A Grand Entrance with BirchStreet’s Procure-to-Pay Platform
Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently opened as a contemporary, ultra-modern destination. The property offers 634 trendy hotel rooms in two towers – an 18-story Casino Tower and 25-story Grand Tower – nearly 600 slot machines and 30 table games, and 12 different restaurants and bars, including Picnic, an urban rooftop pool retreat. After completing a $100-plus million renovation, the swanky property knew that they wanted a complete procure-to-pay system to streamline their operations.
How It Started
With new ownership and a fall 2013 open date, the Downtown Grand started searching for some type of strategic, back-office purchasing, accounting, inventory and F&B (food and beverage) management system. After considering several systems, the decision was made to implement BirchStreet eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control and Recipe Management System modules for a full, cloud-based procure-to-pay solution. The timing was such that the system went live with the hotel launch, but were using a manual purchasing practice prior to the hotel opening. There were no electronic or automated processes in place. “It was all paper purchase orders when I came on board with slow processes for approvals. The old process was not efficient,” explained Kevin Irvin, Director of Purchasing for the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino.
Holding the Cards
With the arrival and go-live of the BirchStreet platform, the manual processes were eliminated and operations were streamlined. “The BirchStreet platform makes the flow of purchase orders seamless,” said Irvin. The approval workflow functionality saves time with system alerts for the approvers as well as the buyers. Now, managers can manage their budgets and department more efficiently. The on-line catalogs and supplier punch-out feature provides real-time data and pulls the order into BirchStreet at check out from the suppliers website, finally routing for approval internally.
At the Downtown Grand, the Director of Purchasing and his team has control over the flow of purchasing and the supply chain. The team has the opportunity to bid and request RFQs. For example, they can look at the budgets and see if money is available for purchases. The Director can change the arrival date to accommodate cash flow and stay on target with the budget.
The Inventory Control system has proved to be advantageous and effective, as well. Features such as the ability to set thresholds alerts buyers to reorder. During the receiving process, if a price is wrong or different from the purchase order, automatic updates only need to be made in the system once for inventory asset accounts. These automatic updates and on hand costs can be updated in perpetual inventories; and reveal saving time and eliminating extra steps. Real-time data in updating on-hand inventory is another bonus for Downtown Grand. The color-coded par levels also save time and alerts buyers when an item is running low or below par.
AP Automation module provides 3-way auto-matching, which automatically matches the purchase order to the receiving documents and invoice, has been another significant time saver. Departments can now use the drilldown checkbook feature to view details of their budgets, invoices, outstanding POs and more. Cutting checks is easier and faster with integration into Downtown Grand’s M3 ERP system.
The report features are a crucial part of the system. Irvin explains that reports are especially helpful with the AP accruals, inventory adjustments and month end reporting The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino is unique in that there are different business licenses and different entities for the casino and hotel. Irvin runs the purchasing department for both entities in the same system, but it’s helpful that there are separate logins and access due to the difference in business and reporting regulations. “I like the reporting for both accounting as well as purchasing,” Irvin says as the Administrator and Super User. “The Daily Receiving Report allows us to view the daily food costs, beverage cost and manage orders more efficiently.”
Since its opening, the Downtown Grand is doing well with high occupancy and high spend volume for the hotel and casino. They are part of the catalyst of changing the perception of how people view the Las Vegas downtown area and truly helping the area prosper. “The bottom line is that we are more efficient with our internal controls because of the BirchStreet system.”