OpsBase provide innovative, customer focused software for the hospitality industry, and businesses should embrace technology, simply to make their operations (and ultimately – their lives) easier – so why am I saying that it is not the solution to all operational woes??
When I started work, many moons ago, we had one computer with email servicing the entire company. Floppy disks (once the pinnacle of technology, now museum-worthy) were sent via snail mail, but once or twice a week we’d receive files via email. Within a year we’d stopped using freelancers and suppliers that relied on Royal Mail to send digital files – email sped up the process by up to 6 days!
Thus began the technology revolution, which I was lucky enough to grow up in as a working adult.
What I witnessed then, and what I still, sadly, see today is a digitising of paper processes. This is technology use at its worst – and if you’re thinking of using software within your hospitality business, it is a trap that I hope to help you avoid.
Properly implemented technology has the potential to transform your business.
A good proportion of hospitality businesses still rely on paper-based systems to manage their day-to-day operations, and with good reason… they’re quick to use, simple to understand and most employees will not need training on how to use a pen and paper…
As the owner or manager of a hospitality business, paper-based systems are seriously impeding you.
Maybe it all feels manageable when you’re running a site or two (although, without digital business insights, improving your margins and expanding may be tricky). But once you get to three, four, five sites and beyond, where you can’t visit each site every day, you may find yourself lying awake at night worrying. Are all of your regulatory processes are being followed? Are your staff are performing to expectations? How can you have complete visibility of your entire empire whilst getting at least a few hours rest?
There are many software solutions available on the market today that claim to be able to help you solve these problems – but be warned… do not fall into the trap of digitising your paper-based processes. Turning paper checklists into electronic checklists is not going to help.
Intelligent use of software has the potential to revolutionise your business and your life.
That’s a bold claim, so let me back it up – starting with a hard truth… it begins with good processes.
Good processes are the foundation of your business. Software will help you lock them in place, then leverage operational excellence making you more efficient and more intelligent. Assuming that you already follow good processes, what should you be looking for when evaluating different software solutions, and specifically how should they be used to revolutionise your life?
I mentioned that you didn’t need to train your staff on how to use a paper and pen. You shouldn’t need to train your staff on how to use your chosen software solution. Most of your staff probably belong to the iPad generation, so any new software should be completely intuitive for them to use – no training required. One day they’re using pen and paper, then next they’re prodding happily at an iPad screen… for them, it should be a seamless and welcome transition.
For you as the owner/manager, there are several things that you’ll want. Keeping it simple, at a high level:
- Immediate alerts when something critical goes wrong
- Visibility that non-critical issues are being actively managed
- Daily summary reports showing that everything that was supposed to be done, has been done.
These basics will help you to sleep more easily at night, knowing what is going on across multiple sites, with real-time alerts of ‘fires’ you need to act on, confident that everything else is being taken care of and nothing is slipping through the cracks.
When evaluating different systems be sure to ask:
- Does it have a native app? Without a native app, real-time alerts aren’t possible. Instead, you’ll likely have to actively check your email or SMS (the management of issues begins to take place outside of the system).
- Does the information come directly to me? You don’t want to rely on having to find an internet-connected computer to log in and see what’s going on. Instead, the information should come to you, wherever you are.
When you go beyond the basics, you start to leverage business intelligence. This will allow you to improve brand standards, efficiency and ultimately your profit margin.
Simple, pre-built reports will enable you to compare the performance of your sites, teams and individual staff members. This insight will enable you to concentrate your efforts where they are most needed. When evaluating different systems be sure to ask to see their comparison reports.
Advanced reporting will highlight trends, which means you no longer deal with absolute numbers (i.e. this site is performing well with X score) but start to stratagise for the future. You can see, for example, a score deteriorating over time. You have the power to look back, establish the cause and take corrective action before it becomes a problem. Another example would be fridge and freezer temperatures that are trending in the wrong direction, alerting you to the fact they need a service/re-gassing before you have an emergency on your hands. When evaluating different systems be sure to ask to see their ‘trending over time’ reports, which are critical for businesses wanting to grow.
As you can see, software itself isn’t the silver bullet to quash your operational nightmares – well-implemented technology built upon good processes has the power to be transformative.
There’s just one more magic ingredient that I’ve not yet mentioned, and that’s your support team. Pay careful attention to who you’re buying your software from. You know your business inside-out, but do they? What you want is a friendly team of people that know your industry and how to help you get the most value from your software investment. The right people will make it quick and easy for you to get going, and they’ll keep working with you every step of the way because they understand that your success is their success.
Head of Client Services
Mark lives and breathes customer journey and success, having championed end-users in startups for over 15 years. A co-founder and tech enabler for businesses small and large, his expertise ranges from product development, to automation, to customer service excellence.
As Head of OpsBase Client Services, he’s the perfect go-to to find out how to make your day-to-day operational challenges a thing of the past.
Daily task management, issue resolution and team communications, all from one platform.
OpsBase software is designed for busy restaurants bars, hotels and retailers. Manage your day-to-day operations on the move, report any issues with the click of a button, and communicate with your whole team, across multiple sites, all from one easy to set-up, simple to use app.