With the way individuals leverage technology now – constantly having access to smart phones, tablets, and computers – everyone has come to expect things at the touch of a button. We are constantly reaching to be on top of the next update and the newest technology, yet we have to remember that technology can’t completely take over our business. This is hospitality – we can never entirely eliminate the human element by which it’s characterized.
The world of technology changes fast, so being first is not necessarily always being best. When we’re talking about an area that can change overnight, we have to systematically sift through all of the options to find those that are truly worth focusing on. Time and resources are valuable commodities and we want to ensure our investors are sinking their resources into opportunities that are worthwhile.
Identifying those worthwhile opportunities can be a process. At First Hospitality Group, we’re always continuously testing new programs and systems to figure out whether or not they are a good fit for us. We learn the technology as we go and become educated on how to better implement these technologies in the future, as well as building the insights we gain into pre-planning for our pipeline hotels.
We are constantly asking ourselves how to best meet the needs of our operations teams, guests, and vendors. To identify these needs, we’re required to drill down and identify our demographic, building a strong database along the way. For that reason, a key objective in establishing a solid foundation for us is collecting more enhanced, better quality data.
For example, new updates in forecasting systems allow us to obtain more analytics on our financial reporting, forecasting, and industry trends. To lead the industry, we first have to lead ourselves. Solutions like HotSOS and REX help to reduce guest incidents, optimize requests, support preventative maintenance programs, and gather data on housekeeping (to name a few benefits), which both support our operations teams and help create a consistently positive experience for our guests.
To be on the cutting edge, we start with a strong foundation. Right now, our team is focusing on innovations to streamline processes that have the most potential to be conducted more efficiently. At First Hospitality Group, our vision for strategic growth includes a significant transition from primarily select to full-service management and development over time. We see where we want to go and we’re working to build that infrastructure.
Accommodating these shifts takes more time and deliberate action – we can’t just assume it’s going to work. We want systems that prove to be reliable and support not only the needs of today, but those of tomorrow as well. So that, as technology changes, we’re equipped to keep pace with the speed of innovation.
As we continue to develop new projects, like Hotel LeVeque in Columbus, Ohio, the implementation of systems like Miracasting and fiber to the room (only available in a select handful of hotels in North America as of 2017) equip us to handle any technology upgrades slated through the next 50 years.
First Hospitality Group has continuously been on the cutting edge of all things hospitality for its entire history; technology is no different. By consistently working to maintain a strong foundation we are able to prepare for and embrace whatever comes our way next.