There’s no shortage of hotels and accommodation providers worldwide, but not all are created equal. A fair few are happy with the status quo, and accept slow growth in return for comfort. They do things the way they’ve always been done. But there are others who are keen to innovate, to rethink their place in the market, and to take their property from strength to strength. These are the forward-thinking innovators that excite us and influence others.
If you identify yourself and your property as one of these innovators, some of the questions you’re probably always asking yourself are: how can our team improve processes, and what else can be automated? Not only to level up your guest experience but also to increase the bottom line. There are some industry innovators with strong tech teams which you might already be aware of, like Placemakr, Limehome, Numa, Hiisi Homes & Hotels, and CitizenM. They are all able to outperform the market by automating the majority of their operations and back-office processes. By making sure all of the standard operations are running efficiently in the background, they’re able to spend more time on perfecting the things that can make a property stand out to guests.
Planning to have neat and fully optimized hotel processes is one thing. Executing this is an entirely different challenge, particularly for properties with limitations such as no in-house tech team. But progress shouldn't be blocked by barriers like this.
So how can you tackle this challenge? There are two fundamental elements:
- An API-first property management platform like Apaleo, which allows you to access all your data whenever it’s needed, and
- An automation platform with no-code capabilities
Apaleo does the heavy lifting by providing an open property management platform with unlimited access to all of your business data. In terms of finding the perfect automation platform, Apaleo recently finalized a native integration with Make.com.
You can connect Apaleo with 1200+ apps on Make.com
What exactly is an automation platform, and how can it help my property?
Make.com is a no-code visual automation platform that allows you and your teams to create workflows and tasks to automate any aspect of your business, without a single line of code. By using the “if this, then that” concept of automation, you’ll be able to choose from thousands of the most widely used apps, such as Gmail, Slack, Google Sheets, Airtable, Mailchimp, and Hubspot to create customized automations. This could look like the following workflow: IF an online check out was done by the guest, THEN send a WhatsApp notification to the reservation staff. This type of automation can reduce the time and resources your team is spending on manual processes every day. So instead of wasting energy on tasks that can be automated, staff are able to redirect their attention toward the guest experience.
Low-code/ no-code is a software development approach that makes it possible for apps and processes to be built without the need for sophisticated coding knowledge. As the name suggests, 'no-code' can make app creation possible without any code being written, and 'low-code' requires a little bit of work. These platforms are built to be easy to use. Rather than putting up a barrier, their goal is meant to foster independence and give people the chance to be creative with technology. According to a report published by Gartner, low-code is set to become a part of almost every business in the near future. By 2024, the low-code approach will be a part of more than 65% of app development functions, and 66% of large firms will use at least four low-code platforms. Supporting this, Harvard Business Review lists the potential scope of low-code/no-code to include business functions like analytics, database, and email systems, human resource management, and even digital ad trafficking.
So, if no-code automation is in its infancy, how can you grow your business alongside it?
Hospitality teams can apply automation across areas like guest communication, staff operations, accounting, reporting, marketing, and sales. The tools you choose to use are up to you, but Make.com and alike can grant you access to a variety of cross-industry tools which might not be covered by other hotel tech vendors. For example, if your property has difficulty with manually cross-checking OTA commission invoices with your PMS, this is the perfect example of a process which could be automated.
“An integration to a no-code automation platform will allow us to create quick wins along our tech roadmap while we work hard on leading the way in digitizing accommodation industry globally.“
In addition to the independence and flexibility that no-code can grant your property, your business will no longer be dependent on the product roadmap set out by your property management system vendor (as long as they have an integration to a no-code platform). Because each hotel or serviced apartment is so different, having freedom and flexibility is a must in today’s environment. One of Apaleo’s most forward-thinking customers, Markus Veikkoleilen, the CTO of Hiisi Homes & Hotels, says it best: “An integration to a no-code automation platform will allow us to create quick wins along our tech roadmap while we work hard on leading the way in digitizing accommodation industry globally.“
The opportunity to upgrade hospitality technology in this way is something that our customers have asked for, and we’re proud to be able to deliver it. Speaking about the potential opportunities that no-code will allow their business to capitalize on, Alex Löw, Project Manager at Tailormade Hotels (formerly Schatz AG) said, "With Make.com, we see an almost limitless opportunity to automate operational work and processes. We will certainly be able to enhance our reports and exports in the future.". That’s one of the most exciting aspects of this pivot; there’s no limit to the impressive things you’ll be able to achieve, regardless of your team’s technical know-how. You’ll be able to hit the ground running and be creative in finding solutions. After the last few years, every property manager knows exactly how valuable that is.
Need some inspiration?
Celebrate your guests
Think about making a guest’s stay more personal, and therefore more memorable. If a guest’s birthday is coming up in 7 days, Apaleo will automatically send a notification to Make.com, which will, in turn, send an order to Thank.io to send a pre-written physical birthday wish card to his address.
Relieve your teams
If you are a limited service hotel or serviced apartment provider, think about the stress last-minute bookings can cause.
If a last-minute booking comes in, Apaleo will automatically send a notification to Make.com. Make.com will then send this information to omnichannel messaging platform, MessageBird, which will send a WhatsApp, email & SMS to the general manager or staff on the night shift.
Prepare your guests
To maximize guest satisfaction, it’s crucial to reduce travel anxiety by providing as much information as possible to not leave them in the dark. On the day of a guest's arrival, Apaleo will automatically notify Make.com 10 hours before the check-in time. Make.com will then trigger MessageBird to send an SMS, Whatsapp, or Telegram message with all the important & necessary information like door pin code, Wi-Fi code, room number, etc.
Dynamic rates based on occupancy
Dynamic pricing has become a commodity in the hotel industry and you might want to create specific pricing rules without being purely dictated by a revenue management system's "black box" algorithms. If occupancy for dates affected by the new reservation go above 60 percent and lead time for the date is less than 4 weeks Make increases the price by 5%. Apaleo then distributes new pricing to the channel manager.
Posted byLarissa Bricis