Peak Resorts owns and operates 14 ski resorts with nearly 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. The majority of its properties are within easy driving distance from the major metropolitan markets of New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and St. Louis. The company has seen steady growth — fueled by a passion for recreation, a commitment to service, and smart investments in technology and infrastructure. One such technology investment is Paramount WorkPlace, selected by Peak Resorts to centralize, streamline, and improve its requisition, procurement, and expense processing.

Freestyle Purchasing Lacked Visibility And Controls
“Before we implemented Paramount WorkPlace, our purchasing was decentralized, with every location doing their own thing,” recalls Gary Rush, Senior VP of IT for Peak Resorts. “We wanted to establish centralized controls, both to provide better visibility into our corporate spending and to take better advantage of our bulk buying power.”

Paramount WorkPlace Fits Like a Glove
Rush says the company researched several spend management solutions before selecting Paramount WorkPlace. “Paramount WorkPlace was a good fit for our size company, and it provided solutions for both requisitions and expense processing. We also liked the three-way match capabilities it offers, as we were spending too much time reconciling variances.”
Peak Resorts chose the cloud-based deployment of Paramount WorkPlace. “We’re moving more and more to hosted applications,” Rush says, “to save money and IT resources.”

Tailored Implementation
Rush describes the implementation as comprehensive and completely tailored to the company. “We worked directly with the consultants at Paramount WorkPlace to implement the software,” he says. “The software is highly flexible, with a multitude of configuration options, so it was very helpful to have their expertise in setting up the solution to meet our company’s needs. They helped us establish and implement the various approval routings, and showed us how to leverage the product’s functionality.”

Mobile App Supports a Traveling Workforce
Peak Resorts’ employees have embraced the Paramount WorkPlace mobile application for expense management. “We can simply take a photo of the receipt, and the software’s OCR (optical character recognition) features captures it and starts to build the expense report,” explains Rush. “We finish the entry, click a button, and the expense moves to our expense dashboard. When we’re ready to submit an expense report, we simply click to select which expense items to include on the report and off it goes for approval. It’s fast and easy.”

Mobile Approvals Keep the Process Moving
The Paramount WorkPlace mobile application also supports the approval process for both expenses and requisition requests. “We’re in the travel and resort industry, so our staff travels a lot,” Rush notes. “With mobile capabilities, being out of the office doesn’t have to slow the approval process of our expense reports and purchase requests.”

Centralized Purchasing Cuts Costs and Boosts Forecasting Ability
One department in particular that is benefiting from the centralized approach to purchasing is the IT department. “All requisitions for each of our properties now goes through the corporate office for review and approval,” says Rush. “We maintain one IT budget, and allocate it to each resort as appropriate. This gives us both an accurate forecast of upcoming expenses, and an accurate way to measure what we’ve spent and how it compares to our budget.” Built in budget controls in the software warn users when a requisition exceeds a specific budget category, helping to keep spending on track.
The company’s marketing department has also moved to centralize its purchasing functions, taking advantage of the savings that come from bulk advertising and promotional purchases.

Increased Efficiency and Accuracy
Peak Resorts sought a spend management solution that offered three-way matching functionality, and found it in Paramount WorkPlace. Three-way matching refers to the approval steps when a vendor invoice is received, and the invoice is compared to both the purchase order and receiving transactions to ensure accuracy and avoid the potential for duplication. Peak Resorts can configure the software to alert approvers of variances, and can even define an acceptable variance tolerance, to avoid spending time researching just a few dollars of discrepancy.

“Before, our spending functions lacked control and visibility,” concludes Rush. “Now, with Paramount WorkPlace, we have centralized purchasing, automated routing and approval workflows, and a high level of visibility into our entire purchasing and expense management cycles. We’ve got better control, we’re leveraging our buying power, and we’re keeping the processes moving efficiently.”