AI, machine learning and IoT are redefining the rules of management and smart sustenance all over the world. The hospitality industry has embraced this digital disruption with open arms and is using it to get an edge on operational and branding fronts. Smart hotel technologies have proved to be a boon for both guests and owners. In this blog, we are exploring the most brilliant innovations that turned hotels into intelligent environments without penalizing operations, brand reputation or expenditure sheets.
Improved Guest Experience:
Smart room keys and automatic hotel check-ins were already in play when COVID-19 hit the world. Now, these are just basic tools to enhance customers’ convenience. Hotels are further evolving to improve the guest experience with new features like online booking through apps, remote keys, VR tours, automated check-in and check-outs, scheduled room cleaning, personalized menu notifications, and so on. Then there are establishments setting new benchmarks by introducing voice control in basic room settings, robots, integration of Amazon Alexa, sharing of hotel remote controls, translation devices, etc.
Smart Energy Management:
If you thought smart technologies in hotels are limited to guests’ convenience then hold that thought. Owners are making the best of smart energy management systems that run on machine learning algorithms. These algorithms keep analyzing the thermodynamic history of the hotel, peak demand loads, and local weather conditions to optimize energy consumption all along the year.
Most hotels that employed this technique reduced their energy bills by twenty per cent despite full occupancy and gained a return on this investment within 12-24 months. Also, the resale value of these places went up by a notch. The perks of these systems go beyond HVAC systems, for instance, the smart lighting systems help owners understand their energy requirements and make changes to keep them under control in a long run. Similarly, app-based scheduling of cleaning activities optimizes water consumption and reduces manpower wastage.
Hotels are huge establishments with premium architecture and interior designs. Upkeep and maintenance of such buildings is a humongous task that needs funds, time, and labour. The use of these resources can be optimized through a predictive maintenance system. The system predicts and rectifies issues before they turn into huge repair assignments. It keeps recording and analyzing sensor data to pinpoint plausible causes of damages to property. The maintenance staff is then notified through alerts and recommended actions.
Predictive maintenance systems use IoT based technologies to prevent systemic & constitutional failures and control the costs of repair and maintenance. For instance, a leaking faucet repair may cost hundreds of dollars per year. Add water wastage, guests’ inconvenience, and structural damage caused by that one leakage. Hope you can see the dent in your brand reputation.
And that’s just one error, calculate the total number of rooms and things that may go wrong in each every month. Investment in a predictive maintenance system doesn’t sound as costly now, does it?
Smart Reserved Parking:
Hotel apps now have smart sensors that allow guests to reserve parking spots in advance while making reservations. The booked spots are allotted to the respective guest upon arrival. The system helps hotels cut down labour costs that would otherwise be spent on manual parking management. Also, it reassures the guest about the safety of their vehicle giving them time to manage other travel details.
Smart Room Services:
Smart occupancy sensors allow hotel management to send menu details to guests that are in their room at lunch, dinner or supper time. On an advanced level, it allows hotels to send personalized recommendations based on a guest’s order history. Personalized services like these can play a key role in establishing better engagement with clients who visit your town frequently especially around holidays.
Smart technologies can take away mundane and repetitive tasks from employees and create a more interesting portfolio of roles and responsibilities for them. It will give them more time to build a constructive relationship with their guests and spend less time on manual tasks like record management, check-in/check-out arrangements, luggage disposal, room service, etc. There are individuals who aren’t comfortable with automation technologies and robots. Integration of smart technologies can provide those guests with better access to hotel staff.
Every major change comes with its own boon and banes. Yes, the inclusion of smart technologies improves operational and management efficiency, but it also raises the demand for data privacy and security. A small breach in data records can compromise your brand reputation for years.
Machines are a cool replacement for manual labour intensive tasks but they can’t replace human courtesy and warmth. You will need to set a fine balance between technology and hospitality to give your guests a reason to return.