How going paperless can increase your hotel’s profits
Thursday 20th September 2018
In the age of smart technology, guests now expect their hotel experience to not only be digitalised, but to be more streamlined than ever before. However, most hotels still rely on printers for managing everything from reservations to housekeeping, and it’s a habit that many are still not moving away from.
These days, it really pays to go paperless. Here are five key benefits of using fewer paper-based processes in your business, from personalising the guest experience to making your hotel more profitable.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of switching to a paperless system is the savings in cost. Not only are you saving money on ink, paper, and toner, but the costs associated with running and maintaining printers and photocopiers will also be lower.
After moving to a paperless check-in and check-out system, the 5* 709-bedroom Shangri-La hotel in Qingdao in China saved an estimated 400,000 sheets of A4 paper in a year. This figure was based on their paper usage from the previous year, just on check-in and check-out. Another case study reports that the US-based Serena Hotels spent at least $2000 per month per property on printing, demonstrating just how much paper and money can be saved by going paperless.
Most hotels still print arrival lists and cards. However, by using a portable device like a tablet with an electronic signature capture instead, you can speed up the entire check-in process. Similarly, during check-out, invoices can be sent via email, which is much more convenient for both you and your guests.
Top tip: If your hotel sees a high number of corporate guests, why not introduce virtual payment technology? The guest will save time when booking and you’ll also receive the payment faster than if it were a normal card payment.
Increase direct revenue
Going paperless can even help you to increase your direct revenue. If a guest is using a tablet to check in, they don’t need to be in the hotel lobby to complete the process. By allowing your guests to check in from the comfort of their hotel room, or a calmer, less crowded environment such as a lounge area, they will have more time to peruse your offering, giving you opportunities to upsell extra amenities, packages or upgrades.
Not only can going paperless make your business more organised by eliminating the need for paper storage solutions, it can also help streamline day-to-day operations and increase productivity.
Switching to electronic invoices, notices and statements frees up time that was once used for printing, mailing, and filling out documents. Using a collaborative document storage tool such as Google Drive means that your team no longer need take time out to gather around a desk with printouts of reports and budgets.
Personalise the guest experience
Another advantage of paperless technology is that guest data is stored directly in the hotel PMS and will be available the next time the same guest visits the property. By doing this, you can provide a more personalised service by keeping track of guest information such as food allergies, interests, and additional family members, and ensure extra special touches such as preferred pillow types are already in place on arrival.
As you can see, moving away from paper-based processes is not only more environmentally responsible, but it plays a key role in helping to make your hotel more profitable.