Hotel News
BITAC® Events!
HEALTHTAC® Food & Beverage Dec. 08, 2019 More Info
Building Your Hospitality Business
  Are you a member? Log In  or  Sign Up
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
Send a summary and link to this article
To Email
Your Name
Your Email
Bot Test
To pass the Bot Test, please type the white text that you see in the gray box. This helps us prevent spammers from abusing the system.
Print Printable Version

Flexing Its Innovative Muscle

Davidson Hotels Comes Up With Creative Approaches To Insurance, Technology

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Dennis Nessler
bookmark this
Bookmark to: Digg Bookmark to: Del.icio.us Bookmark to: Facebook
Bookmark to: Yahoo Bookmark to: Google Bookmark to: Twitter
We are on Twitter

Thinking out of the box is nothing new to Davidson Hotels & Resorts. The management firm certainly demonstrated that a few years ago with the launch of Pivot Hotels & Resorts, its luxury and lifestyle division, and the company continues to flex its innovative muscle in other areas.

The two most recent examples are related to ongoing initiatives around insurance and the technology space. Barry Wabler, EVP and CFO, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, noted that innovation has long been a staple of the privately-held management company, which was founded in 1974 and now operates nearly 50 upper-upscale and luxury hotels.

Wabler noted that in 2016, the Atlanta-based company established a new plan design for its health care fund and as a result has been able to reduce insurance claims costs for team members and hotel owners across the portfolio by millions of dollars. In fact, he pointed out the company has been able to offer a 10 percent decrease in costs to employees and owners for two consecutive years.

Wabler further noted the company’s group medical rates paid by team members and hotel owners compared to market has decreased 39 percent since 2016 with no changes to co-pays or deductibles and with the provision of new benefit features and enhancements.

“It’s been a really extraordinary, innovative thing that we’ve been doing. At the end of the day we’re in a people business. It’s all about how can we not only provide our team members with the best tools to use, but to reflect on a personal level through our benefits package the most innovative ways and techniques to bring them really high-quality coverage at the most affordable rates,” said Wabler.

He emphasized that a key component of the program is the direct relationships that the company has forged within the medical community.

"We’ve got team members located all across the U.S. so recognizing that health care delivery is really localized we decided to not leverage necessarily a one-stop shop national approach to the delivery of health care services, but rather engage in direct relationships with hospitals and medical facilities. So those direct relationships have had the impact of lowering costs across the country,” said Wabler.

He continued, “if you’re looking at that nationally you’re really kind of missing out on understanding how services can be delivered and how relationships can be entered into on a market-by-market basis.”

Meanwhile, the company has also altered its approach when it comes to technology moving from its proprietary web-based legacy system known as Dnet to a highly integrated consortium of industry-standard, SaaS-based software applications.

Wabler noted Dnet had been in place for more than 25 years and helped set Davidson apart from competitors by allowing for accurate budgeting and forecasting based on historical data, including state-of-the-art purchasing, contract management and employee onboarding capabilities.

Wabler explained the decision for the shift in strategy.
“We made the determination to keep our focus on guest service and on creating value. [We decided] maybe it didn’t make the most sense to internally support our own system so we started to break that apart to really make sure that we had best-in-class applications to engage,” he said, later adding, “what we’ve tried to do at Davidson is integrate as many of those otherwise disparate systems as possible.”

According to Wabler, connectivity and seamless integration among different systems and providers is essential for Davidson to move forward with a potential solution.

“That’s one of our rules of engagement. We’re specific about how we see this playing out asking the service provider to stretch and add some dimension to what they’re providing,” he said.

Wabler noted that’s frequently an overlooked aspect of adding and implementing new technology. “It’s easy to become overly focused on the content or the product, but I think it’s just as important to think about the impact on the organization and how processes are going to change around new platforms,” he said.

Underscoring the company’s continued emphasis on innovation, specifically with regards to both the technology and insurance initiatives, Wabler commented.

“At work and at home we’re trying to extend innovation to really be impactful in the lives of our team members,” he said.

Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
Feedback Messaging & Feedback
We welcome your opinion! Log In to send feedback.
Already a member?
Log In
Not yet registered?
Sign Up
Need More Information?
  RSS Feed
RSS Feed
Contact Us
Mobile Version