The Benefits of Embracing Technology to Meet Guest Expectations and Drive NOI
And How to Plan and Prepare For Your Hotel's Technology Evolution
By: Dustin Caromano
Hotels are a dynamic industry that struggles to embrace technological advancements to improve guest experiences, increase operational efficiency and optimize profitability. While the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the adoption of new technologies, such as contactless check-ins, room service through mobile apps, and AI-powered chatbots, some veterans suggest the industry missed the chance to reinvent itself at the 2023 Americas Lodging Investment Summit.
The implementation of new technology can be a daunting task for hoteliers, especially when internal teams must balance the day-to-day operations of the hotel. This article will discuss the importance of investing in hotel technology, the steps a hotel should take to prepare and plan for new technology, and the benefits of utilizing outside subject matter experts to assist with selection and implementation.
The importance of evolving technology to meet guest expectations and optimize NOI
Technology has changed the way guests book, stay, and review hotels. Guests expect seamless digital experiences, from booking to check-out. According to a study by Oracle Hospitality, 72% of hotel guests prefer mobile check-in and 74% of guests would like to use their smartphone as a room key. Hotels that can provide these experiences are more likely to attract and retain guests, resulting in increased revenue and positive reviews.
In addition to improving the guest experience, technology can help hotels optimize their operations and increase their bottom line. For example, a hotel property management system (PMS) can automate processes such as check-ins, room assignments, and billing, freeing up staff time for other tasks. A revenue management system can help hotels adjust pricing in real time based on demand, leading to increased revenue per available room (RevPAR). By leveraging technology to optimize operations, hotels can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve profitability.
How to prepare for technology upgrades
Implementing new technology can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Therefore, it is important for hotels to have a clear plan and strategy in place. Each hotel will have unique goals and objectives that should be carefully considered. Here are some general steps a hotel should take to prepare and plan for new technology:
Project planning: Start by defining the project goals and objectives, timeline, and budget. Identify the stakeholders involved in the project and assign roles and responsibilities This may include leaders from Operations, Marketing, Finance, Revenue Management, IT, Sales, and others depending on the technology integrations and use cases. And finally, establish communication protocols and reporting requirements to ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the project. This may require a dedicated project manager or project lead.
Identifying project requirements: Define the business requirements for the technology and create a list of features and functions that the technology should provide. Evaluate different technology options and select the one that best meets the business requirements. It may be beneficial to weigh the benefits features and functionality in order to arrive at your best solution. It’s always a give and take.
Testing and implementation: Once a technology solution has been selected, conduct thorough testing to verify that it meets the requirements and integrates with existing systems. Develop a training plan for staff to ensure they are equipped to use the new technology. Finally, implement the technology in a phased approach to minimize disruption to the business.
I can’t stress the importance of this step enough. Your technology is like a web, so changes within one system can impact others. Knowing exactly how data is flowing through each system is critical. In addition, the adoption of the technology is crucial for your hotel’s success. Spend the time training your team, it will pay off and ensure your investment doesn’t go to waste.
The benefits of outsourcing subject matter experts
While internal teams may have a good understanding of the hotel's operations, they may lack the technical expertise required to select and implement new technology solutions. Outsourcing subject matter experts can help hotels overcome this challenge and provide several benefits:
Expertise: Subject matter experts have the technical expertise required to evaluate different technology solutions, identify the best fit for the business requirements, and implement the technology in a timely and efficient manner.
Focus: By outsourcing technology selection and implementation, internal teams can focus on day-to-day operations and guest experiences without being distracted by technology-related issues.
Cost savings: Outsourcing subject matter experts can save costs associated with hiring and training internal staff, as well as potential mistakes or delays in technology implementation.
Innovation: Subject matter experts are aware of the latest technology trends and can help hotels identify innovative solutions that can provide a competitive advantage.
Investing in hotel technology is essential to meet guest expectations, optimize operations, and improve profitability. If you need assistance with PMS, RMS, CRS, or CRM implementation, lean on us. Our team of experts at Première Advisory Group has selected and installed hundreds of systems using our trusted and refined process.
About Première Advisory Group
Première Advisory Group is a trusted commercial strategy advisory group for the hospitality industry. We help independent and boutique hotels around the globe drive profitability through a unique approach that combines experts in Distribution & Sales, Revenue Management, eCommerce & Marketing, and Hotel Technology, so they can maximize revenue and increase market share. With offices located in New York and Paris, Première Advisory Group supports over 125 independent and boutique hotels across the globe and was recently awarded Top Revenue Management Company by Travel and Hospitality Tech Outlook.