The introduction of technology has led to the automation of processes in hotels that were previously carried out manually.
Of course, employees greatly contribute to a successful guest stay in accommodation centres and automation does not replace them, but in fact seeks to help them by performing repetitive or complex tasks more efficiently which would otherwise take up time and human resources.
Automated systems can be used to manage hotel room inventory, control access, manage reservations and communicate with guests to encourage loyalty, among many other options.
5 Advantages of automation in accommodation centres and hotels
Automation provides benefits for both managers and employees, as well as for the guests who stay at an accommodation centre, as it is always aimed at improving their experience.
1. Cost reduction
One of the main advantages of automation in hotels is a reduction in costs. Firstly, by automating tasks that were previously done manually by a person; these human resources can be used in more strategic hotel tasks. Secondly, some of the automation is programmed for efficiency, for example, to save energy.
Of course, automation requires an investment, which is not negligible in hotels with hundreds of rooms. However, this initial outlay is returned in the medium term, and has led to an unstoppable trend for digitilisation in hotels over the last ten years.
2. Time saving
Automated processes generally save processing time and have a much smaller margin of error. For example, sending an automated “thank you” email to guests who have left the hotel that day can be done in a matter of minutes; whereas, performing this action manually would have taken much longer and would probably not have been considered.
Similarly, the reception and check-in of travellers is a crucial step, which can be done by reception teams much more quickly using automation, minimising potential hold-ups. Tools such as digital registration make this possible, as it scans data from identity documents or provides digital keys, in a matter of seconds for occupants of a room.
3. Improving the guest experience
In the end, all actions are oriented toward this objective; technology is just one more tool to achieve it. Its main advantage is the time saved in the bureaucracy required for the guest's stay, such as the traveller registration or delivery of keys.
Remember, all these processes must be done when the guest arrives, when they are often exhausted after a long trip, so speed is always highly valued in making a good “first impression". Even in some hotels without a 24-hour reception or with autonomous entry, this technology allows users to go straight to their allocated rooms using the permissions sent via their mobile phones, without going through reception. This flexible arrival and departure for guests was not possible years ago, and is now a reality for millions of accommodation centres.
4. Connectivity for comprehensive management
One of the advantages of hotel automation is that many systems can be connected with other tools, so that everything is coordinated and data is shared more quickly and synchronously.
5. Data management
Automation goes hand in hand with more efficient management of guest data, so you can offer them more personalised experiences, based on their profile, or send them communications of interest by email. Another example is the valuable information provided by hotel access control software. Who accessed a certain area and when can be known if there are security problems or guest behaviour patterns can even be observed, such as what time they leave their rooms in the morning. The goal is to analyse this data to make improvements, for example, by changing breakfast times.
Some hotel automation systems
Hotel Property Management System (PMS)
This system is the nerve centre of accommodation centre operations. It can collect the registration data of a guest, assign rooms and issue bills.
Hotel access control software
Access control in hotels can be managed with electronic locks. This system has already replaced conventional keys in most modern hotels.
Omnitec, manufacturer and distributor of electronic locks and other devices for hotels, has developed access management software, such as OS ACCESS, one of the most modern on the market. It acts as a backbone to simplify the management and control of access credentials for guests and staff, both internal and external.
This is a computer tool that manages all the channels where the accommodation is advertised in the same control panel; for example, it may be a hotel advertised and allowing reservations on Booking, Expedia and AirBnb. This management system can update prices in real time and remove room availability on all platforms, once it is reserved on one, as well as other options.
The hotel's own website also usually has a booking engine for guests to book their room in advance. Most of the time it is not necessary to confirm the reservation from reception and users instantly receive an email with confirmation of their reservation.
Automatic Traveller Registration
In places like Spain, it is mandatory to keep a record of the guests who stay in tourist accommodation, collecting a series of data together with the entry date and signature. This process is usually done at the same time as check-in and can cause hold-ups when done manually. However, there are now technological solutions to scan and record the guest's identity document data, which auto-complete the necessary fields and send them directly to the authorities, significantly reducing the time for this process.
Energy saving systems
These are crucial in large hotel complexes, where very large energy savings can be made. They are called economisers, which may be, movement or even door and window sensors. These act smartly to maintain an adequate temperature in the room, while preventing energy waste.
If you want to automate any processes in your hotel or tourist accommodation that you currently manage, contact Omnitec, so together we can study how to help you.