Hospitality Tech Brings Digital Transformation to SMBs
3 Min Read By Jon Squire
Since the early 2000’s, technology has been drastically changing year-over-year, including the way we travel, book hotels, and order food and beverages. In today’s landscape, utilizing the right technologies within your business can greatly impact your success
For large enterprise companies, processes that bring digital transformation are typically closely linked to efficiency and profitability. This type of evolution can impact small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) in those areas as well, but in the minds of these owners and operators, implementing these solutions is more synonymous with survival and longevity.
SMBs could greatly benefit from technology that is often associated with larger organizations, but the problem is it’s just out of reach. One of the biggest obstacles for the small mom and pop shops (1-2 locations) of the hospitality industry is that they struggle to organize their revenue in a way that allows for the implementation and use of some of these technologies, or in some cases they just don’t see the value in the investment. Mid-market businesses more often have the financial capacity and even more of the need across two or more locations. Often businesses this size are beginning to think about how they can continue to cut costs or make their operation more efficient as they grow.
As SMBs expand and begin to think about the longevity of their businesses, these thoughts move to the forefront of their leaders' minds.
The majority of small-to-medium hospitality establishments, mid-market businesses specifically, are playing catch-up from the time they open their doors –– trying to keep up with the technology offerings of the mega-chains. These offerings range from custom mobile applications and loyalty programs, to something as simple as order-ahead solutions that integrate with their point-of-sale (POS) or other ordering technology.
SMBs also struggle to navigate their payment processing negotiations from the start –– meaning they get sucked into a contract with their POS provider, locking them into a transaction agreement that may not always align with their long-term goals and growth –– and in the worst cases, negatively affect their bottom lines.
Though these solutions are important and can have a direct impact on your bottom line, it is perfectly acceptable for your small-to-medium sized business to implement these tools at your own pace and budget with a partner that offers individual services that can work together as you implement more of them. Having the capability to view all your vendors and track orders and payments through a centralized dashboard will also benefit your quality assurance processes and staff efficiency.
As owner/operators think through and begin to overcome some of these operational hurdles, the results may show themselves even quicker than originally anticipated. The fact is, the right technology solutions can push your bottom line into the black significantly when applied strategically.
Technology that Fills the Gaps
For SMBs, finding an ordering and payment solutions partner that offers services to not only integrate with your existing systems, but also takes the time to get to know your goals and aspirations as a business is going to be the best move for your budget and your day-to-day operations. Sure, there may be a significant initial investment, but if you have the foresight to look beyond that initial dollar sign on the page, the efficiency that the technology will bring you will benefit your business long-term.
Another path in your digital evolution journey could be to add digital services and technologies in increments. As long as decisions are being made with the end goal in mind, and the solutions will talk to one another once combined, this could be a more cost-conscious route in digitally transforming your business.
Ultimately, SMBs need technology that is going to increase the strength of their business and make them more efficient, while still meeting the needs and expectations of their staff and customers. So whether that means implementing all new technologies at once, or slowly in more of an a-la-carte manner, each business’ digital transformation journey is going to look different from the next.
Nonetheless, the major factor that will undoubtedly contribute directly to their bottom line is implementing a solution that allows for the integration of its existing vendors and solutions into one clear and easy-to-navigate view –– allowing the staff member to view all order and payment avenues from one centralized place. These technologies are going to give SMBs the leg up on some of the larger chain establishments, making them more accessible and approachable and allowing the customer to drive their experience like never before.