Bringing Process Automation to Your Hotel: Ways to Get Started

One of the most powerful applications of technology is automation, which allows companies to reduce the time it takes to complete a task, thus freeing up their staff for more rewarding tasks and saving them money. The process can feel overwhelming if you’re thinking about bringing automation into your company. If you’re an owner or manager of a lodging or hotel business, implementing process automation can provide benefits that will result in higher efficiency and reduced costs. Following are tips for your hotel and lodging business to get started with automation.

Business Process Automation vs. Robotic Process Automation

Most manual processes are repetitive and can be automated through technology that will take repeatable activities and automate them so that the human has less interaction with the system. But what is the difference between Business Process Automation and Robotic Process Automation? Business Process Automation (BPA) focuses on automating workflows to improve efficiency across existing applications used by the company, instead of individual tasks. Robotic Process Automation utilizes artificial intelligence, such as a robot or bot, which is programmed to mimic what the human does by following steps. The primary difference is that process automation is focused on the backend functions, whereas robotic process automation mimics human tasks and repeats that process flawlessly.

Listen in as Lena Combsand Daniel Cohen-Dumani, Partner and Market Leader of Digital and Technology Transformation, discuss the latest in process automation trends and how businesses can optimize key operations to increase efficiency.

Cutting Costs in Key Operations

The hospitality industry is rife with manual tasks that could be the perfect fit to consider for automation. Any process done by hand or manually has the potential and the opportunity to be automated. Automating standard labor-intensive processes at a hotel or lodging company could significantly improve operations. Real-time guest requests such as housekeeping or laundry could be automated to automatically notify staff once the request is submitted.

Labor shortages continue to affect the industry. By looking at processes that could be automated repeatedly, there could be opportunities to alleviate pressure from any operational areas where a business is struggling to retain talent. An example of this could be staffing procedures. Employee scheduling, onboarding new employees, and project management can be automated to distribute the workload evenly and, as a result, reduce operational costs by streamlining the process.

Even financial functions should be considered, such as bank reconciliations and repeated tasks like operational time entries and downloading statements online. A bot can be programmed to do the process for you, which results in being able to focus on completing more productive and complicated tasks. The more that each process is automated, the less human time it would take, and it would reduce the risk of human error.

Learn more about creating and implementing a self-service chatbot for your hospitality and lodging business.

Software Solutions in Automation

Coming out of two years of disruption, technological advancements have resulted in various software solutions for lodging businesses to be apprised of. Low-code and no-code development platforms, like Microsoft Power Platform, have also come to the forefront of automation. Previously, companies may have avoided implementing process automation as they had to go through the hiring process with consultants and developers. Pricing and costs may have also been a barrier. However, with low-code and no-code technology, anyone can automate a piece of the process, if not the entire process, without needing to write a line of code or hire a developer. The concept of automation has allowed businesses with limited time and smaller budgets to consider automating manual processes. Although industry-specific process automation tools are available for the hospitality industry, these applications’ downside is their limited process flexibility. Power Platform, a component of the Microsoft and Office 365 platforms, allows for business process automation to be built rapidly for small business applications and that can run on your behalf. The easy-to-use platform was built for non-developer, non-technical people to be able to actually achieve a high degree of automation.

When considering automation options for your business, you’ll want to weigh all of these factors into your decision. The benefits of process automation for lodging companies include reduced costs, increased efficiency, and productivity, and improved customer service. Process automation allows you to streamline your workflow so that all of your employees can focus on what they do best—whether it’s cleaning rooms or managing guest relations—resulting in greater profitability for your company and happier guests.

Contact Us

For more information on this topic, please contact a member of Withum’s Hospitality Services Team.