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The long-term benefits of automation in hotels

19 July 2022
The short-term benefits of automating repetitive, manual workflows are well known: saving time, saving money, and increasing efficiency. But there are lesser-known, long-term benefits of automation, and they can have a profound and lasting effect on the success of a hotel. Here are three ways in which automating processes can transform a hotel for the long haul.
The three long-term benefits of automation include improved decision quality, increased employee innovation, and decreased risk due to manual errors.

Stimulate employees to innovate

One often overlooked benefit of automation is the ability to free up time for employees to focus on innovation by automating manual, repetitive tasks. According to the Smartsheet Automation in the Workplace Report, more than 40% of information workers said they spend at least a quarter of their work week on manual, repetitive tasks. 59% say they could save six or more hours a week if the hotel could automate these tasks.
Hotel marketers, salespeople, and revenue managers are busier than ever handling the day-to-day business when the industry recovers. Problems finding and hiring qualified people limit the time for forward-thinking and innovation. There is no time to unlock the best ideas, yet hotel team members are busier than ever, logging increasing hours. Even with longer hours, employees report they spend 25% of their time on repetitive, low-value tasks. Spending time on non-essential tasks takes significant time away from high-value, innovative work. To gain a competitive edge, hotel companies must find a solution to manual, repetitive work and double down on innovation.
In the survey, over 75% of respondents said automation would free up time for more interesting, valuable assignments — work they are eager to tackle. Imagine what employees could do during those six hours if the hotel removed the low-level tasks from their plates.
Automating mundane tasks allows the commercial roles to do better work more efficiently. It will also result in increased job satisfaction and lower employee turnover, as the time saved is shifted to more meaningful, satisfying work — including innovative projects and initiatives. Automation can also translate into reduced costs for recruiting, operations, administration, and long-term productivity gains.

Reduce risk

Automation can also lead to greater accountability and fewer errors, improving accuracy and reducing business risks in hotel companies. By automatically capturing information and tracking changes, employees eliminate errors caused by data entry. They can even see when someone added information or made changes and by whom.
Once the hotel captures the information in one centrally located system, employees and other stakeholders can easily collaborate, review, and analyze data and take immediate action, reducing costly delays and version-control issues. Access to all information in one place will also reduce the risk of missing vital information stored in a data silo with limited access.
Another way to reduce risk is to make the information easily understandable through pre-analysis and visually comprehensible presentations. When people have access to information and understand the insights, they are more likely to take the right actions to improve revenue and profits.
Hotels also reduce risk when the different roles in the commercial team can collaborate based on the same information, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings.
A final way to reduce risk is to secure all centrally located data when hotels replace or upgrade their operational systems, such as the PMS, POS, and other systems. The data feed from new systems can continue to update the centrally located data storage to keep the time series and additional vital information for the success of the hotel company.

Make better decisions

Everyone can easily access accurate, real-time information when hotels automatically capture and save data in one place. One source of truth enables employees to make better decisions faster and gives the hotel accuracy and agility.
Automated reporting can provide accurate, real-time information for top management and other decision-makers to make better decisions faster without worrying about outdated charts and delayed reporting.

Demand Calendar automates data collection

Demand Calendar automates the data collection from the hotel PMS and many other data sources. Users can easily set up simple automation rules such as alerts and reminders within the system.
Once information is automatically imported into and pre-analyzed in Demand Calendar, the commercial team and top management can immediately view real-time dashboards and reports with key metrics and comparisons to identify anomalies and take action.
Though the immediate benefits of automation — time and money saved — are significant, these three downstream effects drive the real business value of automation. They are increasing the speed and accuracy of decision-making, reducing risk for your organization, and empowering commercial team members with the time and space they need to innovate.