The new trend in hospitality technology is transforming the industry
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
The disruptive technology trend
Disruptive technology; it transforms the industry it appears in, changing the way consumers interact or purchase and the way businesses in the sector operate. Many of the most influential disruptors of recent years have harnessed the power of crowd economics, the internet’s ability to connect people more efficiently, giving consumers or employers access to resources and information they didn’t have before.
When technology connects the crowd to the end user, the result is often a process that’s cheaper, quicker and more efficient, and once that’s happened in an industry, there’s no going back. In effect, this technology trend is hitting the hospitality industry from many angles and transforming the sector.
Companies leading the hospitality tech trend
The big players in disruptive apps are now household names; Uber is rocking the taxi industry to its foundations by connecting people needing a ride to nearby Uber drivers using their own cars to offer transportation. The result is cheaper fares, and quicker service for consumers, and a headache for traditional taxi firms, who are trying to keep Uber from expanding into new territories. Elsewhere in the transport industry, global flight search engine, Skyscanner, compares flight prices across airlines, giving customers access to the best prices immediately.
In the food industry, Deliveroo is now offering a takeaway delivery service to connect customers to restaurants that don’t usually deliver, while JustEat is an easy-access portal connecting hungry punters to a huge range of takeaway food companies.
The hospitality sector has already been shaken by customer-facing apps like Airbnb, which since 2008 has been revolutionising holiday accommodation booking by connecting individuals with a place to rent out to people looking for somewhere to stay, undercutting the traditional hotel model. There’s evidence that as the number of people using Airbnb rises, hotel revenues are falling – in New York alone, the website and app have had a reported negative impact of $2.1 billion on the hospitality economy. And even the way hotels themselves are booked has been transformed by this new hospitality technology trend online economy, with websites like Hotels.com or lastminute.com allowing consumers to compare rates easily and find the best deals, driving down prices. Newer tech platforms are finding other ways to change the way we book accommodation; Roomer is another booking service that allows people to sell their unwanted hotel reservations, connecting consumer with consumer and undermining restrictive no-cancellation policies.
All these websites and apps disrupt their sector by offering enhanced connectivity – connecting people with a need to those with a service or resource to sell, or making information more widely available to drive down prices and increase ease of use.
There are more exciting changes in store for the hospitality industry
For the hospitality industry, customer-facing apps might have already seen huge success, but the next big disruptive technology trend will be behind the scenes, connecting employers to staff. The impact of this change will still be seismic. The staffing sector has already been affected by technology, as job websites rapidly replace traditional staffing agencies and their well-guarded databases of staff, built up over time and sold for a price. But the sector is still ripe for further disruption, as dedicated technology remains thin on the ground, and the costs for businesses still high. Where high costs and a tech gap meet, there’s an opportunity for change.
And that change is set to come from new staffing apps like the Catapult platform, which have the potential to completely transform the hospitality economy from the inside, changing staffing models and allowing businesses to streamline their staff structure and put staffing budgets to more efficient use.
Dedicated staffing apps, like Catapult, are using technology to go even further to remodel the staff-employer relationship than existing jobs websites, connecting employers directly to a database of suitable staff, giving both groups control over their interactions and arming employers with valuable information on a potential employee’s past performance and experience.
The result is that the hospitality industry will no longer be held to ransom by the high cost of finding and hiring temporary staff through traditional agencies. On-demand staffing is a more streamlined, more affordable solution that helps companies match staffing levels directly to demand. Catapult is the leader in the field, with an easy-to-use platform that gives employers the ability to search for suitable staff, watch videos of potential candidates and check ratings from past employers. And with turnaround times for finding suitable staff as little as an hour, this is truly responsive staffing that draws on the power of the connected crowd to drive down costs and change the way things are done forever.
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