SUCCEEDING IN YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY (Part 1)
ENSURE YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS BY FOLLOWING THESE 10 TIPS!
In recent years, there has been much talk about digital transformation in all industries. With the arrival of COVID-19, digital technology is now ubiquitous and many solutions, formerly less known, are today at the center of everyday life.
In the hospitality industry, emphasis has been placed on digital marketing, websites, direct bookings and electronic distribution. However, if we want to leverage the full power of digital technology, we must consider all digital solutions required for hotel operations. In a typical hotel, one can find nearly forty different systems that support daily operations and each of them is important to ensure your success!
Before restarting your operations after the forced shutdown by COVID-19, it would be advisable to do a review of all digital solutions in use and consider changing them if required to adapt to the new reality that will surely be more demanding for all sectors of your organization. Here are some tips to approach this initiative with confidence!
TIP # 1 – CONSIDER ALL SECTORS OF YOUR OPERATIONS
Managing an hotel property takes several digital skills and tools that are in use by your customers and employees. When we analyze an hotel operation, what strikes us is the complexity of the operations and the large number of functional areas and skills required to achieve optimal operational efficiency.
When you do this exercice, consider all sectors and systems required for your operations:
TIP # 2 – EVALUATE OBJECTIVELY YOUR CURRENT SOLUTIONS
As you analyze each system, ask yourself if it meets your requirements, needs to be modified or simply replaced. Your team members who use these systems on a daily basis are the best individuals to do this evaluation.
Having the results of this analysis in hand, establish priorities: Very important, Moderately important and Not very important, depending on the impact that each of these systems has on your operations. Focus first on the Very Important!
TIP # 3 – DEFINE THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE YOU WANT TO OFFER TO YOUR GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES
Analyze the current guest and employees journeys and identify where you want to improve their digital experience. For example, a few days before arriving at the hotel, I want my customers to be able to pre check-in online with their PC or mobile device.
Make sure that your current digital solutions can provide this experience or identify other solutions. Don’t overlook the digital experience of your valued employees. Provide them with the best tools and this will improve their job satisfaction, productivity and loyalty.
Digital solutions are essential for all hoteliers because your guests and employees are more and more younger and they favor efficient and easy-to-use digital solutions.
TIP # 4 – PRIORIZE THE CHOICE OF OPEN DIGITAL SOLUTIONS
Traditionally, hotel software providers have attempted to meet all the needs of hoteliers with a single software, the PMS (Property Management System), which included several options or modules. In recent years, startups and new suppliers have developed open solutions that can be easily connected to each other using standard interfaces, the APIs (Application Program Interfaces). The rapid growth of software in the Cloud has accelerated the development and deployment of these new solutions which are gradually replacing traditional ones.
In your choices, make sure that the digital cloud solutions you select offer open APIs, allowing easy and inexpensive interconnections with others.
It’s only a matter of time before all digital solutions are only offered in cloud computing.
TIP # 5 – DOCUMENT YOUR ESSENTIAL NEEDS
When choosing new solutions, make sure that they really meet your needs. Don’t be distracted by devices or gadgets. Carefully prepare a requirements document describing your imperative needs. For the vendors you are considering, prepare a data set corresponding to your own situation and ask them to demonstrate that their solution adequately process this data (e.g. pricing models, room categories, interface to your POS stations, etc.).
Be flexible about how the new solution works, but don’t compromise on the essential functions required for your operations. If necessary, require execution of a proof of concept to ensure that all your needs are covered, before committing to a contract. This will ensure the success of the implementation and a higher level of buy-in from your employees and guests.
The rest of this article is presented in part 2, click Next.