Hoteliers have become accustomed to seeking excellence within each department, with each group internally supporting the other through consistency and diligence. However, today’s operations call for greater collaboration than in years past. Individual workers today have much greater responsibility and face more scrutiny from managers and guests. Hotel workers are expected to oversee multiple aspects of hospitality simultaneously, and roles spanning multiple departments are becoming more common. In this environment, sharing information has had a transformative effect on business.
As hotels rely on technology to streamline operations, many continue encountering significant roadblocks to implementing their strategic vision. These silos, which once insulated hotel departments from confusion and inefficiency, now limit operators’ potential to grow and succeed in today’s marketplace. To leverage modern technology's benefits and insights, operators must be able to share information between departments through a unified Property Management System.
By changing how hotels share information, operators can rework their processes from the ground up and create new efficiencies when managing one or a portfolio of properties. Most importantly, the process of sharing information can be done automatically and holistically, providing operators with more thorough information while saving them time considering every department's unique needs at each hotel. This allows hotels to access a 360-degree view of guests from the moment they book their stay and helps operators exceed yesterday’s growth potential on the back of actionable information.
How We Share
When hoteliers consider how data follows across a property, they should first consider how information is transferred between departments without technology. Operators should ask themselves, “How do we get new information to the sales department so they can take immediate action on new group business? How do housekeepers and maintenance workers share knowledge of guestroom availability with the front desk? How do our guests want to contact us to provide information, ask questions or book spa, golf or other property experiences?”
In today’s world, sharing this information across a property (or multiple properties) would take significant footwork. When we consider sharing information through digital channels, things get much easier — as long as the correct systems are in place. In many situations, operators find themselves running into clear stopgaps where they can no longer conduct inter-office business virtually and must prioritize other forms of written or verbal communication. This is a relic of the siloed operations strategy hotels have relied on for years.
Every department needs a clear view of the hotel’s guests without leaving their workspace. In today’s fast-paced hotel industry, competitiveness to keep your guests loyal to your properties, operators can no longer rely on such a broken communication chain to share essential details. They must have real-time and instant access to a guests sentiment during their stay and play experience to take appropriate or immediate actions.
Hotels should arrange their tech stack to allow data to be instantly shared between the rooms department, sales & catering, food & beverage, revenue management, spa and activity, members and owners and more. When using a single image database solution, luxury or mixed-use properties can access centralized and rich member and condo owner management data, as well as other capabilities directly on the PMS without significant disruptions to their daily operating strategy. Hotels must adapt to understand where the power of their departments comes from and how to leverage collaboration to boost individual achievements.
The Next Step
Hoteliers are seeking technology capable of reducing friction between guests and operations, which starts with centralization and better communication. Guests frequently use technology to book hotel stays simultaneously across various chosen devices. From there, guests can use mobile technology to update the details of their visit, check into the hotel room, leave reviews on a whim, and more. Hoteliers need similar flexibility and freedom when managing hotel operations, communicating with guests, sharing information on challenges or issues with team members, and pushing new experiential travel opportunities as they arise.
When hoteliers have access to this level of control, the benefits are extensive. Improving the flow of information between departments leads to a more robust operational foundation and a more enjoyable worker experience. Improved insight regarding guests gives hotels access to new revenue stream opportunities by understanding the “how” and “why” behind guest bookings. Most importantly, hotels can provide new services, incentives, and amenities based on actual activity and stay data.
Technology and the insights it provides are being used to increase collaboration between hotel departments, a trend that is here to stay. Hotels will not return to inefficient operations or unoptimized situational awareness. Operators are becoming sharper, innovative, targeted, and informed faster. These innovations are impacting the industry thanks to improvements in PMS technology, which continues to unite departments and broadly refine hotels’ technology capabilities.
About the Author
Warren Dehan is the President of Maestro, the preferred cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals, and multi-property groups. Maestro was first to market with a fully integrated Windows PMS and Sales & Catering solution and is continuing that trend with leading edge web and mobile based solutions encompassing all aspects of the operation. A reputation for service excellence, coupled with platform and deployment independence present Maestro as an investment that will continue to grow and adapt as innovative technologies emerge.