Our Thoughts on Digitizing Hotel Operations in 2021
At Guesty’s webinar at the end of last year, I shared my views on where and how to digitise your hotel operations in 2021 and beyond. Now is an absolutely critical time, but the great news is that digital transformation is easy and fast. One just has to start!
Digitization can seem intimidating to a lot of hoteliers. To make it seem more approachable, I broke my portion of the presentation into smaller, more actionable steps (full video is available at the bottom). I wanted to provide some context to help hoteliers understand the amazing potential of digital operations, so I started the webinar with a bit of background on Flexkeeping and myself.
Take a listen for yourself!
It was important to me that listeners understood that, as a housekeeper, I had personally experienced many of their pain points and frustrations. Digitizing operations creates a way to directly solve these same inefficiencies.
Here are 4 key aspects I recommend to be aware of when transitioning to housekeeping software.
1. Objectives: Know what goals to aim for when digitizing your hotel operations
I briefly touch on the 3 main objectives that hoteliers should prioritize because of Covid: safety, flexibility, and optimization. These are important factors today, so we’ve delved deeper into each one of these in separate articles. Hospitality tech can keep staff safer in a variety of ways, while optimizing other features such as hotel amenities to reflect guests’ expectations. Flexibility, on the other hand, means learning how to scale your hotel operations.
2. Fundamentals: The most important aspects of hotel operations to digitize
These 3 fundamentals that I mentioned are key ingredients in creating an optimized hotel property. Communication is vital in hospitality, but digital hotel communication makes it so much easier.
I mentioned standards and guidelines, but another way of saying the same thing: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Digital Hotel SOPs take the idea a step further, by allowing hoteliers to store, organize, and access content from your phone.
Digital Housekeeping Checklists, similar to digital SOPs, also bring the benefit of being easily accessible, but checklists can be used to improve compliance and training methods.
3. Automation: Optimize your daily and service tasks
When hotels automate, they optimize their operations and save money. In addition, they save time on daily tasks by making them digitally automated. For example, a common task that every hotel in the world does is daily staff scheduling. Digital automation allows users to schedule housekeeping staff weeks in advance. In the example I gave with extra towels, this can be done with automatic staff communication so guests can digitally send the request for staff to fill. It’s safer, less intrusive, and more cost effective.
4. Optimization: If you can measure it, you can improve it
If you understand the data, then you understand how to optimize. This point is to emphasize the importance of hotel analytics, but also how to use them effectively. It is absolutely worth it to know how hotel analytics can improve property operations.
Learn from other hotels’ examples of best practices
It helps to know how other properties have benefited from making their operations digital. The examples that I describe below are 2 properties who’ve seen marked improvement in their communication approach, resolved tasks, and overall costs.
Takeaways & something to consider
This is a lot of information for hoteliers to digest, especially since I was the last presenter of an hour-long webinar. To wrap up, I wanted to provide a clear, actionable list of steps they could do to optimize their properties with digital operations. Also, I left listeners with a bit of “food for thought” to chew over regarding a topical issue. Cleaning transparency is critical to guests, so what better way to reassure them than display your digital operations? This is, of course, provided you prove transparency in an effective way.
If you prefer seeing the full length director’s cut edition, you can watch my entire segment below. While it ends before I field questions later on, I encourage you to reach out to us if you would like to know more about what Flexkeeping can do for you!