Agilysys Helps Casinos Cut the Fat with SWS 8.0
Published: November 18, 2008
by Alex Woodie
Hotels and resort operators that use the Stratton Warren System (SWS) to manage their supplies will gain some new tricks for spotting and eliminating wasteful spending with version SWS 8.0, which was announced by Agilysys last week. Support for EDI, new budgeting capabilities, and dashboard applications combine to help the casino resorts and large hotels that use SWS to weather the economic downturn.
SWS (formerly MMS400) is a suite of inventory management applications designed for large hotels and casino resorts that cater to tens of thousands of guests and manage relationships with hundreds of suppliers. The software runs exclusively on the IBM i operating system, and is often deployed alongside another i OS hospitality stalwart, the Lodging Management System (LMS), which Agilysys also obtained in its 2003 acquisition of Inter-American Data (IAD).
Agilysys added several new features with SWS 8.0 that should allow customers to cut out the fat--literally and figuratively--from hotel and resort operations.
Near the top of the list is support for EDI, which enables customers to receive supplier invoices in EDI formats. While EDI has been used in other supply chains for decades, its use is not widespread in the hotel industry.
SWS 9.0 also brings new budget tracking capabilities. Managers will be able to track all types of expenditures against their budgets, which should reduce the risk of overspending. Managers get the option to receive a warning when they're about to exceed the budget. Even better, the system can be configured to automatically stop the creation of documents that would exceed budgeted amounts, according to Agilysys.
New dashboard and custom reporting features, delivered in a new module called SWS Analytics, give managers more powerful tools to visualize purchasing and inventory costs. Other new reports for analyzing spending at the supplier, item, and company level should also help managers trim costs.
Casinos and hotels buy and serve a lot of food to their visitors, and SWS includes two modules dedicated to analyzing menus for nutritional value. With SWS 8.0, Agilysys includes an update to its internal USDA nutritional database that provides additional recipe ingredient information, including the amount of trans fats. Restaurants and food manufacturers are coming under pressure to disclose the use of trans fats in foods.
Security is a big deal at casinos, and so it is with SWS. Version 8 brings stronger default security settings, and gives administrators the opportunity to tighten permissions at various levels for certain types of transactions. A new GUI and better integration with external documents round out the release.
Tina Stehle, senior vice president and general manager of the hospitality solutions group at Agilysys, says the new features in SWS 8.0 should help casinos and large hotels boost efficiency. "In the current economy, it's more important than ever for purchasing staff to focus on the strategic elements of the procurement process," she says.
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