To many hotel industry leaders the idea of “work from home” sounds absurd. After all, the human touch is an important factor in the experience we offer our guests. We are accustomed to seeing our peers walking the halls of our properties. However, strategic roles like finance, revenue management, marketing, and others require more data-driven decision making than hands-on experience at the property. Yes, it'd be nice to have your entire leadership team meet regularly at the hotel, but in 2021 it’s not essential. We live in a digital world and it’s digitizing even faster thanks to the global pandemic. Hoteliers too have to adapt to this new reality. At the very least, a hybrid approach should be a serious consideration.
But simply letting people work from home isn’t enough unless there is a reliable mechanism for all of them to gain timely access to hotel data and to collaborate efficiently with each other to take timely action. That’s where you need an analytics-powered digital collaboration platform - a portal or intranet where your strategic teams login to work everyday, access a single version of the truth (through automated data integration), share, comment, plan, and track performance.
While there are many more reasons for investing in such digital collaboration, for the purposes of this article I am only highlighting below the 3 reasons I consider the most urgent:
According to the latest Deloitte Millennial Survey almost 70% of Millennials and 64% of Generation Z said the option of working from home in the future could relieve stress. Another survey (conducted by the insurance company Breeze) found that 2 out of 3 Americans would be willing to take a 5% pay cut to be able to work from home. Clearly, this is something they feel strongly about and are willing to put their money where their mouths are. This is also a good segue to my next point...
To be clear, when I initially noted down cost savings as one of the main reasons for digital collaboration, I wasn’t aware of the Breeze survey mentioned above. The fact that you may be able to find talent at a lower price (by letting them work from home) is a nice to have especially when your business is facing economic challenges. However, over time salaries will go up as working from home becomes more commonplace. Instead, more reliable efficiencies and cost savings can be achieved by centralizing strategic functions wherever possible. Market trends and buyer behaviour are likely similar over defined geographic regions. Even if there are fluctuations in different parts of a region, centralized teams armed with analytics and a broader view of the market can respond faster and coordinate better than property-based teams working in their respectives bubbles. The important thing is to have a Business Intelligence (BI) infrastructure and a culture of data-driven decision making within the organization.
For years hoteliers have relied on their knowledge of the market and gut feeling. While those still matter, human instincts work best when coupled with timely and reliable intelligence. You need to keep your finger on the pulse so as to avoid any (more) unpleasant surprises. Downloading data into spreadsheets and emailing each other is a good way for people to fill their days but it fails at ensuring timely realization of opportunities and threats. Not to mention the many different versions of the truth that float around in inboxes thanks to human error and/or differences in timing of data extraction etc. We live in a world where streaming data and AI are already a part of our day to day lives. They should be incorporated into our digital workspace as well.
Keeping these considerations in mind, Intelligent Hospitality has developed the next generation hotel intelligence platform - HotelIQ Decision Cloud. It’s a holistic platform for hoteliers to Organize their data (Master Data Management), Analyze (Visualization, Interactivity, and Data Sandbox), Plan (AI-powered Forecasting & Goal Setting), and Collaborate (Monitor, Comment, and Share). We’ll be launching our new site with more information about HotelIQ Decision Cloud later this month along with the official launch of the platform. However, if you’re eager to learn more about it right away, you can book a demo today!