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Beating the Airbnb Phenomenon

Airbnb's worldwide company value has hit 31 billion USD, and the business has welcomed a total of 200 million guest arrivals since 2008. 

This has no doubt put hospitality on the map in terms of the sector becoming more digitized. However, the Airbnb phenomenon has also shaken up the industry, changed customer expectations forever, and made the sector a harder place for traditional hospitality firms to remain competitive.

If they want to grow, the onus is on operators to up their game. To do this, they are having to introduce new and differentiated services, flexible options, or more bespoke and tailored experiences. They are having to stand out from the crowd, to retain customer loyalty, and provide something that peer-to-peer offerings like Airbnb cannot.

However, with many hospitality firms operating with old and inflexible systems at their core, adjusting to this new landscape is difficult. How can you, for example, introduce personalized welcome packs for hotel guests, if your ordering systems don't have access to the data required to do so? How can you flex restaurant menus based on local preferences or food costs, if your food ordering systems don't analyze trends in real-time? And how can you develop an app-based experience for your customers, if you don't have the back-office means to support it? 

There has thus been a renewed focus on improving software and overhauling systems within the hospitality sector. Modern software, the industry is realising, can help firms such as casinos, hotels, restaurants and resorts get fit for growth in this digital world. 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions such as Epicor iScala for hospitality, are helping businesses on this journey. Epicor does this by making financial management smarter, and bringing real-time insights to decision makers, regardless of location, language, tax rules or currency. It can help businesses free up internal resources by consolidating company accounts and databases onto a single system, providing fully automated reporting, tracking daily revenues, monitoring management, and aligning different functions. 

Epicor iScala for hospitality allows businesses to meet new customer expectations, while also keeping a tight rein on costs. It helps businesses to capitalise on economies of scale, and deliver services based on smarter decisions, and more accurate data. 

You can find more information about how modern software is enabling the hospitality sector in IDG's recent report: 'Keys to boosting the back-office in hotels and hospitality'. This paper explains how technology can help businesses develop an effective response to fundamental market changes. Technology may, in fact, be crucial to facing the Airbnb phenomenon head on.

Posted by Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President, Epicor Asia


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