Digitization Interview With Ringhotel Mutiger Ritter & Hotel Antoniushof

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On Digitization, Sustainability, Turnover Increase And The GDPR In Hotels

Hotels of well-known hotel cooperations such as Ringhotels e.V. as well as privately managed hotels rely on Betterspace’s smart solutions to digitize their hotels. Ringhotels e.V. is one of the biggest hotel cooperations in the private hotel industry in Germany. We met Dr. Schache, Hotel Director of Ringhotel Mutiger Ritter, and Mrs. Lorenz, Marketing Manager at Hotel Antoniushof, to talk about digitization, its significance and the development in the hotel industry.

The Significance Of Digitization In Hotels

Betterspace:
How important is digitization in your hotels at the moment?

Dr. Schache:
Digitization in our company is a management issue. We are currently working on a concept in which we are comprehensively trying to integrate digitization into our hotel. This will lead to a complete change in our strategies and working methods. First and foremost, however, we remain a “human hotel” for our guests. For us, this means that the steps of digitization are primarily taking place in the background.

M. Lorenz:
Digitization is becoming increasingly important for our hotel. We regularly examine our hotel workflows and processes to discover potential where digital solutions can help us reduce the amount of work. In the end, this buys us more time for our hotel guests, increases employee motivation and, in the best case scenario, also helps to protect the environment.

Elder hotel guests use hotel wifi for smartphone and take a photo

The Advantages Of Digitization In Hotels

Betterspace:
What opportunities do you see in the digitization of your hotels?

M. Lorenz:
The advantages of digitization in hotels are diverse. By reducing the amount of work we can of course relieve our staff. In addition, digital solutions such as the digital guest directory provide the opportunity to drastically reduce the amount of paper we use and thus promote sustainability in our hotel.

Dr. Schache:
Thanks to digitization, we can focus our actions even more on the guest. By relieving our employees of routine work, they have more time specifically for our guests, which makes more effective and personal care for our guests possible. At the same time, digitization helps us to reduce costs and, like Mrs. Lorenz already pointed out, to improve our green footprint.

The Influence Of Hotel Employees On Digitization

Betterspace:
In addition to a strategy, employees play a key role in the course of digitization. How do you involve your employees in the long process of digitization?

M. Lorenz:
We inform our employees at an early stage about planned changes and the acquisition of digital solutions. It is extremely important to involve the employees in our projects as, in the end, they are the ones who work with digital solutions such as the smart guest directory on a daily basis. The employees’ understanding is essential for the success of the use of digital solutions.

Dr. Schache:
I agree with my colleague. We as well review and discuss all steps of digitization with our employees very early on, so that they are always informed about all changes. We also encourage our employees to come up with their own ideas for implementing digitization. After all, with the help of digitization, we want to relieve them of routine work and thus make their work easier. Only in this way, they will have more time and can enjoy their actual work with our guests. We don’t fear that because of digitization employees could lose their jobs.

satisfied hotel guest uses hotel wifi and smartphone

The Challenge Of Digitization In Hotels

Betterspace:
What do you think is the biggest challenge in your hotel in the course of digitization?

Dr. Schache:
The base of digitization is data. Of course, we have the opportunity to find out a lot about our guests in the hotel, as long as the data is maintained. However, the new General Data Protection Regulation makes it more difficult for us to use the personal data of our guests for extensive and individualized marketing. Therefore, it is currently our greatest challenge to reconcile digitization with the current General Data Protection Regulation without enormous bureaucratic effort.

M. Lorenz:
I can only agree with Dr Schache here. In addition, it is a great challenge to screen out the right and suitable solutions for your own hotel due to the wide range of offers for digitization of hotels. There are many solutions, so it is advisable to gather detailed information about the respective digital helpers and other opinions before making a decision.

hotel guest rings at the reception desk

Smart Digital Guest Directories

Betterspace:
Betterspace: How does Betterspace’s digital guest directory support you in the course of digitization, Mrs. Lorenz?

M. Lorenz:
At the moment we are using the digital guest directory, which makes our work in the hotel much easier. Just updating the “Hotel A-Z” used to cost a lot of time and paper. After the analog guest folder was made, it had to be updated individually in each room. Now this can be done at the push of a button, to give just one example. We are currently planning on integrating the intelligent room control iQ Roomcontrol into our hotel.

