The hospitality industry covers services that range from lodging, restaurants, event planning, transportation, to sports activities. The larger the property, the more complex and challenging the infrastructure. In addition, more and more companies in the hospitality sector are increasing their staff and the number of countries they are operating in.
Outdated practices such as using manual processes based on spreadsheets make it difficult to access data for business decisions and impedes communication in a workforce known for its high turnover rate. Right now the hospitality industry is seeing a transition from using manual processes based on spreadsheets to the use of an intranet.
The purpose of an intranet is to become more paperless while solidifying one’s knowledge base in order to increase productivity. Microsoft SharePoint can be leveraged to construct an intranet, build a communication hub for remote employees, design business collaboration processes with efficient workflows and easy access to data stored in a new warehouse powered by Microsoft SQL Server 2013.
Benefits of an intranet for the hospitality industry include:
- Having information, knowledge, experience and events all easily shared and accessed
- Different properties and various staff have access to beneficial information
- Staff can learn from one another, display collected data and access centralized activities regardless of their geographic location
Essentially there is no room for the hording of information or people not being in the “know.” Other benefits include:
- Improved business insight through consolidated data access
- Automated business processes through workflows which deliver a significant increase in productivity improvements
- Increase in employee satisfaction by giving a sense of belonging and being part of a team
- Improved corporate communications and better business agility through the speed in which information can be updated and the response time to implement these changes
Ultimately Microsoft SharePoint provides a scalable platform for future growth. It streamlines workflows through the construction of a companywide collaboration framework. It is capable of delivering a large increase in improving productivity, enhanced business intelligence and eventually build a quantifiable platform for growth.
A well-known hotel chain has 130,000 employees in 82 countries. They use SharePoint as an important part of their tools for collaboration. Using My Sites, & Team Sites, they were able to create a Facebook like environment where information is shared and documents can be edited with people in other departments at the same time. They also integrated their Outlook with SharePoint and presence features of Office Communicator, now Microsoft Lync (IM, video and voice).
Other companies use SharePoint to streamline processes in operations. For example, if a large corporate group is coming to the hotel and they keep changing the times to their scheduled activities, then automatically there are four departments that are impacted: Reservations, Housekeeping, Catering and Sales. The old way of doing things included emailing a master document to the pertinent staff (or department), which they in turn fill out and email back. With SharePoint, the various departments will be able to work on the same document, at the same time. The final document ends up having more accurate information, in less time with a reduction in costs and resources. It also improves company branding and reputation.
Ultimately, an intranet reduces cost and helps businesses save significant time and money in the long run. It is a distinct competitive advantage that has the added benefit of increasing productivity and collaboration with your staff, from C-level executives to front desk workers. SharePoint 2013 is what the future of the workplace will look like.
What to Do Next
Many properties in hospitality fall short in similar areas and face similar challenges. They all can benefit from an effective data management strategy. If you would like to learn more on how your hotel can benefit from the use of an intranet, it is best to speak with a qualified and well established professional familiar with Microsoft SharePoint and its products.
Our team can help. We offer a variety of SharePoint solutions that are customized to your specific needs and processes. We make it our business to use the technology available to maximize your efficiency in serving clients while reducing the effort necessary to execute a project from your staff. Click here to contact us today