Travel in many parts of the world is beginning to return. This means across the hotel industry, properties are seeing an increase in their occupancy rates. Hotels are reopening for the first time, or they are scaling their operations to accommodate larger numbers or people. Either way, it’s very likely that hotels will be working with lean teams for the near future.
It’s essential that hotel teams are ready to meet the new expectations of guests and to re-train employees on new best practices or SOPs. Some hotels may also be training entirely new staff members all together. Hotel software is a must when it comes to operating with a lean team, keeping everyone on the same page, training staff, and managing tasks. But the question that many hoteliers have is, when is the best time to invest in hotel software?
There is no wrong answer to the question. Anytime you choose to invest in hotel software is a good one. But, there are specific times when it is especially advantageous for hoteliers to invest in hotel operations software. Here are a few things for general managers and hotel owners to consider:
There’s no time like the present…
We said there was no wrong time to invest in hotel operations software, which is true, but there’s also no time like the present! In fact, we’ve even written about it: if your hotel doesn’t have software now, why wait to invest?
We’d all like to put 2020 behind us as soon as possible, which means looking ahead and planning as much as possible for 2021. While there still may be many surprises ahead, as an industry, we can only do our best to expect the unexpected, and prepare for it. This is where hotel software comes in. Hotel software enables lean hotel departments to do the most impactful work in the most efficient way.
Hotel operations software can help:
- Departments manage changes in SOPs
- Managers prepare for changes in staffing and job descriptions
- Hoteliers provide transparency for guests through with contactless technology
Investing in hotel operations software sooner rather than later can help your hotel go from functioning to prospering. Hotel software enables team members to start making an impact at their property on Day 1. User-friendly interfaces and intuitive programs get teams up and running quickly, without extensive training.
Have you ever wondered how long it will take to implement a hotel operations system? Check out our blog post where ALICE’s Manager of Customer Success Enablement, Catherine Montesdecoa, breaks down how long it takes to implement hotel software at your property.
Invest in hotel software before your hotel opens to the public
Another great time to invest in hotel software is before it opens. It’s important that you have systems in place at your hotel on Day 1 to support your staff, and meet guest expectations at scale. Both guests and hotels have high expectations for your hotel’s technology. In fact, 72% of hotel guests said they are likely to return to a property when the tech they want is available.
As for recruiting staff for your opening team, entice future employees by highlighting your hotel’s tech stack. Employees want and expect the best tools possible to help them do their jobs and exceed expectations.
There is only one time in a hotel’s lifecycle that every single person on your team has the opportunity to learn about your hotel, and its tech stack from scratch. During pre-opening, members of your team will be able to have input into how hotel management systems such as ALICE are configured and customized for your hotel’s property.
Invest in operations management software when re-evaluating or purchasing other solutions for your tech stack
A fully integrated tech stack is a hotel general manager’s dream. Open APIs enable a free flow of information from one piece of software to another. ALICE’s open API is a way for two different systems to talk to each other, using a common language to stay perfectly in sync.
Benefits of ALICE’s open API include:
- Being able to connect external systems with internal systems at your hotel.
- Access to robust business intelligence and reporting.
- The ability to increase guest engagement by integrating with devices throughout your hotel such as voice activated in-room devices.
When thinking about replacing one piece of your tech stack, it’s important to consider compatibility with both current and future pieces of software. Take inventory of your current tech stack to identify any category gaps. Are you missing specific systems? Do the systems you have currently integrate with each other?
If you are thinking of replacing your property management system (PMS), make sure it connects with your operations software (especially your housekeeping software). A free flow of information between your housekeeping software and PMS provides transparency for front of house and back of house teams, enabling them to provide exceptional service for your guests.