Part IV: P2P Stories from the Road

Many of BirchStreet’s employees spend a lot of time on the road conducting sales presentations, meetings, implementations and trainings. This blog is the fourth in an ongoing series focused on encounters around the world from different perspectives and positions within BirchStreet.

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Profile

Employee: Connie

Length of time at BirchStreet: 1 year

Title: Trainer

Connie, one of our fantastic trainers here at BirchStreet, recently came home after being on the road and flying many miles in the air. After a few days back in Southern California, we were able to ask Connie her view of the world as a BirchStreet Trainer.

Born in San Diego, CA, Connie did not picture herself as a world traveler and had actually only travelled several times prior to her working here. She is a recent graduate of UC Irvine with a degree in Public Health Policy and originally wanted to find a job in Student Affairs. That drastically changed when she accepted a job at BirchStreet! Now, she claims to know just about every snack in airport shops.

After several months of in depth training, Connie’s first trip was to Arkansas to visit a casino with another trainer. After that, she flew to Chicago on her first solo trip where it was -9 degrees and very, very cold. Coming from sunny Newport Beach, she was not prepared for the drastic freezing weather, and fortunately had even borrowed a friend’s snow jacket but had no gloves. In fact, it was so cold that the customer had closed down for the day, so Connie’s adventurous spirit led her to explore the city in the bitter cold. Returning back, flights were delayed due to the weather, but, she survived.

Her next trip was much warmer with a visit to the Virgin Islands, filled with sunshine, warm breezes and white sand beaches in a tropical setting. As her first international experience, it was quite an adventure to get there with several airport stops and even a ferry to get to the island.

Connie Australia skylineThe last two months proved to be the busiest yet, with back-to-back trips to both Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, then San Antonio, TX, with a next stop in Charlotte, SC before heading down under to Brisbane, Surfer’s Paradise and Perth in Australia. The difficult part of all this travel besides navigating through many airports and customs, is being a little disoriented in the hotels and time zones, as every hotel is different. The payoff is great when you get to experience different cultures, visit new places and build relationships. One of the best things about training a customer, is that Connie is usually spending a full week with that customer and they being to feel like family.

One of the highlights of her travels was being in Australia and learning new words. For example, in Australia, “chips” actually means “French fries” if you’re from the US while “crisps” mean “chips.” Similarly, in the US, we call a “bathroom” or “restroom” while in Canada they call it a “washroom” and in Australia it is a “loo.” She also enjoys learning how different clients work differently and being able to adapt and change. Some users have never used a computer before (yes, this actually happened on the last trip!) while others become super users. Juggling all types of users is a talent in itself that requires patience, flexibility and the ability to switch gears at a moment’s notice.

There is a bit of nostalgia of family and home when gone for long periods of time so Connie likes to listen to old music and watch old episodes of some of her favorite shows like Bob’s Burgers. Connie mentioned one of her favorite things about returning home from her travels is to be around familiar people and eat at In and Out Burger.

Connie hopes her BirchStreet travels take her to Vietnam, China and Europe next. Each trip provides a learning experience and new memories and she looks forward to more adventures.

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HITEC 2014 Round Up

HITEC 2014, hosted by HFTP, was considered a resounding success! The show continues to foster a great mix of education and technical promotion for the hospitality industry.

HITECFrom behind the scenes, the transformation of a trade show floor was amazing from Monday set up to 10 a.m. on Tuesday when the doors open to the attendees. Dust, construction, concrete, building, forklifts and cranes are changed to crisp, clean, colorful carpeted booths with stunning displays, alluring lighting and large screen monitors and kiosks. Everything from displays, mobility, door locks, payment options and software were showcased with hotels in mind.

Due to the specific nature of procure-to-pay (P2P) software, BirchStreet rarely sees the booth packed and overflowing with attendees, compared to our neighbor this year, Direct TV, who showcased several celebrities, but the turnout was great! Our team was thrilled to see all of our existing customers from around the globe. And, it was a pleasure to meet many new folks that are searching for the right procurement solution, as well as our media and fellow industry professionals. Quality over quantity, as they phrase goes.

