Delivering good old-fashioned hospitality
Twiddy & Company uses SAS® to support strategic planning and optimize processes
Providing exceptional customer service has always been – and always will be – an essential ingredient of business success. No one knows this better than small to medium-sized business owners, for whom exceptional customer service is integral to building customer loyalty and driving business growth. Adding to its own unique brand of customer service in the vacation home property management industry, one North Carolina company is using analytics to enhance its clients' experience by combining good old-fashioned hospitality with deep business and customer insight.
For more than 33 years, Twiddy & Company has specialized in managing a portfolio of exceptional rental vacation properties on the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina. Its formula for success over the years has remained the same: local ownership, beautiful vacation homes and a dedicated, experienced staff that is 100 percent committed to old-fashioned hospitality and a personalized approach to property management.
Commitment to customer service
To help deliver on this commitment, Twiddy uses SAS® Business Analytics to provide exceptional home management and maintenance on behalf of owners while ensuring repeat visits from rental guests.
With a portfolio of more than 900 managed properties, Twiddy has implemented SAS to support the operations side of its business, which is helping the family-run company better manage budgets and expenditures related to property maintenance.
“Over time, we captured a lot of cost data via Excel,” explains Operations Manager Clark Twiddy. “We decided there had to be a way to make our data more intelligent, and to automate the cost analysis process so that we wouldn’t have to rely as much on manual processes to better understand what is and isn’t working in terms of our business strategy, and where we needed to focus our efforts. We can now track expenditures month-to-month and year-to-year without doing a massive data pull into Excel, which used to take one person a couple of days to perform.”
Reducing errors and financial losses
For example, Twiddy is using SAS to make better decisions about which vendors to use for what maintenance projects, based on cost effectiveness, efficiency and quality of work. And it has reduced financial losses – due to human processing errors of contractor invoices – by 15 percent.
"We work with about 1,200 vendors, and we want to assign the work to these vendors in the most effective way possible," Clark Twiddy says. "SAS gives us a sense of what's working and not working on a dynamic basis, and that's something we didn't have before. We've been able to reduce our invoice processing error rate and catch costs that are far outside the average, for any given service, before a homeowner sees the bill. Manually looking for these things in the past was too resource-prohibitive. Now we have a really good sense of cost and quality by service provider and apply a professional approach to resource allocation and management. If you're a homeowner with Twiddy and Company, imagine the confidence you'd have knowing that when we coordinate service to your home, we're doing it in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible, which gives your guests the best experience to keep them happy and coming back to vacation at your home."
What we deliver is hospitality – that's our passion and our business – and SAS has helped us through the logistics to deliver it with a higher degree of confidence.
Dynamic access to information
"Another benefit for homeowners is transparency in terms of costs," Twiddy continues. "When an owner calls now to inquire about their service costs, we can show them their expenditures and that they are in line with market averages. The accurate, timely and transparent information provided by SAS delivers tangible value to our clients. Dynamic access to information is a real competitive advantage that we can hang our hat on."
Using analytics, the company is also able to forecast and streamline the management of routine services, such as cleaning hot tubs and pools, before guests arrive for their vacation.
"One of our first projects was to automate the scheduling of pool and hot tub service," says Chief Technology Officer Laura Carver. "We can now pull the scheduling information and automatically email vendors on a weekly basis. Before, one person would be faxing work orders on a daily basis. This has invented time for us that we didn't have before – it's providing real savings that we can measure on the bottom line."
"What we deliver is hospitality – that's our passion and our business – and SAS has helped us through the logistics to deliver it with a higher degree of confidence," says Marketing Director Ross Twiddy. "We could have the best website and the best smiles at the front counter, but if you get to your house and the pool and hot tub hasn't been cleaned, we've failed to provide hospitality. SAS was instrumental in making that process better."
According to Carver, who retained Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. to help with the SAS implementation, Twiddy & Company plans to give homeowners online access to the system in the future, which will allow them to look at account information – such as revenue generated and expenses – to support decisions about their investment properties.
Client and employee satisfaction
Not only is SAS helping Twiddy increase client satisfaction, it's also having a positive impact on staff. "Smart and motivated people want to be measured and held accountable," says Ross Twiddy. "Employees have bought into the system and like it because they can track and see the impact they're having on the business. If we can work smarter, the company and our home owners will benefit."
Needed a system to support strategic business planning and optimize operational processes.
Using SAS, Twiddy & Company can better manage its budgets and expenditures, get access to real-time data and allocate resources cost effectively and efficiently. The company reduced error-related financial losses by 15 percent and, by automating service scheduling, freed up one full-time employee to perform other tasks.