Integrating technology in the hospitality industry began in the 1970s and has continued to evolve alongside the digitalization of business. Hotel technological innovation is generally applied at two levels: “at the managerial and operational level, and for guest services in the room.” For guests, technologies like keyless entry, smart rooms or a virtual concierge service are gaining popularity. These innovations often provide greater satisfaction and a better overall experience during a guest’s stay.
But what about digital transformation strategy at the operational level?
Optimal results are achieved when digital tools are comprehensively integrated across all departments and business units, not just in guest services. New technologies increase satisfaction and customer loyalty, yes, but they can also greatly reduce costs and errors, streamline processes and improve efficiency. Plus, digitally transforming workplace procedures “ensures that every employee—regardless of their physical location or job description—is connected to the organisation.”
Below we discuss the administrative digitalization of business, its benefits and use cases, for different areas of hotel operations:
| Hotel reception |
Digital signature solutions streamline procedures for guests during hotel check-in, getting registration forms filled out and signed quickly and easily, or even when signing off on additional services like car rentals. Docuten offers various advanced electronic signature options like the biometric signature or the signature with OTP. When checking in, a biometric signature lets you sign documents electronically using a handwritten signature on any mobile device (tablet, smartphone, etc.) When checking out, guests can sign remotely using our signature with OTP, which reduces congestion at the reception desk and complies with social distancing requirements. A signature with OTP (One-Time Password) is a digital signature done by sending the signatory a single-use OTP with temporary validity via SMS or email.
All of Docuten’s electronic signature options are completely secure and compliant with Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS). The eIDAS Regulation lays out a common framework for electronic signatures in the EU and outlines several different types of electronic signatures, including the qualified electronic signature, which provides the highest level of assurance.
| Human Resources |
Hotels often have a number of different locations with employees coming from all over, which can mean digital transformation challenges. However, digital signature enables hotels to streamline the management of labor documentation in an easy, secure and legally compliant way. This includes employment contracts, 145 forms, occupational safety and health documents, PPE forms, terminations, internal communications, access to and transfer of data, etc.
Sending employment contracts to employees to be signed on paper, scanned and sent back is not very secure. Without an electronic signature it is easy to falsify a document, and scanning a signed paper document does not confirm the identification of the signatory. Plus, not being in possession of the original paper document can lead to legal complications. Using an electronic signature tool like Docuten is more secure, appropriately identifies the signatory and protects signing data.
Hotel HR departments can also upload a certificate to Docuten to use an automatic signature when documents have to be signed by hotel management or if the same person has to sign a number of documents on behalf of the hotel, as is the case with payroll. It can be used for signature with OTP processes for employees as well.
| Finance Department |
From guest billing, bank transactions, any type of vendor agreements or even authorisations or reports, hotel finance departments handle high volumes of paperwork on a daily basis. Implementing an effective tool that offers both electronic signature and the ability to send and receive the-invoices will eliminate delays and enable teams to get documents signed and invoices processed that much faster, while still maintaining strict security standards. You can also check the status of documents and invoices instantly, set up notifications and easily send reminders when needed. Plus, relying on electronic signature and online invoicing software eliminates the extra costs and hassle associated with printing, scanning, mailing and receiving documents and invoices. In fact, Docuten’s bundled digital transformation services saved clients more than 19.5 million euros in 2020, with over 8.5 million transactions carried out.
| Vendor relations |
For hotels, having good relationships with vendors is essential to lowering costs and reducing workloads. This is especially true when it comes to invoicing. With an electronic invoice system like the Docuten platform, you can create vendor-specific processes and easily customise approval flows for each client. The approval flow and corresponding validations for received invoices are launched once it has been verified that there are no errors. Establish a specific order to the review and approval of invoices between departments, and notify vendors once an invoice has been approved, rejected or paid. Simplifying procedures boosts vendor confidence and solidifies better vendor relations.
| CSR unit |
Sustainable hotels are those that greatly reduce their environmental impact through eco-friendly best-practices in different areas, and have a core focus on reducing waste. In an industry that greatly relies on paperwork, going digital significantly reduces paper consumption. In 2020, Docuten securely handled 8,755,788 documents, including incoming and outgoing e-invoices, and documents sent for signature. If we estimate that each document was a single sheet of paper, Docuten saved 8,755,788 sheets of paper from being manufactured. The positive repercussions of this: 79,678 kilos of wood were saved, 87,577,880 litres of water were conserved, and 5,778 kg of CO₂ emissions were avoided. Eliminating paperwork from hotel administrative processes has the potential to greatly reduce negative environmental impact.
Docuten’s scalable administrative solutions for the digitalization of business adapt to the specific needs of different areas of hotel operations, offering a variety of legally binding electronic signature and e-invoicing services for each specific use case. We listen to our clients, adapt to their needs, and integrate seamlessly with their systems.
For more information on the digital transformation process and Docuten’s solutions, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re happy to help!