The response to our two announcements – the launch of our Capital Budget Management module and our strategic partnership with BancTec to provide a comprehensive AP solution – proved to excite both customers and prospects. The Sales team is already working on giving demos and following up with requests. We believe this was our most successful HITEC show yet – so thank you to everyone who stopped by!

We are looking forward to seeing everyone next June in Austin, TX for HITEC 2015! And, if you missed us and can’t wait for another year, please don’t hesitate to contact BirchStreet at sales@birchstreet.net.

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BirchStreet Systems Launches Capital Budget Management Module

Leading Procure-to-Pay Software Solution for the Hospitality Industry

Newport Beach, CA. June 24, 2014 – BirchStreet Systems, Inc., the leading cloud platform for eProcurement and Procure-to-Pay in the hospitality industry, announced the launch of its new Capital Budget Management module. It allows hotels to build capital projects and budgets with approval workflows and then to purchase against those projects through its eProcurement system.

“Continuing BirchStreet’s core growth strategy of innovation by collaboration, we designed and developed extensive improvements to our former Capital Projects module. Our new CBM system is far superior in functionality and will help operators gain greater visibility to project planning, budgeting and purchasing,” stated Sushil Garg, BirchStreet’s CEO.

This new module allows for a multi-year capital expenditures plan in which a property can enter future projects into BirchStreet on an on-going basis. CBM provides the immeasurable benefit of simultaneous integration with eProcurement, AP Automation and Inventory Control applications. Thus, this module streamlines project implementation and facilitates the procure-to-pay process associated with a project.

The CBM system also allows for projection of multiple monthly and yearly budgets. Using the new system, the user can allocate a project budget to a specific year, month or across a specified period of time. BirchStreet has also introduced a highly advantageous rolling budgets functionality, so that any remaining unused amounts will roll forward to the subsequent month automatically until the project is closed.

Properties will also have the ability to define property areas and sub-areas. Information can be logged against these such as when an area was last renovated, recommended number of years between renovations, as well as measurements. Projects will be tracked against these property areas, giving tremendously beneficial insight into the capital expenditure requirements and costs associated with them. Finally, the module also provides the ability to maintain theoretical bank balances to monitor cash flow when authorizing a project.

For more information or to see a demo, please contact sales@birchstreet.net or call 949-567-7000.

About BirchStreet Systems:

BirchStreet Systems, Inc. provides global enterprises with SaaS based operating and reporting tools to close the gap between the current and the desired compliance to standard operating procedures within the procure-to-pay process. BirchStreet software improves business processes by integrating eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control, Spend Analytics, Recipe Management System and Capital Budget Management modules to support the hospitality and gaming industries. Thousands of businesses in 78 countries currently subscribe to BirchStreet to connect with a network of 200,000 suppliers. Established in 2002, BirchStreet is privately held and is headquartered in Newport Beach, California with offices in China and India. For more information, visit www.birchstreetsystems.com or call 949-567-7000.

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Building Strategy Through Procure-to-Pay Processes

chess strategyIn today’s modern age of technology, automating procurement and procure-to-pay (P2P) processes are considered a strategic move for almost all mid- to large-size companies. It is more than simply automating manual processes, such as faxing a purchase order to a supplier. P2P processes offer complete connectivity and real-time pricing with suppliers on all of their products and services. P2P technology enables accurate decision making using on demand data.

The strategy further sets in with the ability to collaborate with suppliers and guarantee compliance, both internally and externally. This ultimately leads to cost control and receiving lower prices and rebates. The P2P system’s ability to order, store order data and history, connect with suppliers, build control and compliance and bring efficiencies to many levels within the organization is undoubtedly a strategic move. This approach offers visibility into overall spend across properties.

Staying competitive in today’s business world means operating in the most efficient way with the lowest costs. Larger organizations who use lean, adaptive and agile methods are growing rapidly and more profitably. According to Forbes magazine, customers get to market 50% faster and are 25% more productive when they employ a hybrid of lean and agile development methods. These practices can improve supply chain management and procure-to-pay processes, boosting your ROI and bottom line.

