As the hotel industry is facing a labor shortage, many technology companies are upgrading already existing platforms, launching new outlets, or adding new interfaces. Some of these updates are labor management-focused, while others make hoteliers’ technologies easier to use.
Meeting and events management technology provider e-DestinAccess is rolling out DestinDIY for meeting planners to manage organizing meetings and events. DestinDIY integrates multiple existing service platforms for planners to create, generate, and organize events. The ability to book individual and group rooms, airfare, socially distant airport pick-up and drop-off services, and local activities is live on the platform. The dashboard was built with users in mind and includes electronic proposals, contract generation, electronic signatures, transportation scheduling, online registration, and more.
Groups360 enhanced its marketplace sourcing and hotel room booking platform, GroupSync. The enhancements provide an updated menu structure, user experiences, and quick searches for planners that preselect hotels. The GroupSync navigation has been moved from the top of the screen to the left side, and the existing dashboard has been upgraded and simplified to include a filer option. While the filter defaults show all existing events, meeting planners can view an event in a given phase of the sourcing process. And for planners that know their meeting’s location, QuickSearch provides planners with travel dates, discounts, and the ability to pull preferred hotels.
Guest and staff communication platform GuestEQ has updated its interface and functionality based on feedback from hotel staff users; the platform is now designed to look like a social media platform. The primary function of GuestEQ relies on SMS text messaging instead of an app download, making it easier for hotel staff. But the social media-designed interface performs the same on the back end for guests but is reducing training time for new users and increasing staff communications so various departments are not working in silos.
Impulsify Inc., a software company that enables non-retail businesses to simplify grab-and-go retail operations, has launched ImpulseBuy, an auto-replenishment program powered by ImpulsePoint, a cloud-based retail management system. ImpulseBuy uses an inventory tacking component to automatically replenish stock based on real-time inventory. Managing this data reduces overhead burdens for retail spaces that generally are not self-service driven and removes the burden of inventory and purchases from property managers. Impulsify anticipates order frequencies and transaction amounts to increase with this automation, resulting in higher stock rates for best sellers and driving higher revenue results.
Software systems manager Inntopia released a School Calendar Explorer, allowing hotels to view an interactive platform filled with year-over-year school break patterns, trends, and data throughout the United States. The program is backed by human-verified data points from public school districts and universities. Hotels can view the information and data, analyze how the data can work for their property, and adjust rates based on school break patterns. Hoteliers can also make staffing decisions and discover new markets to fill spots in demand throughout the school year when using the platform.
M3 has launched M3 Labor, a mobile application that supports the company’s labor-management tool. The cloud-based M3 Labor platform gives hoteliers flexibility through data-driven workforce management tools that are delivered to their smartphones. M3 Labor also shows hoteliers a report of current, on-the-clock employees to provide access to labor monitoring. The software also delivers real-time labor dashboards, customizable labor views, and management outlets. Hoteliers are able to monitor associate hours and proactively avoid unnecessary overtime from a smartphone.
UniFocus has released Odin, an intelligent assistant designed to give operators relevant and timely data to make decisions. The analytical insights across Odin are individualized specifically for each manager to control costs, service quality risks, and performance. The system pulls from UniFocus’s labor management and time and attendance platforms and generates an email with an actionable view of demand projects, past performances, and critical issues that need to be addressed. And Odin also opens shifts that may require a staff schedule realignment, with managers just needing to manually approve shift swaps and time-off requests.
Virgin Hotels recently updated its mobile app Lucy to include secure ID verification and cashless tipping abilities. Guests that are members of The Know—Virgin Hotels’ loyalty and preferences program—can use features like pre-arrival identity verification, cashless tipping, and room controls. The pre-arrival identification allows guests to use their smartphone as a mobile key and also uses safeguards to validate guests’ credentials for a safer experience. And guests can set the lighting in their room with the new functions, as well as change the thermostat and use their smartphones as remote controls from anywhere throughout the hotel.