Over the past few months and resulting from the corona virus pandemic a new phrase has been developed. “The new normal”. By this stage it has become cliché and is tightly tied into the world we anticipate resulting from the corona-virus in the hospitality & travel industry.
Technology is one of the few avenues in the modern world where you can gain the ability to do something that your competitors cannot do.
In travel & hospitality that has come to be largely associated with distance from other people, a limitation in social interaction with others, and a new level of squeaky clean travel & hospitality environments where emphasis is placed on showing the effort and outcome of cleaning protocols.
What is the new normal?
When we examine the industry, much of this runs counter to the core values and experience that travel & hospitality engenders to its customer and the people working in the industry.
Distancing – economy in travel is difficult to achieve in an environment where distance is required. When we consider all types of transportation and hospitality product design, what is central to all of these is the consolidation of people into a single environment. Think about a plane, a car or a restaurant. It is putting people in one place to be able to deliver an experience in an economical way. The further we depart from large groups of people the more expensive the product becomes. Private jets. Highly exclusive hotels.
Anti-social – coupled tightly with the antipathy of the distance model is social interaction. The very word hospitality speaks to the connected nature of people and looking after them in a foreign environment. Restaurants began as a place to gather people. Often more than could be accommodated in the home for a social gathering of any specific nature. Meetings & Events put like minded people in a single location to explore a central topic or occasion that is valuable to them.
Clean – Environments that were known for their cleanliness and approach to hygiene prior to the pandemic now need to escalate industrial cleaning processes to a new level of process and visibility. Not only do we need to know that something has been cleaned, but we need to see people actively in the process of cleaning things when we are within venue environments. When thinking about this I always reflect on the ‘Hygienically cleaned for your protection’, label that used to be wrapped around the toilet seat in motels. I suppose it will be making a comeback!
What does it have to do with technology?
In our present world and as we move into the future our industries will look different. Perhaps not forever, but for a while. As hospitality & travel recovers from a reduction in custom off one of the highest of highs ever for the industry, it has now become clear that we need to provide the product we were providing before the Corona Virus, with the obligatory extras for less customers with limited manpower.
That is why technology is receiving heightened attention at the moment. Whenever more with less is required it often points a finger squarely at automation.
Irrespective of how long the new normal lasts, it is an appropriate time to take stock of the way you run your business.
The old technology reality
The old technology reality, while slowly shifting over time on the back of consumer demand sounds a little like this.
- Well do I really need that?
- I can deliver that product or service without any or additional automation.
- We will hire more people to deliver that product or service.
- The way I’m gathering and storing that information is working for me now.
- We don’t really see the need for the information from that part of our business.
- We are generating revenue from that part of our business now. We don’t need technology for that.
- We’ve got as much revenue as we need. I don’t think we could be more effective at selling.
- Our operational processes and manpower model are great. We couldn’t improve them.
While we were persisting with traditional approaches our customers were going digital around us in every other part of their life. Then along came a pandemic where our customers were forced to retreat even more deeply into their digital world.
Don’t go to the office! Don’t’ go to the supermarket! Don’t go out! Order digitally and have everything delivered. If you do go out stay away from everyone.
Now there is even a move to remotely order and pay for your next round of drinks from your mobile device at the pub or bar!
Your new technology reality
Regardless of where your position was in the old technology normal, it’s now necessary and even mission critical to embrace the new technology normal. Your customers have been taking you there and now a health crisis is forcing your business there.
Technology and the value it can bring to your business needs to be central to your organization and always actively considered as you look to deliver a product or service or improve or introduce a process into your business.
There is not anything new about that. What may be new is that your business genuinely embraces that approach to technology.
Embrace the new normal!
Speak with TRAVHOTECH about improving your technology environment.
The only lens that business should view technology through is opportunity. Great businesses recognize that the impetus and driver behind success is constant improvement. As you are constantly improving all aspects of your business your customers and staff become more satisfied and effective respectively.
While you are busy constantly improving the even better part of technology emerges. Competitive advantage.
Technology is one of the few avenues in the modern world where you can gain the ability to do something that your competitors cannot do. It has often been said that the same technology is available to everyone. That is true. But what is not common to everyone is the point at which you recognize the opportunity to gain your competitive advantage based upon the timing of your investment.
That is why the terms leader and laggard and all in between exist. The leaders enjoy competitive advantage over the pack for the longest time. If you choose to operate with a constant improvement mentality, they may never catch you again. By the time your competition catches up you’ve already moved on to the next bigger and better thing.
Optimizing your technology
At the moment we could all be forgiven for thinking that to embrace the ‘new normal’, you must go out and buy new technology. That is not necessarily the case.
There are two approaches to the current state of technology. Both are equally important and one of them can deliver opportunities to your business without the upheaval to the status quo.
When we talk about optimizing your technology there are two paths to travel. One is that in your overall environment there may be gaps of opportunity where investing in complimentary technology will introduce new capability.
The other path is a critical review of your current technology environment. In reality your business will have a stable of technology investments. Although what often happens is that in the cut and thrust of daily operations you no longer take full advantage of your business tools. Focused attention to these investments can yield existing opportunity and capability that you have not been taking advantage of. Often this can be realized with minimal investment and a refocus of your existing workforce on what is possible, integrating this back into your business processes and operation.
In each or either way there are opportunities for your business to improve via technology. Depending on your business and its specific situation there may also be real opportunities for you to gain competitive advantage over your marketplace utilizing technology.
As the Olympic motto goes, “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, is exactly what the new and the old normal can bring to your business when working from a constant improvement mindset.
If you would like to discuss embracing the “New Normal” and how TRAVHOTECH can improve your existing technology environment or help you gain competitive advantage with new technology, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.