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BirchStreet Will Attend HITEC 2014

HITEC14_160x80This year, BirchStreet Systems is excited to attend and showcase its procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the HITEC conference June 24 – 26, 2013. As many of you already know, HITEC is the show for hospitality technology professionals and a chance for service and product providers to show off their wares.

Hold on to your seats! BirchStreet will be rolling out a new module with cutting-edge functionality not available anywhere else within the hospitality industry solutions. We invite our existing customers and new interested parties to stop by and find out what the excitement is all about.

Stop by Booth #849 for a drink at our “bar” with top-notch beverages, demo the latest in Procure-to-Pay technology or simply say “Hello.” Our staff can help you determine your ROI and business case scenario to stay on top of your spend, budget, compliance issues, inventory, recipe management and more.

Feel free to contact me if you would like a personal demo before or after the show. Stay tuned for more HITEC news!

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Part III: P2P Stories from the Road

Many of BirchStreet’s employees spend a lot of time on the road conducting sales presentations, meetings, implementations and trainings. This blog is the third in an ongoing series focused on encounters around the world from different perspectives and positions within BirchStreet.

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Profile

Employee: Andres

Length of time at BirchStreet: 2 years

Title: Manager of Project Management

Andres moved to the United States in 2009 from Ecuador, where he was born. As a native Spanish speaker, he quickly learned English in high school. Andres received his B.S. in Computer Science with a specialty in Computer Forensics to help solves all different types of crimes. Similar to medical forensics, there is a scientific and methodical process to computer forensics, which can help the police and FBI-type agencies find and recover data. BirchStreet was quick to realize that Andres had excellent technical skills, along with a great personality.

globe with 3 miceIn June 2012, Andres started with the Supplier Adoption team. Three months later, the Technical Services and Configuration team brought Andres over. Here, he learned the ins and outs of the BirchStreet platform. This adaptability lead him to becoming a Project Manager for all of BirchStreet’s Spanish speaking clients in Central and South America. He also became an unofficial Trainer for these clients, and after only working with BirchStreet a short time, was sent to Venezuela. He enjoyed travelling to Venezuela, as it had a very familiar and similar culture to Ecuador, with friendly people and amazing food. Over time, Andres trained properties in Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador and even Turkey.

When asked what his favorite part of the job has been, Andres was quick to answer that helping his customers solve issues is the best part. No day is the same as each of his customer’s projects have different requirements and priorities. Project Managers (PM) are the main point of contact for a customer after a contract has been signed all the way through to Go-Live. The PM is viewed as the customer’s “champion” and the first line of support to helps guide each customer along the course of implementation. Andres has the attitude that going above expectations and building great relationships is the key to success. When these relationships are built, customers are apt to refer BirchStreet and their services and solutions.

Each day bring challenges, but helping to make customers happy is worth it. This type of thinking will be especially valuable with the anticipation of his first child coming in June!

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Compliance Opportunities Increase your Procure-to-Pay ROI

As we’ve discussed procure-to-pay (P2P) ROI in previous blogs, the aspect of compliance – both internally and with suppliers – will greatly benefit your business, along with operational process improvements. Automating P2P provides clients with the tools to improve operational compliance, at the location level, as well as to corporate standard operating processes (SOPs).

The following grid represents the broad spectrum of these opportunities.

Compliance ROI

BirchStreet’s platform has the capability to increase efficiency, provide controls and compliance. All of these combined benefits contribute to overall business process improvements (BPI). Trends show that many of the larger enterprise companies are moving to procure-to-pay solutions, but there is a huge opportunity for mid to large sized companies to bridge the gap they face with new technology.

For more information on eProcurement and industry trends, click here to see PayStream Advisors’ research and report on “Electronic Procurement: Creating Buyer/Supplier Collaboration Through Procure-to-Pay Solutions.”

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