In the face of labor shortages, a strong hotel tech stack is critical to reducing staff workload.

Improving the employee experience, and maintaining the level of service modern hotel guests now expect.But, from your PMS to your guest management system to your energy-saving solutions, the tech stack itself can start to become problematic.

As Steve Davis, CEO of Operto, describes, “when you take a constructive look at your stack, you might find that your solutions are overlapping, or that you are paying for a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit in with your business.” You could also be losing time and money on solutions your staff find confusing and complex to operate.

In this article, we help you to build a streamlined tech stack, exploring which tools you need most, and how to integrate them so you can have clear and instant visibility across all your operations.   

Optimize your hotel operations with a one-stop tech solution—team management, guest communications, and automation all with Operto.

How to select your tech stack?

Optimizing your tech ecosystem isn’t just about looking for big robust solutions; it also means looking for little ways to save time and money without adding complexity or stress to your operations. Below, we look at what your key considerations should be. 

Use automation to take the pressure off staff

As Curtis Crimmins, Co-Founder of Roomza, said when we spoke to him, “Tech provides a solution to understaffing—a consistent bank of data, simplified processes, and reduced reliance on staff.”  

Automation allows you to:

  • Reduce errors 
  • Retain strong processes
  • Make training more impactful
  • Increase guest independence 
  • Improve the employee experience 

Avoid technology overload 

While integrating more tools can increase the functionality of your software, working with too many different systems can slow things down. As Steve Davis says, “Why would you have seven vendors when you could just have one? Why would you have seven tabs open on your computer when you can have just one?” 

Using one platform to manage your team, another piece of software to speak with guests, and another to view room occupancy takes a lot of time, and details like cancellations and last-minute requests can easily get lost along the way. These lengthy processes also only add to employee burnout.

Avoiding technology overload allows you to save time and increase profits. By understanding which tools you need and where two overlap in functionality, you can cut costs and reduce stress. With fewer tools to navigate, your team can deliver better performance and feel supported to make decisions more efficiently.   

Look for accessibility

Any tech solution you choose should be easy for your teams to use. Otherwise, they’ll revert to manual methods and former inefficient processes during busy periods and times of stress. 

As Hotel Operations Manager Rut Morales Archs points out, front desk staff are likely to move away from tech that seems to “take them away from guests” rather than bridging the gap. 

For example, if inefficient scanning software causes your team to spend too much time processing documents and not enough preparing and welcoming people for their stay, they might end up cutting corners and avoiding managing that documentation.

As well as implementing training on new solutions, be sure to get feedback on what your team thinks of your current tools and processes. In a tech audit, you can ask questions like:

  • How easy is X piece of software to use?
  • How quickly can you complete Y by using X?
  • In what ways does X hold you back? 
  • Is X missing any functionality that would make your job easier?
  • What features don’t you use much? Why not?

What types of tools do you need to use?

Every hotel tech stack needs to include a small number of key tools that reduce workload, streamline workflows, and enhance the guest experience. Here are some of the most important tech solutions you can use. 

Dynamic pricing tool

Before any guests have even arrived, technology can help you increase revenue. A dynamic pricing or revenue management tool will automatically change your room rates based on data about demand and availability. 

Let’s say there’s a local festival taking place in the third week of February. Your dynamic pricing tool will integrate with your PMS and channel manager to adjust your rates in response to the anticipated increased demand to maximize revenue.

Hospitality automation software for arrivals

Curtis talked extensively about issues at check-in, explaining how “​​a front desk might have had four people at it before. Now it has one person at it for a 500, 600 room hotel. People are waiting in line 45 minutes to an hour to check in and burnout is real among teams.” 

Using automation in guest arrival will save your front desk time and stress, and give guests the independence they want. With contactless technology, they can check in from their mobile phones pre-arrival. 

And adoption of this solution is increasingly common—for example, Operto now powers the Digital Key program at Accor Hotels. Here’s how it works:

  1. Guests receive a booking confirmation email containing a link to a branded web app
  2. This shares an automatically generated access code or mobile key
  3. The guest checks in via the web app and their ID is verified
  4. The access code or mobile key is activated
  5. Guests can now enjoy no-touch arrival and room access
Image of mobile key on the Operto Guest app
Give your guests independence with a mobile key that allows them to check themselves in

Pro tip: You can upgrade your existing locks without replacing them using Operto Boost. We install smart chips that integrate with our keyless access software to save you $1000s on hardware and installation. Now you can become a tech-enabled operation, verify guests pre-arrival, and streamline your staffing.

