Illustration of a desk with technology on it.

How to Budget Your Hotel’s Technology Expenses

It’s budget season again, so while everyone else prepares for the upcoming holidays you and your team will be crunching numbers. As you prioritize your expenses for the coming year, chances are good that technology spending will top your list.

Before adding in your predictions, you might want to spend some more time understanding how your staff interacts with existing technology that fuels your hotel. You should also try to understand what’s on your employee tech wish list and why.

Next year’s budget will be different

For most hotels and resorts, budgeting for the year ahead used to mean analyzing past data and predicting the spend needed for the future. Since this year turned out to be a bit of a wildcard, predictions might not be as easy to define. The good news is that predictions for business travel in the year ahead are incredibly optimistic. Reuters reported that the Lufthansa CEO said business travel is recovering even faster than anticipated. Another anticipated change is that leisure travelers expect to use technology more than ever when traveling.

Technology is more important than ever to travelers

In late October 2021, released predictions for travel in 2022. The report stated that 79% of travelers agreed that “travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of self-care.” Another important trend revealed was the 64% of travelers agreed that technology will be more important than ever while on vacation. Also worth noting, 62% of those polled agreed that technology helps to alleviate travel anxiety.

At Relay, we’re proud that our devices connect distanced workers at hotels and empower them through the use of a panic button and a completely connected cellular network. Contact us to find out how to empower your staff and clientele through connectivity with a device that alerts anyone to potential danger.

Prioritize technology spending

If finalizing the budget for the year ahead feels a bit daunting, try dividing it into several categories. You can start with anything from upgrades to replacements, but to compete on a global level you’ll have to allocate a healthy budget for tech and IT spending. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Compare your tech spending for the past two years only. It might sound a bit extreme, but is there anything you once thought was imperative that is barely used? And try to discuss the flip side as well. Is there one tech upgrade that your competitors all have or that your staff is grumbling about? Understanding how to keep your team happy while keeping up with the competition will also help you to figure out where to focus your budget.
  • New doesn’t always mean better. Just because you spend a fortune on the newest version doesn’t mean it will produce the desired results. Before deciding to spend on the newest servers or desktop units for executives, take a glance at the model that came before. It’s entirely possible that older hardware with upgraded software can save you money while improving your hotel’s overall performance.
  • Make sure you’re following the correct protocol and state mandates. In the past year, we’ve all heard a lot of buzz about the new laws regarding panic buttons for staff. But randomly buying a walkie-talkie system for your housekeeping staff simply to tick a box, isn’t the best approach. Before greenlighting a spend on walkie-talkies for your team members, try to understand how they use them, what they expect and what the actual laws are in your state. You could find that buying the best doesn’t mean buying the most expensive. Relay associate alert devices are easy to use, comfortable to wear, and most of all, reliable. We also know that being the best doesn’t mean we have to charge the most for our devices.
  • Look for quirky, useful technology. In a recap of HITEC Dallas, Hotel Tech Report shared their picks for the hospitality technology innovations hotel managers needed to know about. Interestingly enough, a program with enhanced currency conversion functionality, ProfitSwordmade their list. The reasoning being that having instant access to multiple currency values at any point of the year could streamline the budgeting process while also helping to understand profits and losses.
  • Leave a monthly cushion. As we all know by now, there will always be unexpected moments in the hospitality industry. It’s entirely possible that in a few months from now a new technology will be announced that could change the way you do business. Try to create a monthly cushion that allows you to make unexpected tech spends throughout the year. And if you find that you have some funding left over, you can always figure out a way to make small and necessary tech upgrades for the team you might have put off.

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