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IHG builds global reputation from the first brick using IconSystem

Hotel lobby

As the World’s Leading Hotel Brand, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has a highly regarded reputation to uphold. The company is constantly enhancing its global network of 4,600 hotels, but manual project execution was impacting the speed, accuracy and quality of delivery.

To innovate its approach to construction and project delivery, IHG invested in IconSystem by Elecosoft to manage every building, project and asset digitally in real time, giving all stakeholders one version of the truth.

After successfully testing IconSystem’s capabilities on its Holiday Inn brand, IHG is now rolling out the software across the complete hotel portfolio. The group is also looking at new ways to collaborate with Elecosoft and enhance the delivery of valuable development projects.

Continuous brand expansion through digital software

InterContinental Hotels Group features many of the world’s best known hotel brands, including the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands. Every hotel must be designed, built and maintained to the same high standards, with the group managing multiple construction and refurbishment projects at any point in time.

Continuous brand expansion has challenged IHG to innovate its processes around managing design standards, continuity and building specification compliance – as John Page, Manager, Procurement – Hotel Openings EMEAA at IHG, explains:

“Specifications for all our development projects were saved as PDF books, housed on internal drives, and they were only updated every 6-12 months. This meant information quickly became out of date. In some cases, orders were being placed with de-listed suppliers, or construction teams were trying to get in touch with contacts who had left that supplier.”

Out-of-date information wasn’t the only challenge; significant time was needed to manage and communicate new specifications at the start of each project, which significantly impacted overall costs. There was also a lack of brand consistency, and no archive or paper trail for auditing and compliance.

To continue offering best-in-class services to its customers, IHG recognised that its hotel development programme needed to be driven by modern, efficient processes right from conception. And the group chose IconSystem by Elecosoft to deliver this change.

Creating an efficient, collaborative environment

IconSystem is the ideal software for IHG as it is can manage the lifecycle of every building, project and asset in real time, through one system. By presenting a single version of the truth, project managers can make effective decisions and share instructions digitally with all participants, based on current, accurate, connected information.

Having successfully deployed IconSystem in previous roles, John Page was keen to use it to innovate IHG’s approach to development products:

“I had used IconSystem for previous projects at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and John Lewis, so it was a natural step to introduce it to IHG,” he remarks.

To create an efficient, collaborative environment for IHG’s construction and maintenance work, Elecosoft’s first task was to bring all design, build and maintenance data requirements together. Over a period of four months, we created over 500 datasheets and digital control books, grouped by hotel area, and overseen by a dedicated project manager. We then trained IHG teams in-person and online on how to access and use these resources.

IHG personnel were each issued with a personal login, with customised access levels and automatic version control, to ensure data security standards and information accuracy were upheld, while enabling instant, widespread access to critical project information.

Globalising standards of practice by creating one version of the truth

With the data in place, Holiday Inn was the first brand IHG chose to start running projects with IconSystem at the core.

“Holiday Inn was fresh from a major value engineering exercise, so specifications had just been fully reviewed and updated,” John comments. “IconSystem gave us a new level of consistency, as information only needed to be changed once and it was automatically updated across the entire software.

“Throughout the project, we could constantly refer to accurate, online information. This enabled us to go back and check what was live on a specific date. We also improved communications, by cutting down requests for the latest drawing or contact details for a particular supplier.”

Transitioning to IconSystem delivered further critical improvements to IHG’s construction and maintenance work, including:

  • One version of the truth: centralising all specifications and standards via a cloud-based dynamic database made information instantly accessible to any team member.
  • Global standards of practice: using IconSystem ensures the provision of accurate, real time information, automatic version control, and a robust protocol/audit trail.
  • Efficient planning and execution: IHG personnel and external suppliers can easily collaborate, provide clarity over deadlines and completion dates, share live updates and optimise project costs.
  • Quick and painless transition: IconSystem was rolled out with no impact on internal resources, with Elecosoft delivering training on-site at IHG Head Office and via WebEx to get staff up and running quickly.

IconSystem’s effortless customer experience has also been quickly embraced by project participants.

“Colleagues seem to like it; the software is relatively intuitive and easy to navigate,” John notes.

Expansion on the horizon

Onboarding IconSystem has transformed IHG’s static development process into a more connected and dynamic format, by improving global communication and collaboration.

Instant, digital data access ensures that construction and maintenance programmes are run efficiently, cost-effectively and on-time, upholding InterContinental Hotels Group’s industry-leading reputation from the foundations up.

And with the benefits of IconSystem proven by Holiday Inn, IHG now plans to roll-out Elecosoft technology across other brands in its group:

“We’re building on our Holiday Inn success by launching Holiday Inn Express on IconSystem later this year, and we’re looking forward to getting other brands on the software too,” John concludes. “We can already foresee future opportunities for document collaboration, avoiding the need for endless emails and WeTransfers, to improve the speed and efficiency of development projects and drive continually high standards.”

Create one version of the truth for every building, project and asset, contact us for a demo of IconSystem by Elecosoft.

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