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Siegel Sez

February 21, 2020

Siegel Sez

When did LinkedIn add birthdays? Monday was my birthday and since I have a zillion LinkedIn connections, I was overwhelmed with birthday wishes. I decided because it was the President’s Day holiday here in the U.S. that I would respond to those sending notes. Wow -- did that get out of hand quickly. But then I realized how many great people I have met through the hotel and technology industry and was absolutely enjoying reconnecting with those who were part of my past. I must admit, it was quite fun. Of course, now I feel obligated that every time I get a birthday notice for a LinkedIn connection that I need to say happy birthday. It is interesting watching the growth of Facebook for business and how it seems at times LinkedIn is blurring what they have always been known as business only. Yes, this is the wacky work of social media.

At Hospitality Upgrade we are very excited about this year’s Executive Vendor Summit which is being held at the surprisingly upscale Drury Plaza Hotel in a great location in Nashville. Downtown Nashville reminds me of Atlanta when I got here in 1992. The city’s growth today is best described as “beyond belief.” Nashville is going through the same growing pains Atlanta did two decades ago with so many people moving there, but the roads and infrastructure can’t seem to keep up. This is our 16th EVS and the crowd this year is one of our best. The program includes technology leaders from Hyatt, Wyndham, Vail Resorts and Four Seasons along with some top-notch speakers including the somewhat famous Pete Havel who authored the best-selling book, “The Arsonist in the Office,” which I bet everybody will relate to. We thank HFTP for partnering with us, HTNG for its support and the leaders of most of the major technology vendors for joining us March 25-27.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that it was 16 years ago at the Lansdowne Resort by Dulles Airport when 20 companies came to support our first Executive Vendor Summit that it would still be growing as much as it has 16 years later. You need great partners in this industry, and we are glad that we can bring more and more of them together.

Here now is the real reason we are here, the opinionated Doug Rice and the latest industry technology happenings and his look at what is emerging in the work order management market. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what which we stole from Sudharshan Chary of Datavision Technologies after he posted it on Facebook. The benefits of social media.


Definitely Doug

Beyond the Walkie-Talkie
Hotels always talk about how focused they are on guest satisfaction. But studies such as the ACSI Travel Report consistently show hotels coming in way below even banks and limited-service restaurants in guest satisfaction, and just barely above airlines and gas stations. And it’s getting worse: 2019 showed a 1.3% drop over 2018. Net promoter scores for most major hotel brands are lowest for millennials and Generation X, which does not bode well for the future. A 2016 study by Revenue Strategy Summit showed that poor service delivery accounted for 56% of negative trip reviews.
Across thousands of hotel nights over the years, it’s been my own experience that the biggest issue is not the problems that occur, but the difficulties in getting the staff organized to fix them. It’s often more of a hassle to report a problem than simply to live with it. In one hotel just last week, I had a sink drain plug that couldn’t be raised to drain the sink, a bathroom fan that wouldn’t turn off, and a shower that wouldn’t stop dripping, Rather than asking the hotel to fix them, I pulled the plug out of the drain, and shut the bathroom door so I wouldn’t hear the drips or the fan. Getting things like this fixed can take hours, and the resolution is often to move the guest a different room, which is a hassle. So, guests don’t report the problems they can live with. As a result, the problems aren’t discovered or fixed, and the next guest has the same issue. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Why is it getting worse? In most cases, it’s because what used to be addressed with two devices - a telephone used by the guest and a walkie-talkie used by the staff, are now handled with multiple communication methods from the guest (phone, text, app chat, bedside tablets, voice requests via Alexa-type devices), and dispatched to staff through multiple systems or offline logbooks in different ways (housekeeping, engineering, room service, bell desk, valet, shuttle, concierge, spa, minibar, front desk, room reservations, restaurant reservations, complaints/service recovery, and others).
Ideally you would like any guest request, no matter how it comes in, to be handled in the same way: dispatched to the most qualified available staff member, actioned promptly, and resolved, with relevant communication to the guest throughout. And if it isn’t getting resolved, an escalation process should kick in, regardless of which system or person “has the ball.” Throughout the resolution cycle, all staff should have full visibility of the request and its history, as well as prior requests from the same guest. Nothing is more annoying to a guest than having to repeat the entire history of an unresolved issue because the staff can’t see what’s happened or what’s been done (or not). And if the associate can’t see that in fact someone is just about to resolve the request, they may dispatch someone else, duplicating the effort and potentially annoying the guest. One time when I requested extra towels late one evening, I had to call back twice because they didn’t arrive for two hours. I then got three separate deliveries of towels, two of them after my family and I had gone to sleep.

