With technology taking the center stage in hotel management, Automation is the next logical step for hoteliers to augment their hotel technology management.
Since the start of recovery journey of hospitality industry in post pandemic era, technology has been at the forefront of hotel management, testament to that is the fact that in a recent survey of hoteliers conducted by Duetto, a whopping 77.7% of participants expressed their intention to increase their hotel tech investment in the next three years.
This means that the hotel technology providers will be pushed to provide innovative solutions for the hostels to optimize their businesses.
Automation is an already well-established process that has been in use in many of the industries since ages. However, for hospitality industry this is a fairly new concept. But in current economic situation where hoteliers are facing financial constraints and labor shortages, automation can provide a cost-effective and easy to implement solution.
Which raises the question of what is Automation?
Automation is the process of converting manual, time consuming tasks performed by humans to automated processes using computers. Therefore, becoming more efficient as well as cost effective. Automation does not eradicate human role in the performing of these task completely but rather enables the human staff to perform these tasks more effectively and quickly. All the automated tasks are performed within a framework that is established by the human user implementing the process.
Hoteliers can benefit greatly from automation, it can help them streamline their operational processes, reduce the time and cost of labor, optimize their resources, and enhance guest services. Overhauling all of the services and processes of a hotel may not be feasible for a hotel, but automation can be implemented gradually with one system at a time. Here are some ways in which hoteliers can enhance their hotel through automation.
Automated Financial Back Office
Managing the financial reporting of any business can be a tedious task, but use of AI and automation can make this a lot easier. It can be used in data entry, digitization of receipts and recording of journal entries, therefore making tax and audit process much smoother. Also, automation can be used to minimize revenues and maximize the profits, it can be used to extract revenue data from Hotel Property Management System (PMS) and reconcile it against expenses. It can be further used to identify the discrepancies in the finances.
Hotel Task Management
Most of the times when the guest faces a problem, they convey that problem to the first staff member they see, which generally is not the relevant person for that task. Hotel management needs to create an effective hotel task management system with automated rules and alerts so that the problem is escalated to the relevant person quickly, also this reduces out the irrelevant information to the other staff members who can focus on the information relevant to them only.
Automated Guest Communication and Feedback Management
The queries that guests send to hotel contact centers can be somewhat similar in nature. Automated chatbots can be used to address these queries, and in case a query is received which requires human attention it can be routed to a relevant staff member, hence filtering out the bulk of queries therefore easing the pressure on staff. Similarly, automation can be used to analyze the guest feedback, whenever a negative feedback is received an automated task will be generated to be catered in a given timeline.
Optimization using Business Intelligence
Hoteliers can benefit from automated business intelligence tools; they can be alerted when an increase in demand is detected and suitable adjustments in their Revenue Management System (RMS) can be made accordingly. Similarly, it can be used to monitor the performance of the competition and change their own business strategy accordingly.
The bottom line is that the implementation of automation is not a mere option for hoteliers but rather a necessity. With technology in hospitality industry advancing rapidly and focus being shifted to use of technology in everyday management of hotels. The gradual implementation of automation in various processes in the hotels is the way forward in effective hotel management.