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CASE STUDY: FORT WILLIAM HENRY CORP.
Type: Hospitality and Tourism Businesses
Products: Dynamics GP, Dynamics POS
IN A NUTSHELL
Fort William Henry Corporation operates 20 different businesses, many of which are seasonal. From a 200-room hotel, conference center, and full-service wedding/banquet facility, to a miniature golf course, ice cream stand, museum and gift shop, all in Lake George, NY. Imagine tracking profit and loss, and specifically cash control in a risky environment, with 400 employees at 20 different locations, and 70 percent of your revenue flowing in from May through September.
That’s a challenge by any standards.
Fort William Henry Corporation began with five business partners 57 years ago. The historic fort site had little to show from its short yet historical significance in the mid 1700s, during the French and Indian War. A prominent backdrop in James Fenimore Cooper’s famed Last of the Mohicans, the partners secured original British plans of the fort and recreated it as a museum.
Over the years, the company built or rebuilt several facilities, including erecting a 200-room hotel designed to resemble a 1911 version of a railroad-built hotel that originally stood on the same site.
With multiple point of sale systems in place at the front end, there was a growing need for an interface system to move information from the point of sale to the centralized accounting system. Accounts payable was also a challenge. With central purchasing, an invoice might have to be split between multiple businesses.
“And when your revenue season is so condensed,” explains CEO Kathy Muncil, “your life is based on a weekly timeframe.” Kathy adds: “There’s a critical need to compare each week to our budget and to the same week the year before. We couldn’t do this previously – not easily or efficiently.”
“ADS has worked with us since 2002. Because they really listen to our needs, we get the benefits of a cradle-to-grave system that continues to evolve, to make us more efficient and solve problems that cut our risk and save considerable time,” says Kathy. A customized voucher program, for instance, allowed the company to speed up their review of payables – “cutting our work in half.” As for capturing information from each profit center, in order to make regular comparisons to budget and previous years, “Now I just press a button and it comes out.”
THE FINAL WORD
CEO Kathy Muncil: “ADS takes time to understand our needs. They know how to translate our requests into really good interfaces with the technology they know so well. When you make major investments in something (hardware and software systems), without the strong leadership ADS brings to the table, it can be a disaster. When we needed more front-end systems, we went back to ADS. When we need to solve a new challenge, that’s who we talk to.”