Whether you operate a boutique bed and breakfast or a large hotel with hundreds of rooms, task management is a vital component of labor, cost and time efficiency. Complete resource and efficiency optimization is an endless pursuit when operating a hospitality business, but there is a tool that can help by working behind the scenes – automation. Implementing process automation in your hotel can greatly reduce costs, improve labor efficiency and allow managers to have more time to create a better experience for their guests.
Fintech has multiple solutions that can automate different parts of your beverage alcohol management in your hotel. For example, you can automate your alcohol invoice payments through PaymentSource®, or you can automate your beverage program through our Beverage Program Management (BPM) dashboard. Utilizing these automation solutions streamlines workflows and puts your hotel in a better position to be successful.
Types of Automation
There are two types of automation that can be applied to hotel management. These are classified as business process automation, which is “the use of software to automate repeatable, multistep business transactions,” and robotics process automation, which is using artificial intelligence to “emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software.”
An example of business process automation could be implementing Fintech’s PaymentSource to automate your alcohol invoice payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT). An example of robotics process automation would be using a chatbot to handle customer inquiries on your hotel website. The chatbot would then route the customer to the appropriate party.
The primary difference between the two is that business process automation typically applies to backend functions like payments and data integration, whereas robotics process automation is designed to mimic human tasks and repeat as necessary.
Applying Automation to Hotel Functions
There is no shortage of manual tasks that could be retrofitted with automation in the hotel industry. In the context of Fintech, some of these processes include:
- Handling alcohol deliveries and payments for beer, wine and spirits
- Manually uploading line-item invoice data into your back-office or accounting system
- Tracking invoice discrepancies and requesting credits from your alcohol distributors
- Verifying purchase compliance within a hotel beverage program (especially if you are overseeing multiple locations within the same program)
- Identifying the source of margin erosion when you receive an unexpected change on your P&L statement
- Looking for ways to expand your beverage program with higher-volume products
It is possible for one person to be responsible for all these functions, in which case automation would surely aid in freeing up time to devote elsewhere. There could be multiple people responsible for these tasks, in which case automation would help bridge any gap in efficiency created by labor shortages.
Let’s go over how Fintech can address these manual processes through the power of automation.
Hotels go through their fair share of alcohol between their dining and bar options. Depending on the size of the hotel, you could be dealing with lots of deliveries between all your different wholesalers. This means that with each alcohol delivery, you would have to handle invoice verification, payment, and manually inputting all that line-item data into your system. That is a lot of time spent dealing with boring tasks on the backend, time that could be better spent on the customer-facing side of the business.
With PaymentSource, all your manual alcohol invoice processes are automated. EFT payments are a safer, more secure payment method than cash, checks, money orders or other manual ACH processes. This optimizes your time by allowing you to receive your alcohol deliveries and get back to business with minimal interruptions.
PaymentSource also helps with reconciliation, as you can view past and upcoming invoices online for all your distributors. You can also access your bank activity information, see line-item invoice details and know when each invoice is paid. For any invoice issues, you can submit credit requests directly to your distributors and track receipts. This essentially automates the process of having to track the discrepancy and go out of your way to contact your distributor rep.
One of the most important PaymentSource automation features is the data integration into your back-office system. PaymentSource integrates with over 200 different systems, including M3, Quickbooks, Restaurant 365, and more, so all your line-item data gets uploaded without you having to lift a finger. This creates error-free data entry and saves you hours of manually uploading the data yourself.
Beverage Program Management
Hotels run a tight ship with compliance and consistency across their brand portfolio. Beverage programs are designed with intention and should be maintained to deliver consistent customer experiences. Managers can optimize their beverage programs with our BPM platform, which is designed to help you improve compliance rates, strengthen vendor relationships, and standardize your program across all locations. The platform comprises easy-to-understand charts and purchasing analyses so you can gain valuable insights into your program, location, and product compliance.
Maintaining a hotel beverage program comes with multiple challenges, and our platform helps solve them through automation. For example, it can be incredibly time-consuming to assess compliance rates across multiple locations. BPM automates this compliance assessment based on your program information and flags any anomalies. This way, you can quickly pinpoint locations that are not purchasing products that are on your Approved Product List to ensure program compliance and uniform experience across all your locations.
BPM’s reporting tools can highlight off-program purchases so you can find product substitutions for on-program products that aren’t available. You can also identify off-program products that perform well in your area to potentially add them to your program.
Dominate When You Automate
There are many opportunities for process automation within the hotel industry. Through these tools, you create a better experience for your workforce and for your customers. With your manual workflows optimized, productivity and profitability increase. Not only does automation save time, but the data insights it yields can be used to drive more revenue into the business.
Request a demo today to learn more about how adding Fintech’s automation can help your hotel.