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Adria Levtchenko

Hospitality organizations increasingly rely on data-driven technologies and systems to inform and guide most any level of operations, management or strategy. One of the key challenges in this trend is to make data in all of its forms as accessible and useful as possible for the frontline staff that works with guests directly on a daily basis. Pursued carefully, we can improve efficiencies and profitability, motivate employees and, overall, also make technology adoption easier instead of more difficult. Read on...

Tema Frank

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaking up the hospitality business, and it is no longer just for big chains. It can help any size company serve customers better, increase operational efficiency, and cut costs. Learn about some of the leading edge ways AI is being used by hotels like the Hilton, the Wynn and the Four Seasons, as well as less expensive AI-based tools that can help even independents be better run and more profitable. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

Powerful new digital technologies continue to revolutionize the world of hospitality, including how we train and manage our staff and how we interact with and serve guests. During implementation, we must use care in how we secure, access and interpret the information lode available to us. Our greatest challenge is to employ these new technologies in ways that enhance, rather than diminish, the human touch and judgment that are at the core of what we do in hospitality. Read on...

Adria Levtchenko

Today's hospitality organizations rely on advanced technologies in a wide range of back-office operations, as well as areas directly impacting guest services. And much more is to come. Implementing these technologies successfully demands a careful approach to assessing needs, whereby all stakeholders embrace the new systems; acquisition; and implementation, including a thoughtful approach to staff training. In this way, we can achieve the objectives of making our jobs easier as we acquire new powers, communicate better within our organizations and with strategic partners and serve guests in new ways. Read on...

Benjamin Jost

The importance of technology in the hospitality industry grows every year, and with each new year brings new options for hoteliers to consider. From creating better experiences for guests, to collecting and tracking meaningful data points, when implemented correctly, technology can make an impact. This article examines the due diligence and critical steps hoteliers should take when evaluating new technology. Additionally, this article outlines the key elements of an effective and revenue-driven hotel technology stack, that includes focusing on marketing and operational aspects to create optimal success for hoteliers. Read on...

David Ashen

With the rise of technologic innovations throughout the hospitality industry, brands are incorporating new systems that not only affect the way hotels operate, but also the guest experience. David Ashen, partner and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, looks at how the industry is responding with programs like mobile check-in, app-driven food service, robotics and other systems, along with their influences on the guest experience. Read on...

Justin Effron

The combination of increasing customization and advancing technology is bringing the world together. What used to take ten or more separate devices is now all in one smartphone. Platform-based services like Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb are revolutionizing business as we know it. Just about every industry has jumped on board this trend towards tech-based simplicity except one. The hotel industry has been slow to adapt, preferring instead to stick with separate systems for their various departments—if using systems at all. Thanks to the increasing awareness of hospitality platforms however, all that's about to change. At long last, the hotel industry is getting its long-awaited wake-up call. Just don't go back to sleep, before making room for a platform in your upcoming budget. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

In this article, we will discuss some approaches to meeting this challenge of being "technicians with a heart." The goal is to make good use of these new approaches to operating a hotel, while making sure we provide guests with the meaningful experiences they undeniably crave, as we do ourselves. One is tempted to call them our phantom guests. With today's technologies, a guest can make a reservation, sign in and, perhaps, check out without talking to or being seen by someone at the front desk. Timed right, a guest may not even interact with maintenance or housekeeping. Read on...

Paul Lachance

Hotel executives are starting to catch on to digital technology as they strive for better customer experiences across the board. With powerhouses like Hilton and Marriott leading the charge, competitive hotel brands are raising the standard for guest experiences in the digital age. A recent study by Hospitality Technology found 57 percent of hotels plan to spend more on technology across the board in 2017 than they did in 2016. And while improving customer engagement and enhancing payment and data security stood out as the top priorities for many hospitality industry decision-makers, it appears far fewer are considering a critical investment: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). Read on...

Matt Naeger

Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey. The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same. Read on...

Benjamin Jost

The technology ecosystem in the hotel space is changing at a rapid pace. In some cases, companies seem to be appearing from nowhere, offering a brand new solution that solves a problem many hotels didn't know that they had. In other cases, companies with extensive track records in other markets are performing pivots, taking everything that they've learned in their history and trying to apply best practices to the travel industry. Read on...

Mark Heymann

Mobile technology has pervaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and travel is no exception. As people turn to their mobile devices for assistance with an increasing number of daily activities, the hotel industry has responded with apps designed to streamline processes from checking in to accessing one's room. Starwood Hotels & Resorts pioneered mobile room keys with its SPG Keyless product in 2014 and since then several other major brands have followed suit. There are also apps today that enable SMS two-way communications between guests and hotel staff, facilitating a wide range of interactions, including late check-out requests, room service orders, and restaurant recommendations. Read on...

Allison Ferguson

Travel today is a highly aspirational, emotional, and educational experience. However, today's experience is largely a digital one, which is evolving our roles as hoteliers and marketers at the very pace of innovation. In many cases, travelers completely self-manage their stay from end to end with some 69 percent of travelers start their search online. The best customer strategy for today's hotelier lies at the intersection of digital experience, loyalty program experience, and the end-to-end travel journey. Here's some very effective tips... Read on...

Matt Schvimmer

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tried and true method of connecting with guests and customers across a number of platforms including websites, social media, apps, live chat, email and phone. Selecting a CRM software solution is notoriously laborious and the software itself has the reputation of being expensive and hard to implement. Hotels and hospitality organizations who operate at a local level, and thrive on the relationships they have in the community, need a nimble, real-time CRM solution to engage with their guests and be responsive to their service needs. Read on...

DJ Vallauri

The hotels that will win over the next 24 months will be those that introduce the human elements of real-time engagement via the technology. By leveraging the technologies available they will better engage and build relationships with their guests via human connections. Recently Benedict Cummins from HotelExecutive connected with DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive's Founder and President, to discuss his vision on human powered websites and why he believes they are the future for the hospitality industry. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.