• By Jeroen Gulickx

    Apparently Covid-19 has opened a can of opportunity within technology for our wonderful hotel industry. You can read everywhere that hotels are looking for alternative technology, or technology that drives revenue or reduces cost. It’s probably true as many colleagues in the tech industry are seeing a flux of requests, mostly related to revenue, yielding as well as marketing.

    There are many great suppliers to choose from, which makes the selection of the right one for you difficult and time consuming. The costs being a large factor as well as integration for the final decision. Below several hacks to assist in making the decision.

    1. Look around. Many technologies are very property and integration specific. Find out first what you have in house already and communicate that with a potential new supplier. Doing this exercise, you might and probably will find a need to replace some existing suppliers as well.

    2. A dedicated resource. Depending on the size of hotel, some hotels have a dedicated resource. That is fabulous to have however note that this person might not have the best skill to attract the right technology. They are most often experts in integration and solving general IT issues. I suggest a small team closest to the opportunity or issue to be a part of the research and certainly implementation.

    3. Cost is king. It really is time to stop being too sensitive to costs. Our industry is known to hold back on investments that are new or different than replacement of a broken sofa or bed. Technology does not only save costs by improving efficiency mainly, but most of the solutions also create amazing opportunity for increasing revenues in all outlets. Ensure you do a proper return on investment.

    4. Tech is fun. In our industry it is harder and harder to stand out from the competitor. Customer experiences are hard to be met and loyalty is easier to lose than ever before. Tech does not only connect your property with customers in many more ways, as you are engaging them, but also it often improves internal communications and processes.

    5. Contract easy. Most technology suppliers are ready to negotiate but also understand cash flow well. Get out of endless and often expensive contracts and replace them with 1 or 3 year contracts, so that the supplier needs to prove their continuous development and support.

    6. Learn from other industries. Even though contactless check in seems to be the thing to talk about, remember you opened your car already 10 years ago without a key. There are many tech solutions and apps that are already mainstream or new in other industries. Use them and find out if they can deliver more to your customer, or your operations. Make sure you market these to stand out of the competitor.

    Technology can lead to customer loyalty, revenue increase and improved efficiency within the hotel. Ensure that research is done properly, and implementation is a task of a dedicated group and communicate the change internally and externally.

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