The definition of a mundane task is a task that is repetitive, boring, unproductive, yet essential for other tasks. For example, many tasks, such as collecting data from various sources, should have been automated long ago.
According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, about 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the activities that make up a specific job, could be automated. Moreover, most workers see this automation in a positive light and are keen to take advantage of automation that has the potential to make their work — and their lives — better. This survey did not specifically involve commercial roles at hotels, but hotels can also apply these findings.
Three ways to handle mundane tasks
There are many ways to handle mundane tasks productively. One is to do them manually and get them done as efficiently as possible. Another is outsourcing everyday functions to someone else, which can get the jobs done faster and at a lower cost. A third option is to automate to increase productivity and focus the energy on more essential tasks.
Schedule the mundane tasks
The best approach is to add blocks to the calendar when doing mundane tasks. Set aside time when to work without getting interrupted. This way, the team can do the jobs swiftly and will be able to focus on more essential tasks.
Let someone else do the mundane tasks. Clearly define the job and the expected outcome before contacting potential companies that could perform the task. Outsourcing can be beneficial, especially when hotels have difficulty finding employees. The commercial team members can focus on tasks requiring human intelligence, creativity, and interaction.
Hotels can automate many repetitive tasks, such as collecting data, preparing reports, tracking pick-up, follow-up customer production, etc. Hotels are good at automating some processes, like the reservation process. Reservations in any distribution channel automatically end up in the hotel PMS without human intervention. 99 % of the time, this works perfectly, and someone only has to handle the exceptions. Automation aims to eliminate the bulk of the work to free up valuable time for employees to focus on essential tasks.
Automating manual, repetitive tasks and processes can free up time for more valuable tasks — boost morale, improve the bottom line, and foster a culture of innovation. But if your commercial team is busy now, how can you convince them to take the time and effort to adopt new automated work processes?
Instead of a complex work process automation project, look for an industry solution with familiar processes that will take on most of the burden of mundane tasks. Select a vendor that focuses on hospitality and fully understands the complexity of running a commercial department in a hotel. Here are a few ideas for building automated workflows in the commercial team.
Ask the team
Ask the team what they want to stop doing. The first step in any automation process is deciding what to automate. Start with the mundane, low-value tasks that may need to happen but that nobody likes doing, such as collecting data, copying, pasting, compiling information, preparing reports, etc. All these are examples of repetitive tasks that a hotel can automate. The results are then delivered to the team members to enhance their abilities to analyze, recommend, and take action.
Tools for the whole team
Look for tools that will work for everyone in the team, not just a few. For example, the commercial team consists of many different roles, such as marketing, sales, and revenue, so ensure the automated solution can address the common work challenges that everyone faces, rather than only working for specific roles or edge-case processes.
Reduce email communication
Hotels need to communicate fast to take action when opportunities are present. Email is too slow, and verbal communication risks getting lost and forgotten. One system for the commercial team with all the information in one place reduces the risk of missing essential information. The entire team has access to data, forecasts, pick-up, sales pipelines, and KPIs showing how the hotel performs. A well-designed system delivers updates and alerts to the team members that need to take action. In addition, team members can keep email inboxes for important messages that need that human interaction.
Demand Calendar for commercial teams
Any automation initiative should help employees do their work more efficiently and free them up for creative thinking and higher-value tasks, so they can be more effective and achieve more. By starting small with a user-friendly, highly-flexible platform, such as Demand Calendar, the hotel will not only be able to take advantage of automation but successfully provide the best chance of success for the overall effort from the commercial team.