Click here to read more of Doug’s column on Work Force Management

Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/


- InnSpire Expands into Latin America through Strategic Partnership with Nimbus Networks
Award-winning guest experience provider InnSpire joins forces with Nimbus Networks to complete successful installation for the first four Latin American hotel clients in Peru.


- Cendyn Appoints New Leadership for Project Management and Digital Marketing
- AHLA Names Matt Carrier Vice President of Innovation Policy & Research
- Marriott International Appoints Jim Scholefield Chief Information and Digital Officer
- BirchStreet Systems Hires Key Strategic Executive Chris Orr as Chief Operating Officer


For more information on People On The Move for 2/21/2020


- Property Groups Leverage Maestro PMS' Sophistication at Award Winning Luxury and Full-Service Independents
Most management companies see the advantages of using one system platform across all their independent properties. The same property management software (PMS) and the same central reservations and other systems let operators have one central reservations office, standardized data formats, and a consistent staff training program. Maestro works well for multi-property management companies that have independents in their portfolio.


- SiteMinder: Top Hotel Booking Revenue Makers of 2019 Show No Stopping of Direct Channel, Key Players
SiteMinder, a global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, reveals its annual lists of the distribution channels that brought the highest booking revenue to hotels over the past year.


- IDeaS and Silverbyte Partner to Provide Two-Way Data Integration
IDeaS announced a new technology partnership with Silverbyte, Ltd. The two-way data integration between IDeaS’ sophisticated revenue management solutions and Silverbyte’s leading property management software, Optima PMS, will provide enhanced performance, productivity and profitability for the global hotel industry.

- Bavaria Boutique Hotel in Munich Is First to Benefit from Optimized Pricing Through Infor HPO
Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, announced it is providing the family-run Bavaria Boutique Hotel located in the heart of Munich, Germany, with the new cloud solution Infor Hospitality Price Optimizer (HPO). Bavaria Boutique is the first hotel to benefit from the optimized pricing offered by Infor HPO.


- Enseo & Catapult Tech Launch IoT Smart Guest Room of Future with Mexico City’s Fiesta Americana
The Fiesta Americana Viaducto Aeropuerto Hotel in Mexico City recently opened its doors and treated guests to a full suite of Enseo’s innovative smart hotel room technology. From streaming entertainment options to remotely managing their entire room from their own mobile devices, guests were ushered into an experience unlike any other.


- The Rise of Data Regulation & The Impact on Hotel Marketing
The rise of digital advertising grew from an era of limited tracking capabilities to an era of almost unlimited access to tracking user data across the web. This advancement in tracking has provided amazing opportunities to enhance campaign targeting options, narrowing targets based on user behavior and tying that tracking back to direct online booked revenue. This wild west atmosphere of digital tracking reached an apex that finally had governments and citizens around the world taking notice and growing concerned.

- Sabre Honored with Multiple Interactive Media Awards Recognizing Best-In-Class Website Design for Hotels
Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, is thrilled to announce that it was awarded multiple HSMAI Adrian Awards for its SynXis Digital Experience Web Design solutions.

- US Hotel Brand Loyalty Contribution Reaches an All-Time High in 2019
The hotel brand loyalty programs continue to play a major factor in where and how guests are booking their stays, and today loyalty-related bookings account for more than 50% of the total hotel bookings in the U.S., according to new, full-year 2019 booking data from Kalibri Labs.


- e-destinACCESS and BirchStreet Systems Have Partnered to Deliver a Powerful Hospitality Meeting Management Solution that Eliminates Spreadsheets and Centralizes Event Spend with a Simple Click of a Button
Event teams can now curate all meetings using automated controls and maintain complete visibility of overall meeting expenses, across all categories in real time.

- Live Webinar: Knowland to Host Webinar on How to Optimize Group Revenue for Small Hotels
In this exclusive webinar designed for small hotels, Jim VanDevender , Executive Advisor at Knowland will show small and/or boutique hotels how to source and book "best-fit" groups and improve STR Ranking in the process.


