Many in hospitality are discovering that automation is the answer to overcome labour shortages and tight operating budgets.

Emerging from the pandemic, hotels also are committing to increasing productivity through streamlined processes and leaner operations. That means an even greater emphasis on automation.

There are three ways automation can address hospitality’s current challenges: Ease the stress of an ongoing staff crisis. Cut costs and drive revenue. Increase staff productivity and guest satisfaction.

Tackling staff shortage

Automation won’t resolve the staff shortage; however, it can alleviate its pressures. In a recent survey by enterprise automation software company UiPath, nearly two-thirds of executives said their companies were affected by labour shortages, and 78% said they would invest in automation to compensate for the lack of personnel.

Such findings also are supported by a just-released Oracle Hospitality-Skift global research study that surveyed hoteliers and consumers to identify the key tech trends shaping hospitality. According to the report, 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labour shortages and attract new talent. Just as importantly, the study provided evidence that consumers are increasingly embracing automation. For example, 77% of travellers said they are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels.

Cut costs and drive revenue

Automation holds the power to reduce costs by freeing up time spent on rudimentary tasks. It also unlocks the potential to generate additional revenue by offering digitized upsells during guest journeys.

With automated technologies, businesses eliminate the need for manual labour processes to complete simple, repetitive tasks like data entry and reporting. As a result, operational costs that would otherwise go into hiring, training, and managing new workers to execute these manual tasks can be minimized.

Moreover, employees are freed from menial tasks and can focus on more critical activities to generate greater profits for the organization.

Automated upsells are another area for businesses to explore to drive higher revenue. Automated upselling campaigns can efficiently and consistently engage customers by recommending room upgrades, offering dining opportunities, highlighting high-end amenities, and showcasing other service options available for purchase. Automated upselling tools, including Oracle Hospitality’s Nor1, are smart enough to dynamically set prices, determine availability, and execute transactions from booking to arrival.

Increase staff productivity and guest satisfaction

Front-end employees can make or break a guest’s experience. But, sadly, many front-end staff are overwhelmed as they juggle guest requests, bookings, check-ins, check-outs, accounting, housekeeping, and more, making it challenging to provide a stellar guest experience.

Automating streamlines processes and touchpoints and provides more time to perform complex tasks that require human attention. Through automation, businesses can offset day-to-day demands placed on their staff.

Customer satisfaction is tied directly to how quickly management responds to or resolves problems. Automating monotonous tasks has helped boost smoother check-ins. Automating workflows and communication also provides transparency and critical support to teams with limited bandwidth. Boosting staff productivity to enhance guest satisfaction also means providing a cohesive ecosystem of tools for your team. Hotels may use various platforms for different purposes. But true automation is futile when these software solutions don’t speak with each other.

That’s the primary advantage of the OPERA Cloud property management system and its built-in Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform. OHIP allows vendors and partners such as Akia to connect to the PMS, giving them unimpeded access to the data within it for faster product development. OHIP represents a reinvention of Oracle’s integration model: It enables a self-service experience that accelerates innovation in an unprecedented fashion. By leveraging OHIP, Akia is able to seamlessly connect with OPERA Cloud, giving hoteliers access to fully automate their guest experience.

Automation represents a pathway to success

With automation, everybody wins: Guests experience faster service and better engagement, employees gain greater job satisfaction, and companies reduce costs and generate more revenue.

Embracing automation can help companies undergo a much-needed digital transformation. Process automation will accelerate performance and delivery rate and achieve a better competitive position in the market. In a new era, it’s a pathway to success.