Automation in the hospitality industry is often seen as the preserve of the large hotel chains.
Larger operators are twice as likely to use an automated management system than smaller, independent hotels.
But upgrading to an automated hotel management system can significantly benefit smaller hotel operators too, not just in terms of savings but also improved efficiency and customer service.
Increasingly competitive sector
From online check-in and customer communication to streamlined administration, cloud-based hotel management software can help even the smallest hotels thrive in an increasingly competitive sector.
Kenny Arnott is a former manager of the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, near Oban, and was later general manager the Chester Residence in Edinburgh.
He is now UK business development manager for SabeeApp Cloud Hotel Management Software, one of the firms making a name for itself in the hospitality technology space.
Mr Arnott said: “Investing in an automated hotel management system can seem like a big step for any small hotel or operation.
“However, it’s recognised that as the power of new tech increases, the price drops in correlation.
“So, with high-performing systems now affordable and available to smaller independent hotels or chains, it is an investment that is more than worth it.”
He added: “Moving from a manual system to a paperless, technology-driven hotel management solution means a small hotel, or an accommodation provider – such as a multi-site Airbnb operator – can run more efficiently, effectively and creatively with the team and resources they already have.”
Hotel management software puts essential functions at people’s fingertips, from managing reservations and room allocation to back-office accounting and reporting.
It can also be accessed off-site, via smartphones or other mobile devices.
With a manual system, it can be easy for paperwork and repetitive tasks to take up a disproportionate amount of time.
The ability to work remotely can free up resources to support other functions of a hotel – or spend more time helping guests.
It could also save the hotel money in the long run, both in terms of reducing costs and in minimising administration or double-booking errors.
Secure payments, tools for booking additional services and 24/7 availability are just some of the automated options on offer, Mr Arnott said, adding: “Some systems also offer your guests the opportunity to provide instant feedback, which is a proactive way to quickly resolve any issues and reduce customer complaints.
“A small hotel can increase its revenue by creating guest profiles that provide a much more personalised service.
“This can include tailored communication, personalised support during a guest’s stay and targeted offers.
“Ultimately, an automated hotel management system is also about your people. It means your staff team will have the latest tools and integrated online resources to meet and exceed the needs of your guests.”