Our year, our findings, our vision

So far in my life, each time I said “last year was amazing”, it was a bit on the exaggerated side. But for 2017, this doesn’t hold true. Last year, we had entered over 10 new countries and reached almost 30.000 hotel rooms, thus tripling in size and scope. With the scale came the knowledge that led us to discover new challenges of our segment and the hotel industry as a whole. 2017 also brought some astonishing tech innovations, and I’ll be thrilled to experience the possibilities they will bring along in the not so distant future.

I have learned two significant things in the past year: 1. There is a particular set of challenges that all hotels in the world struggle with and 2. New technologies are arising, with the capacity to completely change hotel management and aiding us in overcoming these challenges. Being a hospitality enthusiast, I have a strong vision of how tech innovations could erase some of the most fundamental challenges our industry is struggling with here and now. Let me list a few examples.

Lack of staff

There are many reasons why we have challenges with staffing in hospitality and two of the most common are certainly low salaries and a lack of respect for individual positions, e.g. housekeeping. But there is also the rigidness in staffing management. It is so hard to find new employees and even harder to hire them flexibly, adhering to hotels’ naturally varying needs due to seasonality and constant changes in occupancy. An answer to those challenges might lay in front of our eyes, in concepts that we already know – social networking platforms, sharing economy, robots, and even blockchain.

Language barrier

This is an easy one, and Google seems well on its way to solving these barriers. Many of you might already be using Google’s translations mechanisms, but I am not sure if you’re aware of how close they are to understanding the natural forms of human conversations; highly accurate content is replacing clumsy translations without meaning.

Additionally, you can now speak to your phone, computer or some other device, and your words get instantly translated into the desired language. In the over-proportionally international hospitality industry, such new developments in communications technologies hold true relevance: imagine, in a year or two, you will be conversing with guests and co-workers with no language barrier whatsoever.

Creating amazing Guest experiences

Despite being tricky, this one also requires the most exciting technologies. In our daily routine, technology is becoming dominant and personal data are being collected on every corner. Thus, it will soon be possible to know basically everything about an individual coming to stay at your hotel. On my next visit, you’ll be aware of all my personal preferences, kinks and particularities, and prepare the room, along with additional offers, tailored to my liking.

Let us not forget about communication, and this one is outstanding: think about messaging apps, voice assistants like Siri or Alexa, augmented and virtual reality technology, drones and many others, all of them creating extraordinary opportunities to communicate and experience things in entirely new ways. A combination of all the information obtained from individuals and innovative ways of experiencing and interacting can seem scary. Nevertheless, I am completely excited about all the convenience and astonishing travel experience opportunities that new technologies are preparing for us.

Technology as a fundamental for a hotel’s future success

Technology has become one of the pillars of our lives. As such, it is also becoming one of the pillars of hospitality. Investing in technology innovations is now key to get or to maintain a competitive advantage. Those who will not adapt to a strategy that includes technology innovations are looking to fall behind their competitors in the future, and that is a certainty.

All of the above and a lot more will equally influence hotel operations. Beside combining exciting new technologies (voice assistants, machine learning, robots etc.) with a cutting-edge hotel operations app, our vision goes beyond that; it aims for profound knowledge and understanding of guests on the one side, and hotel operations on the other. I am sure that poor guest experiences often arise from the mistakes that we make in operations. Hence, the more we will understand operations, the better we can avoid any service errors and achieve the highest possible guest service quality. And that is, next to vesting technology innovations, the second base guideline that will shape our product’s future.

We have a big announcement to make…

On the wings of success and empowered by an enormous vision, we’ve decided that in 2018, it is time to take our team and our product even higher, to the position of a worldwide, renowned brand and product that we are building. To be able to do so, we have decided to follow the only constant in life, which is change. Therefore, while staying the same great team with this enormous vision, we now have an even bigger name – Flexkeeping, the future hotel Housekeeping and Operations App.

Stay tuned; we will have a lot of exciting content and news to share this year!

Luka & the Flex Team