At the rate technologies accelerate today, every luxury hotel, resort, boutique hotel, and bed & breakfast is being disrupted. According to Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee Technosys, “almost 75% of the hotel industry comprises small and independent hotels who aren’t technology-savvy and have for a long time avoided adopting automation tools like a Cloud PMS.”1
Arguably, boutique hotels and other smaller hotel businesses want to focus on providing a unique guest experience with a touch of the local flavour. Not many of them have realised the vast opportunities that technologies have to offer. As a result, the digital transformation in the hospitality industry has been strictly limited to mostly 3-star hotels or above. Needless to say, technologies have changed the way they can conduct daily business for the better.
Benefits of moving to the cloud for boutique hotels
Cloud technologies have been the foundation for many breakthrough innovations that help businesses in the hospitality industry operate successfully regardless of their sizes.
1. Streamline the booking process
A common issue which boutique hotels and smaller size businesses are facing is there are just too many steps for guests to confirm bookings via online sales channels. For example, when a guest books a room on one of these channels (let's say, Expedia), their information needs to be faxed over to the hotel, and entered manually into the system to double check if there are any vacancies. Once done, the hotel needs to go back and confirm with Expedia.
Having a cloud-enabled application, particularly a Cloud Property Management Solution (Cloud PMS), in place can automate these manual procedures, starting with directly connecting the hotel's PMS with OTAs. All booking information will be populated into the database thereby eliminating any errors in data entry.
If there are any price changes, cancellations, special promotions, such changes will reflect in both systems simultaneously.
Not limited to just Cloud PMS, cloud technologies can bring heaps of benefits to boutique hotels, particularly helping them to save costs, improve hotel operations' efficiency, enhance guest experience, and many more.
2. Save costs
Undoubtedly, one of the major concerns among boutique hotels is cost. Limited budgets can deter businesses from keeping up with the latest technological advancements available today.
Implementing an on-premise system requires hoteliers to invest heavily in finding storage space, installing cooling and power systems, plus recruiting and training the staff to manage and maintain the system.
Cloud technologies have enabled the development of modern, intuitive and user-friendly business applications which are also cost-effective. Hoteliers can choose to pay for only what they use. Thus, allowing them to explore new IT options without breaking the bank.
All system updates or disaster recovery is closely monitored by the service provider. Furthermore, cloud-based applications can be scaled up or down upon demand to suit the hotel's specific need, such as seasonality.
“Almost 75% of the hotel industry comprises small and independent hotels who aren’t technology-savvy and have for a long time avoided adopting automation tools like a Cloud PMS.”
- Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee Technosys
3. Leverage the power of data
Cloud-enabled applications, particularly Cloud PMS, are designed to obtain data from guests. Various modern Cloud PMS nowadays are built with BI and analytics tools which empower hoteliers to extract insights about the guests' behaviours and spending habits during their stay. Such insights are extremely useful for designing loyalty programs or enhancing the guest experience.
These applications are also accessible via any mobile device of choice. Therefore, managers can review metrics, monitor room availability, view guest history as well as forecast demand and plan a budget while on the go.
As an example, Nau Royal Boutique Hotel and Spa is one of the most sought-after destinations in the Southeast coast of Brazil. Before switching to the cloud, the hotel used an in-house solution that was difficult to integrate, storing outdated information which lead to many incidents of overbooking.
Three years ago, Nau decided to implement a Cloud PMS. In a recent interview, Aline Santos, General Manager of Nau Royal Boutique Hotel and Spa, commented that they have seen an increase of 30% in revenue since the implementation.
4. Automate manual, time-consuming tasks
Contrary to popular belief, cloud-based applications are much safer than legacy solutions. Data stored in the cloud will face significantly much less risk of being compromised. Any transferred data will be encrypted to add an additional security layer and there are many built in security measures.
Staff can leverage these cloud technologies to improve interdepartmental collaboration. Furthermore, cloud-enabled systems have the capability to automate several processes that are otherwise labour intensive and time-consuming, such as inventory updates, emails, and even hotel housekeeping.
With a proper system in place, the front office staff will be more liberated to work on resolving other operational issues efficiently and to take better care of the guests.
5. Enhance guest experience
Modern travellers today want to be recognised if they have visited the property before. They also expect self-service automation when it comes to check-in, check-out, and are demanding more promotional offers, payment options and other ‘fast-track’ technology enabaled solutions.
Hoteliers that leverage cloud technologies will be able to understand the guests better and connect with them via their preferred mode of communication. In addition, keeping the customers engaged with a tailored message can and will result in higher satisfaction.
Another successful example we can share; Ivey's Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, even went out of their way to adopt mobile check-in, keyless entry and a cloud-based property management system to improve their operational efficiency, drive new revenue opportunities, and keeping up-to-par with the guests' expectations. The new changes immediately received positive feedback from both staff and guests alike.
Hotels, whether big or small, will be able to adapt to the ever-changing dynamic market and offer a personalised experience to their guests with cloud-based applications.
It should not take hoteliers months, or years, just to set up a decent property management solution that is both intuitive and functional. Regardless of what your IT strategy for the future is, be sure to take into account the cloud due to its endless possibilities in benefitting your business.
Are you in need of a hospitality management solution? Look no further! Talk to our consultants today and see how our system can help your business.