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  • Writer's pictureKostas Falangas

Six advices for contemporary Hoteliers

Online hotel booking and computerised property management systems were likely novel ideas a while back. Who would have thought that mobile-friendly digital platforms would become so integral to the smooth operation of a hotel? But if you think a good property management system (PMS), an online booking system, and some spreadsheets are all your hotel management team needs today, you're mistaken. Here, we'll go over six of the most important tools for any modern hotelier to have, as well as how to use them to run a smooth operation in today's increasingly digital hospitality industry.

Reduce the impact of human mistake

Manual data management using spreadsheets is possible, but it's not without risk. Have you considered the knock-on effects of a single human error? How long does it take you to fix a mistake, and how much does that add up if you manage numerous properties? It's not worth the trouble to manually juggle numbers because of the massive volume of data generated every day in a property, where human errors would inevitably result in costly adjustments.

Whether you own a small hotel chain or serve as the Chief Financial Officer of a hotel management firm, a digital dashboard tool is essential for the modern hotelier. REVPAR, ADR, promotional rates, sales, marketing, infrastructure, cost control, stock, food & beverage data, utilities, logistics, accounting, etc. can all be tracked through a business's dashboard. But how can you decide which digital technology is best for your company?

Locate a consolidated display system

Going digital can go horribly wrong if you use software to manage multiple dashboards at the same time. The time and effort required to switch between dashboards is substantial. There's also the possibility that you're missing out on features or reports due to a software tool's lack of depth or quality. The worst-case situation is being stuck with an inadequate tool, which forces you to resort to inefficient manual methods of management and calculation while you squander time updating the software. Going fully digital is the way to go if you're planning on using a dashboard.

That's why forward-thinking hotels today use unified management platforms. It's the type of program that streamlines administrative tasks by collecting data from multiple sources and storing it in a single area.

Several different labels? Don't fret; everything you need is in one convenient portfolio. The tool being used across multiple levels of an organisation. Make the dashboard experience unique for each user, whether they are looking at aggregate data or just one property at a time. This enables the daily display of individualised statistics, such as a graph comparing the average daily rate and income per available room or a pie chart illustrating how different revenue streams contribute to the hotel's bottom line.

Keep in mind that a centralised dashboard can replace your time-consuming and error-prone manual computations with lightning-fast, aggregated reporting; however, it is crucial to select a tool with customisable controls and a user-friendly interface (UI) to make the most of your time savings.

Stop using paper

Have you or your employees ever had to sift through stacks of paperwork to locate an important document? Hospitality managers often face difficulties in keeping track of all the paper documents that are printed at hotels. Numerous types of documentation, such as ledgers, tax records, financial statements, and payroll, are created by hotel establishments. Stacks and boxes of paper are necessary for storing and cataloguing all these files and information. Banker's boxes are a popular choice, but they come with a slew of additional expenses, both direct and indirect. To be more specific, the costs associated with printing and paper use can add up quickly. As a result, why not go digital with your business operations? There are numerous advantages to eliminating paper:

Savings on space taken up by banker's boxes. This eliminates the need to visit the storage facility and sift through boxes, facilitates searching (e.g., pull up all orders by a particular customer) and permits on-the-go access from any mobile device.

Digital records can be backed up and reproduced indefinitely, but paper records can be easily lost or stolen. Responsibility and record-keeping for alterations and eliminating human error and, once more, ensuring that standards are met.

If you still need convincing, consider that eliminating paper shows your company is serious about environmental responsibility. The majority of group bookings now necessitate a response to hotels' sustainability initiatives.

One part of going paperless is locating a paperless night audit tool, similar to the ideal all-in-one dashboard we discussed earlier. Finding night audit software that is accessible remotely through computer, smartphone, or tablet is analogous to looking for a powerful dashboard. The term "cloud-based" has come to mean software that keeps data in a networked server and makes it available from any device, including mobile ones.

One more important quality to look for is a tool that never needs repairs. After all, it would be counterproductive to spend resources keeping your digital files in order on the cloud if you were also going to have to keep using paper. Look for a program that has a database that can be searched by name, date, and property, and one that has access to IT assistance around the clock. The transition to a paperless office environment can save time and money if done correctly, so it's important to select a tool with all the features you'll need.

