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Celebrating Hospitality
Q&A with HOSPA

Percipient’s Managing Director, Chris Stock, sits down for an exclusive Q&A with the team at HOSPA ahead of this year’s HOSPACE event.

Q: So Chris, thanks so much for chatting with us today, I know this year is turning out to be a particularly busy one for you guys. Not only have you restructured to focus solely on Sage Intacct, but Percipient celebrated 20 years of being in business. Two decades is a long time in the technology world, how has your business changed in that time?

It hardly seems possible that we have celebrated our 20-year anniversary as a company. It’s a real landmark and I’m incredibly proud to be where are. The business started in recognition of the fact that we felt we could offer a better level of customer service than existing market players, through quality people and the right culture. With our focus firmly rooted in the delivery of best-in-class business software to the hospitality industry, combined with the best consultants to match, we truly understand the dynamics, nuances and challenges facing the sector.

There’s no question that our hospitality customers have had a rough ride over the past four years, and with the cost-of-living crisis squeezing consumer spending, there is still much to navigate. However, they are embracing digital as a lever for performance, and innovation to carve out competitive advantage, and that’s where we play a pivotal role.

One example of this is the holiday and marina park business, Lakeland Leisure Estates, which, having recently moved to Sage Intacct, brought us on board as a support partner, where we helped integrate all of its core systems via Percipient’s Cloud Connect.

As well as benefitting from huge time savings, and automation to drive speedy information flow, the team has access to greater intelligence from which to run the business and can record high levels of data granularity about its boats or lodges to improve both service levels and profitability at the same time.

Their FD was incredibly complimentary about our team, attributing the many business benefits they’re now seeing to our in-depth understanding of the industry, down to the nuts and bolts of the sector, underpinned by our best practice model.

Another is the iconic Manchester-based hotel The Lowry, which echoes this sentiment, attributing its ability to make faster, more informed decisions to capitalise on new opportunities, mitigate risk, and deliver the high standards which are synonymous with its brand, to the intelligence, automation and integration facilitated by Sage Intacct. The fact that The Lowry has become our 50th Sage Intacct customer and 30th in the hospitality sector, is a testament to our reputation and success in the industry since we became a Sage Intacct partner in late 2019.

In a similar vein, The Other House, which is a new concept combining home comforts and apartment-style living with hotel-style services, came to us with a need for a platform to integrate all of its key systems, deliver high-level business insights, and support the lifestyle brand’s plans to open 15 sites in the next few years. Having selected Sage Intacct based on the fact it was the best system on the market, The Other House is benefitting from automation across the entire business. Because of the impressive integration via APIs, business users can view pretty much anything via an easy-to-navigate dashboard, daily, weekly, monthly, or by any other configuration they choose. This unprecedented level of speed and intelligence means that the team there can distil key data in minutes rather than days.

Our products have inevitably evolved during the last decade or so, and our partnership with Sage has resulted not only in an abundance of customer successes but a series of award wins too, most recently for Industry Specialist Partner of the Year UKI and Sage Intacct Platinum Partner.

Without question, the key to our success is our people. We pride ourselves on having a friendly, open, dedicated culture, and our customers place a lot of value on this, particularly when it comes to synergies and working relationships.

Q: So what is the secret ingredient behind your success would you say?

Without question, the key to our success is our people. We pride ourselves on having a friendly, open, dedicated culture, and our customers place a lot of value on this, particularly when it comes to synergies and working relationships. I wholeheartedly believe that if you look after your people, they will look after your customers, and by ensuring each and every one of our team members feels truly valued, we are able to consistently exceed expectations. The team has seen somewhat of a restructure over the last seven years as we harness this sentiment and build a platform to scale and we’re currently in the very best shape to embrace what is yet to come.

Q: What lessons have you learned over the years and what one thing has changed the way you work?

That’s a really good question as there are always learnings on any journey, and I think it’s important to recognise that. The changes we have adapted to during the last three years or so have proved that we always need to be ready to learn new ways of doing things, and I think the fact that we feel very much like a 20-year-old start-up, is a testament to this. Being ready to embrace change and deliver services and products which are aligned to where the market is currently, is everything right now.

Q: How important is cloud as we look ahead to 2024 and beyond?

Well, 20 years ago, when I started the business, the cloud was, while present in the likes of Hotmail, pretty much unchartered as a model for business software delivery.

Fast forward to today, and the cloud is at the absolute core of what we do, as customers recognise the benefits of greater scalability and security; lower TCO and risk; and ease of use. This shift is reflected in our recent sale of our Sage X3 business, which will allow us to channel even greater focus into our Sage Cloud business, as the success of Sage Intacct continues to gain momentum.

As the hospitality industry increasingly points to intelligence, automation, and integration as prerequisites for their cloud deployments, Sage Intacct delivers this in abundance, supporting true collaboration, and scale for growth. Our customers continue to effervesce about its capabilities which is a testament to its reputation as a world-class, modern platform.

Looking ahead to 2024, there is a genuine vibe and sense of excitement at where we are currently as a business. As the hospitality industry increasingly points to intelligence, automation, and integration as prerequisites for their cloud deployments, Sage Intacct delivers this in abundance, supporting true collaboration, and scale for growth. Our customers continue to effervesce about its capabilities which is a testament to its reputation as a world-class, modern platform.

We’re looking forward to seeing more and more innovation as the industry seeks to carve out new opportunities and avenues for revenue growth against a backdrop of squeezed consumer spending. And crucially, we are investing in our people as the enablers and supporters of this innovation, encouraging long-term relationships with our hospitality customers which will reap rewards for the years ahead.

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