Industry Update
Supplier News30 November 2021

Webinar Recap: Automation 3.0 - The Future Of Hotel Management

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1 min
Duetto Research

On November 17 Duetto took part in a fascinating webinar about the future of automation and how it can be used to a business's advantage. The event saw Antonia Bernhardt from Mews, Brendan May from HERA by Hotel ResBot, and Duetto's Matthias Heel join forces to share their considerable expertise.

The webinar was structured as follows:

  • Why do we have to invest in automated processes?
  • Real examples of automation and why it helps.
  • What are the interfaces and what are they capable of delivering?
  • Future outlook.
  • Questions from the audience.

Staff Shortages Here To Stay

May from HERA by Hotel ResBot kicked things off by looking into the ‘number one topic in the industry’ at the moment: the shortage of skilled workers. He referred to a recent article that talked about how some hotels are ‘struggling to hire enough housekeepers, kitchen staff and other hourly workers - including those laid off early in the pandemic’.

May said that although this isn’t solely down to COVID-19, it has exacerbated the problem and it’s something that’s going to be around for a while.

He said: “Here in Germany, a popular newspaper said not too long ago that there were 50,000 positions open in the hospitality industry alone. That’s 10% of the workforce that is missing.

“Unfortunately I have some really bad news for anyone who thinks this is a temporary issue that will be resolved by increasing wages.

“The German government has projected that up to 5.5 million people in Germany will leave the workforce by 2030. That’s 11 times the size of the entire hotel industry in terms of workers and an approximate 13% decrease in the workforce from today. Many other countries have the same problem.

He added that although the shortages will be an ongoing issue for the next few decades, the hospitality industry can be helped and reinvented by hoteliers embracing automation.

Look At Your Guest

Next, Bernhard from Mews talked about the importance of looking at hotel guests themselves in terms of working out how to best make use of automation. “Why do we have to invest time in automated processes?” she questioned. “Because the guests demand it!”

She continued: “Let’s look at our daily modern lives and what we are using technology for. I want to pinpoint the use of a smartphone, which is by now the remote control to our lives. It determines so many things that we do from connecting us to people in different places globally across all time zones, to being able to use it to pay for things anywhere we go. Some of us might also control their energy or even their access management to their homes by their mobile phones. Therefore it’s fair to say that we use technology every step of the way in our daily lives.

“For those reasons, it’s important that we look at who our guests are, how tech-savvy they are, what they expect from us, and then really build out the processes based on their expectations and their daily lives.”

Heel from Duetto mentioned the importance of automation from a Revenue Management perspective. He said: “More and more hotels have to be managed by one person and so obviously it’s important that systems are easy to use.”

HERA The Co-bot

Heel then invited May to introduce the concept of HERA to the audience and the importance of systems being properly interfaced. He explained that HERA is a co-bot - a collaborative robot that helps reservation agents to do their job, not to take over but to act as their assistant.

He said: “For example when a full-length email comes into a hotel, HERA’s unique ability is to read the whole email and if it’s a booking request it will automatically - before the agent even sees that email - go to Mews and check the ARI (Availability, Rates, and Inventory). This enables them to show the right offers directly within the email client such as Outlook, and then HERA helps the agent send out quotes on the booking offer.”

The webinar ended with a Q&A session with the audience, which included the question - How does the hospitality professional prepare to remain relevant and stay ahead of the automation game?

“Start automating stuff!” said May. “It sounds funny, but think about the hotel organizations that started over 20 years ago with a really ugly and terrible looking website that couldn’t do much. Those that built the experience in those first days, are still the ones that have a competitive advantage over the ones that waited five years or 10 years or even a couple of months to get into it.

“So the way to learn the automation game is to start the automation game! Of course, you’re going to make mistakes, but you’re going to learn a lot by going through it, so ‘jump in’ is my answer!

Heel agreed and added: “Yes, jump in because the requirements have changed so dramatically. If you look at a Revenue Manager role 10 years ago, it was one hotel and on-property. But things have changed so much and now if you didn’t have automated help you’d be sitting there forever trying to do everything yourself.”

Missed the webinar? Don’t worry, the event can still be watched on-demand. Simply register here: https://www.duettocloud.com/automation-3-on-demand

ABOUT DUETTO

Duetto delivers a suite of cloud applications to simplify hospitality revenue decisions and allow hoteliers to work smarter, increasing organizational efficiency, revenue, and profitability. The unique combination of hospitality experience and technology leadership drives Duetto to look for innovative solutions to industry challenges. The software as a service platform allows hotels and casino resorts to leverage real-time dynamic data sources and actionable insights into pricing and demand across the enterprise. More than 4,000 hotel and casino resort properties in more than 60 countries have partnered to use Duetto's applications, which include GameChanger for pricing, ScoreBoard for intelligent reporting, and BlockBuster for contracted-business optimization. Duetto is backed by investors Warburg Pincus, Icon Ventures, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, and Spectrum 28. For more information, please visit https://www.duettocloud.com/.

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