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Choosing Your Hotel's Software:
Aim for No Fuss, Less Bloat, and Higher Value Hospitality Software

By Greg Schlosser
November 2010

With my Hotel IT and Operations back-ground, I was lucky enough to experience software from a user stand point and from an IT stand point. We all know that sometimes what IT sees as a great solution, is often times unrealistic for the end users.

As a hotelier we are always trying to find ways to better communicate with our team so that the ‘guest experience’ is an exceptional one.  Getting it just right for a guest could mean brand loyalty for life, but conversely a subpar experience can leave a hotel wondering what  went wrong.

It’s all about consistency of service and there are many other tools in the market that claim to help keep staff on task.

We have seen many hotel software solutions out there that can do 200 different things to try and help improve service levels but they all mostly fall short for one simple reason… they’re not “simple”. When a software system is over-engineered and completely cumbersome with a price tag that matches, the solution loses its focus.   Anything can look easy in a powerpoint presented by a guy in a suit who flew around the globe to make the sales pitch.  Everyone in the room is dazzled with the ROI numbers, the 1000 ways to run a report,  and tales of customer satisfaction surveys breaking through the roof!

But here is what happens next…. first the e-mail cyclone trying to schedule an installation date, and then the reality check that the hotel will need to pull staff from the front desk, housekeeping, concierge for a multi-day training course.  Not just staff away from guests, but a great deal of management time is reallocated from managing the hotel to managing the success of the roll-out. Next is training week for the line staff and let’s be realistic here.. how enthusiastic is a veteran bellman or housekeeper going to feel about being forced to employ complex new technology to accomplish the same job that they have done for 20 years without it?  Consider remote devices, cumbersome log ins, and techie data entry just to request a roll a way bed be sent to a room or luggage to be retrieved.

What ends up happening with these solutions is hotels end up paying an enormous amount of money for a system that they are using at about 5-10% maximum capability.  What is worst is that once a major investment is made in a system, it is not to anyone's advantage to admit that they are not using it to full capacity (or using it at all in many cases).  Hospitality staff turnover is generally high and the training and re-training that takes place with a complex system generally loses momentum. 
The bottom line is you want to find a system that is extremely easy to use and implement. Forget all the bells and whistles and choose something that is going to do the essentials and that everyone is going to use fully and understand. If you do that, then you are surely going to have a successful product that will truly improve your services and help keep that consistency level that we all strive for as hoteliers.

It is absolutely all about SIMPLICITY, EASE OF USE, and AFFORDABILITY!

About Greg Scholsser:
Greg Schlosser, founder of ChatPrint, has extensive (approximately 14 years) experience in hotel operations, management, and IT. He started his professional career with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts which led him to multiple properties and various Management positions. In his last eight years with Four Seasons, he was the Director of Information Technology in which he received the honorary award of Manager of the Year at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. With his Operations and Technology background, he realized that there was a need for a simple to use product that provided instant communications between hotel departments but that also had a familiar feel for the end users.

Founded in 2007 and based in Santa Barbara, CA., ChatPrint Hospitality Messaging Solutions is a software company focused on instant internal communications within the hospitality industry. With over 13 years of experience in Hotel Operations and Information Technology within a luxury brand, ChatPrint was developed and designed specifically to address the needs and deficiencies that were identified throughout our hotel experience.ChatPrint is currently installed in 18 hotels worldwide, locations include France, Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, and Bali. Fitting with the theme of the product's simplicity and ease of use ChatPrint is remotely installed and remotely trained.

Greg Schlosser



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