Content originally shared on the Samsung Business Blog
Our own Nils Lofgren, Customer Experience Manager specializing in Service Optimization products such as HotSOS and REX spoke with Samsung about how mobile systems are being utilized in the hospitality industry.
THE SPECIAL HOTSOS: HOW MOBILE OPTIMIZATION SYSTEMS INCREASE HOTEL EFFICIENCY
Today’s hotels need to provide the ultimate guest experience while also doing more with less. It’s a paradox that the hospitality industry faces every day, but the solution might just be under its nose. Using mobile solutions to anticipate and meet guests’ needs is an efficient way to personalize the guest experience while keeping costs in check. Hotels can make guests feel more at home with simple touches like having their favorite drinks stocked in the fridge or setting the air conditioning to the guests’ preferences. Hotels can even provide special offers and incentives, such as complimentary facials or rounds of golf, based on guests’ previous visits.
To increase efficiency and guest satisfaction, many hotels are turning to mobile hotel service optimization systems. These mobile systems help to streamline housekeeping and maintenance tasks across the property, while also providing real-time information about the guest rooms’ availability to the hotel’s front desk. According to Nils Lofgren, customer experience manager at Newmarket, “Instead of the old-school way of being tied to a workstation, both management and staff can be on the floor providing services and getting the information that they need.” This allows hotel staff to work more efficiently.
See Tangible Results Quickly
The benefits of using a hotel service optimization system are clear, and hotels are adopting the technology in droves. In fact, Newmarket’s Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS) is used in about 80 percent of hotels on the Las Vegas strip. This system allows hotel staff to use tablets and smartphones to receive tasks, submit maintenance issues and access necessary information in real time. HotSOS integrates seamlessly withSamsung’s enterprise-ready mobile devices to allow the hotel staff to collect and transmit information from anywhere on the premises. Thanks to the versatility of mobile devices, staff can “capture images of rooms, notify other team members in real time, order parts and track labor time,” adds Lofgren.
According to Lofgren, hotel optimization software like HotSOS delivers tangible results in a very short amount of time. He notes that one of Newmarket’s customers used the system for four months and saved around $60,000 on labor efficiency costs. “They haven’t cut staff, but they’re now able to do things that they should have been doing, such as callbacks and inspections, but hadn’t been able to do because of a lean staff,” said Lofgren.
The software also helps to assign housekeeping and maintenance tasks evenly and efficiently. A hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been able to save one housekeeping position by using the system to become more efficient in cleaning rooms. “In the past, a housekeeper might have been assigned to clean a room that didn’t need service, but with HotSOS the housekeeper is automatically reassigned to another room,” says Lofgren. “This way, more rooms can be cleaned using the same number of housekeepers.”
Get the Most From Mobile Devices
Because no two hotels are alike, it should come as no surprise that implementing the right mobile optimization strategy for a hotel requires careful consideration and planning. For hotel administrators who are considering a mobile optimization system, Lofgren advises that they:
- Get buy-in from all stakeholders. It’s important that all department heads are on board and invested in the process, as mobile service solutions offer the most value when utilized across all functional areas at the hotel.
- Realize that a mobile hotel service optimization system might just highlight issues. Hotel managers tend to think that an optimization system will automatically fix their problems. However, the system will often identify the problems in the staff and operations. Management will then need to make process and staffing changes based on the information gathered.
- View the system as a greater hotel solution. Many hotels think of solutions like HotSOS as only a housekeeping or an engineering solution, when in reality its a hotel management solution. If stakeholders aren’t reporting issues to engineering or housekeeping, then it will not be effective. Every department needs to take part. By providing Samsung Galaxy tablets to all employees, hotel management can make it simple for staff to report issues and respond to work orders, increasing productivity, accountablity and efficiencies.
- Choose a solution that meets your requirements. Since there are many solutions available, it’s important to review the features of each one to determine if they match your needs. One of the most important features is integrating with other applications that help realize synergies and sharing of data across plaforms. HotSOS currently integrates with more than 100 partner vendors and the Newmarket team are on the constant lookout for new opportunities to partner with other system to enhance the guest and user experience.
- Promote the system from the top down. People respect what management inspect. A successful implementation starts from the top with buy-in and involvement from senior managers at the hotel.
Your hotel can see an increase in guest satisfaction and a decrease in expenses by taking time to carefully plan the deployment of a mobile optimization system. Working with Samsung’s mobile technology and partners like Newmarket can help to streamline your hotel’s operations, cut costs and solve the everyday issues that arise.