The Smart Hotel System

Betterspace:
Betterspace: iQ Roomcontrol, that is your keyword, Dr. Schache. You have already installed the Smart Home System in your hotel. How does the smart solution help you in your hotel?

Dr. Schache:
With iQ Roomcontrol, Betterspace offers us fantastic opportunities to save energy costs, improve our ecological footprint and at the same time optimize or rather automate processes. In addition, the iQ Display as a digital information display helps us to inform our guests more comprehensively and more detailed, while relieving our reception staff.

hotel wlan advantages

Betterspace – The Digitization Specialist

Betterspace:
Why did you eventually decide for Betterspace to support digitization in your hotel and for the digital guest directory, Mrs. Lorenz?

M. Lorenz:
Of course we looked around the market and also requested a quote from other providers of digital guest directories. Betterspace simply offered by far the best price-performance ratio and convinced us as a digitization expert and connoisseur of the hotel industry. We were impressed by the guest directory and its wide range of applications. Ultimately, the digital guest directory replaces the TV magazine, saves costs and relieves staff thanks to the “Cancel room cleaning” function. In addition, we save a lot of paper and can thus meet the demand for more sustainability in our hotel. Furthermore, our guests can book spa treatments via the digital guest directory, which in turn is reflected in sales. To make a long story short, the smart room directories simply make many things easier in the hotel.

Betterspace:
Dr. Schache, you chose the smart room control iQ Roomcontrol, how did we convince you at this point?

Dr. Schache:
We chose Betterspace in respect of the heating control because it is a very comprehensive concept and a comprehensive digital approach with the interface for the hotel program. No one else offers such a fully and field-proven approach like Betterspace. We are convinced that Betterspace’s stated energy savings are possible to reach with the Smart Hotel System iQ Roomcontrol and that everyone here in the hotel is relieved of a lot of work thanks to the intelligent solution.

checkliste

Digitization In The Hotel: Simple & Quick

Betterspace:
Many hoteliers shy away from purchasing digital solutions because they think there is lot of effort involved in installing and implementing digital helpers. How did the installation process go for you?

Dr. Schache:
The installation process went smoothly, quickly and uncomplicatedly. Of course, there are always minor problems, but Betterspace always quickly presented a good solution.

M. Lorenz:
I can only agree here. It would be unrealistic to claim that everything works smoothly right from the start. There are always some minor initial difficulties with the installation of technical solutions, but Betterspace quickly had them under control. Overall, the installation process for the digital guest folder went smoothly and quickly. We are very satisfied.

Tips & Tricks For Digitization In Hotels

Betterspace:
What do you recommend to other hoteliers who are fond of digitizing certain processes in the hotel? Do you have any tips or tricks?

M. Lorenz:
I strongly recommend taking enough time to examine and compare all digital solutions sufficiently. It is also important to take a close look around your own hotel to see whether the offer really suits the particular hotel and whether it provides a benefit. This is the only way to avoid unnecessarily wasting of resources on a system or digital helper that will not be used later because something has not been considered.

Dr. Schache:
My colleague is absolutely right about that. In order to promote digitization in companies or to introduce digital solutions, conceptual preparatory work is essential in order to determine the potential from the operational point of view. In addition, one should be aware that digitization in a company is a process that is implemented systematically and not all at once.

hotel guest rings at the reception desk

Betterspace:
Thank you very much for your statements, Dr. Schache and Mrs. Lorenz. Would you like to make a final comment, add something, or mention something else regarding digitization in the hotel?

Dr. Schache:
Very much! There is one thing I really need to say. We assume that due to the stronger use of artificial intelligence, the connection of all areas in the hotel can happen. It is therefore important to continue to look into the possibilities of digitization and to follow the developments in artificial intelligence. Routine work will increasingly become a task for machines. Digitization will create freedom, so the personal work with guests can be even more focused on.

M. Lorenz:
I would like to add that people should not always focus on the costs of smart solutions. Promoting digitization in hotels is always associated with costs, but certain investments are simply necessary and indispensable, such as Internet or WLAN in hotels. Apart from that, the decision for the right digital helper or the digital solution, such as the digital guest directory, is usually refinanced by itself.

Betterspace:
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us about the current status and the possibilities of digitization in hotels. We wish you a successful time. We will certainly hear from each other again soon!