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Definitely Doug 10/18/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

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.

Definitely Doug 12/6/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

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

Tracking the evolution of key performance indicators (KPIs) over time allows hoteliers to identify meaningful trends, create forecasts and budgets and assess the results of different strategies. To perform this kind of analysis, data has to be recorded within consistent time intervals and in chronological order. This is known as a time series.

Definitely Doug 11/15/19
Posted: 11/15/2019

Every time I turn around these days, I see a new vendor or product promising something called a complete Guest Experience Management, Guest Journey Management, or Guest Engagement (or some variation on those words). This week I looked at some of the emerging products claiming to be in this space, both to try to better understand it, and to see what promising ideas it may hold.



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The Changing Face of the Business of Hotels And the Role of Technology: Part One

11/12/2013
by Dan Phillips

Hotels are a business, and as such need to make money to stay in business. Hospitality is the art of the hotel business. Once the business was all about getting heads in beds, and driving customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing the best accommodations for the price, today the business is different. Today, hospitality is all about the customer experience; it is not sufficient to merely offer the same quality of stay at a similar price.

A significant difference in the business of hotels today is that as in the rest of the world outside of this industry, marketing and technology have converged. Every company, and many individuals, has a digital presence today. To do so, marketing people must use technology to establish branding and manage their multiple forms of communication, all of which are supported by yet more technology. For hotel companies, this convergence is changing the face of business, but more specifically it is changing the roles of staff responsible for technology. From CTOs down to IT managers the skill sets must be widely broadened in order for hotels to compete for shrinking market share.

This white paper will highlight some of the new trends and thoughts from experts in various fields, all of which can be applied to the hotel industry. Though these concepts may appear disjointed at first, when combined into an overarching strategy, one of convergence and one directed at the demographics of today’s travelers, one can see the synergy. The goal is to direct management styles to be more service oriented, increasing guest satisfaction and therefore improving the bottom line.

The old sales model looked something like this:
Product Services & Amenities + Customer Service = Long term loyalty, advocacy and referrals 

Notice the plus sign. In the past, a hotel could be a leader in any given area and fail in some other area and still be successful.
 
The new sales model equation might be better represented as this:
(Customer needs, wants and expectations) X (hotel staff) X (a culture of service excellence) X(business environment) X (product and services/amenities offerings) = exceptional experiential value

In this case the formula is multiplication, not addition. If any of those multipliers is a zero, then the final equation results in a zero. (Brett Patten, Hotel Sales Formula that Goes Against All Conventional Wisdom, http://ehotelier.com/hospitality-news/item.php?id=P26072&goback=%2Egde_110108_member_271836286#%21

In the second equation above the ultimate goal is the generation of exceptional experiential values for the hotel’s guests. Hoteliers can no longer be considered successful by simply providing a clean room with a big TV. Today’s traveler, and more importantly tomorrow’s traveler, is after an experience and not only just a good night’s sleep. This experiential factor is a driving motivator in the convergence of marketing and technology; specifically how it is tailored and deployed to facilitate experiences.

One of the key components of creating an experience begins with communication. Communication is now digital. It isn’t just voice anymore; it isn’t just email. Communication has exploded into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, text, websites, mobile, apps, social media, and more. Hotels have been forced into the digital media age. Once the first online booking sites started, hoteliers have been in the digital footprint, many of which have been playing catch up ever since. Hotel companies need to become more mature with their digital strategies.

Digital maturity is the combination of digital intensity plus transformation management intensity. Digital maturity is the combination of a company’s investment in technology enabled initiatives plus the vision to shape a new future by developing new IT/marketing/business operations relationships to implement technology based change under governance.

From a company perspective, digital maturity can be broken into four levels of acumen:

  • Beginners – do very little with advanced digital capabilities
  • Fashionistas – experiment with sexy applications but lack the vision to gain synergies
  • Conservatives – favor prudence over innovation
  • Digirati – truly understand how to drive value with digital transformation

Hotel companies fall into the four levels as listed below. Due to online booking, every hotel company is past the beginner stage. What may be significant here is that 50 percent of our industry is simply spending money to look good while developing no real positive results.

  • 0% Beginners
  • 50% Fasionistas
  • 19% Conservatives
  • 31% Digirati

Why is it so important to become a Digirati? When compared to competitors, companies that can achieve the digirati level of digital maturity are driving 10 percent more revenue, are 26 percent more profitable, and have a 12 percent higher market value.

What is needed to bring the old way of hotel business up to the demands of hospitality today is a radical change in the role of the CTO and IT staff inside of hotel companies.

Please check back on Thursday for part two of this column and for more insight into the Changing Face of Business and how you can transform your business to the digirati level.

About The Author
Dan Phillips
Owner
Dare to Imagine


Dan Phillips is the owner of the consulting firm, Dare to Imagine (www.dare2i.com). He started behind the front desk of a Holiday Inn in 1987 and has been consulting to hotel companies since 1991. Dare to Imagine enlists hotel experts with decades of C-level experience at many of the major hotel companies in the world. He can be reached at dphillips@dare2i.com or by phone at 678-852-5913.

 
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