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Driving Empirical ROI in Hospitality via IoT

Driving Empirical ROI in Hospitality via IoT

In order to meet modern guest and employee demands, hotels require data-backed IoT solutions that operate like they do: 24/7, 365. The results manifest in productivity, cost savings, enhanced employee and guest satisfaction, and beyond.

For hoteliers, success is synonymous with the pace of innovation. According to PKF Consulting, as of June 2020, the average US hotel operates at an ~18% profit margin, which is quite low compared to nearly every other industry. Modernizing and optimizing hospitality ecosystems via sustainable technology is critical for fortifying the guest experience, achieving cost savings, and future-proofing the overall business. 

While many avenues are available for digital transformation, the best route involves simplicity, speed to market, affordability, and scalability to maximize investment value and ROI – all achievable via Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. McKinsey indicates the number of businesses using IoT technologies has increased to about 25 percent as of 2019. The same report states the worldwide number of IoT-connected devices is projected to increase to 43 billion by 2023, an almost threefold increase from 2018. For a more tangible perspective of IoT in action and its applications in hotel ecosystems, four use cases are outlined below. 

Streamline Guest & Employee Experiences via Automation

For a hotel’s sustainable success, two pivotal components must be in place: guest and employee satisfaction. Yet, doing more with less, now the “norm” for most industries, poses complications and limitations to delivering rich, rewarding experiences that enhance a hotel’s overall brand. IoT can solve this – with a recent report indicating the global smart hospitality market growing at a CAGR of 22 percent, with its valuation of $37 billion in 2023 expected to grow to a staggering $273 billion by the end of 2033. That’s because with IoT, hotels can automate and streamline routine processes while ensuring comfortability, simplicity, and cleanliness, among a wealth of other benefits. 

For employees, automation solves for routine, mundane tasks and helps optimize their daily workloads. For example, automated temperature monitoring and logging saves substantial time in food preparation areas, which should be used for prioritizing guests. Rather than manually checking refrigerators, freezers, and warming stations periodically, IoT-enabled sensors automatically monitor for optimal levels 24/7 – enabling adequate conditions for perishables. If temperatures deviate from the norms, alerts are sent from the monitoring system for managers to take swift, corrective action. This streamlines workflows and enhances food safety and compliance protocols while maximizing productivity for staff facing shortages. 

Further, the overall climate can be monitored similarly within rooms with sensor-enabled air quality monitoring continuously and autonomously.  This also helps housekeeping staff, where room occupancy data infers when units are ready to be serviced. The same applies to utility management – again, showcasing IoT’s massive value to all inhabitants of a hotel’s ecosystem.  

Achieve Cost Savings via Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring poses immense value for hoteliers as it enables a proactive rather than reactive approach to risk mitigation, enabling huge cost savings. It also enhances the guest experience, while enabling energy reduction and management, pivotal for reducing operational overhead. It helps hoteliers meet Environmental, Social, and Governance goals, or ESG, to promote sustainability by reducing energy consumption, waste, and lowering pollution. This is good for both the planet and the business, with one report stating that when choosing between hotel venues, more than 60% of event planners surveyed said environmental sustainability and social responsibility are key considerations in making a selection. 

What’s more, hotel properties are large, complex, multipurpose facilities extending far beyond guestrooms. Whether in kitchens, conference rooms, gyms, lobbies, restrooms, or other areas, the ability to detect water leaks immediately prevents costly repercussions – mitigating substantial risk for hotel operators. This proves even more valuable in less-frequented, non-guest spaces, like storage areas, boiler rooms, utility closets, or basements, for example, where potential leaks may go unnoticed until serious damages have occurred. With IoT solutions, leaks from pipes or faulty equipment can be identified in real-time, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages or more, and again, promoting ESG goals. This also helps protect the invaluable hotel brand by avoiding disruptions to guest stays.

With IoT-powered asset tracking and management capabilities, further savings can be achieved with data-backed transparency into equipment, supplies, and assets. Hotels have massive inventories beyond bedding, bath towels, and toiletries. Every single item in a hotel, from luggage carts, to rollaway beds, and cribs must be accounted for before – and after – guests visit. A kitchen must be fully stocked, along with business areas, gyms, spas, and recreational areas, and given the massive span of hotels, when items go “missing,” substantial time can be wasted trying to find what should be readily available. Having real-time visibility into asset location maximizes utilization, enhances staff productivity, informs purchasing decisions, and saves on overhead by eliminating the need to repurchase misplaced items.    

Ensure Cleanliness and Operational Efficiencies 

With more people traveling in the endemic, ensuring cleanliness is pivotal to operations. IoT solutions help monitor, measure, and assess indoor air quality via sensors that take readings of air particulate matter, temperature, and humidity levels to keep building and facility managers informed of correctly operating equipment. If air quality fails to meet predetermined standards, management is informed via sensor-based alerts to remediate this issue. Predictive maintenance is streamlined by alerting staff of faulty and/or malfunctioning HVAC units, or notifications indicating that air filters need replacing, for example. With these systems in place, the hotel brand’s reputation is bolstered, and guests can take confidence in the quality of their stay.  

Moreover, smart restrooms ensure cleanliness, improve hygiene, and drive custodial efficiency in several ways. By identifying optimal cleaning, restocking, and/or repairs, the staff is alerted to handle whatever is needed immediately. And in an industry expected to struggle with staffing shortages until 2025, smart restrooms should be top-of-mind to maximize resources, efficiencies, and productivity. Connected dispensers make life easier for guests and staff alike by automating paper towel, toilet paper, soap, and sanitizer distributions. Connected flush valves and faucets offer modernization and efficiencies to meet the quality standards that guests demand, while also helping to reduce water consumption. With remote and automatic shutoff valves, guest feedback buttons, and room/stall occupancy indicators – all powered by IoT – connected restrooms ensure that cleanliness is streamlined and delivered without interruption.

Enhance Safety Protocols and Employee Retention

When it comes to employee safety, there are mounting regulatory pressures on hoteliers to advance the protection of staff. In many cases, cities and states across the US now require employers to equip staff with a rapid response solution. Powered by IoT, a wearable push button equips employees with the ability to discretely signal the need for assistance when triggered. 

Security staff is immediately notified and provided with the employee’s exact location for quick dispatch and resolution. This enables faster emergency response times, improved safety, and increased staff satisfaction and retention – and given the average turnover rate in hospitality was 84.9% compared to overall national rate of 47.2% as of 2021, hotels have an urgent need to retain every staff member they have. 

Modernize and Enhance Operations with Smart, Connected Hotels

MachineQ, a Comcast Company, delivers quick-to-market, affordable IoT solutions to enhance employee workflows, drive guest satisfaction, reduce costs, and promote staff safety. Contact us today to learn how to get started. 

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