By Christina Del Villar, Senior Director Marketing
Dan Campbell of Camelback Hotel Corp. owned seven profitable hotel franchises in Arizona, but he wasn’t happy. His portfolio included Best Western, Ramada, Super 8, and Wyndham hotel brands. He was up to his neck in paperwork and drowning in an endless stream of phone calls from seven hotel managers wanting to know if this or that bill had been paid yet. This was back in 2009, before Dan became a “No Check” CEO.
Each hotel had hundreds of vendors, from the local hardware store to landscapers to pool cleaners. That meant hundreds of invoices going to each property every month. The managers would review the bills as they came in, code each one to an account, and then once a week stuff them into a big envelope and send them to Dan’s bookkeeper. The bookkeeper would key each bill into QuickBooks, print out the checks and staple them to the bills for Dan and his wife to review. Finally, the checks would be mailed, and once a year they would put all the bills in storage.
Meanwhile, if one of the Tucson hotels’ plumber wondered about a payment, he’d call that hotel manager, who would call Dan, who would have to search in QuickBooks or dig through a file cabinet to check the status.
Then, one Sunday – a Sunday when Dan really wanted to be playing golf with his friends – inspiration struck.
“I thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way!’” says Dan. “I did a Google search, and Bill.com came up. That was my ‘Aha!’ Moment.”
“Now the managers don’t send the bills to me – they scan them to Bill.com instead, along with any other paperwork, like signed receipts for work done. Then we go online to review the bills our managers have approved, and everything’s right there, so we can give final approval, schedule the payment and let Bill.com take it from there.”
Today, Dan Campbell’s phone is quieter and he can concentrate on more strategic activities. If a vendor calls a manager, the manager just checks online to see the status, without interrupting Dan.
“Now my wife goes online at McDonalds to pay the bills while our daughter is in gymnastics,” he says. “And now our bookkeeper, who’s been with us for years, she’s like part of the family, can do everything she was doing in the office from anywhere, so she moved to Missouri to be near her children.”
“This is so cool from an operational standpoint because it puts control of accessing that bill at the hotel rather than at the corporate office,” says Campbell. “We’re not getting flooded with phone calls anymore, and I’m not running to my file cabinet every five minutes. Now, everything exists within Bill.com and that makes my life much nicer.”