Task scheduling and team communication

Save time, reduce errors, and tighten operational processes with a team communication and task organization solution. Along with optimizing daily processes, you can create a robust system for impromptu tasks and emergencies. For example, if your cleaner notices a broken lamp, they can report this in an app that flags the issue for maintenance.

Operto Teams, which provides automated task scheduling and a communications dashboard for staff and management, can tell you and your team at a glance: 

  • Which team members have availability
  • Where guests have checked out early
  • Details about special events taking place
  • Where there are urgencies like maintenance issues or last-minute requests
  • Route optimization according to your hotel plan, check-in/out times, and average turnover times
Use short-term rental operations software like Operto Teams to manage your calendar efficiently and reduce dependency on staff
Easily view team member’s capacity and assign tasks with Operto Teams.

Pro tip: With Operto Team’s integrations, you can reduce your team’s workload even further. Using your front office to handle lost property adds to their workload and costs you money. With our Bounte integration your guests can organize the delivery of their own lost items.

Finance and accounting

As John Ryan, owner and managing director of The Ardilaun Hotel, explained during our conversation, “Big group hotels drive technology, and for smaller ones to compete, they need to assume similar levels of operational and financial efficiency.” 

A strong accounting and finance tool allows you to monitor income and expenses, produce basic financial reports, and manage revenue. Also, you can utilize a platform that integrates with accounting software to speed up processes and minimize human error.

For example, you can use a tool like Operto Teams to track staff hours and work down, and, since it integrates with Quickbooks and Stripe, you can manage payroll with minimal manual work, as well as run reports with just a few clicks that will tell you average cleaning times and even color-code who’s working too fast or too slow.

So, you can use team management software to not only handle staff clock-ins and payments, but also provide you with key operational insights. 

Guest experience software

Rut talked to us about the challenges facing a short-staffed front desk: “First, it’s the guest in front of you. Next, phone duties. Also, you need to be on top of email… It’s not easy.” 

Both your front desk and your guests are crying out for a smarter process—one that ensures quality service for guests and reduces the workload for your front office team. Guest experience tools make this possible.

Here are some ways the guest experience platform Operto Guest gives your guests independence and a better stay: 

  • Branded guidebooks provide information about the local area and amenities
  • Smart buttons direct to local services for your guest to explore (also making upselling easier for your team
  • Two-way communication helps you quickly take care of issues and allows guests to give feedback without visiting the front desk 

You also need an equally simple solution for your management team that provides a 360-degree view of your operations, streamlines their communication, and facilitates their decision-making. We look at this next.

What does a well-integrated hotel tech stack look like?

“The best way to ensure that the complexities of enhanced technology work for your hotel is by implementing an automated, integrated hotel tech stack,” says Steve. 

And it’s true—to save money and ensure efficiency, it’s critical you know exactly what functionality you have, that your tools don’t overlap in their features, and that your teams have clear, repeatable processes to follow.

Operto brings these elements together into one platform, with an intuitively simple dashboard that provides instant information across your operations. Managers can easily notice and flag issues with the team, see reporting in real-time, and centralize all their guest communications.  

Screenshot of Operto guest messaging.
You can bring your guest management and communications into the all-in-one dashboard with Operto Connect.

With Operto Connect bringing all your tools into the all-in-one Manager Dashboard, you can take one look and know exactly what’s going on in your business. Inside the dashboard, you’ll see:

  • Bookings from your PMS
  • Data on room occupancy and status
  • Team notifications 
  • Guest communications 
  • Live updates on all integrations (including noise monitoring, temperature status and payment information)

Becoming efficient with an integrated tech stack 

Across the hotel industry, technology has a key role to play in taking the pressure off teams and optimizing operations. An effective suite of automated solutions will create autonomous guests and free up staff to ensure a great experience for your team and customers. 

Your tech stack should include: 

  • Dynamic pricing software
  • Check-in automation
  • Team collaboration software
  • Finance and accounting tools
  • Guest experience solutions

And yet no matter which tools you incorporate, the key is to maintain control over each of these solutions within a dashboard that connects them all together. Integrating those solutions allows you to meet modern guest expectations while saving time, cutting costs, and reducing stress for your team.