Hotels are constantly juggling a host of tasks, from managing finances to overseeing regular maintenance. Underneath it all is a relentless quest for efficiency—a way to spend less time on operational tasks so we can focus more on delivering memorable experiences to guests.
This is where automation steps in. By taking over routine, labor-intensive tasks, automation streamlines processes, reduces human error, and frees up staff time, creating a smoother, more efficient operational backbone.
So, let’s explore the world of hotel automation, its many benefits, and how it’s changing the way hotels operate for the better.
Why Hotels Need Automation in Their Operations
Automation in hotel operations is not just a trend; it’s an essential part of modern hotel management. With the rapid advancement of technology and changing guest expectations, hotels are embracing automation more and more—especially for back-of-house (BOH) operations. Here’s why:
Automation Improves Efficiency and Saves Time
Tasks that were once labor-intensive and time-consuming, such as inventory management, scheduling, and administrative work, can be streamlined with automation—especially if you have them all on a unified system.
Systems can run 24/7, accomplishing tasks faster and with unwavering precision. It lets staff concentrate on more strategic, guest-centric duties and ensures that every part of your hotel’s operations runs like a well-oiled machine.
Automation Reduces Errors
No matter how skilled or careful, humans are prone to making mistakes. Even the most diligent team can make errors, particularly when performing repetitive tasks. Automation, however, offers consistent accuracy.
Whether it’s accurately recording inventory, scheduling staff shifts without overlap, or ensuring timely maintenance, automation reduces the margin of error and ensures tasks are performed correctly every time.
Automation Saves Money
Instead of having staff spend countless hours consolidating resorts, manually transferring data, or performing routine tasks, automation does it for you. This significantly reduces your labor costs.
On top of that, automated systems minimize costly errors in areas like billing, payroll, and inventory management.
Automation Allows You to Make Data-Driven Decisions
Hotels have been using data to help their decisions for years. The only problem is that consolidating this data took a considerable amount of time, Not with automation. This allows hoteliers to have access to real-time data and analytics that are critical for making informed decisions.
With insights into booking trends, guest preferences, and operational performance at their fingertips, hoteliers can make strategic decisions that improve service quality and enhance profitability.
Scaling Is Easy with Automation
As a hotel grows, so do its operational demands. Managing this increased complexity manually can be a daunting task. Automation, however, offers a scalable solution.
Automated systems can easily scale to accommodate this growth, unlike manual processes that often require hiring more staff or increasing infrastructure.
Key Areas Where Automation Helps BOH Operations
While you can automate certain tasks for your front-of-house operations, we have found that your BOH operations benefit far more from this technology. There are a few areas in particular that benefit from automation. They are:
- Accounting and Financial Management: Automating accounting tasks like invoicing, payroll, revenue management, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting saves considerable time and reduces the risk of errors.
- Inventory Management: Automation helps track inventory in real time, reducing waste and preventing shortages.
- Procurement and Purchase Orders: Automated systems can help streamline procurement, track orders, and manage vendors, making it easier to control costs and maintain good relationships with suppliers.
- Human Resources: Automating HR processes such as employee scheduling and time tracking leads to more efficient operations and improves employee satisfaction.
- Maintenance Management: Automated systems help track maintenance requests and repairs, schedule preventative maintenance, and ensure that all areas of the hotel are kept in good condition.
- Task Management and Workflow Automation: Implementing systems that automatically assign tasks to staff based on certain triggers or conditions improves efficiency and ensures nothing is overlooked.
- Reporting and Data Analysis: Automated reporting provides valuable insights more quickly and efficiently, making it easier for hotel managers to make informed decisions.
How to Get the Most Out of Hotel Automation
To truly unlock the potential of automation in hotel operations, there’s more to consider than just adopting technology; it’s about choosing the right tools and understanding how to leverage them effectively. Here are some of our top recommendations to get the most out of hotel automation:
- Choose a comprehensive platform that offers a suite of automation features, from accounting and back-office operations to more specialized tasks.
- Make sure that your system can automatically consolidate reports from multi-property portfolios and generate a Single Daily Report from multiple PMS & POS sources. This way, you can speed up decision-making and reduce the chance of errors.
- Implement workflow automation so that you can digitize and automate approval processes to streamline operations, saving time and reducing errors.
- Take advantage of mobile apps so you can enhance the flexibility of hotel operations, allowing managers and staff to make decisions on the go.
- Use tools that provide a consolidated financial view, such as those that can import daily bank balance information from all banks/accounts into one place.
- Train your staff. It’s not enough to just implement the right systems; your staff needs to understand how to use them effectively. Provide adequate training to ensure your team can make the most of the automation tools available to them.
While plenty of different software solutions offer automation capabilities, not all of them allow you to harness their full potential. For example, you might have to use two separate accounting software systems to handle both property-level accounting and management office accounting.
While each solution might have automation capabilities, they are still two separate systems, meaning you have to collate that information at some point manually.
The key to maximizing automation lies in having a solution that leverages all your existing systems into a single, unified platform, like Hotel Investor Apps (HIA) does.
Unlike other solutions, our platform offers a seamless, unified environment for all accounting and related back-office functions. Here are just a few of the ways you can take advantage of different automations:
- Unified Financial Management and Business Intelligence (BI) Platform: On top of being a one-stop solution for both property-level and corporate management office-level accounting, we also have BI capabilities built-in, so you can really maximize automation and simplify your management processes.
- Workflow Automation: HIA digitalizes and automates approval processes, removing the need for manual sign-offs. With push notifications sent for each approval stage, the process becomes much more streamlined and efficient.
- Functional Mobile App: Unlike most competitors, HIA offers a fully functional mobile app that provides real-time data, allows report review, and even approves invoices on the go.
- Automated Report Consolidation: For hoteliers managing multi-property portfolios, HIA’s automated report consolidation feature is a game-changer. This feature eliminates the need for manual data consolidation in Excel, allowing for faster and more accurate decision-making processes.
- Efficient Bank Reconciliation: With automatic imports and transaction matching, HIA halves the time spent on bank reconciliation. By automating these tedious tasks, hoteliers can focus more on strategic decisions and guest-centric duties.
- Bank Connect: HIA automatically imports daily bank balance information from all banks/accounts into one place, providing a consolidated financial view and reducing the need for manual data entry.
- Single Daily Report: Instead of manually downloading and consolidating individual reports, HIA automatically generates a Single Daily Report from multiple Property Management System (PMS) and Point of Sale (POS) sources, saving considerable time and effort.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use automation to its fullest, be sure to reach out to a member of our team.