SUCCESSING IN YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY (Part 2)
GO DIGITAL WITH CONFIDENCE BY FOLLOWING THESE TIPS!
This article presents the continuation of our 10 tips for hoteliers to help them in their digital transformation.
TIP #6 – MAKE SURE YOUR SOLUTIONS ARE WELL INTEGRATED
One of the major problems mentioned by hoteliers is the lack of integration of their different software. A digital transformation project will have to consider this issue as a priority. Indeed, the new open digital solutions are likely to disrupt the current architecture of your systems. Don’t be afraid to address this aspect and go gradually!
Your new solutions will have to be integrated into your current architecture or it will have to be modified. Ultimately, you will need to ensure that your different systems are well integrated and that you have the least amount of duplication of information or that your customers and employees do not have to make multiple entries of the same information. If the new software is not fully integrated, make sure that it has an open API and that it can be integrated within a reasonable timeframe.
One of the main difficulties encountered by hoteliers is the lack of integration of their systems.
TIP #7 – TAKE REFERENCES FROM USERS
Before acquiring a new software, consult those who use it through forums or specialized companies such as HotelTechReport to find out what they think of the solution you are contemplating.
We also advise you to contact users with a similar profile to yours and discuss with them. Talk to as many people as possible to get their feedback. The honeymoon phenomenon is present in all areas and you will see how this vendor treats its customers over time and in specific situations. You will find that this is very revealing!
A problem often mentioned by hoteliers is
the poor quality of service provided by their vendors.
TIP #8 – INSIST FOR A GUARANTEED SERVICE LEVEL
Another major problem mentioned by hoteliers is the poor support service they receive. This is usually due to poor software design that has not survived many changes over the years. It can also be due to poor vendor practices with respect to testing and quality assurance steps. It may also be due to a lack of personnel.
In your dealings with references, check how the vendor has responded to major breakdowns and when asked to add a feature to their solution. Feedback from users will be revealing!
Discuss this with your potential vendor and require that a defined level of service be added to the contract. This will protect you in the event of a problem!
TIP #9 – EXPLORE ALL AVAILABLE FINANCIAL AIDS
To carry out your digital transformation project, you may be eligible to receive government financial assistance. For example, the Government of Quebec’s EDNET program administered by the Association Touristique Régionale (ATR) of your region offers non-refundable financial assistance. This assistance covers 50% of the costs of qualifying projects, up to $10,000 for the digital plan and up to $30,000 for implementation. Ask your hotel and tourism associations for more information.
Also, with COVID-19, the governments of Quebec and Canada quickly set up additional financial assistance. For example, the Government of Quebec has announced the PACME program for job maintenance, which reimburses 100% of costs related to digital skills training, among other things. This would allow you, for example, to train your entire staff on a new digital tool.
Finally, another interesting program is the Industry Audit 4.0 program administered by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI). This program offers you financial assistance to help your company carry out an audit and a digital 4.0 plan. The financial assistance granted to the company takes the form of a non-refundable contribution equivalent to 80% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $20,000. Find out more about these programs!
TIP #10 – CALL IN AN EXPERT TO ASSIST YOU
If your team does not include information technology professionals, it would be advisable to call upon an expert to assist you in your project. This will allow you to remain focused on your mission as a hotelier and you will be able to benefit from the professional experience of experts in their fields. Get information from different firms and choose those that are familiar with hospitality.