October 2, 2020
No one who has ever stayed in a hotel or other property relishes the interruptive “knock-knock” of the housekeeping staff.
So, imagine how much easier it would be for housekeeping staff to coordinate their schedules based on an easily accessible, mobile-based application. And, in fact, some of the components to that schedule is based on predetermined guest preferences, letting the workers plan accordingly. Such exchanges are already a reality in some of the largest hotel chains, which have been able to gauge a 20 percent increase in housekeeping efficiency, as well as an 80 percent reduction in calls to the front desk, according to Hospitality.net.
The fact is that smart technologies that are mobile-centric are disrupting how hospitality services are traditionally managed and understood by teams. From guest-facing experiences to back office operations, properties are embracing the possibilities created by the smart technologies we all use, every day. We’ll look at existing and emerging technologies, and how hoteliers across the globe are navigating the world of digitalization for sustainability and success.
Team empowerment and retention
Hospitality is and always will be about guest expectations and experience. It’s personal. That means as hotel organizations continuously focus on how technology transforms the guest experience and look for ways to reach new levels of personalization, hotels should not forget to focus on the people who create that experience – service teams, including housekeeping. The mission is to empower staff to do their jobs better with greater accuracy and care, but also for their own sense of a job well done, too.
According to Deloitte, over the next decade the “untethered” or mobile workforce is going to become the standard for how services will be organized. That report also lists the hospitality industry, and its staff, as one of the forces behind that trend, and notes that it is becoming a key to team recruitment and retention. That makes sense. If a job is easier to do because the tools in place better help with the heavy lifting, the more likely it will be to maintain a healthy level of job satisfaction.
Greater operational efficiency
So, while guests want to use mobile devices to communicate with staff about everything from booking dining, spa appointments, and other services, staff can enjoy the same direct communications with each other and with greater visibility of cleaning and maintenance schedules. It also makes staff more responsive to incidents and to guest requests, too.
Beyond texting, smart technologies can also eliminate cumbersome and menial manual processes, such as tracking rooms cleaned. It can also empower operations management staff by enabling location identification, schedule sharing, and, big-picture, and integrating data and information with the larger PMS system. All of this helps to make service and operations jobs easier as mentioned and for these essential hotel services more efficient overall. It speeds up response times and eliminates wasted trips around the property which increasing the value of staff labor.
A connected culture through the cloud
An underlying point to consider when examining some of the advantages of mobile-centric operations is the platform on which to base them. Strategically deploying an effective staff mobility plan requires some shifts in thinking about the entire hotel operation. A truly connected system that engages staff, while also optimizing the guest experience, requires agility. That means breaking down siloes across the PMS, CRM, RMS, and POS.
Converting to a cloud-based system makes this possible, and most easily enables the mobility needed and wanted by both staff and guests. Cloud deployment and management is more cost-effective, easier to scale as new locations and new technology solutions are introduced and enables a more open and less siloed approach to day to day operations even in single location hotels. It also provides optimum security to ensure that hotel organizations continue to protect growing volumes of stored operational and guest information. Given the rise of cybercrime in our era directed at hospitality organizations, this is significant.
What does the future hold?
As the technology landscape continues to evolve for the hospitality industry, it’s imperative to embrace the inevitable changes – and possibilities – that lie ahead. For more information on building a system for the future, it’s important to understand what every hotel needs to have in place and to take the next steps.