The digital transformation of hotels should take place in four stages

Only when a hotel formulates a strategy consisting of four aspects: digital plan, digital technology, digital collaboration and digital organization, and implements detailed rules, it can create a digital operating environment and carry out digital operations.

Digital operation refers to an enterprise workflow based on a digital management model. Digital management refers to use of computers, communications, networks and other technologies to quantify management objects and management behavior through statistical methods to implement management activities and methods such as research and development, planning, organization, production, coordination, sales, service and etc. innovation. It has three characteristics, namely digitization, visualization and intelligence. Under influence of new corona epidemic, all areas of life have accelerated pace of digital transformation.

In "China Hospitality Digital Transformation Trend Report 2021" published by 6 institutions including Shiji Information, digital transformation of enterprises is divided into five different stages: foggy period, reaction period, progress period, immersion period and maturity period. .stage.

At present, judging by current situation of digital transformation and development of China's hotel industry, China's hotel industry as a whole is in reaction stage, and only a small part is in progress stage.

Four aspects of a hotel's digital transformation

The digital work of a hotel cannot be completed simply by local intelligent control or creation of a data analysis system, but complex systems engineering can be performed, which requires digital planning, digital technologies, digital collaboration and digital organization. Four aspects to complete. In other words, only if hotel formulates a digital adoption strategy consisting of these four aspects and supporting implementation rules, it will be possible to create a digital operating environment and perform digital operations.

First, let's look at digitization plan. The digital plan refers to strategic and tactical plan developed by hotel for implementation of digital operation, including investment budget, project scope, completion time, target effect, etc.

Planning should be done in conjunction with real situation of hotel and on basis of existing information work. For a hotel, regardless of its class or size, its main products are food, accommodation and entertainment. Digital operations must be planned around these three main products in order to achieve a comprehensive solution from brand, service, marketing to revenue. promote. For example, digital operation of room service should be reflected in management of room department to coordinate with reception, engineering, securityace, finance and other departments, including OTA platform customer evaluation management. an operations management system should be formed, as well as integrate fragmented data through an information management system, and provide management decision-making services to hotels through visualization or analytics.

Secondly, these are digital technologies. Digital technology refers to provision of hotel operation and management services through application of digital Internet technologies, big data and computer software systems.

Hotels are businesses that mainly provide services, with intangible services accounting for a relatively large share. Whether it is front desk, rooms, catering services or recreational services, most important feature is that customers are involved in entire service process. production of these service products, not maintenance personnel to complete production of these products alone, which is different from manufacturing enterprises. For example, when a customer goes to a restaurant to eat, from how he leads customer to place, to leaving after customer has finished eating, entire process of service is reflected in order, pouring tea, serving, closing and invoicing, etc. and is completed by service personnel and customers together from start to finish. It is this characteristic that causes certain differences in attributes of various service products in hotel, hence first line departments, such as front office, marketing, guest room, catering, recreation, etc., which directly serve customers. , as well as creation of engineering, security and personnel departments, finance and other minor security departments.

When applying digital technologies, each department should have an information management system suitable for work needs, such as front desk PMS, revenue management department RMS, marketing department CRS, food management, financial management and human resources HRM, etc. Information management system. In addition, marketing and revenue management also requires big data analytics tools from online distribution systems such as OTA for accurate marketing and flexible pricing. From this it can be seen that work with digital technologies cannot be completed only by hotel itself, in order to carry out this work, it is necessary to cooperate with manufacturer of information system based on creation of an information technology department. For hotel groups, there is usually an information technology management department and a CIO position that has a certain operational basis, but for individual hotels, due to weak information technology management basis, it is necessary to complete digital work. there is still a long way to go and it needs to be implemented step by step.

Again, digital collaborationquality. Digital collaboration refers to how to effectively connect information management systems of different departments of a hotel and form a cohesive whole.

Digital Collaboration is designed to connect different departments and products of a hotel in two dimensions in order to streamline workflow, reduce costs and increase work efficiency. The complexity of this work lies not in level of systemic technological communication between departments and products, but in coordination of work between people in different positions through digital communication channels. How to break original, established traditional management model and ensure coordination of digital operations across different departments is a key issue that needs to be addressed. For example, digital information system will check number of maintenance personnel and reasonable time to clean each room according to number of hotel rooms and size of room, so as to reduce labor costs through labor optimization; when customers report to service center for repair. After air conditioner stops cooling, system will respond quickly, requiring engineering staff to arrive at room at specified time and start maintenance, etc., all this requires hotel staff to adapt to new conditions. technical control mode.

Finally, there is digital organization. The digital organization refers to group of hotels or top management organization of hotel for this work, which should be established in implementation of digital work strategy.

For hotel groups, this organization may be digital operations management department established by group, or it may be information technology management department, while in individual hotels, general manager must lead creation of digital operations group, with various departments Consist of responsible persons to promote development of digital operations. At same time, an information management department or post should be established, staffed with professionals responsible for technology and coordination of digital operations.

Digital work of hotel is inseparable from professionals

To achieve digital operations in hotels, it is necessary to develop digital talent. In early 2021, Ministry of Education updated original specialty of hotel management and renamed it "Hotel Management and Digital Operations" in latest vocational college admissions catalog, indicating that as human society enters digital age, hotel operations will also face challenges. With transition to digitalization, cultivating and reserving digital talent will be key to advancing digital transformation. The digital talents mentioned here do not refer to information technology professionals, but to staff in various roles in hotel related to digital operations inthe future. These personnel must be proficient in principles and methods of digital work in their positions, both in theory and in practice, as well as possess appropriate information management system to carry out work.

From a certain point of view, expansion of digital operations in hospitality management industry also hopes that hospitality management specialty will develop more versatile talents that meet demands of times. In past, students studying hotel management learned mostly humanities and rarely came into contact with scientific knowledge. The Digital Operations proposal requires students to learn certain scientific knowledge while studying liberal arts so that they can be competent in data analysis and integrate with digital operations.

In short, main problem that hotels face when implementing digital operations is lack of digital specialists. If this problem is not effectively addressed, it will become a bottleneck limiting transition of hotels to digital operations. However, with advent of hospitality management and digital operations majors in top professional colleges in my country, more digital professionals for hospitality industry will be just around corner.