Hyatt redefines group event experience with Group Bill solution

Hyatt Hotels Corporation wanted to provide its event planners and attendees with a superior experience. Together with Slalom Consulting, Hyatt launched an award-winning solution, Group Bill, that’s earning standing ovations throughout the hospitality industry.

The Challenge

As part of its continued focus on attracting group events, Hyatt wanted to simplify group billing. To do so, it needed to make key improvements to the group billing process, including:

  • Automating a paper-heavy manual process
  • Providing event planners with daily, up-to-the-minute billing details
  • Improving billing accuracy and reducing billing disputes
  • Minimizing lag times for final billing, sometimes as long as 60 days
  • Tracking on-the-fly changes to estimates

Group event bills are complex. On-the-fly changes made at group events are notoriously difficult to track—charges for an impromptu happy hour are scribbled on a cocktail napkin here; an additional meeting room rental noted on a scrap of paper there. Without a portable, automated tracking process, it’s nearly impossible to accurately capture every billing detail. As a result, event planners often face confusing bills and unfamiliar charges; when disputed, Hyatt would write off those charges in order to preserve customer relationships.

Hyatt dreamt it. Slalom helped build it.

Our Approach

Slalom was involved in this project from discovery through post-implementation support. The Slalom team began by drafting a custom application development strategy that met Hyatt’s overall corporate vision. Using an agile process, Slalom then designed, developed, and implemented a seamless, user-friendly solution—Group Bill—to bring that strategy to life. 

Group Bill is intuitive and easy to use—whether sitting at a desk or running between events. An interactive PDF interface that integrates point of sale and property management systems, Group Bill allows Hyatt’s event coordinators to:

  • Access billing details via tablet or desktop
  • Provide event planners with a running tally of their group’s charges
  • Create a final, accurate bill at the end of a group event
  • Receive automatic alerts on potential billing inaccuracies
  • Make on-the-go additions and revisions during group events

The Results

Group Bill is getting standing ovations—literally. Hyatt’s VP of Catering and Convention Services, Steve Enselein, routinely receives hearty applause from hotel staff, and Hyatt was named the 2013 Infrastructure Technology Innovator in Hospitality Technology’s annual Hotel Visionary Awards.

Group Bill has transformed Hyatt’s group billing processes. It enables a concise, accurate electronic view of all group charges. Its ability to capture real-time charges reduces the number of customer disputes and charge adjustments and improves overall workflow and reconciliation.

Customers and employees are more satisfied, and Hyatt has earned significant operational savings. For Hyatt’s event coordinators, Group Bill simplifies their ability to track and aggregate charges, reconcile exceptions, and generate a final bill. Group event planners now have real-time visibility into their group’s budget use and receive intuitive bills that are easy to reconcile. Hyatt has seen drastic reductions in write-offs caused by customer disputes and more timely bill generation results in more timely payments.