Consistency is a challenge for hotel and hospitality businesses.
Whether you operate a hotel chain, a hotel group with a portfolio of brands, or a franchised hotel operation, the delivery and experience of brand is a major factor. Managing hotel specifications and standards physical spaces and properties is a business-critical matter in an industry which is rigorously assessed for compliance, not just on health and safety but also for hospitality industry classifications and ratings.
Maintaining that consistency of delivery and experience for customers is a responsibility that is widely shared. It involves every manager and employee, including those responsible for hotel standards management at group head office, right through to back and front of house teams at each site.
Brand consistency in the hospitality industry is about far more than creating the right look, using a logo consistently, or centralising marketing and communications. It is fundamentally influenced by the physical experience that guests have while they visit, eat, or stay in the hotel. It is here where many hotel businesses are running unnecessary risks and carrying avoidable costs, thanks to outdated manual and paper-based or spreadsheet-based ways of managing and tracking the standards and specifications on which their delivery relies.
Management of hotel standards influences experiences
From initial fit-out of guest spaces and bedrooms, through to refurbishment, upgrades and consumables, everything from their room, reception and restaurant concepts through to the furniture, guest supplies and more, all influence whether you are delivering on-brand experience.
Everything that a guest encounters in the physical space of a hotel affects this, from the towels to the TV, from the tissue box to the trouser-press, what guests find must meet their expectations as well as that of the brand owner.
The problems with managing hotel specifications manually
Opening a new site starts with ensuring that the execution of the hotel’s design and specifications are faithfully executed everywhere, every time.
For many hotel chains and operators, the managing hotel specifications and standards for room fitout, restaurant and reception set-up, and other physical implementation, is still done through documents. While many (but not all) have moved from physical standards manuals and paper specification sheets to reams of PDF documents, the limitations of documents still apply in both cases.
What are the implications of using documents for hotel standards management and specifications?
Firstly there is a time delay factor. Updating spec sheets and manuals can be slow and laborious with such documents often containing many minutiae. It is common (and seems logical) to wait until there is a cluster of updates to make before issuing a new manual or set of documents. This means that documents still in use are inevitably or frequently out of date. General Managers and hotel asset managers can potentially make local sourcing decisions based on out-of-date specifications months after alteration. There are cost implications to consider also, since furniture or fittings replacements may be purchased from legacy suppliers – missing out on the procurement team’s hard-negotiated volume discount deals.
Secondly there is an implementation factor. How can you ensure stakeholders have the correct information, which cascades it to those who need it, and that correct action is taken? The hospitality chain business is geographically distributed, by its very nature and distributing documents containing updated information by email assures neither an audit trail nor managed workflow.
A database-driven hotel specifications and standards solution can change the game
Immediate benefits and efficiencies can be realised by simply presenting specification and standards data via a database-driven platform.
Ensuring a single and complete version of current specification and making that data available to everyone who needs it at the same time can speed the rollout of new ideas or opportunities. Furthermore, prescriptive management of specification data can rapidly reduce variation in the delivery of rooms, new spaces, or new concepts. There is no need to worry that hundreds of the wrong specification of a bed, for example, will be ordered before the new supplier information filters out to local buyers.
Elecosoft has developed its IconSystem® solution to solve the specification and standards data management for numerous household names in retail and other industries. Today it is applying the benefits of managing hotel specifications and standards to a sector which can leverage them to a huge degree.
A database-driven approach to managing hotel specifications and standards is immediately scalable to support international and global hotel brands as soon as data is loaded. That makes access to a single current version of information accessible across hotel chains in every geography, not just aiding on-brand expansion and consistent delivery but helping to manage and control local procurement of key brand elements at scale.
It is also easily utilised to help hotel groups to organise, manage, distribute and audit the standards for multiple marques and brands – even as their standards evolve and specifications are updated on different schedules.
Has your hotel business struggled with consistency and accessibility of brand specifications and standards? If so, IconSystem may be a revelation. Find out more about the IconSystem solution here.