As it goes without saying, the pandemic has caused a rather large hiccup in the profitability of the hospitality industry. Hoteliers were forced to make tough decisions in the face of economic uncertainty. They were questioned on all kinds of costs and were asked to “get creative.” We hadn’t seen a need to update tech stacks in the industry because hotels were doing reasonably well over the years. This same comfort zone is why it wasn’t common for hoteliers to experiment with technology or feel the need for innovation. However, we’ve seen them evaluate and invest in their tech stack over the past few months. This might make some people wonder and think of it as financially counterintuitive. The fact remains that it saves time and money, all while increasing efficiency and hence profitability.
Moreover, it’s way more advantageous for hotels to invest in tech rather than build it, for fairly simple reasons. The first is that hotels lack the resources to compete with pure-play technology companies. Second, hotels usually underestimate the ongoing effort required to maintain and scale a technology-driven business. Due to these factors, hotel companies who want to succeed in the digital age should be experts in technology procurement and management. Here are a few factors that are key in getting there:
This is what the future looks like! They store everything on the cloud, and users have access to the tech from anywhere in the world. To explain it further, during a hypothetical world pandemic and industry shut down 2.0, hotels with cloud-based technology will have access to their work. In contrast, others would be creating rotating schedules to access the database. Besides this, a cloud-based system has other benefits, such as being more affordable and easier to use, having a shorter onboarding time, and adapting to your property’s needs.
This is key! Especially when we live in a world of vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. It not only improves guest experience due to fast speed and greater efficiency but also eliminates the number of touchpoints a guest has on their journey. This could be as simple as checking in with the help of an app. It does away with the ever-so-hated waiting lines and prevents the guest from interacting with a high-risk area—and it lowers your labour cost. So how does one know what automation to invest in? Focus on minimising the risk by doing a cost-benefit analysis before settling on anything.
Can you imagine using one system for all properties, no matter the difference in their size or requirements? How much easier and cheaper would that make life! Scalability is a huge factor to consider when looking to grow a portfolio. Companies that create scalable business models tend to reflect this in their pricing. This makes them highly attractive to hotels of any size. So your best bet would be to try looking for tech that’s appropriate for a limited-service hotel and can scale up to work for a hotel chain.
We know that no one system exists that can take on everything, so the next best option would be a tech stack where the products communicate with each other through hotel tech integration. This integration, by definition, is “the combining of subroutines, software modules or full programs with other software components to develop an application or enhance the functionality of an existing one.” In simple words, it’s when two systems pass information to each other. There are two main types of integrations- one way and two way. A one-way integration is where data can be shared from a source to a target, from one location to another. Any changes made to the data in the target will not be reflected in the source. Two-way sync is when the changes and information are shared both ways. This takes us back to the importance of a cloud-based system, as we recommend your property management software to be both cloud-based and be able to connect to as many technologies as possible. Software like Apaleo is built on this premise and continues to disrupt and improve the state of the hospitality industry.
In short, when looking at investing in tech, you want flexibility. This means looking at cloud-based, scalable systems with integration capabilities. There may never be a better time to review or invest in your tech stack.