Digitization & Digitalization in Hospitality
Let’s begin with a basic definition of digitization according to the dictionary.
This is a good start but it’s not the whole picture. Digitization is the beginning and it allows digitalization to happen. We can break this down into three areas. The first is making everything digital (digitization) and the rest is improving business processes by using technology to take advantage of documents in a digital format (digitalization).
1. Conversion to Digital
All types of paper documents (e.g. guest reservations, supplier invoices, daily PMS reports) are converted into a digital format (binary code). The ideal situation is receiving all documents in a digital format (e.g. as a pdf, csv or jpg file) and paper is never required. Paper and paper storage become a thing of the past; no more storing of invoices and purchase orders in giant filing cabinets; no more wasted space for storage rooms; and no more oversized printers. Paper is replaced with binary code.
2. Data Capture & Workflows
Once everything is in a digital format, this is where all the magic begins and digitalization uses the results of digitization to improve processes. This is possible because important data can now be captured from the documents. Storing all the data as binary code is great, but the best part is when the text and numbers can be extracted and placed in a workflow enabling the automation of business processes.
There are guest processes that start as soon as a reservation is made to make the guest experience as enjoyable as possible; supplier processes for cost checks, quality control and prompt payment; banquet event order processes ensure events run smoothly; and many more for each hotel department. Digitization allows most of these processes to be automated or semi-automated, reducing human errors, reducing forgotten tasks and making all processes run efficiently.
3. Machine Learning & Intelligence
One of the most important aspects of digitalization is the ability to add intelligence to data and workflows. A machine can be taught to know what kind of document it is dealing with, what to look for and how to process it. Data entry becomes quicker and more accurate, potential errors are highlighted for human checking, suggested solutions are made, resulting in processes becoming more and more efficient.
Digitization in Hospitality allows Digitalization to take place and streamline your hotel operation.