Consistent digitization is a competitive advantage, however, various areas of the hotel industry face difficulties in keeping up with technology. Different areas of the hotel business, like digital partners working in yield management, adapt to and use technology differently than IT service providers working in housekeeping.
One thing is certain, when it comes to hotel technology and property management systems, hoteliers dream of managing properties from a single source. They want well-functioning interfaces and an expert solution with the know-how for the way the hospitality industry truly runs. Now, this dream has finally become reality. With a steadily growing App Store, the Munich tech masterminds at apaleo have created exactly what made the iPhone a global success over ten years ago.
Schatz AG and apaleo
The challenge: How can the Swiss hotel agency Schatz AG completely convert ten properties in only six months?
The solution: apaleo's transactional platform is not a "closed" property management system (PMS), but an API-centric cloud product. Technically based on an API-first architecture, the apaleo platform delivers familiar multi-property management capabilities such as accounting transactions, rate management, reservations and flexible inventory management.
Implementation: Thanks to this structure, a wide range of hospitality apps as well as custom-developed apps can be quickly and easily connected to the apaleo interface, and innovation is enabled primarily by the open APIs for unlimited customization possibilities.
During the conversion of the Swiss hotels, a "clone" function allowed a configuration of an existing establishment to be transferred directly to another while making local adjustments to individual properties, such as the number of rooms and room types or prices. apaleo lets its hotel partners manage this through a cloud-based user interface that runs smoothly in all browsers and on all devices.
Schatz AG tech stack
The outcome: More focus on the guest
Currently, at the request of Schatz AG as well as other customers, the apaleo team is working on automating accounts receivable accounting and expanding "apaleo Pay" using new payment methods. For Swiss hotel manager Dominik Grossenbacher, co-owner of Schatz AG, this would save an enormous amount of time, which in the end would further improve the hotels' service quality. For him, this would not be about saving on staffing resources. Employees should be deployed in a way that would add the most value to the property, he said. "If the guest does the check-in themselves, then the front desk receptionist can focus on other tasks instead of filling out forms and handing over keys," Grossenbacher says. "I see the front desk receptionist as more of a welcome desk where you can get a coffee and be greeted by a personal contact who can recommend what to do in the city and in the region. All the redundant technical processes will fade into the background. We want our guests to experience a level of service in our hotels that is better than they have ever seen in comparable hotels. So far, the concept is working. The properties with a personal contact have performed optimally in 2021, despite the constraints of the Corona pandemic."
Hotel tech that delivers endless solutions, with the freedom to be agile
Dominik is currently trying out different solutions for a customer relationship management (CRM) system. If an app he is testing does not meet his requirements, he can easily deactivate it with one click and replace it with another solution. There are no contracts with long notice periods; booking and installation work as an immediately cancelable subscription model, both with apaleo and with most third-party providers. Grossenbacher appreciates the ease of use of the apaleo app, a browser-based application that is operated entirely through the browser and responds quickly to any request. Now reports pop up without long waits, helping him instantly assess his current business, keep an eye on housekeeping, and ultimately provide guests with a digital guest journey that no longer requires them to pick up a credit card.
Change for the better: Curiosity and enthusiasm for a modern system
The technical implementation is simple and only requires one manager at the Schatz hotel agency for all properties. Generally this is someone who has basic IT skills and an affinity for new digital topics, it’s simple enough that there is no need for a digital expert.
"With the introduction of apaleo, a lot has changed for us," Grossenbacher confesses. "The processes require a different way of thinking. So we got to know our operations all over again and also developed further. The reactions on the team and among the hoteliers were characterized by curiosity right from the start. Some were enthusiastic about the modern system, while others needed a somewhat longer period to get used to it because the old processes were still so present. We attach great importance to the hotels and their owners and directors exchanging ideas and sharing newly acquired knowledge with each other. We encourage this exchange wherever possible, and after a steep learning curve, everyone was quickly on the same level and gaining new experience every day that helps them further improve their properties."
To learn more about how apaleo can take your hotel management to the next level, reach out to our team or schedule a demo.
Posted byChristina Quintanilla