North Carolina property manager, Twiddy & Company, reduced annual billing-error losses by 15% due to improved expense reporting, and it freed a full-time scheduling employee for other tasks.
Using SAS solutions for small to midsize business from the leader in business analytics, the family-owned agency can now quickly access vendor information to cost-effectively allocate and automate maintenance resource scheduling.
By transforming data on revenues, costs and maintenance into meaningful information, SAS business visualisation clearly showed executives what was working and what was not. SAS helped management to provide more regular and thorough reports to homeowners, whose trust in Twiddy soared.
"Excel just couldn't answer the tough questions. We turned to analytics giant, SAS, for unprecedented reporting and analysis," says Laura Carver, chief technology officer at Twiddy & Company.
"In 2010, SAS Silver Alliance Programme member Pinnacle Solutions helped us quickly implement SAS. We found SAS easy to use and flexible. We plan to build out the solution ourselves as our needs change."
Drawing from Twiddy's SQL-based reservation system, SAS analytics pinpoint trends and issues. Managers log into the portal, create reports on their own, and drill down for details. Next, the company plans to create employee dashboards, further promoting fact-based decision making, and a homeowner portal to deliver everything from cost analysis to rental comparisons.
Twiddy's goal is to ensure its homeowners are happier than anyone else in its market.
Managing nearly 900 vacation rentals, Twiddy first used SAS to tackle maintenance. Selecting from 1,200 outside vendors, operations professionals assign, co-ordinate and track work to ensure it is cost-effective.
"Homeowners trust us to match the right local vendors to each job, but we go much further," says Clark Twiddy, chief maintenance director.
"With SAS, we track and compare each vendor's price/quality relationship. When service doesn't match cost, we negotiate adjustments. Our homeowners know we'll deliver cost savings without sacrificing the quality of hospitality their guests expect. We've built our reputation doing that."
Twiddy recently automated the scheduling of pool and spa service, which previously required a full-time employee. Now, SAS generates a service request with each reservation, selects the right vendor, e-mails the work order to ensure the home is ready upon arrival, and automates follow-up status requests. This frees agency staff for other projects.
"SAS helps boost financial transparency and information access," continues Twiddy. "Analysing revenue and costs lets owners know how their investments are working. No other agency in the vacation home property management industry delivers this level of reporting. It clearly enhances our reputation."
Before, it took all day for an operations agent to manually gather work orders, enter each cost on a calculator and produce a report for an owner. Using Excel spreadsheets, they could neither analyse costs nor produce timely reports.
Non-routine services were sometimes disputed after billing, costing Twiddy five figures a year. Now, SAS alerts executives to every estimate of more than $500.00, so they can secure advance homeowner approval, eliminating billing surprises. SAS reporting cut Twiddy's error-related losses by 15%.
Twiddy's management is convinced SAS will help grow the business. Facing steady demand, the agency turns down 20 properties for every one they accept. SAS metrics will help determine when to bring outsourced services in-house, to better control both responsiveness and costs and keep guests and homeowners happy.
As the company expands, executives remain adamant that they won't sacrifice the southern hospitality that the company's founder established.