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Enterprise System Pitfalls: Summary
Today I’m wrapping up a series of posts on the broad topic of Enterprise System Pitfalls. In this series, my hope was to help shed light on the primary problems that cause us to miss budgets, fall short on capabilities, or completely fail when implementing an enterprise system. 

The Year in Review
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to count our blessings. One of mine has been the privilege (and fun!) of being able to reach out to so many interesting companies and get them to tell me what they’re doing that’s different, disruptive, and game-changing. The list of things I have to write about in future columns has only gotten longer in the nine months since I started writing this column.

Sustainable Innovation
Sustainability can yield multiple benefits to hotels. Saving energy and water yields direct cost savings. Revenue can be generated by guests who prefer to deal with businesses that minimize their environmental impact. And many would argue that conserving scarce resources is simply the right thing to do.

Meetings Innovation
The sale and delivery of groups and meetings is perhaps the most significant and under-automated functions for many hotels. Even though groups often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, most group bookings are still handled manually for most if not all of steps, as they move from a meeting planner’s research to a confirmed booking.

The biggest enemy to any system is complexity. In a system of inputs and outputs, such as an enterprise system, more complexity means more parts are used in interaction with inputs to create the outputs. Every part that must be built and maintained costs time and money

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How Mobile Devices Impact Sales during the Holiday Season by Kevin Kiley

by Kevin Kiley
   After hours of traveling, you finally arrive at your destination for the holidays, ready for some well-deserved R & R. However, instead of handing your luggage to the porter and grabbing a key from the concierge, you walk into the lobby and see a long line of hotel guests waiting to check in. Frustrated by the prospect of waiting in yet another line, you wonder, “Isn’t there a better way to manage the check-in process so I can get my vacation started sooner?” The answer is yes, and the solution is simple. In fact, it can probably be found in your pocket, purse or suitcase:  a mobile device. 
   The world is increasingly social and mobile, and more than ever, the hospitality industry must keep pace with trends in mobility. This year, nearly 30 percent of Americans are expected to take a trip during the holiday season. Throughout this time, hotels and resorts experience a significant increase in the number of guests on their properties. While this influx of holiday travelers is a boom for business, it also puts added pressure on hotel staff to provide excellent customer service as quickly as possible to more people than usual. Before the age of mobile devices, tired, often impatient travelers waited for hotel staff to manually search for reservations, assign a room and field requests for upgrades and extra services. Additionally, the processes for training hotel staff, responding to maintenance requests and fulfilling room service orders were not streamlined, which impacted the value of customer service that guests were receiving. Today’s tech-savvy guests expect personalized, premium services and are quick to share their experiences – both good and bad – with the world via social media channels, and they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere. 
   Hotels can actively enhance every aspect of the guest experience by integrating mobile devices into the business platform. Greeting guests at the door with a tablet to ensure a  quick, seamless check-in will immediately make the guest feel welcomed and taken care of. In addition to expediting the check-in process, a mobile device gives the hotel employee the opportunity to display images of an upgraded room or service that could result in additional revenue. 
   Adding tablets to each guest room can also increase sales and customer satisfaction. These in-room devices can enable guests to control the TV, order room service, request maintenance requests, make restaurant reservations and more, without being placed on hold with the concierge.
   To ensure a rapid and effortless check-out, guests can use tablets provided in their rooms to complete the process and submit payment information. Once a payment is received, the housekeeping department is immediately alerted that the room is available for cleaning. The alert is sent in real-time, which decreases time spent coordinating a room’s status with the front desk – particularly important during peak times when staff is focused on checking in guests.
Restaurants on property can also benefit by utilizing mobile devices to enhance the guest experience.  Restaurant managers can experience growth in sales and increased customer satisfaction by using mobile devices on-site to book tables, process guest orders, train employees, maintain recipe consistency and deliver faster food and beverage services. The opportunities to upsell when guests use mobile devices to order their meals are also great – for example, if a guest orders a particular menu item, software on the device can automatically prompt them to purchase a bottle of wine or side dish that pairs well with what they’ve ordered. Additionally, by storing and disseminating employee training resources on mobile devices, restaurants can ensure product and service consistency among all workers in the restaurant including chefs, servers and hostesses. 
   Finally, tablets can significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for food and beverages to arrive at the table. For example, a large Atlanta restaurant with frequent out-of-town diners recently deployed tablets on each table to allow the customer to sit down and immediately submit a drink order. The restaurant reported that utilizing tablets for immediate drink orders decreased the average time for a beverage to arrive at the table from 17 minutes to three minutes. Tablets are also being used in restaurants to provide guests and children with entertainment and to collect customer feedback. 
   Overall, hotels and restaurants that incorporate tablets into their business platforms have been able to enhance customer satisfaction, decrease customer wait times, improve sales and increase employee productivity. Hospitality organizations that are willing to embrace mobile devices and incorporate them into their day-to-day operations are likely to outpace their competitors and enhance customer satisfaction around the holidays and all year round.
About The Author
Kevin Kiley
Director of Enterprise Solutions

Kevin Kiley is the director of enterprise solutions at AirWatch, a  leader and innovator in mobile security and the largest Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) provider. In this role, Kiley leads the U.S. and Canadian Enterprise Sales team, supporting the diverse needs of AirWatch’s largest clients.

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