- ProfitSword Unveils ProfitAbility to Provide Hoteliers with Latest in Machine-learning Business Intelligence
ProfitSword, one of hospitality's premier developers of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the launch of ProfitAbility, an advanced dashboarding and reporting platform that uses the latest in artificial intelligence to autonomously identify and report anomalies within data reflecting business performance.


- Blueprint RF Awarded First Place, Overall Partner Performance from Marriott International
Blueprint RF, a Cox Communications Company, was recently awarded first place in Overall Partner Performance, Americas Region, in the inaugural Property Internet Award of Excellence from Marriott International.

- ROW nyc Hotel Caters to Latest Guest Connectivity Needs by Implementing Advanced Wi-Fi and BeyondTV GuestCast™ from Hotel Internet Services
Urban-inspired Manhattan property leverages HIS technology and expertise to provide guests with seamless content casting abilities and online experiences.

- Cloud5 Communications Earns Two Marriott Property Internet Awards of Excellence
Top-rated hospitality technology provider Cloud5 Communications has been awarded two certificates of excellence by Marriott International recognizing its technology innovation and high level of performance.


- Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa Implements Clear Sky Software’s Food, Beverage and Retail Inventory Systems
Sawgrass now has the tools to manage their extensive inventory flowing into the Resort and tracking product movements in bars, restaurants, gift shop areas and storage.


- Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Hotel Peninsula Beverly Hills Set to Install InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System
Peninsula Beverly Hills opened their doors in 1991 as the first new luxury hotel in Beverly Hills in 20 years. Today they are the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star rated hotel in Southern California. The InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System to be installed at the Peninsula Beverly Hills will contribute to the continuous success of their hotel operations by lowering operating expenses.
- KNOWCROSS Selected as a Qualified Vendor for Choice Hotels
KNOWCROSS, a global leader in providing service quality and optimization solutions, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a Qualified Vendor for Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world's leading lodging franchisors. The Knowcross software solutions platform is designed to help the company’s franchised hotels maximize efficiency, increase productivity and elevate the guest experience.


- Hospitality Upgrade’s 2020 Executive Vendor Summit Registration Opened
Hospitality Upgrade Magazine’s 16th Annual Executive Vendor Summit has opened registration and announced Nashville as its host city for the March 25-27 event. The Executive Vendor Summit (EVS) is a unique industry event that focuses on C-level executives from the hospitality technology solutions industry. This invitation-only event brings executives together for learning, leadership discovery and networking.


- Travel + Leisure Releases 15th Annual It List, an Editor-Curated Collection of the Best New Hotels in the World
Travel + Leisure released its 15th annual It List, a selection of the top new and renovated hotels in the world. The list is available on TravelandLeisure.com and in the March issue, available on newsstands February 21.

- Q4 Year End 2019 U.S. Lodging Market Update
After a tumultuous 4Q18, 2019 was a climb of the wall of worry as at several points many believed the grind higher was going to come to a halt, which did not occur. Although America’s financial system has been buffeted by a slowing global economy and the U.S. instigated trade war with China, it has been buoyed by the lowest unemployment levels during the past 50 years, and rising incomes which have fueled consumer spending and a generally optimistic sentiment. 

- Health Movement Leads to Growth in Hotel Spas
In 2007, CBRE introduced Trends® in the Hotel Spa Industry in response to the spa industry’s rapid expansion within hotels and resorts and its relevance to hotels’ bottom lines. For the second time in the history of the publication, spa revenue increased at a higher rate than rooms revenue and total operating revenue.


- Intel and Sinclair Partner to Create an All-Digital Hotel
- Voice Is Here to Stay: Embrace It
- Security Flaws Threaten ‘Panic Buttons’ Meant to Protect Hotel Workers
- The Most Influential Products of the Past Decade


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 2/21/2020


And now for you-know-what.… 

A politician visits a remote rural village and asks the inhabitants what the government could do for them.

“We have two big needs,” said the village headman. “First, we have a hospital but no doctor.”

The politician whipped out his cellphone, spoke for a while and then said: “I have sorted it out. A doctor will arrive here tomorrow. What is your other need?”

“We have no cellphone reception at all in our village.”

(Thank you, Sudharshan!)

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