Innisfree Hotels rolls out welcome mat after data-driven comeback.

Hotel group bounces back and spins up new business entities, onboards acquisitions, and switches operating models in days, not weeks.

Consolidated data from 18 different PMS and POS systems into 1

Automated 85% of cash flow reports

Increased recruiting and improved onboarding experience

Began reconciling over 140 bank accounts daily

Beach vacations, putt-putt golf, waterslides, and shopping are what Innisfree Hotel guests look forward to every time they visit. With two dozen family-friendly destinations across the Gulf Coast, there are lots of options for relaxing in the sun. But COVID-19 and Hurricane Sally tested Innisfree’s guest-first mission, causing hotel closures, major staff disruptions, and operating challenges. 

Fortunately, Innisfree had deployed Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) systems. “We were able to weather the storm and turn the need to change into an operational advantage,” says Joshua Herron, Innisfree’s director of platform technology and business intelligence. “Workday gives us the tools we need to adapt confidently as conditions evolve.” 

Through a simplified tech stack, greater efficiencies amid staffing challenges, standardized reporting across operations, and real-time visibility into cash flow and workforce development, Innisfree was able to make a remarkable comeback. 

“Workday makes us more efficient,” says Herron. “From recruiting and onboarding to accessing data, it’s given us the ability to forecast, scale, and make decisions that free up our employees to help guests make memories.”

Each hotel has some autonomy, but we needed a platform with clear guidelines and a structure everyone can understand and use. Workday does that for us.

Corporate Controller

Consolidated systems for simple and secure integration.

The Innisfree corporate umbrella includes individual equity partners through its different franchises with Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and others, including multiple independent boutique properties. When Innisfree needs to integrate an acquisition, spin up a new business, or make an organizational change, the Workday frameworks automatically recast security and readjust the business processes to align with the shift. This has allowed Innisfree to integrate and manage over 90 different companies using the unified Workday system.

Additionally, Innisfree has consolidated data from dozens of platforms—supporting hotels, restaurants, putt-putt golf, retail centers, and ATMs—into one. It also merged and streamlined data from 18 different property management and point-of-sale systems, which has resulted in significant cost and staffing savings.

Another big win is the time saved by automating and reconciling hundreds of accounts within Workday. Innisfree can reconcile the daily transactions across more than 140 bank accounts, giving its accountants time back to focus on strategy and manage anomalies.“We don’t have to wait until month-end like most businesses because we operate on data that’s pulled in every day,” says Herron.

Having a standard operating procedure to meet each owner’s different reporting requirements is a huge time and resource savings for us.

Corporate Controller

Improved scenario and cash flow planning.
These platform consolidations also gave Innisfree access to better revenue data generated by guest visits. Now Innisfree can take advantage of cash flow scenario planning for accurate forecasts such as what specific properties can expect to have in the bank at a future date.

In addition to increased accuracy, there’s increased efficiency. Tracy Sherouse, corporate controller, says that the cash flow reports for Innisfree’s CFO used to take an entire department to create. By automating about 85% of those cash flow reports, those staff members now can delve deeper into other critical tasks.

Now we have this ability to look deeper into our applicants and discover better ways to use our candidate pool.

Director, Platform Technology and Business Intelligence

Happy employees don’t leave.
Hospitality has the highest turnover rate of any industry, more than 70%, and the impact of COVID-19 and Hurricane Sally left Innisfree “more understaffed than we’ve ever been,” Herron says. While Innisfree was able to reopen its hotels in the Gulf, many former employees had moved away or taken new jobs elsewhere. 

Herron says the automation within Workday HCM lets the team leverage employees with specific skills or interests in different locations to seamlessly fill empty roles. Training is also automated through Workday HCM. That means busy managers no longer have to spend entire days training new employees, but can instead focus more on guest relations—the core of the company’s mission. This lets Innisfree recruit, onboard, train, and retain top talent.

The improved data collection through Workday HCM is also helping Innisfree keep its employees happier by finding roles that are most suited for their skills and finding the job location that best meets their needs. The added flexibility and ability to match applicants with their strengths has contributed to today’s ability to recruit by region. Herron explains, “Candidates can apply online to multiple hotels in multiple markets, and our individual properties have access to these candidates in ‘pools’—a game changer in the post-pandemic era of finding talent.”

But the best outcome of using Workday? “With every task we automate, we have more time to talk to and take care of our guests,” Herron says. “In the hospitality industry, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

More Customer Stories

See All Stories

Ready to talk?
Get in touch with us.