Automation has slowly and surely replaced countless manual tasks over time. It’s not very often you see someone hand washing their clothes anymore. Automation has started making a real mark in the hotel and hospitality industry in recent years too, with owners/operators looking to save money, improve processes, get more revenue and offer better guest experiences.

This article will highlight exactly what hotel automation is, how it can work across your business, and how you can adopt and apply it to your small property. Let’s go!

What is hotel automation?

Hotel automation is a way for manual and time consuming tasks to be done with little to no human intervention. 

Usually performed via software and technology, automation can benefit both hoteliers and their guests in similar ways – often by saving time, saving money and removing stress.

Benefits of hotel automation include:

  • Increasing the efficiency of your daily tasks
  • Reducing error in recording information and reporting on data
  • Eliminating friction and frustration from manual operations
  • Boosting revenue and cutting costs
  • Increasing productivity by allowing you more free time
  • Increasing connectivity and synchronisation to other hotel systems and extra booking channels
  • Flexible and automatic check-in/out for guests
  • Better upselling and packaging opportunities
  • Increasing the personalisation of your service
  • Streamlining communication between staff and also to guests
  • Better reporting and analysis
  • Allowing you to be away from your property to attend to personal matters

Given you likely don’t have the in-house resources to automate on your own, automation is usually introduced via a hotel software provider or a hotel app provider. Depending on everything you want to achieve, you can adopt both.

At the moment chain hotels are more than twice as likely as independents to utilise technology so it’s an opportunity to get ahead of your small competitors. Without automation, the risk of double bookings and other factors that could cost your business money are always present

Hotel automation software: Abilities and benefits

Between hotel technology providers and hotel app providers you should have all your automation needs covered. These companies design specifically for your industry and often have a variety of products, many directly related to your property type and size.

A hotel software provider can help you automate all your daily tasks including:

  • Updating inventory and room rates across all booking channels
  • Accepting and processing reservations
  • Checking guests in and out
  • Sending guest communications
  • Organising housekeeping and maintenance
  • Producing reports
  • Performing data analysis

Listing all this out is kind of amazing – since you’ll realise how much work you were doing by yourself before. It will be very satisfying to lighten the load.

Take Posada del Cortés for example:

“In our first year alone with Little Hotelier, we were able to reduce our administrative tasks and manual changes by 80%.”

Luz Maciel

Automation can really increase your potential to earn more from each room you sell too. If you achieve this, the extra revenue is essentially pure profit. This is where upselling, extras, and packages are so important for adding value not only to your hotel, but to the guest as well. You can use specific apps to help and also software like online booking engines.

B&B automation for guest experience

Automation can be used for room and property features, not just your own administration. Your guests will certainly thank you for introducing automation into your property. The less time they have to spend waiting to check-in and get to their room the better. After a potentially long trip, any delay at the front desk will be frustrating.

In the room, some properties use automated smart apps so guests can easily control lighting, heating, fans, TVs, and blinds etc to ensure they have a constant sense of comfort and convenience.

After this, automation can help guests order room service, make requests, or ask questions on a device like an Ipad instead of having to call up the front desk. 

During the stay or after guests have left you can also send out automated communications asking for reviews or conducting feedback surveys.

Hotel automation companies and products

Little Hotelier is an example of a hotel software provider that also offers a mobile app, which can help you automate your hotel or small property.

A range of features can be accessed on Little Hotelier. Here’s some examples and how they can automate what you do:

  • Front desk software

This is the central system where you can control and automate your daily tasks including updating inventory and room rates, processing reservations, managing guest details, sending communications, scheduling housekeeping, invoicing, and reporting.

  • Channel manager

A channel manager will let you connect to as many booking channels as you want, advertising all your rooms at the same time. When connected to your front desk, it will automatically update inventory when bookings are made or cancellations occur.

  • Online booking engine

A booking engine enables you to accept direct bookings, with less commission paid to third-party channels, on your website and from your Facebook page. You can also set up promotions, packages and extras in your booking engine. Guests will have a simple two-step process to make their choice and book.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).