SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts is a leading hospitality and hotel management company headquartered in Vancouver, BC. With over 3000 associates Canada-wide, they own, manage, and operate a diverse property and brand portfolio that includes such names as Marriot, Hilton, and Radisson.
Like Catapult, SilverBirch shares a belief that success with ERP is achieved through a strategically managed program measured by incremental benefits and business improvement over time. Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV, SilverBirch has transformed their core business functions to meet the demands of their customers, improving employee efficiency and overall profitability.
In a time of growth, SilverBirch was running their business on a legacy system that would not scale and adapt to the companies changing needs. This system required a great deal of manual intervention and fell short in providing consistent, reliable, and timely data to support strategic decision-making.
SilverBirch chose to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV as their new ERP system. Through a multi-phased approach, Catapult worked with SilverBirch to ensure confidence in the new system and maximize adoption of NAV’s capabilities among the company’s user base.
- Improved reporting and analytical capability through standardized accounting processes.
- Streamlined manual processes to automate and improve productivity.
- Scalable foundation for continuous process improvement and growth.
- Transferred project management and system testing knowledge to SilverBirch employees to help grow their team’s organizational capabilities beyond ERP.
The success of this project has been recognized by Hospitality Technology (HT) Magazine who recently honoured SilverBirch as the winner of the Infrastructure & Back-Office Technology Innovator Award for leveraging technology beyond standard practices to improve overall hotel operations.
SilverBirch decided NAV was indeed a platform that can provide all of the capabilities they needed that could grow, change, and evolve with their business.
Duration: 16 months
SilverBirch selected Dynamics NAV based on its flexibility to adapt to unique business processes, use of dimensions for control over financial data, and ability to handle varied and complex integration requirements. Focusing the implementation on a pre-determined list of requirements needed to run the business allowed SilverBirch to deploy NAV in a relatively short period of time. The implementation footprint included GL, accounts payable, fixed assets, project accounting, operational budgeting and forecasting, capital budgeting, time and attendance and payroll. Throughout this process, the key to success was a strong vision and maintaining control over the project scope to ensure that as the stakeholders’ understanding of NAV’s capabilities grew — the goal line only moved when proposed changes met the project’s larger objectives. To ensure a continued commitment to the original scope, further enhancements were carefully compiled into a backlog to be addressed once the solution had been deployed and stabilized.
Duration: 3 months
As a follow up to the initial launch in 2014, continued in-person training was delivered to all users. An ERP support team including subject matter experts from the key functional areas in SilverBirch and members of the consulting team from Catapult, was established to ensure that new processes were well understood and immediate system support was available during business hours. A support portal was set up to log issues and the SilverBirch and Catapult teams set up protocols to triage issues as they were identified, replicate in test environments, fix and QA, and deploy to production. During the 3-month stabilization period, SilverBirch worked out the kinks in processes while Catapult ensured that NAV was functioning as intended and was evolving to meet the demands of day-to-day production use. At the completion of the stabilization period, the Catapult-SilverBirch team set in place regular support processes through Catapult’s managed services framework to ensure users had access to expert resources and troubleshooting should any issues arise.
In parallel, a set of system operations and monitoring protocols were established to ensure the solution itself was performing at optimal levels. Monitoring included basic infrastructure, integrations, system updates, and major processes. Any issues flagged in the monitoring process were automatically added to the support and troubleshooting queue to ensure a speedy resolution.
Original Scope Enhancements
Duration: 3 months
By October 2014, SilverBirch was ready to tackle its prioritized enhancement list. These ranged from simple configuration changes to user interface and form changes, in addition to report development. During this phase, the emphasis was on making specific changes to enhance functionality deployed in the initial release. One of the key benefits of this post-launch enhancement phase was to build confidence among users and address any concerns and changes. This phase helped empower employees to use the system in the best possible way, which improved productivity and increased the immediate value for SilverBirch and their investment in NAV.
Duration: 1-2 years, ongoing
SilverBirch continues its deployment of time and attendance, payroll, and consolidation and is currently assessing tools aimed at integrating asset management, preventative maintenance, and project management capabilities.
"Catapult was a part of all of the decision making, not just acting as a development shop but rather as a partner in our business to streamline how we actually do business."