The hospitality industry was hit hard by the COVID pandemic. Due to the government-imposed restrictions and lock-downs, establishments such as restaurants, hotels, spas, etc., were forced to close their doors down. This put a tremendous economic strain on the sector, and many businesses were forced to close down completely or cut back on their staff substantially.
According to stats, the economic output of the hospitality sector in the U.K. in 2020 was 42% lower than the pandemic numbers. It was a significant drop for an industry that employs so many people. And as the world opened up in 2021 again, business owners were looking for ways to make up for the lost time. But one of the biggest challenges in front of them was attracting customers again. And to do that, they looked towards digital transformation.
According to a study conducted by Skift & Oracle, 75% of hospitality executives agree that the pandemic accelerated their adoption of new technology.
Businesses need to employ next-gen technologies such as Cloud, A.I., and IoT to run their businesses more smoothly and attract more customers. In the post-covid era, most hospitality businesses understand the value of a finely-tuned internal workflow where efficiency and productivity are the most important metrics. They know that they can no longer avoid digital transformation.
The hospitality business landscape has changed and is now intricately integrated with the technology sector. And in this post, we will see how hospitality businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and spas are using IoT to become smarter and more profitable.
- IoT can help hospitality businesses provide better customer experience to their clients.
- With the help of IoT, hotels and restaurants can automate their back office processes and increase workforce efficiency.
- IoT has various use-cases in the hospitality industry: IoT-based alert systems, hotel automation, Data analytics with AI, etc.
- You can develop various types of IoT solution for your hospitality business: Automated check-in kiosks, smart HVAC systems, cloud based hotel property management software, etc.
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IoT in Hospitality
IoT is a network of net-enabled devices communicating over a wired or a wireless internet connection, sharing data with each other and streaming it back to the servers in real-time. The data is then used to generate critical insights, monitor and manage devices, and build analytics reports. IoT also helps automate processes like data feeding to make the back office work easier and more streamlined. IoT implementation also leads to remote management. Thanks to properly installed IoT devices and sensors, hotel managers can remotely control lights, A.C., doors, etc., in any room in the hotel. This level of ease and flexibility can make the entire organization a lot more efficient.
For the hospitality sector, IoT can be a great tool. A typical hospitality IoT solutions can control the HVAC system, lights, doors, locks, security systems, etc.
IoT can help hotels and spas deliver better and more unique experiences to their customers. Furthermore, IoT implementation also benefits the market perception of your organization; it makes you stand out from the rest of your competition.
With the help of a properly integrated IoT management portal, hotels can optimize power consumption. For instance, using motion sensors, CCTV cameras, and room thermostats, managers can find the occupancy levels of a room. Based on his observation, the manager can control the lights, HVAC, and other such facilities in the room, thus cutting out excess power consumption.
IoT also enables hotels to provide more personalized experiences to their customers. By studying the real-time data, hotel A.I.s can learn what a particular patron likes and then adjust the amenities and hotel services to fit their desire.
IoT makes hotels, spas, casinos, etc., more efficient. Automation can help hospitality businesses cut out time and cost wastage and streamline their internal workflows. They also help increase the staff’s productivity and proper asset management.
Also Read: How AI is Benefiting in Asset Management?
Various Types of IoT implementation in Hotels
Simply saying IoT implementation isn’t enough. IoT is a complex technology with many layers and different levels of performance. For most businesses, including hospitality-oriented, there are three different types of IoT implementations.
1. IoT-based Alert Systems:
It is the simplest implementation of the bunch, and all it requires is IoT sensors, Wi-Fi, and a well-designed backend portal.
In a hotel, particularly big ones, many small notifications and alerts need to move around between various people. And this is where IoT alerts can be very beneficial.
For instance, the manager at the front desk who has a couple in front of him waiting eagerly for their room to be ready can get a notification from the room-keeping worker when the job is done. It eliminates the time it would have taken the worker to deliver the message to the manager personally, thus making the process a lot quicker.
Additionally, hotel guests can get notifications and alerts on their cell phones. Like when their table at the restaurant is ready.
2. Hotel Automation:
From data feeding and bookkeeping to automatic room cleaning requests, IoT can automate many processes. Modern HVAC systems are connected to motion sensors that detect the occupancy of any room. Localization modules allow smart HVAC systems to adjust according to the room’s specific requirements.
The real-time data collected by the IoT sensors and devices is used to accomplish smaller tasks. In recent years, we have seen the rise of a new type of IoT device—Edge devices. These devices are smart enough to make smaller decisions independently, thus eliminating the need for the server to intervene at every turn.
Motion sensor lighting systems and doors also fall into this IoT implementation category. Furthermore, with IoT, staff management and tracking become easier: daily attendance and work schedules can be tracked, and staff location can also be tracked using IoT tracking devices, etc.
Other menial tasks associated with hotel management can also be automated with IoT.
3. Data Analytics and A.I. Implementation:
With the help of advanced A.I. algorithms and data analytics modules, hotels can become more efficient. This is the most complex implementation of IoT in hospitality sector. It requires proper data management and secure storage, analysis, and action.
