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New Technology and How It Has Impacted Front Office Operations Essay

According to Bunduhn (2010), the hotel industry, in a worldwide scale, should meet the needs of their clients by adopting technology. In this fast paced world we currently live in. Technology is convenient, fast, and more economically wise to integrate into a system whose formula for success and their criteria for evaluation of good service is the comfort and convenience that the clients experienced bringing in more people, and ultimately more profit; a big plus to other important aspects of the hotel industry.

Adopting technology is a big decision, especially when you are about to integrate it into a system that has been proven and tested from the humble beginning of the hotel industry to its current state infact, in spite of the time consuming, manual work that includes paper and pen, it has proven its worth all throughout its existence, some may even consider it safe, but there are ways to inject technology which provides convenience and comfort for the customers, while providing safety.

This kind of decision is made by the front office because they are the ones who sort these things out. Front office functions may include room reservations of the guests, telephone ser-vices, and accounting, to name a few and we will be going into them one by one later in this pa-per as well as the benefits that each part can get out of technology.

According to Sribd.com, hotels have what they call a guest cycle which includes the fol-lowing: (1) Pre-arrival Stage; (2) Arrival Stage; (3) Occupancy Stage and; (4) Departure stage. All of these stages can benefit from the integration of technology into the system of the hotel front office.

During the first stage of the guests cycle, which is the stage where they go through all the possible hotels they are going to, selling a first impression and information, referrals, and various testaments are key to attracting potential clients to your service.

One helpful tool in attracting potential guests into considering to stay at a hotel are the social networking sites. Social networking sites pop up today like weeds and it has many users all around the world. It is wise to utilize this kind of software into the system as part of the ad-vertising and sales department. This will be especially helpful in spreading information like wild-fire, and in social networking sites like Facebook, where everyone has access, it can be done, so it is vital to first create a page. Moreover, it also makes the manager’s job easier because if the information provided in the page is complete, or at least nearly complete, then there will be fewer questions asked by the guests upon inquiring for special requests; no more basic information needed.

In addition, these types of social networking sites leave space for its users to leave com-ments that can be used to make testaments and comments about the place, and if provided good services, positive feedback will flood the page leaving a good impression on the people viewing your page. Good feedback resulting to more clients; more clients mean more income for your company.

When the user has already decided, an application in the internet can immediately help in their reservation- convenience for both the customer and the management of the hotel. The sys-tem that handles these kinds of services such as plane seat and hotel room reservations is called the Global Distribution System or also known by its acronym the GDS. With the help of the GDS, the client can get easy access to reservation sheets allowing them to personally type in the information required in order to get a reservation.

Customers can also call in to the front desk for any inquiries that are not clearly stipulated in their social networking site page, or on their web-site, and also for questions whether they can accommodate your special preferences and requests. After all is said and done, the client can already submit their reservation sheet, and then an elec-tronically generated email print of the confirmation letter will be shown on the monitor and can be printed by the guests, for reference purposes.

Other means of reserving a room in a hotel that uses the advancement of technology is with the use of telephones or cell phones. With its aid, the customer is not required to visit the hotel, which may be miles away from them and be made at the comforts of their own homes.

Basically these varied means in making reservations aim at making it easier for the client to get a room for a vacation, a business trip, making sure they have somewhere to stay in ad-vance. A good way to plan ahead and these advancements makes it easier, both for the client and the hotel’s manager and staff.

During the stage when the client is already staying at the hotel, communication is vital in this stage between the staff, the manager, and the guests. Innovations in the communication sys-tem such as the use of the intercom system which is much like the Private Branch Exchange also known with its acronym of PBX, makes it easier for the client to contact front desk for any re-quest that he sees as necessary for him and also from one department to another, no need of marching your way to different areas of the hotel. Using one line for multiple telephones, you only need to dial a phone number that only requires three-digits or four which is assigned to eve-ry department of the hotel.

The use of the desktop is very common in the current generation of hotel services. In con-trast to the previous hotels, they used manual handwriting, and that also entails a lot of papers that could possible eat up your work space. With the use of the computer hardware system, which includes, the keyboard, the monitor, the mouse, and certain pre-installed application into the computer, paperwork and writing may not necessary.

These kinds of hardware also help in the strict monitoring of the charges of the guests. With pen and paper there is a higher chance of error, for the human mind can sometimes forget and might also be missed out when computing, so with the use of the automatic calculation pro-gram installed by a programmer into the system, the charges can be enumerated and totaled easi-ly, which Is apart of the whole reservation software.

Simple small equipment had been very useful in the hotel front office system such as cal-culators, may not be in use in the current system of the hotel
industry, but in the past, they were certainly helpful.

Lastly, accounting has never been easier with the use of computers and specialized soft-ware provided by companies such as Microsoft and Intact. These accounting software allows management to monitor cash ledgers, the different accounts that goes in and out of the hotel, and payroll, to name a few. It will help with the monitoring of the many accounts of each guests in your hotel, not leaving out anything that they spent during their stay, because no matter what they say about convenience of their guests is their priority, income is still important.

In many ways but one, the hotel industry should be thankful to technology because even though managers aide in the growth of the industry, it is the technology that makes their the in-dustry develop.

References:

Books and Printed Document:
Brewer, P. et al. (2008). Current and Future Use in the Hospitality Industry. Bunduhn, R. (2010). Hotel Industry Urged to get Technology Up to Speed. The National Gretzel, U. et al. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2010. SpringerWienNewYork. Ferdinand Berger & Sohne Gesellschaft m.b.H., 3580 Horn, Austria

Internet:
Retrieved from:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38875395/Guest-Cycle. Retrieved: October 17, 2012 Retrieved from:
http://www.tourism.bilkent.edu.tr/~jamel/RDM/Guest%20Cycle.doc. Retrieved: October 17, 2012


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