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The Essential But Often Overlooked Technology Of The Hotel Sector

Diana Szpytma 16 November 2018
The Essential But Often Overlooked Technology Of The Hotel Sector

Richard Titmuss, Senior Client Manager, Brother UK

As a former hotel duty manager, I know all too well that reliable technology goes hand in hand with exemplary service.

Technology solutions are fundamental to the smooth running of a hotel.  Guests might not always interact with what’s going on behind the scenes, but you can count on them to notice if something isn’t as it should be.

Take printers for example. Possibly not the first piece of technology that springs to mind, but a slow check-in queue caused by a malfunctioning printer can set the tone for a stay. Daily menus and conference name badges must look clean, crisp and professional, and staff might fall behind without regular rotas, briefings, workplans and stock lists – which can have knock-on effects for your guests.

These days, I’m Senior Client Manager for business technology solutions provider Brother UK, supporting customers including a major UK hotel chain, which relies on our solutions across its network of over 500 hotels.

Setting the tone

In the hospitality sector, the look and feel of your paperwork is of paramount importance.  Dinner menus, invoices and letters – the things your guests will pick up, hold and spend time considering – must reflect the quality of your hotel and the impression you want to give.

You want to guarantee consistently high quality every time, with minimum intervention from staff.  If you can rely on your printers to deliver, you’ll never be caught short.

That’s why so many hotel groups have a Managed Print Service (MPS), where their printer network is leased and managed for them.  It’s an effective way to improve quality, efficiency and information security, reducing costs at the same time.

The best possible service

With MPS, each hotel or group of hotels gets the best print solution for its specific requirements, based on an audit of everything from print needs and print volumes to available space. 

Replacement ink cartridges and toners are automatically ordered and delivered when needed, reducing time wasted by employees on print-related tasks, freeing them up to focus on providing the best possible service for guests.

MPS partners also take care of print repair and maintenance, so there’s no need to worry about finding an engineer if something goes wrong.

Simplicity and consistency

From a head office point of view, MPS makes it easy to keep track of print spend.  There’s just one regular bill to pay – split out by hotel for maximum visibility – and one trusted supplier to deal with.  It also gives you reports so you can see exactly who’s printing what and when, allowing you to better plan your finances.

If staff need to be redeployed from another site they’ll already be familiar with the technology and can hit the ground running, and every hotel will have guaranteed genuine inks and toners to ensure a professional finish.

I’ve found that MPS can generate savings of 35 – 45 per cent compared with buying printers and supplies as you go along, which includes soft costs like the time saved on ordering supplies, or raising multiple purchase orders and invoices.

In such a competitive industry, where guests have the power to publicly critique or champion a hotel online, MPS represents an easy opportunity to ensure quality and consistency in the service they receive.

Streamlined conferences

From the moment a delegate arrives for an event, it’s important to leave a lasting impression of professionalism, quality service and efficiency – they’re your potential overnight guests of the future.

With a digital visitor management system, you can take photos of each visitor to help you identify them, and you can print high quality ID badges in seconds, customised with the hotel or event organiser’s logo. 

Gone are the days of the handwritten sign-in sheet, and the risks that come with it.  How many people forget to sign out at the end of the day, and how can you be truly sure they’ve left?  What if you can’t read someone’s name in the log or on their name badge during a networking session? 

Using a digital solution for visitor management gives you access to a secure, cloud-based visit log at the touch of a button.  It’s easy to keep up to date, which helps lighten the load on front of house staff – an opportunity to make savings or to divert their time onto other tasks where a human touch is needed.

Personal and problem-free

The hotel business is all about the experience, and today’s consumers are digitally-savvy and time-poor.  If something goes wrong, it can often be the difference between a good review and a bad one.

Can you rely on your print solutions to deliver at critical moments, and ensure your customers’ demands are met?