The tourism industry has a great deal of potential: From assistants in the area of complaint management, mail and invoice processing, contract management, customer management, campaign control and on-boarding to avatars (MR.KNOW) which carry out the guest registration, as the ones which are already known from China or Japan: If you want to be prepared for growth and be well positioned for the future, the use of digital workers is unavoidable.
This is also the opinion of Best Western Hotels Central Europe GmbH, which has therefore decided to use digital workers to optimize the implementation of internal surveys.
With more than 4700 hotels in almost 100 countries, Best Western Hotels & Resorts is one of the world's biggest hotel chains. Best Western Hotels Central Europe GmbH is responsible for Europe. The management in the German headquarters in Eschborn coordinates around 230 hotels in ten countries. The challenge: All of the hotels in the group are run independently, but uniform quality standards must still be guaranteed.
In order to ensure that this is the case, internal surveys are continuously carried out in the partner hotels. Information about facilities, the location, room quotas and gastronomy are transmitted by the partner hotels to the head office, where they are processed. The results which are obtained are used to prepare websites or create flyers and catalogues, for example. In this way, offers can be made which are precisely tailored to the target group.
Other areas of application are queries concerning programme participation and special sales promotions via the service centre. The head office needs this survey information from all of the affiliated hotels in as quick and uncomplicated a way as possible, without a great deal of manual effort.
However, the technology that was previously used was unable to meet the increasing demands of increasing numbers of affiliated hotels. Reliably retrieving and storing all of the data and reacting quickly and flexibly to new requirements was no longer guaranteed with this solution. Since these are crucial points in the workflow, it was finally decided to use a new system. This should also be able to implement process management with modelling in the BPMN 2.0 standard and process automation as well as easy integration of existing systems, task lists, e-mail reminders and process monitoring. The team can only be provided with an overview of which hotel has already supplied the desired data and which hotel needs to be checked again by using these techniques.
In order to find the perfect new solution, Best Western Hotels Central Europe GmbH commissioned a feasibility study. In the end, three potential systems were suggested. After an extensive test phase, the decision was made in favour of the solution from Inspire Technologies GmbH: "We looked at these systems after the study, used them to create process tasks by way of a test and then decided on MR.KNOW – BPM (formerly BPM inspire) from Inspire Technologies," explains Dirk Osse, director of reservations and web technology.
The new system now works as follows: The head office collects all of the relevant information from the partner hotels by putting together so-called "chapters". First, the chapters are edited by the hotels. Once this has taken place, the workflow informs the head office that the query has been answered. The head office can then check, approve or reject the responses. When the central office has received all of the replies, i.e. all chapters have been processed, it generates a file containing all the details which have been sent. It then prepares these for catalogues, among other things. The compiled chapters are finally sent to the relevant locations via workflow support.
This is accompanied by the automation of numerous other tasks such as the sending of a reminder e-mail, escalations, representative regulations or communication with existing systems or Media Asset Management (MAM).
According to Dirk Osse, director of reservations and web technology at Best Western Hotels Central Europe GmbH, the changeover to a new system was a complete success: "The amount of manual effort at our end has been noticeably reduced with the aid of MR.KNOW – BPM (formerly BPM inspire)". Following the successful introduction of the new system, other projects involving MR.KNOW – BPM are being planned. So far, usability improvements have already been implemented using new, modern frameworks. The use of other functions and process enhancements is planned.