How Matchbox is helping to counter the skills shortage in the hotel industry

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The lack of specialists is extremely challenging for hotels. The Living Circle hotel group has now made life easier for its accounting staff by automating most of its payment reconciliation processes – using Matchbox and a new interface to the PMS.

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    The customer

    The Living Circle is a group of four top-class hotels, two restaurants and two farms in Switzerland. The group follows a farm-to-table concept, with rice, vegetables, fruit or wine coming direct from the fields of its own farms, for example.

    The challenge

    As in many other hotels and restaurants, the lack of specialist staff is currently causing major challenges for the hospitality group. Naturally, this is also true for accounting, which constantly has to deal with a vast amount of work.

    This is partly due to the peculiarities of hotel accounting, which can cause more work – especially when it comes to reconciling cashless payments.

    Thomas Hildebrand, Director of Finance, IT & Purchasing at The Living Circle, had to decide how he could reduce the burden on his team and make their work more efficient. Because the laborious process of manually reconciling all electronic payments for all the hotels and restaurants took many valuable hours, he was specifically looking for a solution to digitise and automate reconciliation.

    The basic requirement for integration of a new solution, however, was that the new software had to connect seamlessly via interfaces to the protel from Planet PMS and the ERP (Abacus).

    The solution

    The intelligent solution Matchbox from treibauf imports all data from the PMS and the acquirers, automatically reconciles this data, creates direct posting entries in the case of a successful match and then exports these to the connected ERP.

    The software also delivers valuable transparency, because the composition and structures of costs for cashless payments are finally apparent – thus creating a vital foundation for better decision-making.

    Integration von Matchbox in das PMS von Protel und das ERP Abacus.

    Integration von Matchbox in das PMS von Protel und das ERP Abacus.

    Planet provided a newly developed Planet Hospitality add-on module for successful connection of Matchbox to protel from Planet (protel on premise). This add-on module collates all relevant data from the various sources of the PMS and transfers them automatically to Matchbox.

    Thanks to close cooperation between the interface experts at the Abacus sales partner Axept and treibauf Project Manager Ronnie Rupff, Matchbox was also connected seamlessly to the ERP Abacus.

    The result

    The software exported the first genuine posting entries for the automatically reconciled transactions in the Abacus ERP a good two months after the project started. The Living Circle then rolled the new solution out to the first hotel in December 2022. Thomas Hildebrand has no doubts about introducing the new solution in all the group’s other hotels and restaurants:

    «The integration of Matchbox into our Planet Hospitality add-on module solves several problems for us at once: the automation provides new capacity at a time when we lack skilled staff. At the same time, the software creates the necessary transparency for effective controlling of our sales.»

    The fact that the software not only provides transaction-accurate payment matching automatically, but also delivers valuable insights into the cost structures of electronic payments is seen as a valuable additional benefit by the finance team from The Living Circle: the team can immediately see the cards and payment processes that are being used – and the fees being incurred for them.

    «It was something of an eye-opener: we suddenly realised that different hotels have different conditions – with the same acquirer mind you. We can approach negotiations very differently now thanks to this new transparency», says Thomas Hildebrand, summarising the benefits of the Matchbox payment analytics functionality.

    When he thinks about the hours of work his team used to spend on manual payment reconciliation, Thomas Hildebrand is certain that the overall costs of introducing the new solution will have been recouped in a year.

    «The integration of Matchbox into our PMS solves several problems for us at once: the automation provides new capacity at a time when we lack skilled staff. At the same time, the software creates the necessary transparency for effective controlling of our sales.»

    Thomas Hildebrand
    Director of Finance, IT & Purchasing, The Living Circle

    Why treibauf?

    For successful introduction, The Living Circle needed a team to work closely and well together at all levels. As experienced team players, the Matchbox team worked effectively and seamlessly with the team from Planet, as well as with the internal team from The Living Circle and the interface experts from Abacus.

    «The Living Circle»
    The Living Circle is a hand-picked group of first-class hotels and restaurants.

    «protel from Planet»
    Protel is the leading PMS in the hospitality sector. Protel Hotelsoftware is a global company that develops and distributes technology and service solutions for hotels and related industries and is part of the Planet Group.

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