Okay, we’re well into 2022 and you’re looking to grow your hotel in terms of bookings, other revenues, net income efficiency, asset value or any combo of the four. Where do you begin?
Well, start by looking at the market forces that will impact your business, both those born from the pandemic and those that the pandemic accelerated. Some major ones include:
- Labor shortages as well as a mounting narrative around ‘living wages’ which may compel politicians to raise minimums and businesses to up incentives to keep top talent
- Inflation as a direct outcome from global supply chain whiplash, quantitative easing, huge growth in the tech sector and numerous other causes
- New and ongoing demand for ‘safe’ accommodations resulting in more SOPs, erratic occupancies, more extended stays, remote work setups and secluded lodgings
- The rise of purposeful travel and wellness stemming from personal introspection during the pandemic, which will induce hotels to explore complex service offerings to appease this crowd
No doubt you can list others. Where we see these forces and your operational goals converging in the short-term is with the platforms you deploy to run your property. Many vendors whom we’ve investigated firsthand continue to surprise us with their feature sets and their integration capabilities.
Extrapolating this trend to the rest of the year and beyond, we predict that the future hotels will come to realize one total operating system able to manage everything from rooms inventory and payments through to maintenance, security, housekeeping, guest service and auxiliary outlets. Supposing that this is the vision, it’s then your duty to examine your current tech stack in preparation for this inevitability.
Doing that evaluation can be intimidating and time-consuming as we can attest on our current and past assignments with clients on these types of projects. To keep you motivated, it’s important to understand how this long-term objective will impact the bottom line. Here are some benefits:
- Increased team productivity as less manual work is required for service delivery and generating data-driven decisions, helping ensure smooth operations while maintaining a lean team
- Building on that last point, fewer and more robust platforms mean cleaner and consolidated data in the CRM or CDP so that you can build accurate lookalike guest profiles, digitize soft skills and derive new insights from unsupervised machine learning
- More opportunities for upselling and cross-selling ancillary revenue streams like F&B or spa
- Accountability and work order tracking become more precise, making for fewer service errors and more operational efficiency while flipping your hotel from defense to offense insofar as not always reacting to problems but having the time to explore new initiatives
- As most hotel platforms going forward will be cloud-based, they can more effectively enable remote work as a manager incentive and in case of any future lockdowns
- Easier to onboard new hires whereby it’s less daunting to learn one or two platforms than one or two dozen
Again, there are still others that may be specific to your property. Putting all this together, we can’t definitely say that 2022 will see the introduction of a veritable all-inclusive hotel operations platform. But that’s where it’s headed, so remember the benefits to keep you on track and to work towards building a fantastic tech stack as the backbone of your hotel’s revenue generation.
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