In an effort to help our peers compete, we at ALICE sat down with a roundtable of New York City’s leading hotel General Managers to learn how they are leveraging data to run their hotels. We share our findings in our report, “The Data-Driven Hotelier.”
While most property management systems can generate reports with basic information about a hotel’s occupancy and rates, our hoteliers are always on the lookout for more “breadcrumbs” of data around their guest habits, their real-time inventory status, and their employee productivity.
Who are my guests?
When it comes to hotel guests, the most important data is geographic – where did they come from? Since most guests book through OTAs, this data can be very difficult to find, and hoteliers are forced to make educated guesses or compile this information post-stay. Typically, this involves manually adding notes into their guest CRM, or gathering data with post-stay questionnaires—both of which are time-intensive, and make it possible for vital information to slip through the cracks.
What is the status of my inventory?
Managing a hotel is an hour-by-hour endeavor, and hotels must be vigilant in tracking their inventory. “Inventory management is vital,” one GM told us. “Do we have enough clean towels? How many are being delivered to the guests? How many are being cleaned? It’s the little details matter, and right now it’s all based on word of mouth.” The issue with relying on word of mouth of course, is that information can be incorrect or outdated, both of which can contribute to operational hiccups that might directly impact the guest’s experience.
How is my staff spending their time?
As any accomplished hotel manager will tell you, a hotel is only as good as its employees. Of course, like any business, “there are certain personality types that might not be doing anything,” one GM said. “Knowing how they spend their time would be very helpful in managing employee productivity.” However, unlike most “traditional” businesses, which operate in a confined office setting, “hotels are big spaces, it’s difficult to understand where each employee is and what they’re doing at any given time.” Because payroll and, specifically, overtime are among a hotel’s largest costs, a good manager will do his best to “understand what the staff is doing at any given moment, where they are, how long it takes to complete tasks. If you notice that they’re not doing anything, you can use data to cut total payroll hours.”
This is an excerpt from “The Data-Driven Hotelier” – a series of interviews we conducted with New York City’s leading hotel General Managers. Download the report to learn how you can best leverage data at your hotel.