Why can’t hotel check-in be like airline check-in?

A recent article in the Globe and Mail discussed how some hotel chains are beginning to use apps and kiosks to check guests in, so those guests can bypass the front desk.

Here are some musings on that idea:

  • Airlines are already doing this by allowing passengers to check-in online the day before their flight and use electronic boarding passes, so the technology already exists. The unknown factor is whether guests want to bypass the front desk.
  • Disney Hotels uses floating staff with iPads to check guests in, thus providing a person to speak with, but avoiding check in lines. They actually check you in while you are unloading your baggage so there is virtually no waiting from the time you arrive at the hotel to the time you have your key.
  • Hotels want to be careful about how hard they push this idea out to customers as checking in at the front desk provides them an opportunity to engage with their guests. If they lose that opportunity, they will need to find a different way of engaging. Maybe a quick phone call or visit 30 minutes after the guest arrives.
  • Offering a choice lets the guest decide, so it doesn’t mean removing the front desk altogether.
  • The online check-in or kiosk would seem to be attractive to business travelers or guests arriving late who just want to get to their room and don’t need the live interaction when they check-in.
  • Like any other technology option, success will be in how it is rolled out and executed, not the technology itself.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 27, 2014
We throw around catch phrases and use words like engagement, ambassador, and experience when we talk about customers, but what we really need to do is offer them something of value. We need to talk with customers, we need to anticipate what they need, and we need to develop a product or service that can meet that need.
 
It can actually be quite a simple process. Start with the value that you can offer, determine who would most benefit from that value, and then identify the most effective method for delivering that value. This can only happen when you know what your strengths are and understand what your customers value. You don’t need a survey or focus groups for that, just a few interesting conversations.
 
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Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Even McDonald’s Can Fall Prey to Poor Product Expansion

McDonald’s has always been an iconic company not only for its brand, but also the way it operates. Recently, McDonald’s has expanded its menu based on the different tastes of its customers. But it may have fallen prey to its desire to expand its customer base. Service has become slower, customers are more frustrated, and sales are not going up.

McDonald’s quickly realized that they changed the menu without changing the way they operate. It shows us that even the best companies in the world can make mistakes. But, as great companies do, McDonald’s has identified the issue and is taking steps to remedy it.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 20, 2014
In football, sometimes the quarterback needs to change the offensive play at the last minute. This is known as ‘calling an audible at the line of scrimmage.’ The quarterback sees the way the defense is playing him and makes a last minute decision to change the play that his team is going to run. This takes skill in being able to assess the landscape quickly and determine the best course of action, as well as the ability to clearly communicate that course of action. It is no different for organizations that want to be successful. They need to be able to assess the business landscape and determine the best plan of action in order to be successful, then clearly communicate that plan of action to employees, investors, customers, and suppliers.

Every organization needs to have a plan, but it also needs the flexibility to change elements of that plan in order to take advantage of new opportunities that present themselves.

 
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Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 13, 2014

We are constantly hearing about new ideas and new strategies to improve the way our organizations operate. We may hear something at an industry conference or read about it in a book. But we often don’t implement that idea effectively enough and this is usually because we don’t test the idea effectively enough to give it a chance for success.

 
Testing the idea doesn’t mean taking a long and arduous process to identify every single activity that is required. But it does mean taking a disciplined approach to making a decision whether the idea should be implemented. Here are five questions you should consider before implementing a new strategy within your organization:
  1. Does the strategy align with the direction that my organization is going?
  2. What impact would the strategy have for my organization?
  3. What do I need to do to achieve that impact?
  4. Does the organization have the capability to implement the strategy successfully?
  5. Who should be accountable for achieving that results?
These questions take you through a simple process to ensure that the new strategy aligns with your overall strategy, that there is a good reason for using organizational resources on the new strategy, and that the organization has the opportunity to actually achieve those results. Take a few minutes with your senior team and apply these questions to a new idea or strategy you would like to implement and see if they helps look at the strategy from all sides.
 

They should help to eliminate some ideas that may sound good, but would end up being a waste of valuable time and resources.

 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 6, 2014
Years ago, large companies were investing millions of dollars and months of resources into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. These ERP systems were supposed to change the way that organizations operated by integrating all of their key processes-HR, Procurement, Finance, Sales, Supply Chain-and sharing information. Most of those organizations never achieved the value that they expected from these ERP systems. This was due to setting unrealistic expectations and relying too heavily on the technology to fix all of the organization’s problems.
 
I worry that we are going down this same road with the concept of ‘Big Data.’ Of course there is valuable information that organizations can use to understand their customers and the market better and help them gain a competitive advantage. We have access to more information than ever before. But is there such thing as too much information? If not used properly, data can hinder us from moving forward.
 
Before organizations decide to invest time and resources into a large scale big data project, they should consider the three questions below:
  1. What information do you need to help drive financial growth and improved performance?
  2. Where will that data come from?
  3. What will you do with it when you get it and how will it help drive that growth and improved performance?
Once an organization understands the answers to those questions, they will know what their data needs are. Organizations need to work backwards from what information they need, not start with what they can get. Too often organizations embark on projects without a clear objective or knowing what they are trying to achieve.
 
I just hope organizations don’t waste unnecessary time and money capturing information that will have no value to them.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.