Why Leading Independent Hotels Are Turning to Tech to Stay Competitive

Elon Musk famously said, “I think the high-tech industry is used to developing new things very quickly. It’s the Silicon Valley way of doing business: You either move very quickly, work hard to improve your product technology, or get destroyed by some other company.” There is, perhaps, no better person to share this advice than the man who built the iconic Tesla empire, which has reigned supreme in the electric vehicle space. Why? Because Tesla has long championed the pursuit of technological innovation and leveraged that innovation as a key brand differentiator.

Unlike Tesla, hotel brands find themselves vying for success in an industry that is often, at its own detriment, slow to embrace innovation. For years, the hospitality industry has shaken off a reputation of digital resistance and antiquated processes. The roots of our reliance on legacy technology are rooted in the soil upon which we’ve built our hotels. Misled by the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, hotels favored tradition over technological progress.

While there will always be some demand and appreciation for traditional services, today’s guests crave a level of convenience and personalization that can only be achieved with the help of new technology. Recognizing the wants and needs of modern guests, hotels have had no choice but to slowly break free from the platforms of the past to embrace the platforms that will lead the way to the future. However, one group seems to be moving at a more accelerated pace – independent hotels.

The Independent Hotel Advantage

When considering the differences between independent hotels and large-scale franchises, there are a number of things to consider. First and foremost, it’s perhaps important to note that there are advantages and disadvantages to both; large hotel brands benefit from brand association, inherent guest trust, and large marketing budgets, while independent hotels are, essentially, left to fend for themselves. While some hoteliers may view that autonomy as a business risk, others will view it as a blank slate of unabridged opportunity.

In fact, if you search ‘the advantages of an independent hotel versus a franchise hotel,’ it’s highly likely that you will come across multiple articles that name “opportunity for innovation” as a leading benefit enjoyed by independent properties. While franchise hotels have strict brand standards and guidelines to adhere to, as laid out by the parent company, independent hotels have complete freedom of choice. They can decide how they wish to run and market their property and what technology will power it.

However, when competing against the big budgets and impressive marketing teams that power the success of large franchise hotel brands, independent hotels have to find creative ways to level the playing field. Fortunately, these properties can bridge this gap with the help of innovative, guest-centric technology that empowers operational efficiency and personalized guest service.

The Technological Advantage Levels

Operating in a more dynamic and agile manner, independent hotels are now using technology not only to cater to guest preferences but to remain a step ahead of the brands with large marketing budgets. Finally, we see independent operators leverage technology to create a more distinctive identity for their hotels, curating unique and connected experiences for their guests that are equal parts convenient and memorable.

This is, perhaps, more important now than it ever has been when we consider the current challenges faced by our industry in the wake of the pandemic. As labor shortages continue to weigh on the operational demands of hotels, independent properties are seeking out cloud-based, new-age platforms that effectively automate backend processes and improve efficiency across their staff. These properties can, quite literally, automate every aspect of hotel management to better support their staff, focus their resources on guests, and seamlessly drive revenue. We know that hotels that were further along in terms of digital transformation fared better in the pandemic; however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that those hotels will also benefit from a competitive advantage on the other side.

We should highlight the value of flexibility. Independent hotels can adapt to market shifts more quickly than their large brand and franchisee counterparts. They can establish more dynamic and scalable ways of doing business while improving guest services and relationships. Working with technology partners like Stayflexi, independent hoteliers can develop the perfect tech ‘stack’ to match their budget and, more importantly, empower their future growth. With a fully automated, all-in-one hotel management and automation platform that provides integrated PMS, Guest Upsells, Channel Manager, Booking Engine, and Revenue Management tools under single sign-on, independent hotels have a unique opportunity to surge ahead of their larger competitors.

To reiterate Elon Musk’s point, in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, you’re either pushing ahead… or you’re falling behind

About Stayflexi

Trusted by over 1200+ leading independent hotels, luxury resorts, multi-property groups worldwide, Stayflexi is the industry’s first fully automated all-in-one hotel management and automation platform.

Reshaping a legacy hospitality technology landscape, the modern, cloud-based solution provides integrated PMS, Guest Upsells, Channel Manager, Booking Engine, and Revenue Management tools under single sign-on. Packed with powerful features to streamline and automate operations while increasing staff productivity and guest satisfaction, Stayflexi can help hotels maximize profitability. Self-service options like self check-in/check-out, touchless POS, auto room allocations, and auto inventory management can reduce operational costs by 50%, while the upsell engine can increase bookings by 30% while enhancing the guest experience.

The company was founded by computer science majors from Carnegie Mellon and Cornell to address their own problems as hosts as well as travelers and currently serves over 23,000 rooms in 100 cities across 13 countries.

Steve Carran
Sales Director
1 844-234-2363

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