Where hotel property management and innovation meet

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By Rob Palleschi and Aditya Thyagarajan

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is a convergence underway that combines cutting-edge technology with sound property management principles.

The revenue pressures produced by uncertain forward-looking data, combined with labor shortages and price inflation for just about everything, mean that in today’s environment, a flexible and serviceable hotel technology stack providing comprehensive real-time information is no longer a “good to have.”

Instead, the very ability of hotels to operate profitably and productively depends on it.

As operator / brand owner and technologist, respectively, we bring distinct perspectives on what is needed to prepare hotel operations for a better, more profitable future.

At the same time, we have identified some basic principles that should guide hoteliers throughout the trip.

Here is a summary of some of these principles.

You can’t fix the issues if you can’t see them
At G6, we were amazed at how much critical information about operations and performance at the property level is bubbling beneath the surface, if only it could be viewed.

For example, area figures can tell us that on a rugged summer weekend, our property in Santa Barbara, California should be performing below what it should be.

However, looking at housekeeping activities tells us that we are spending too much on them.

And further investigation tells us the reason: insufficient levels of quality linens to service seasonal occupancy to multiple guests.

Correlating this data with similar information from a dozen Motel 6 properties in other locations reveals the same pattern. And soon it becomes clear that there is a common parity level issue across multiple locations. The scarcity of linens and sponge consumed scarce housekeeping resources, creating a revolving real estate expense, in addition to the delayed availability of rooms creating unnecessary inconvenience for guests.

The lesson is simple: If your property management system isn’t highlighting critical issues and sharing real-time data for you to fix them, you’re leaving money on the table, or worse.

Information is useless if it is too diffuse or too expensive to access
Owners and brand managers are all too familiar with the bewildering amount of information that flows through the hotel ecosystem: there are many disparate systems in use in every hotel and they don’t always integrate seamlessly and seamlessly.

How can hoteliers make sense of the tangle of solutions available, make the right choices, and ensure the right information is delivered at the right time, at a reasonable cost?

Since Property Management Systems (PMS) are at the heart of hotel operations, the answer lies in a PMS that provides a complete and fully integrated suite of solutions.

Let’s be clear: Even with all the advancements in hotel technology, there isn’t yet a PMS that tackles all property management issues in one place. But some deliver much more than others. The one-stop-shop platform is much closer to becoming a reality than ever before. And it’s no surprise that the most efficient and effective system is one that is likely to be mobile first, cloud-based, and rooted in the real needs of hoteliers.

Most importantly, look for fully integrated solutions that are low capital intensive and provide optimal value for a reasonable real estate investment.

If you’re paying top dollar for unconnected technology that’s hard to fit into the rest of the stack, you’re probably spending more than you should and getting sub-optimal results.

Need to see it here – need to see it now
We have mentioned cloud-based mobile solutions, and we cannot stress enough that the future lies in being able to get accurate and complete information in real time, through your mobile phone.

Friends who work in retail and fintec spaces are amazed when we tell them that even today most property managers are attached to slow technology displayed on large screens at their desks. And that the systems and information on these large screens are in many ways not fully integrated with those of the offices of regional supervisors and brand executives.

In a business as people-intensive as the hospitality industry, it is imperative that we are nimble, flexible and as focused as possible on customer needs. It’s impossible without real-time, fully connected information.

A new type of ‘take out’ window at some airports now allows customers to insert their credit card into a reader outside the store, walk around a closed area, grab what they need and check out. get out quickly – without stopping at totals, signing receipts or waiting in long queues. We believe that customers will demand that hotels move in the same direction in the future.

To achieve this, managers will need technology that delivers information about our products (rooms) quickly, easily and flexibly, starting at the point of booking or sale, continuing through customer check-in and by extending over the entire duration of their stay.

There are many mobile apps on the market that provide the ability to check in quickly, structure internal communications, and help with other processes. These can have their place under the right circumstances.

What is clear above all is that income starts and ends in the same place, with the guest providing it. The hotel PMS is at the heart of the technological ecosystem and must provide access points with all the tools hotels need to manage it.

Rob Palleschi is CEO of G6 Hospitality LLC. Aditya Thyagarajan is Co-Founder / President, HotelKey.

This is a contribution to Hotel, written by an industry professional. The thoughts expressed are the point of view of the signed individual.


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