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Stephen Wise Blog

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AI Trends in Hospitality: Executive 1-pager

AI Trends in Hospitality: Executive 1-pager

Innovations and Trends

Personalized Guest Experiences

  • AI-powered chatbots like Hilton’s IBM Watson Assistant provide 24/7 customer service, answering queries and offering recommendations tailored to individual preferences.
  • Hotels like the Marriott International are using facial recognition for seamless check-ins, enhancing security and customer convenience.

Operational Efficiency

  • AI systems predict equipment failures before they occur, minimizing downtime and repair costs. Hilton uses IBM's IoT solutions for this purpose.
  • Robots like the LG CLOi guide and clean rooms, ensuring consistent quality and freeing staff for more complex tasks.

Revenue Management

  • IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) employs AI algorithms to forecast demand and optimize pricing strategies. Companies like GrowthCurve /Duetto provide software that adjusts prices based on demand and competitor pricing.
  • Caesars Entertainment uses AI to predict customer lifetime value and tailor marketing efforts.

Opportunities

Enhanced Customer Engagement

  • AI systems like Alexa for Hospitality allow guests to control room settings with voice commands, creating a more personalized experience.

Operational Cost Reduction

  • AI optimizes energy consumption, reducing costs and environmental impact. AccorHotels implemented AI-driven energy management systems, resulting in significant savings.

Data-Driven Decision Making

  • AI tools like ReviewPro analyze guest feedback from multiple sources, providing actionable insights to improve services and facilities.

Issues

Data Privacy Concerns

  • With AI systems collecting vast amounts of personal data, ensuring compliance with data protection regulation is crucial. As new AI laws are introduced worldwide, staying up to date with them is not an easy task. Mishandling data can lead to severe legal and reputational consequences. For example, Meta is facing challenges in Brazil and the EU.

Integration Challenges

  • Hotels must invest in compatible technology and skilled personnel to ensure smooth implementation.

Job Displacement

  • Companies must balance technological advancement with employee welfare through retraining and upskilling programs.

#AI #hospitality #issues #trends #1pager #integrationprofessionals

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U.K. based energy company entered North America

The Situation: A U.K. based energy company entered North America and was not able to support it's product and customer growth plans with the existing Call Centre and Data Centre Infrastructure. The forecast call volume for sales and billing could not be supported. The Intervention: Working with the head of IT and head of Call Centre, Stephen developed a business case based on current operational statistics, growth forecasts, and measurable success objectives. After some negotiation, the executive team approved a hi-level scope, budget and schedule. A key success factor was the establishment of a structure and process for executive updates on escalated issues and decision making. Stephen went to work within the organization recruiting key project leads in Operations, IT, Human Resources, Facilities and Legal. Build out of Contact Centre capacity would be a seminal initiative. Therefore tried and true Project Management processes were used such as Work breakdown planning, task sequencing, cost estimates, and assignment individual accountability for various activities. A critical turning point in the project was the finding that the customer service applications were likely to be a significant bottleneck in increasing capacity. What began as a simple exercise to itemize the various applications lead to the acceleration of a future project to build an Enterprise grade North American Data Centre. A critical success factor identified was retention of existing contact center staff and recruitment for the new center. Contact Centre staffing has high turnover so it became critical to start and early and engaging communication plan for existing employees and develop support for the transition such as researching solutions for transportation and child care. The Result: The opening day was a massive success of readiness. The backup plan was to stop or slow the migration of agents from the old to new location if glitches arose, but instead, the migration was accelerated as soon as word got around about the well-designed office space, the inbound call queue/routing system, and the improved responsiveness of the customer information systems. Service capacity for inbound and outbound calls was increased 3x. Customer impact (measured in wait times and first call resolution) during the cutover was very low. The project finished on schedule and slightly under the $6 million budget.

Stephen has the experience to solve your most difficult problems.

Stephen has the experience to solve your most difficult problems.

Stephen has developed logical thinking skills. He studied choices in decision making when resources are scarce, earning a degree in Economics. Before leaving University, he spent a co-op year in the Marketing department of Apple Canada. The Apple project was original research related to advertising and the dealer sales channel.

Execution, Technology, and Marketing

Working in product development, Stephen learned about creating new categories, fast-failure, hyper-fast development cycles, and data mining. Consequently, it was the perfect intersection of project execution, technology, and marketing. While working on marketing strategy positioning, Stephen saw that a Marketing Manager and Project Manager are similar. Both roles are hub of the wheel, responsible for coordinating the spokes of Marketing, Sales, Legal, Operations, Technology, et cetera.

Sweet Spot

Stephen found his sweet spot - the discipline of execution grounded in strategy and informed by technology. As a result, Stephen positioned himself well and worked on-site and remotely with many large international companies.

Competitive Advantage

Stephen embraced Project Management as a driver of competitive advantage for companies. The benefits: faster time-to-market, improved team work, increased likelihood of project success, and improved cohesiveness of diverse teams. After leading large and successful projects developing a Call Centre, coordinating a billion-dollar Merger & Acquisition, and leading a major Brand launch in the Energy sector, Stephen was recognized with a North American award for Innovation. Stephen also picked up a global award for Marketing work in the Texas market.

Integration Professionals

Stephen launched Integration Professionals in 2008. He has been working as a solo practitioner ever since. Word of mouth and referrals is the number one source of new work. However, along with referrals, new clients and new challenges are always welcome.

Emergency First Aid

In conclusion, Stephen has also embraced volunteer work. Such as providing athlete first aid on the field of play for high risk sports events at Pan-Am Games. When the snow flies, he has been seen taking charge of emergency situations performing on-snow rescue and administering aid.

Synergy in Life Insurance Acquisition

THE SITUATION:

A large bank acquires manufacturer of Life Insurance. The benefit is to extend overall Wealth offerings and acquire customer base and sales group. The Chief Financial Officer and experienced management team from the acquired Insurance company identify additional synergy opportunities based on the new combination. However, even with Board of Directors support, there are challenges. Management’s Capital, Accounting, and Operational policies are tuned for traditional banking business.

THE INTERVENTION:

An Insurance company has high cash in-flow from its policy holders. Given the banks vast Real Estate holdings and Credit Risk appetite, the approach is to shift holdings from short term (cash) to long term assets. A detailed plan is developed. Actions are intiated to identify, invest, and lease back several hundred million dollars in Real Estate. A key benefit is the actuarial impact of the Asset Liability Matching on top of the bank financial metrics. Stephen and the CFO assemble a team of internal and external experts. The office of the Chief Accountant, Appointed Actuary, Tax and Legal team are joined by outside counsel and appraisal professionals. Explanation of the business case, risk profile, and an active communication to management stakeholders is key to remove blockers and gain internal support.

THE RESULT:

While the first transaction is being worked out, word within the bank grows, and increasingly experienced and expert partners join the team. The first transaction is used as a template to replicate the business case several times over. It is unusual to work on a single project and see financial impact in following year financial results. The success of the initiative is gratifying to all involved.

  1. Increased Net Income After Taxes (NIAT) / Reduction in Policy Liabilities;
  2. Reduction in Interest Rate Volatility; and,
  3. Increased Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirement (MCCSR) ratio.

Following the success of the first two significant transactions, Stephen transitions the “play book”. The remaining internal team replicate and continue this new initiative as a Business As Usual program.        

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