How Technology Can Bolster Staff Efficiency Across Departments
Hoteliers understand and appreciate the value that technology brings in addressing the current staffing challenge. Administrative, repetitive and historically manual tasks can be re-deployed to automated systems and a tech stack that can enable greater operational efficiency. Likewise, teams that have been under pressure can be re-invigorated and re-engaged to focus on a guest that is becoming more digitally savvy and qualified to manage their journey thanks to self-service tools and apps that enable them to check-in, check-out and manage payments all online and from the palm of their hand.
Here are some tips for how hoteliers can align staff and technological efficiency across departments to support their teams and operations. However, for a real return on a tech stack investment, hoteliers must ensure that staff and HR teams are part of any new implementation process, and that time is taken to train new staff as part of their onboarding process. In this way they can reap the benefits of greater efficiency for staff, operations and guests.
Meetings & Events
Planning for any Meetings and Events team involves many moving parts. The need for attention to detail and close collaboration across departments is critical to success. If staff members who are already under pressure due to a labor shortage are also asked to deliver an event, it could present challenges. However, technology can overcome these challenges when employed for the repetitive and administrative aspects of event management, such as F&B and supplier ordering, budget tracking and reporting. With this type of automated technology in place, the whole team has visibility into the entire project journey to ensure it stays on track and meets the brief. With this in mind, it is worth considering a solution that not only supports the development of proposals but also offers the functionality to generate bespoke function sheets and pro-forma invoices as well as menu templates and custom revenue reports.
The front office is where hoteliers can focus on hospitality and creating a positive and lasting first impression by extending a warm welcome to guests. What has historically been a manual and administrative focused department is now transforming. The rise of online check-in / check-out as well as mobile payments enables more interaction between guest and staff members and creates a great first impression with greater efficiency to strike the right balance between high-tech and high-touch.
Sales & Marketing
With the daily turnover of guests, managing and understanding individual profiles so that hoteliers are equipped to build targeted and effective sales and marketing communications can be time consuming. Implementing an efficient CRM tool is the foundation for any successful sales and marketing plan as guest data and therefore marketing opportunities can be recorded and monitored, across different applications.
Direct bookings are a crucial way to secure that all-important guest data and online presence and the profile is an essential foundation for this, particularly if a brand is working to drive bookings via Google’s Free Booking Links. This is now readily accessible to both hoteliers and guests and becoming an increasingly important part of the sales and marketing function. To ensure a property is attractive at the browsing stage, take the time to invest in good photography and keep key information (including packages and facilities) up to date.
Revenue management has become increasingly complex as guest segments and distribution channels grow. Managing rates has also become more complex and therefore prone to errors. There has been a marked shift towards greater automation of revenue management which has enabled more efficient monitoring and loading of rates across channels. Technology has provided the solution for this with a host of tools, in particular Channel Managers. Developed to automatically monitor and load rates means less requirement for this to be carried out manually. Once again integration with a PMS is crucial to optimizing efficiency as rooms and inventory can be automatically updated across all channels for live reporting and management.
Food & Beverage
For many hospitality operators, F&B is a vital ancillary revenue stream. All the more reason to ensure that changes to menu items and guest orders are managed correctly as it can have a direct impact on operations. Installing EPoS technology can minimize the challenges that changes to menus, food orders and guest preferences present as it automates communications to staff, and monitors the performance of F&B outlets. As a result, staff can once again focus on delivering excellent service and a great guest experience.
Balancing the books between costs and revenue is all important. Technology that automates and streamlines elements of this process can not only build efficiency but also prevent fraud and give greater clarity on financial status. As before, integration is key. Integrating the credit card service provider with the PMS is one way to prevent rogue transactions as eCommerce payments are linked back to the PMS records. Having this layer of security in place not only eliminates human error but also avoids the need for any payment queries and minimizes fraudulent activity to protect cash flow and revenue.