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CRM is Key to World-Class Service at Wickaninnish Inn

Recently named to the Conde Nast 2009 Gold List and a winner of the Andrew Harper 2008 Grand Award, the Wickaninnish Inn is a Relais & Chateaux property with 75 superbly appointed rooms. Staying on top of its game to provide top-notch service around the clock requires up-to-the-minute management of special event activities as well as precise coordination of suppliers.

Utilizing Maximizer CRM for the past 12 years has been key to the successful and efficient operations at the Tofino, B.C. resort. Before implementing Maximizer Software's CRM solution in 1997, the resort staff manually tracked all phone conversations, menus, seating arrangements and other details via a filing system for weddings, meetings and other events. In addition, there was no centralized way to cross-check lists and correspondence with priority suppliers for each department, so staff spent countless hours using an old-fashioned Rolodex. Management quickly realized it was time for an automated system to increase productivity and offer a more seamless customer service experience for our guests.

The resort selected Maximizer CRM for its ease of use, scalability and ability to manage important sales and supplier activities. With the help of Alpha Pacific Technologies, the Wickaninnish Inn began with three Maximizer licenses and have since grown to 25 desktop computers throughout the Inn. Management also use a mobile application, the Maximizer Mobile CRM for BlackBerry, to reference important customer and supplier information while they are on the road. The Maximizer CRM solution is woven comprehensively throughout the Wickaninnish Inn as every department uses it: sales & marketing, housekeeping, spa, kitchen and restaurant, front office, administration, and repair and maintenance.

Project management, department customization
On the project management side for special events, the system tracks all bookings, monitors menu or seating chart due dates, manages contracts and records every fine detail associated with an event. It is also used it to juggle requests from multiple parties involved in a specific event, as often people who are associated with the same event call with different ideas that may conflict with each other. Staff can easily see all correspondence in one place and help address issues to move the event forward flawlessly.

For supplier tracking, each department is responsible for managing nearly 15,000 vendors and purchasing appropriate supplies. One local farmer may provide a rare type of seasonal produce, while another grows the particular type of flowers that may be need on an ongoing basis. Maximizer CRM has enabled each department to easily identify primary and secondary suppliers, as well as keep orders straight to keep the right amount of inventory on-hand at the right time.

CRM has truly empowered the Wickaninnish Inn to provide the highest quality of service to its clients because the latest information about all business components are available at a momentÃ.‚¬™s notice. In addition, the staff operates more efficiently as they are able to focus on priority activities rather than conducting administrative duties.

Ultimately, the CRM system is the central nervous system for the staff of the Wickaninnish Inn. For others considering implementing Maximizer CRM for their business, it is important to build a culture around it so that all team members adopt the solution and use it every day. To yield the biggest benefits from the system, a company must make a commitment to use the software to its fullest. The Wickaninnish Inn has taken this approach and realized dramatic efficiencies and higher quality customer service as a result.

Serving as The Wickaninnish Inn's managing director, Charles McDiarmid oversees all operations for the award-winning Relais & Chateaux resort. Bringing more than 25 years of top-tier hospitality management experience, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Tourism Vancouver and others, McDiarmid expertly brought his vision of the Wickaninnish Inn to fruition by developing the initial business plan, securing financing, managing onsite construction, and building the Inn's top-notch team.
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