Don’t Let Staffing Dilemmas Pause Your Progress

The hospitality industry faces a severe staffing challenge as it recovers from the pandemic imposed slowdown. According to U.S. Census survey data from early April, 37% of small hospitality businesses have had their operating ability restricted by staffing shortages.

Demand for hotels and restaurants is increasing, but many employees who were laid off are not opting to choose the same industry again. Some of the reasons could be:

  • Career changes or educational opportunities that took place during the pandemic.
  • Hesitancy to return to work due to health and safety concerns or lack of childcare.
  • Competition for skilled workers from other industries or businesses.

These factors have created a slim candidate pool and a high turnover rate for hospitality businesses, which need help finding and retaining qualified workers. 

In other words, this means an inability to scale, a threat to business continuity and interruption in existing operations.

It’s not just the front-end operations that are impacted by the resource shortage. The back-end operations also need more trained professionals in specialized areas such as accounting. Most hospitality enterprises rely on manual accounting processes, which can be time-consuming, error and fraud prone. The manual effort creates a bottleneck in back-office operations, leading to slower and less accurate financial reporting.

With the hospitality industry transitioning to a post-pandemic landscape, it’s time for hotels and restaurants to embrace advanced technology as an essential part of their financial recovery. Leveraging technology can be vital in resolving staffing dilemmas that could impede progress.

In this case, the staffing challenges can be addressed using Intelligent Process Automation. Intelligent Process automation is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate tasks and processes that are manual, repetitive, time-consuming, or error prone. RPA bots that can automate back-office tasks such as payroll, accounting, inventory management, and compliance.

By using intelligent automation, hospitality businesses can:

  • – Improve efficiency and productivity by reducing manual work and human errors.
  • – Enhance customer experience satisfaction by providing faster personalized service.
  • – Reduce costs and increase revenue by optimizing resources and maximizing occupancy rates.
  • – Attract and retain employees by offering them more meaningful and rewarding work.

IPA combines fundamental process redesign with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning (ML), cognitive technologies like Optical Character Recognition and Natural Language Processing to perform document processing functions, i.e. extract data from invoices, bills etc and pass it down stream.

IPA can automate accounting processes such as Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and General Ledger, Chargeback Dispute Resolution. For example, when a finance team receives a bill for goods & services, it is recorded manually as a journal entry and posted to the general ledger as an expense. Imagine a person doing this task a hundred times a day, every day- he is bound to make errors which can prove to be extremely costly!

IPA can automate this process by automatically recording the journal entry and posting it to the general ledger without manual intervention.

Daily tasks such as data entry, document handling, and emailing invoice approvers can also be automated. By automating these processes, teams can improve the accuracy and timeliness of financial information.

As an industry which operates round the clock, hospitality can benefit immensely by using IPA solutions which operate 24/7 without any fatigue setting in. What’s more, they can ensure that data is consolidated from multiple branches, irrespective of time zones and used for routine processes like bank recon and night audits. 

Intelligent automation is not a threat to human workers but rather a complement. It can free up employees from mundane and tedious tasks, allowing them to concentrate on more creative and strategic aspects of their jobs. It helps to improve employee engagement and retention by providing them more opportunities for learning, development, and career growth.

With IPA’s components, RPA and AI, you can automate back-office repetitive tasks with human-like intelligence in managing and analysing data, including unstructured content- all at a speed that can triple the growth of an enterprise.

Adding the automation component to daily operations can help hospitality enterprises offer their employees a better work-life balance and build a loyal employee base.

Would you like more information on how IPA can help hospitality organizations solve the staffing challenge experienced by back-office operations?

Achieve peak operational efficiencies with Intelligent Process Automation