Going fully digital in your hotel is a big challenge and requires some preparation in order to make it work. To get started, the best is to digitising a few “smaller” processes. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.
Change mindsets from the top
- Everyone must know why
This is arguably the most important step, because if people do not believe that digitising is better for the organisation, then implementing it will be difficult. Make the benefits clear to all employees, starting from the top. Leaders must be enthusiastic for change and act as a driving force for it. Inertia is a common human trait: everyone is comfortable doing what they have done for many years. Why would they want to change? Give them a meaningful reason: why and how will it help them? Time spent teaching all the benefits early on will save time later trying to convince half-hearted people.
- Digital Champions
As well as leaders driving the digital message, identify a digital champion in each department. These are people who already show an interest in innovation, do not require much encouragement and may have already implemented some form of digitalisation on a smaller scale. They are keen to learn how to use the new tools and teach others how to do it. Employees may have questions and get stuck at the beginning. A champion to hold their hands and guide them will make the transformation much easier.
- Be Inclusive
Engaging with all employees to get their feedback and ideas can bring a sense of responsibility and ownership of change. No one knows their jobs better than your staff. They can see obstacles and opportunities to help design strategy. Dispel any belief that this change will only affect the IT department. Digital transformation is for everyone’s benefit and embracing it is key to its success.
- Be Agile
By changing the mindsets within a company, it helps employees to adapt and to accept changes quickly. Business agility is crucial in an ever-changing competitive market.
Set your digital strategy
- Start with a clean sheet
Digitising is a great opportunity to re-think your ways of working. Taking an old process and simply making it digital is a wasted opportunity! Do not be afraid to rethink goals, how to achieve them and even cancel current projects which do not align with your new digital strategy.
- Acquire the right tools and expertise
Investment in software, hardware and people is required to implement your digital strategy. Do you have the time and resources to build an in-house tool? Will implementation take months, with hefty consultant fees and internal teams’ time? Do you need new equipment like scanners, or to hire staff with different experiences? Is it better to engage with a software company who have the tools and expertise at hand?
- Company structure and workflow
Processes will change, particularly with approval tasks. This is about making processes more efficient, not copying traditional processes into a digital format. Trying to stick rigidly to company hierarchy is not a good way to design a digital strategy. Management must be flexible and open to new ideas.
- Security & Access
Going digital and uploading documents onto a cloud-based system is a great way to give users accessibility and enable collaboration. It is also a risk, if security is not taken seriously. Be sure that the cloud-based solution meets stringent security standards like ISO 27001 accreditation. Plan to limit user access to only what is deemed necessary: determine the sensitivity of all document types and grant viewing/editing rights based on job roles, departments and locations.
- Determine KPIs
Key Performance Indicators are crucial in evaluating the success of the digital strategy. Know where the organisation is before and after implementation. Set realistic targets and assess how and why the teams are performing.
Create pilot projects: start small, then expand
- Reduce risk
Rolling out big changes across a whole organisation is risky business. Take time in perfecting your strategy in one or two properties before the big push. Even with the right digital experts in your team, it is wise to test the waters with a pilot first. At DocMX, we always get started with a Proof of Concept before full rollout.
- Analyse & learn
Use the KPIs but do not rely on them alone. Engage with the team and ask for their feedback. Do not forget the mindset challenge. If the pilot team did not become a proponent of the new digital strategy, then resolve it before expanding further.
How can DocMX help digitise your hotel?
DocMX provides a technology specifically designed to enable hotels to digitise their back office. Our experience makes the transformation process less daunting. We provide high levels of security with ISO 27001 accreditation and latest Cloud technology, to give you peace of mind.
Read our customer success stories to learn how we have helped hotels embrace technology and given them a competitive edge.