Make better, smarter, and quicker choices

In today's fast-paced environment, customers have higher standards than ever. A hotel executive in today's fast-paced world must prioritise efficient operations and quick service to gain patronage. This requires coordinating the efforts of numerous individuals and a great number of moving parts, which can be a challenge for a large property. A smaller establishment will have a harder time keeping up with the times since it cannot afford the sophisticated learning tools and content management systems used by larger corporations.

Make better, faster, and smarter decisions, regardless of where you fall on this spectrum. The efficiency with which you make decisions depends on the tools and methods you employ. When compared to a worker sifting through a banker's box, the speed with which digital software retrieves information enables quicker decision making. Similarly, a manager who is familiar with dashboards can see the income breakdown with a digital tool much more quickly than a traditional manager.

Platforms for business intelligence, or "Property Intelligence" as we prefer to call it, integrate the various tools necessary to manage a property into a single interface, providing an overarching picture of operational metrics for the entire company. In a nutshell, it facilitates the rapid production of reports and dashboards that provide actionable intelligence on how to improve operations and customer service. For this reason, only hospitality-focused groups should be considered for aid. Thousands of satisfied clients have been helped by these businesses because they learned to alter their connection with their data to improve efficiency and customer service. Your information is not run-of-the-mill.

Success in this field depends entirely on good judgment, and the use of digital tools can boost both the speed and effectiveness with which you reach conclusions.

Keep things simple, simple, simple

Finally, while this piece of advice is useful for executives in a wide variety of fields, it is particularly relevant for those working in the hospitality industry, who must oversee numerous moving pieces and maintain constant client contact. Many 21st-century CEOs see the need for reform and a fresh approach, but few have completely embraced the importance of keeping things straightforward.

Don't make the common error of designing a system that increases the number of steps or delays the process. There will be a lot to accomplish and maybe even some difficulties to overcome when switching to a new digital tool, but the goal is to keep things as simple as possible. Time is money; therefore, it makes sense to eliminate paper waste and streamline processes wherever possible. The alternative of being able to see all your properties at once is having to toggle between them. Instead of sifting through piles of paper, you can just search through documents in the cloud.

Modern hospitality places a premium on simplicity, which must be reflected both in your own approach to management and operations and in the way you communicate with your employees. Additionally, a well-designed digital system may encourage your front-line staff to deliver better service or make your back-office workers happier by eliminating the need for them to make excursions to the storage facility. Simplifying your team's workload frees them up to focus on the client. Maximised occupancy and high profits, along with all the other goals of a successfully operated hospitality business, are dependent on a user-friendly and stable back-end technology.

Hire an external hotel consultant to coach your work and strategy

Your hotel investment is one that requires true expertise. The target of a hotel investment is to maximise the returns safely, quickly, and cost effectively. An external hotel consultant working as a coach for the hotelier, manages key processes for your hotel, from a clear and transparent communication plan to an efficient and integrated service delivery. He or she has to be committed to delivering results fast. With an external hotel consultant working as a coach (onsite or online), you can have the help, support, and clarity of an external help to coach your work and strategy in order to have a better organisation and output. With regular calls and an external set of eyes on the business, there are results achieved immediately: the business is clearer, more focused, and integrated.

The hotel industry is changing fast as guests demand more from their stays. The new generation of travellers are looking for authentic experiences, a better balance between their work and life, travel and the opportunity to be connected in more ways than one. Though it might sound obvious, the best way to increase occupancy is by offering what the guest wants – whether that’s technology or community-focused offerings. Hotels have never been under so much pressure to keep up with how guests want to interact with them, hoteliers wishing to have a better organisation and control over their investment and stake holders who wish to have a better outcome with their business relationships.

Kostas Falangas is a Consultant and Coach for hotel businesses. Assists and contributes with the hotelier to the holistic success of the hotel unit.
Contact information: Kondylaki 8, Rethymnon, Telephones: (+30) 28310-22649 and (+30) 6973-210556
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