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The power of a single source of truth: 5 benefits of a cloud-based hotel management system

Op-Ed: Eric Wong on how to get a view from the control tower so you can cost-effectively offer exceptional guest services

Leaders in hotel and restaurant management understand the value of setting standards of excellence and delivering unforgettable experiences that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. But it’s not easy…

Hospitality management is complex, featuring hundreds of moving parts and people. While hoteliers use various software systems to keep their properties running smoothly, they often experience a shortage of accessible, complete, and accurate data.

Details about bookings, sales, and guest preferences become trapped in data silos, hindering the ability to obtain a clear view of trends and outcomes.

Organisations that cannot turn data into action will struggle to deliver personalised guest services or increase revenue. To keep up with robust demand while providing the world-class experiences desired by travellers, hoteliers need a central hub for all guest data that provides a single source of truth. A cloud-based system supports day-to-day hotel operations and provides that view from the control tower so you can cost-effectively offer exceptional guest services.

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Connect all services and locations in one operational ecosystem

Hotel and resort management oversees and handles multiple operations, including accommodations, amenities, food and beverage services, events, and promotions. By connecting all areas into one operational ecosystem, properties can better understand their guests, offer personalised services, and track outcomes.

A cloud-based property management system (PMS) easily integrates with mission-critical solutions—including CRM, revenue management, restaurant POS, and sales and catering solutions—to provide a steady stream of real-time data about guest preferences, usage, and trends. By centralising data in a single source, your business can streamline operations and improve efficiency. In the cloud, a single source of truth connects all areas of your property into a common, accessible environment to enhance the guest experience and promote staff success while informing dynamic strategy.

It’s about connecting with your guests’ journey at every touchpoint. A single source of truth makes it easier for staff to track essential activities and build a unified guest profile. This data tells the story of what your guests wanted, what they engaged with, and their relationship with your brand. Managers leverage this single source of truth to make smart observations about customers, helping to inform uniform service standards and strategies for optimising guest services in the future.

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Five Ways Hospitality Businesses Benefit from A Single Source of Truth

1. Integrates disparate systems, enabling scalability:
Hotels and resorts often rely on multiple systems, including property management, point-of-sale, customer relationship management, online reservation, and food and catering platforms. Cloud architecture easily integrates these systems to provide a single source of truth and ensure data consistency. With an integrated solution, hoteliers are ready and prepared to incorporate AI tools to optimise further and scale operations.

2. Drives operational efficiency: Access to a single source of truth drives improved productivity for staff and faster response times for guests. With a cloud-based system, hotel staff can enter and access data using a laptop or mobile device. Information around the property is captured in real time, minimising errors and speeding operations. All relevant information, including guest preferences, reservation details, inventory pricing, and service requirements, are readily available to hotel staff, reducing the time and effort required to search for information or coordinate with multiple systems. In restaurants, customers can be empowered through self-service ordering mobile apps and service staff can carry mobile devices tableside to capture accurate orders and send them to the kitchen immediately, while they serve other guests.

3. Promotes effective collaboration and communication: When all hotel staff have access to a single source of truth, it breaks down information silos and ensures everyone is working together to provide a consistent experience for guests. Hotel support staff are empowered to access and share information seamlessly to coordinate services better and maintain brand reputation.

4. Builds and delivers the ultimate guest experience: A top priority in the hospitality industry, guest experiences can only be improved when you understand the guest you are serving. A single source of truth is essential for hotels and resorts to collect guest data from across your property to personalise and tailor services to individual preferences. This personalised approach enhances guest satisfaction, fosters loyalty, and drives the success of your hospitality business.

5. Emboldens informed decision-making: With real-time accessible data from across the hotel and resort property, hoteliers operating in the cloud don’t need to rely on educated guesses. Management uses data about performance metrics to identify trends, make informed decisions, and implement strategies based on guest insights. A data-driven approach enables hotels and restaurants to improve revenue management, enhance guest experiences, identify areas for improvement, and optimise operations.

AdobeStock By GloriaSanchez

Unlocking the secrets hidden in unified guest data

With a single source of truth, data analytics collected about guests, preferences, and trends can be leveraged to drive higher profitability. Machine learning and dynamic reporting help management dig into changing booking patterns or emerging guest preferences to deliver an on-point guest experience today and capitalise on emerging opportunities tomorrow.

Data-driven insights help tailor special offers, promotions, and services that cater to guest needs and trends. Hoteliers cross-reference data across their property to set up packages with the right components at the right price point that bring guests back—not just for the bed, but for other amenities that serve to increase total revenue per room and monetise every space in the property. For example, one resort may see that guests tend to visit the wine bar on the night of arrival and book time in the spa during the weekend. That resort could set up a package that combines these amenities with the cost of the room to drive repeat traffic on other non-traditional nights. Using this data, the resort can produce accurate demand forecasts, ensure adequate staffing, and fine-tune inventory.

A single source of truth for service excellence

The hospitality industry needs technology that supports intelligent and scalable operations to deliver service excellence. Hoteliers need to do more than replace specific technologies to be successful. Instead, hotels and resorts must be transformational to take things to the next level.

A cloud-based platform provides a single source of truth easily accessed by hotel staff and management. It empowers greater efficiency, reduces administrative burden, and enables a dedicated focus on delivering core business value and exceptional guest service. With a single source of truth about guests, bookings, costs, and sales, you can form a more effective strategy to guide cost-effective, exceptional guest experiences.

In summary, digital transformation powered by an integrated, cloud-based ecosystem of solutions helps hotels rise above daily operational noise and achieve control tower visibility. Having a single source of truth allows hoteliers to delve deeper into a unified guest profile to reveal what drives revenue and profitability.

By Eric Wong, Vice President of Hospitality, Infor Asia Pacific

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