As has been made clear throughout the difficult times of the pandemic, the technology stack is the backbone of hotel operations, enabling lean teams to operate productively and keep the property in business while serving customers attentively. . The problem is, the current slate of hotel technology has evolved in jarring ways, creating pockets of data that are not systematically integrated.
Attending HITEC in Dallas towards the end of September, integration is indeed still a buzzword, as it has been with many trade shows over the past decade. This year’s release has seen great strides in further consolidating various tasks and operations under one roof to facilitate smoother work assignments, faster communications, better analytics, and greater team accountability. . There are indeed very versatile PMSs as well as stellar operations platforms to sit on top of these core systems to handle a multitude of responsibilities and fill various siled departments.
However, we’ll both say that integrating and consolidating data into cohesive systems doesn’t happen fast enough compared to other industries, ultimately to the detriment of revenue generation.
Acting as representatives of the owners of various hotels, we are always amazed at how many aspects of a property depend on Excel spreadsheets stored on a manager’s hard drive, often without any cloud copies or backups. digitized. Also, when it comes to integrations or API development, various platforms map and extract selected data points from each other as needed (or on schedule) rather than sending everything to a single hub so that other items in the stack can then collect.
What we are referring to here would fall under the realm of a customer relationship management (CRM) platform where all customer information is mapped to a single database, but the most contemporary acronym and the more specific would be CDP or customer data. Platform. There is a bit of an overlap between these two terms, so for the sake of simplicity let’s just say that the latter pulls data from more sources (owned or third-party) and structures everything better for omnichannel redistribution.
Before it turns into an alphabet soup game, what is critical to understand about this trend is the need for a central database and “cleansed” or consistently tabulated. For now, you should focus on studying your options and collecting all the data – customer profiles, preferences, and all kinds of operational know-how – into one.
Ultimately, the plan will be to recruit a data scientist to analyze this vast assemblage of data, and then apply some form of soft artificial intelligence to find workable models. This will likely involve an unsupervised learning algorithm to look at whatever has been collected without any prior instruction on what to specifically look for, then come back with some deductions as to who your guests really are and how to most effectively build the next year’s budget.
But these AI tools are only as good as the data they are applied to. Therefore, the more information you have to work on, the better the end results. The danger alluded to in all of this is the way the big players in the industry – like OTAs and now Airbnb – amass and then use their data to improve the online booking experience, provide recommendations, and further motivate guest spending. .
The only way to compete is to start collecting, cleaning, and consolidating. The technology stack needs to be constantly revised for this express purpose so that, in due course, you can begin to infer behavior patterns to guide future CAPEX, customer service initiatives, or marketing campaigns. Competition will be fierce over the next decade, and data-driven decision making will inevitably be what will generate revenue, reduce costs, and protect your asset.
Larry and Adam Mogelonsky represent one of the world’s most published hospitality writing teams, with more than a decade of material online. As partners of Mogel Consulting Limited Hotel, a Toronto-based consulting firm, Larry focuses on asset management, sales and operations while Adam specializes in hotel technology and marketing. Their experience spans properties around the world, both branded and independent, ranging from luxury and boutique to select service. Their work includes six books Are You an Ostrich or a Llama? (2012), âLamas Ruleâ (2013), âHotel Llamaâ (2015), âThe Llama is Innâ (2017), âThe Hotel Mogelâ (2018) and âMore Hotel Mogelâ (2020). You can contact Larry at [email protected] or Adam at [email protected] to discuss hospitality business challenges or to book speaking engagements.
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