Navigating the Recovery with Less Resources

December 6, 2021 | Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications.

Hotel technology innovators, StayNTouch, Revinate, and Duetto came together last week for a roundtable discussion on how your PMS, CRM, and RMS can and should be working together to help you get the most from the dynamic demand trends hotel markets are experiencing right now.

Hosted and moderated by Casey Munck, Senior Director, Marketing at Revinate, the panel included:

  • Michael Heflin, CRO, StayNTouch
  • JD Cain, VP of Sales, Revinate
  • Gary Glodowski, Director of Customer Marketing, Duetto

Also taking part in the panel discussion were two hoteliers from Bridgeton & Pacifica Hotels, who talked about how they overcame staffing shortages by leveraging a vertically integrated tech stack. On the panel were: 

  • Brandon Burtis, Corporate Director of Revenue, Pacifica Hotels
  • Lucas Proffitt, Director, Revenue & E-commerce, Bridgeton Hospitality

Here’s a quick recap of the main talking points:

First up, Brandon Burtis of Pacifica Hotels and Lucas Proffitt of Bridgeton Hospitality set the scene by highlighting some of the biggest challenges being faced by hoteliers. Staffing and not having a unified tech stack came top of the list.

“Our more seasonal properties struggled with staffing including the seasonal workforce. Having the staffing issues and our seasonal properties seeing an increase in demand created the perfect storm,” admitted Proffitt.

“However, the tech we had recently implemented helped us to work faster with fewer people and we could also implement the touchless tech that customers wanted. Before the pandemic, we had quite a few systems but none of them talked to each other, so we spent a lot of time manually doing a lot of processes. We are now implementing an integrated tech stack. We realized we were spending a lot of time doing manual processes that we could be automated,” he added.

For Burtis the challenge was identifying how and where to cut staff and what hotels did it make sense to suspend operations.

“Identifying who staffing-wise needed to be furloughed and what was the minimum to maintain operations was a challenge. Then constant communication because things were changing by the second. It helped to have a unified tech stack in place with enhanced integrations which give seamless communication,” he explained.

How an RMS can help you adapt to recovery demand trends that ebb and flow 

Duetto’s Gary Glodowski was first up for the vendor presentations. He talked about how controlled automation can help drive efficiencies for hotels and highlighted some of the new features Duetto has rolled out in response to the pandemic to help users navigate with fewer resources.

“Autopilot Automation schedules is a fun addition to the platform,” Glodowski said. “We’ve had Automation for many years, but schedules are more conditional, for example, you can set it to only apply Autopilot for rates when you are above 90% occupancy. Or set multi conditions, outside of 30 days and above 50% occupancy. It helps you cover off-hours, weekends when you’re on vacation and can put your mind at ease,” he told the audience.

Burtis of Pacifica Hotels explained how his team was taking advantage of AutoPilot schedules. His regional revenue teams often find themselves working on 12-15 hotels each.

“Lots of different filters allow you to control your strategy. You can lean into tech and automation while allowing you to set how you want the system to be in control.”

Glodowski also talked about Restriction Rules and Min/Max bounds.

He concluded by explaining how Duetto’s algorithm is designed to learn from user inputs.

Why a PMS can alleviate pressure and laborious tasks on lean teams 

Michael Heflin, CRO, StayNTouch, was up next. He explained how ‘great technology enhances people it does not replace people.

Heflin explained how SNT offered greater efficiencies through the check-in process by empowering guests with a choice of welcome experiences – mobile, kiosk, or in-person. For example, mobile check-in can be facilitated in just a minute. This can benefit the hotel with a 70% reduction in staff check-in time.

“StayNTouch is the only PMS built guest-backward. We started with the guest interaction and then considered how to improve that interaction between guest and staff,” he explained.

“The key is to have technology that is responsive so that hotels can use staff in other areas and be more flexible. Being fully mobile allows that level of flexibility,” Heflin added explaining how using StayNTouch to understand when a room is empty can increase housekeeping productivity by up to 20%.

Heflin went on to explain the importance of seamless integrations.

“Our partnerships with Revinate and Duetto are important,” he said.

The way we deliver hospitality is an evolving ecosystem. We focus on creating great connectivity across the tech ecosystem. A smooth flow of information and transparency enables us to do a little bit more with a little bit less in each area,” he added.

How a CRM & marketing automation tool can digitize the guest journey

JD Cain, VP of Sales, Revinate, wrapped up the webinar with a look at marketing and CRM efficiencies.

Talking about ‘The Great Labor Shortage of 2021’ research project, he explained how 95% of hospitality businesses are experiencing hiring challenges and that 60% have been short-staffed for more than six months. This is a long-term problem.

“Automation can help,” he said. “Customers are surveying their guests in pre-arrival emails to capture preferences. This alleviates the front desk having to input at check-in. They are also informing clients about travel restrictions, cleaning protocols, and F&B schedules, and then do target upsells,” Cain added.

Cain went on to explain the Revinate voice channel and how it improves agent efficiency. By capturing data on the call hotels can drive a 35% efficiency.

Success stories

Brandon Burtis of Pacifica Hotels and Lucas Proffitt of Bridgeton Hospitality came back on to end with their success stories.

“Our lack of integration going into the pandemic was limiting our ability to deliver the level of service we wanted to give to our guests. We were chained to the desk to do check-ins. Technology released us from being stuck behind that wall. It allowed us to give the level of service that we wanted to,” said Proffitt.

“Our integration with Duetto enabled us to keep our strategy in play at all times and manage our room availability. The integration with StayNTouch and Duetto enabled us to price on the true inventory available,” said Burtis of Pacifica Hotels

Missed the webinar? Don’t worry, you can catch the recording On Demand. Simply visit: https://www.stayntouch.com/navigating-the-recovery-with-less-resources

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