The Necessity Of Technology Consultants In The Hospitality Industry
O.K. But I have an IT and Telecom department. Do you really? We observe that more and more of our consulting business is coming from the large multinational hotel chains as well as the small owned/managed groups. They tell us that they have found it much more cost effective to eliminate their expensive IT and Telecom departments and outsource all of their systems acquisitions and implementation to us. By doing this they are savings hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and giving their properties better service at a less expensive cost per property. A case in point: A large well known major hospitality chain with about 200 properties was able to replace their entire IT and PBX department and save approximately $750k per year in salaries. After we finished a thorough property analysis we discovered approximately $5 million a year in wasteful and outdated services. Further work realized a repayment of an additional $2,300,000 from other vendors for overcharges. The net result was a total ROI in less than one month. Needless to say, this chain continues to employ our consulting service on a regular basis. Therefore, having a knowledgeable technology hospitality consultant does not cost you money, it SAVES you a lot of time and money.
What? Ask a hotel or group to spend more money? No. There are ways of using a few bucks to prime a very large pump. From experience, I believe that an independent technology consultant with years of experience can actually save you much more money than their entire fee. A true independent consultant, one with a minimum of at least 500 hospitality consulting projects successfully completed, has much more experience in dealing with vendors and choosing the correct equipment for a hospitality clients needs. In fact, the experience and expertise of a first rate hospitality consultant should guarantee that you will receive a minimum savings of at least 200% of their gross fees. If this is not part of the consultant package offer, be wary as the consultant may not have the necessary experience for your needs. Worse yet, they may have another agenda in mind. Further, we should all agree that a good consultant will be able to save you countless weeks and months of investigating the various solutions for your property(s). In addition, your need to perform vendor reference checks, deliver excellent work per the contract on time, and attend endless vendor biased demonstrations are greatly reduced. These functions alone will result in substantial savings.
More, you say? Yes, much more. Since the right consultant for your property(s) has been doing this work for years, they should be able to secure quantity discounts for you that you only thought large chains could command. Further, since their knowledge of the industry overall greatly improves their ability to not only negotiate better pricing for you, you will also get a much better contract than you could have negotiated by yourself. In addition to pure dollar savings, the hospitality technology consultant will be able to immediately recognize whether the equipment you are considering will integrate properly with your existing systems, and whether the vendor has an upgrade migration policy that will protect you in the future. Therefore, the consultant will be saving you even more hard dollars and aggravation today, and in the future, preventing you from purchasing a system that does work properly with your existing systems. Further, the consultant will know whether the new systems under consideration are reaching the end of their life cycle and will be knowledgeable about all of their shortcomings and weaknesses. And they will know what new improvements or new product releases are due out shortly. A true hospitality technology consultant will negotiate the proper contract that will protect you from buying a system, or systems that are soon to be antiquated thereby saving you additional upgrade and installation fees and valuable time.
Les Spielman is president of Hospitality Automation Consultants Ltd., an independent consulting firm. With more than 20 years of experience in the lodging business, he provides assistance with automation tasks on a personalized basis. Hospitality Automation Consultants Ltd. has successfully completed over 2,000 consulting projects throughout the world. He was just reelected to his third consecutive term to the Board of Directors of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants. His practice is global. Spielman welcomes inquiries at:
Hospitality Automation Consultants Ltd