Hotel operations software has many selling points: streamlined communications, departmental efficiency, and increased guest satisfaction...to name a few. These alone are all reasons to invest in software. But one significant benefit that isn’t always mentioned is the business intelligence data points and staff and property insights that come along with having software in every department of a hotel.
Data helps make informed decisions. Doctors use data, economists use data, teachers, matchmakers, and scientists all use data. So shouldn’t hoteliers also be using data to manage operations and improve the guest experience?
But before you can leverage data to improve and streamline your hotel operations you must find a way to collect, store and make use of all of the data points in your hotel. Software can help hoteliers collect a multitude of data points to help improve your hotel’s operations.
How Hotel Operations Software Helps
Software tracks every single guest to staff interaction as well as staff to staff interaction. It also tracks every single detail of an internal ticket. An internal ticket includes the time a task was entered into the system, who it was assigned to, how long it took to be accepted, the actual amount of time it took to complete, and how and when a guest or staff member was notified of its completion.
There are many different management tools available for hoteliers and finding software that make it easy to pull data is essential. Software with robust reporting features allow users to pull information based on any of those criteria.
Reporting is one of many housekeeping software features that should be considered when evaluating different products. Standard and custom reports can synthesize a year’s worth of information into a few key findings that can save money and time.
Understanding What is Happening in Your Hotel
It’s easy for a general manager or the head of a hotel department to think they know what’s going on, but without operations software in place it can actually be quite difficult. While a general manager might see positive reviews from guests, the behind the scenes details can tell a different story.
Service Delivery software not only streamlines and expedites staff responses to guest requests and complaints, but reporting features can shed light on what’s happening on a deeper level. Knowing how long it takes for a front desk request to be completed can help employees provide reasonable time estimates to guests. Advising a guest that something will be delivered in 5 minutes when it really takes 15 minutes can negatively impact a guest’s satisfaction.
From a cost savings perspective, data can provide a whole other set of decision making information. For example, Grupo Posadas, which owns and operates 180+ hotels, uses ALICE’s operations software to understand and improve hotel operations. Their teams are trained to detect easily overlooked issues and deploy immediate preventive and corrective actions to proactively improve service and avoid negative reviews.
"ALICE has helped us by providing enterprise and individual property statistics that we have used to implement operational improvements," remarks Enrique Calderón, COO of Grupo Posadas. "30% of our requests involve bringing more towels to guest rooms. If we simply put extra towels in each room, we lower guest requests and save the staff the time that it takes to fulfill each request. The results are fewer annoyed customers, fewer room deliveries, less workload, and greater savings."
Leveraging Your Hotel’s Data
Collecting data from your hotel is fantastic. But what can you do with it? The answer is simple: a lot.
- Motivate Employees: Pull reports monthly to let departments and teams know how they’re doing. Few things are better than hearing that your team’s hard work has paid off! A team achieving a 50% decrease in the time it takes them to complete a request is something to celebrate. You can also gamify departments’ performance with rewards for weekly or monthly improvements.
- Get Accountability: With reporting, it’s easy to highlight (and reward!) your most efficient employees or departments. Data can also be an indicator that something’s not right in a department. Why are housekeeping shifts with one manager cleaning twice as many rooms as a different shift?
- Save Money With Preventative Maintenance: Repetitive requests to fix something in your hotel can be a sign of an underlying problem, or a disaster waiting to happen. Preventative maintenance software not only helps schedule regular maintenance, but it’s reporting features can also provide insight into potential maintenance issues before they happen.
Data-Driven Preventative Maintenance in Action
A hotel in New York City using ALICE ran a maintenance report that pulled all of the internal tickets tagged “#fix: leaky faucet.” The report showed that all of the leaky faucets came from one area of a building on a set of specific floors.
The head of maintenance was able to determine that there was a plumbing problem (corroding pipes!) in that area of the hotel. By taking proactive measures, the hotel saved a considerable amount of money. They fixed the problem before it became a disaster and potentially took multiple floors out of service for costly repairs.
Lean Into Your Hotel’s Operational Data
Numbers don’t lie, which means you should trust your hotel’s data. A feeling, or a seasoned manager’s intuition certainly means a lot, but a data-driven approach is hard to refute. Hotel chains, independent hotels, and small hotels can benefit from leaning into what they know about their individual properties.
By taking advantage of preloaded and custom reports, hotel operations managers can see “no-brainer” solutions that can improve operational efficiency, but can also come up with creative uses for the data derived from operational software. Each guest request, internal ticket, or interaction is a data breadcrumb -- follow the trail.
Interested in learning how ALICE can help your hotel take a data-driven approach to its operations? Schedule a demo today!