For Mohegan Sun the ability to get near real-time data into the hands of the housekeeping department and front desk staff opened up opportunities for efficiencies and reduced dependence on other teams for relevant insights.
With the adoption of Cognos Analytics software, the operations teams were able to create their own analytics solutions that have driven significant operational improvements and time savings.
Enables operationsto improve customer service with near real-time data that improves efficiency
Saves timeby an estimated 1 hour per day for floor supervisors
Increases self-sufficiencyof the day-to-day operations teams
Business challenge story
A world in need of real-time data
Even from a distance, Mohegan Sun can be seen towering over the surrounding Connecticut landscape, enticing travelers to enter a “world at play” — to throw some dice at the casino, relax by the pool, catch a show, shop, eat and be entertained.
Upon arrival, the last thing a hotel guest wants is to wait.
But, with a property boasting 1,563 hotel rooms and two massive towers, it’s possible for a thousand check-ins to occur in a single day. Too many delayed checkouts, staffing inefficiencies, room adjustments or housekeeping requests can sometimes result in a fair amount of displeased guests waiting to get their room keys, drop off their luggage and start enjoying their stays.
In the past, housekeeping and the front desk were not adequately equipped with information. Essential data existed in only one physical place on the property, making it a hassle for supervisors to check updates while working on different floors of the hotel.
With an extensive background in hotel operations, Johanna Thibdeau, Revenue Management Analyst at Mohegan Sun, recognized the opportunity for housekeeping staff to have their own access to real-time data. “Housekeeping didn’t carry any data with them, and had supervisors running up and down the stairs to check room status,” says Thibdeau. With 36 floors in one tower, many supervisors wasted valuable time rushing around the property just to receive updates.
And, with each housekeeper assigned 65 – 90 rooms, keeping up with the guests’ specific requests and adjustments without updates available on hand made room upkeep, customer service and staffing a daunting challenge.
Unknown to the operations team, a solution already existed within Mohegan Sun.
A world upgraded
The Mohegan Sun revenue management team had relied on an earlier version of the Cognos Business Intelligence platform for years. However, its interface was more suitable for knowledgeable analytics professionals, so less analytics-focused departments, like housekeeping and the front desk, had to rely on the revenue management team for reporting and analytic insights.
“When we started with Cognos Business Intelligence, we used it for canned reports, looking up hotel occupancy, rooms left for sale, bare-bones basic information,” says Jesse Sturges, Director of Strategic Marketing at Mohegan Sun.
After an upgrade to the Cognos Analytics version 11 platform, a whole new world of user-friendly tools became available, and other departments across Mohegan Sun were able to use them — not just the revenue management team.
“As the team became a little savvier with leveraging Cognos Analytics, using multiple tables and getting the information we really needed, we were not only able to help ourselves with yielding decisions, but we were able to help drive decisions in other departments too,” says Sturges.
To help the Mohegan Sun team get acclimated to the upgraded Cognos Analytics software, a group of experts from LPA trained them in reporting, dashboards, data modules and more.
During their week-long, in-house training session, the ideas were flowing. That’s when the revenue management team had the inspired notion to use the Cognos Analytics interactive dashboards for housekeeping and front-desk operations.
“For those of us on the reporting side, Cognos Analytics offered new functionality, but the dashboards didn’t initially look like a direct help,” Sturges says. “Then we realized if we could enable the other departments with self-service dashboards, we would no longer have to be a support branch for them, and we could free up time to work on other things.”
The creation of housekeeping and front-desk dashboards would allow those departments to become more self-sufficient while also driving significant operational improvements and time savings. They could immediately modify the information and visual presentation, customize details, and filter data to each team’s specific needs.
“It took a couple of weeks to get dashboards drilled down to what we really wanted. Creating the back-end datasets and data modules took some time, but now it’s a lot more efficient; we can implement changes or add information very easily,” says Thibdeau.
A world modernized
Now, crucial data concerning room occupancy and inventory is displayed in the front office on a large screen for all to see. The information is also available at the front desk and on tablets for the floor supervisors. Using Cognos Analytics datasets allows cached data to refresh every 3 – 5 minutes, so when any adjustments occur, the changes are displayed in near-real time.
Supervisors no longer have to hustle down to the office to verify a room status, saving on average an estimated hour per day per supervisor while also reducing errors. As soon as the front desk assigns a room status, it is made available to the supervisor. When housekeeping knows which rooms to prioritize, the guests’ wait times decrease significantly.
The new Cognos Analytics dashboard also improves customer service by personalizing the experience. Now the name and exact needs of every guest appear on screen next to the guest’s room information.
Operational independence and refined communications have helped improve housekeeping and front-desk operations so much that other departments are now looking at the Cognos Analytics solution as an option. Hotel purchasing is exploring the possibility of using a dashboard to manage orders and compare buyers, and so are other, more customer-focused, day-to-day operations, like valet and hosting.
But the hotel’s Cognos Analytics journey doesn’t stop there. Recently Mohegan Sun upgraded to an even newer version of the platform. The latest release, Cognos Analytics V11.1, offers enhanced reporting and dashboard capabilities including automated insights, exploration capabilities, and data prep supported by AI. Departments can refine their analysis and use the advanced analytics and machine learning to generate more relevant insights.
Known as “a world at play,” Mohegan Sun is a gaming and entertainment destination located in Uncasville, Connecticut. Two glass towers make up the hotel, with two unique casinos, more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, a 10,000-seat arena, two spas, and meeting facilities. Mohegan Sun is owned by the Mohegan Tribe and managed by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
About LPA Software Solutions
LPA is a consulting firm and full-service IBM Business Partner. It provides cross-industry consulting based on predictive and cognitive analytics, business intelligence, data science, big data and financial performance management. Its consultants are experts in analytics software and solutions.
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