Well, here we are with a widespread global emergency on our hands (no hand washing pun intended). While an economic downturn was predicted for this year, an abrupt shut down was not. Everyone is cancelling plans (government-imposed or otherwise), staying home from work, and well... giving up. Giving up the things we’re accustomed to enjoying, and, for some, giving up far more. Those in the hospitality industry have to think long and hard about what they’ll give up in order to stay afloat during and after this global disruption because it won’t be the last. Now is the time to look for less-is-more solutions that will weather the unexpected storms.
Experiencing the life-changing magic of giving up lies in knowing what you need to trade in to survive and succeed. Take technology. The trend in recent years is for technologies to come with an explosive list of features. Check out the products or services section of a legacy tech solution and you’ll find an exhaustive list of vague, all-encompassing terms that will leave you wondering what it is the software does exactly. Data solutions, platforms, web services integration... Try those on for size.
It’s time to give up. Let’s keep the tech but get rid of the outsized terms and the extraneous and unnecessary details that create problems. With that in mind, here’s apaleo’s Guide to the Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up (#giveupandgetbettertech). We’re talking more specifically about PMS technology but, realistically, this applies to just about any hotel tech.
Give It Up: Interface Fees
First, let’s give up those interface fees. The hotel industry isn’t the only one that suffers from interface fees. The healthcare industry, as it’s undertaken a total conversion to electronic healthcare records, has run into the same problem. Interoperability challenges are a giant setback not just because systems aren’t made to work together but also because of the exorbitant fees charged to integrate them. This is all to say, “Hotels, you’re not alone. Other industries are stymied by this tech-created problem.” But there are solutions—API first solutions—that do away with interface fees and give hotels total control to integrate any application they so desire. Giving up interface fees is the only way forward given the very individual needs hotels have and the growing demand for a diverse stack of both operational and guest-facing technologies.
Give It Up: Long Wait Times
In this day and age, minimal wait times should be the standard. When the technology works the way it’s supposed to (and isn’t haphazardly stitched together), hotels should find themselves rarely needing assistance. However, things happen and when you need help, a knowledgeable team should be at the ready. Customer service has, for many large providers, fallen to the wayside, but with a small but mighty tech provider, hotels will find a true partner, invested in their success and at the ready to help stat.
Give It Up: Half-Baked Solutions
Think Gold Rush, but we call this phase in the history of tech development The Feature Rush, especially for PMS providers. In some cases, companies have become so desperate to throw features onto their technology that they forgot about the core product. Some have developed their own half-baked solutions. Others have purchased smaller companies and patched those technologies onto their own, which generally makes for problems down the road. Our approach: do what we do (that's the core PMS) supremely well. Let others do what they do well. Our job is open it all up so that it works together seamlessly.
Give It Up: Implementations Hassles
When a PMS is built for connectivity, starting with the API then putting the PMS on top of it (typically providers build the PMS then build the APIs), one of the brilliant effects is that implementations are seamless and lightning fast. Flip a switch and every single piece of data is available. A hotel can be up and running in minutes. Seriously, it sounds bananas, but it’s true. Then you can add on features just as easily, using the app store. Click and done. Because it’s built to do that.
Give It Up: Vague, Mammoth Features
We’re not here to dazzle you a laundry list of big solutions that don’t make sense. Frankly, a PMS should do some very clear things: manage inventory and reservations, store and adjust rates, accounting, and simple invoicing. Hotels don’t need one provider to solve all their problems (unless you count unlimited access to all the technologies you need as the biggest problem solving solution this side of the Swiss Alps... then yes.) What hotels need are clear, understandable solutions and the ability to add exactly the solution they want without having to dig for it.
When you give up the things you don’t need, you’ll find that you’re left with exactly what you do need—and this is the path to success in unpredictable times. Sometimes taking stock of the things that are getting in the way of where you want to be is what’s in order. For most hotels, there’s a whole lot of wasted time, skitzy patched-on technologies, and watching money go up in flames over unnecessary fees getting in the way. These are the very things that, if solved for, will keep hotels stable now and on the other side of this emergency.
Posted byMargaret Ady