Ecuadorian hotel gets an extreme tech makeover with apps streamlining everything from reservation management to microbrew sales
The owner of La Posada del Arte, an art hostel in Ecuador, has streamlined the hotel’s business practices by developing a suite of applications in Xojo. The new apps have made everything from reservation tracking to billing to restaurant management efficient, automated processes.
It all started when a couple from Chicago, Jim Redd and his wife Marshia Jackson, were on their third trip to Banos, Ecuador, a town known for its quaint village and natural hot springs. They stayed at La Posada del Arte, an art hostel showcasing works from 50 Ecuadorian painters, and loved not only its ambiance, but the beauty and adventure surrounding them. Jim and Marshia had always considered moving to Ecuador and after finding the hotel was for sale, they made an offer. A few months later they completed the purchase and left Chicago, where they had lived for 30 years.
One of the biggest hurdles to purchasing the hotel was identifying its financial value. The previous owners had no computer and tracked everything manually so it took months to determine its income and expenses. After taking over the business, Jim, a retired computer programmer, decided he needed to automate the business. He had worked with Visual Basic in the past, but wanted an easy-to-use development tool that could work on the couples’ Macs.
Jim searched the marketplace and determined that Xojo had all the features he was looking for. Using Xojo, Jim developed a suite of applications that helped with reservation management, guest meal tracking, hotel and restaurant billing, client tour agency management, room occupancy analysis, plate sales analysis, employee salaries and benefits, expense and income tracking, wine list maintenance and printing.
Jim commented, "Xojo is a solid development tool that is both intuitive and extremely reliable. Once I got started with the basic accounting procedures, I discovered it was so much fun that I couldn't stop, and extended it to everything." He added, "Xojo’s consistency and reliability have made developing applications for our business a seamless experience. We plan to keep extending applications throughout the hotel whenever we think of a new way to use it."
Jim recently added a microbrew pub at the hotel that uniquely uses water from the natural hot springs. He developed a bar/table ordering and billing system for expense and income accounting, as well as a new micro-brew batch tracking system used by the brew master. The application tracks detailed information about each batch, such as barley type and weight, hops, yeast, temperatures and specific gravity, and allows the bartender to print out the current beer list and prices for guests each day. "Having the micro-brew batch tracking system keeps us organized at the bar and behind the scenes. I can even monitor real-time bar sales from the hotel across town!"