A powerful AI-based smart hotel management software goes through the real-time data being streamed by the IoT sensors. Based on certain parameters, it raises alarms whenever required. Additionally, A.I. can be used to study customer behavior and build better plans. In this day and age, when so many businesses are fighting to get customers’ attention, your business can really benefit from studying customer data to build better marketing tactics.
Employee data can also come in handy to build a more efficient workforce. Their attendance record, work logs, and other such data can be used to construct detailed employee reports based on which managers can find out ways to improve employee efficiency.
Top IoT Solutions for Hospitality Businesses
Now that we understand how IoT helps hotels, spas, and other such establishments, let’s look at some of the most useful IoT solutions you can employ.
1. Automated-Check In
The very foundation of hospitality IoT is making a hotel stay for your customers as smooth and hassle-free as possible. And this journey starts at the very beginning when they check into your hotel.
For big hotels, long check-in lines are not a new thing. Even after booking their rooms days in advance, guests often have to wait for hours to get their keys. This is unacceptable in the post-covid era.
Self-check-in kiosks are being used in many big hotels nowadays. Guests use these kiosks to check themselves in and get the keys to their rooms. The entire process is fully automated. And since most hotel lobbies have multiple such kiosks, long check-in queues are becoming a thing of the past.
2. Smart HVAC and IEQ Monitoring Solutions
Up until a couple of years ago, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) solutions were controlled centrally throughout the hotel. Yes, guests could adjust their room temperature personally, but what about the lobby and the other parts outside the rooms?
Centrally controlled HVAC systems were incredibly inefficient and power-hungry since they were governed by rules that applied to all parts of the hotel. So even if an area saw a relatively less crowd than the lobby, it still consumed the same amount of power.
But with smart HVAC, conditions can be controlled locally.
Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) solutions are more important than ever before in the post-covid era. Guests are very concerned about their health, and so hotels have to go to great lengths to make sure that they maintain a good environment inside the premises. To do that, these solutions do air quality checks, temperature checks, water checks, etc.
3. Hotel Management Software Solutions
With proper hardware implementation, you need a well-built hotel management software solution with integrated A.I. These software solutions allow managers to control all aspects of their hotel. Usually, a fully realized solution of this kind can give the managers all the details they need. They can access the real-time data being sent by the devices. And using data analysis algorithms, helpful charts and graphs populate the dashboard. A.I. can also help managers study customer behavior and staff habits. Managers can fine-tune the internal processes and provide better services with detail.
Nowadays, most hotels go for Cloud instead of setting up their own local servers. So with a cloud-based software of this kind, the possibilities are endless for hospitality businesses.
Staff and asset management also become a lot easier with a hotel management solution. With the help of tracking devices, managers can locate staff members quickly. Furthermore, thanks to cutting-edge A.I., managers can figure out how efficiently they are working or if there is a hurdle that needs to be overcome.
4. Smart Appliances and Devices
Hardware is the first piece of the IoT puzzle. Based on your requirement, you will require high-quality smart appliances. These devices are then integrated with the management software, giving managers the ability to control them remotely.
Some of the best examples of these devices are motion sensor lights, automatic doors, smart ACs, IoT-based mini-fridges, etc. Smart locks and face recognition can also be used to enhance the hotel’s security.
5. Customer Experience Enhancers
All the ways in which IoT can improve customer experience fall into this category. From wall-mounted screens in the rooms that let guests book a table at the hotel to key card integration, there are countless ways in which you can enhance customer experience.
How to Implement IoT in Hospitality?
There is no easy one-size-fits-all answer to this question. If you want to implement IoT in your business, you will first have to identify your needs and your pain points. You must remember that every business is different and has different needs. Therefore, it’s best if you opt for hospitality software development services.
Once you’ve figured out your needs and pain points, you must start looking for possible solutions. A great way to find answers is to look at your competitors and learn how they dealt with that problem. Another great way is to talk to an IoT expert who has experience implementing IoT for hospitality businesses. The expert will be able to build a custom IoT architectural design for your hotel. If you are serious about IoT implementation, you need to partner with an IoT development company. Implementing IoT in your hotel business is a big undertaking, and you will need a trusted and experienced partner who can guide you through this process.
It’s best if you don’t bring about a 360-degree change at once, though. It is smarter to implement IoT in stages. It allows the staff to get used to the new system, and it also allows you to learn from the previous mistakes.
IoT can help hospitality businesses become much more efficient, productive, and profitable. By automating all the menial tasks, managers improve the internal workflows of the business. IoT also helps hotels and other establishments provide better customer experiences to their guests. By streamlining their stay at their hotel, managers ensure good reviews and repeated business.
If you are looking for a team of talented and experienced IoT experts who can help you with your hotel IoT implementation project, then Matellio Inc is the right choice. We have 20+ years of industry experience and a team of highly dedicated and quality engineers, designers, and Q.A. experts. We follow the Agile development methodology and ensure project maximum transparency. Our development services are highly scalable and designed to fit every budget. From building new software solutions from the ground up to upgrading legacy software and migrating them to the Cloud, we offer a slew of software development services that can help you transform your business.
If you want to learn more about our IoT development services, contact us today!
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