By M Dave and Aditi Gupta
If we have a microscopic look at the challenges faced by the hospitality industry on a whole today we will notice that an independent boutique hotel or a five star modern hotel chain, both face the same challenges alike in their day to day operations. In this article we will look at 3 significant challenge themes faced by the hotels:
Challenge No 1. – Open 24 hours
The longer working hours in hospitality are here to stay. Business in this sector no longer closes in a normal 9 to 6 shift but instead work goes around the clock to suit the needs of international travelers arriving at all times. Most of the hotels including small B&B’s have now expanded their horizons to extending their properties into a multipurpose venue to maximise their cost- effectiveness. They are now serving snacks, meals and drinks from pre-work coffee to late-night cocktails, not to mention playing host to meetings and catered functions as well. In such a high pressured environment, there is no scope for downtime and reliability on technology that runs without a glitch has become one of the pivotal factors for success. For example, today’s PMS are more resilient and prepared for disaster recovery, with features such as auto back-up in case of malfunction.
Challenge No. 2 – Pushy and Demanding Customers
There has been a clear shift in the industry trends, where the businesses have moved from ‘provider push’ to ‘consumer pull’. Today’s customers demand more value for money from services and products and are extremely unforgiving of delays. Which brings us back to the topic of reliance on technology… it’s unacceptable for hotel PMS systems to fail during check-in/check-out and for queues to build at the concierge/reception. Keeping this in context, technological vendors have responded with offline working solutions in case of an internet mishap.
Challenge No. 3 – Business Knowledge
Technology is the key to knowing and analysing one’s own industry and business. Today’s PMS systems shine a spotlight on the comprehensive features that they provide for the hospitality business like revealing trends and anomalies, forecast, revenue comparisons and so on. Using the business intelligence functionality provided with these solutions, managers and owners can analyse what is sold, when and to whom. These systems come with real-time accurate reporting tools that help the hotel manager to be on top of his game and maximise the ADR’s. This helps the hotel to achieve their targets and increase profits. Such technologically advanced systems can provide you with a helicopter view of the business and can help establish patterns and vulnerabilities that an individual can’t see.
With such increasing importance and reliance on technology, it is difficult not to see hotels big and small investing in different systems suiting their hotels. With such high surge of vendors in the industry, some notable budget friendly vendors with great support service that I came across some hotel software’s like mycloudhospitality, WISH.NET and @your WSIH while researching by Prologic First. (www.prologicfirst.com)