. After the presentation, the project team was unanimous in its choice of Anaplan because on the one hand, all the necessary features were covered, and also because the presentation was very professional on the part of Anaplan. The implementation of Anaplan is happening in a very natural way; we are currently in a six-month pilot phase, with the objective of approving a certain number of business topics.

Julie Rosello: We are expecting two kinds of ROI in this project. Firstly, not only the business analyst but also the hotel general managers will save time, so they can focus on creating customer value. We expect an improvement in our hotels’ margins, with actions that could be anticipated by the hotel general manager and business analysts, thanks to the reliability of the Anaplan forecast.

Natacha Loinger: The next step is the implementation of Anaplan in our pilot country, Switzerland. We are going to ask our Swiss representatives to carry out the forecast for the next three months in such a way so as to build a business case that we will then be able to present to the executive committee of AccorHotels, in order to achieve a ‘go’ for an international roll-out.