Information & Challenges

Living Hotels comprise of 17 hotels in eight different German and Austrian cities. Their particular target group are long-stay guests, who would like to live and work in peace when away from home, in an environment with a personal flair that is suitable for all needs. Living Hotels offer both serviced apartments and hotel rooms, which dispose of all the amenities of a hotel for both short and long stays – extending the kind of comfort experienced at your own home.

hotelkit not only simplifies our daily routines at each hotel, but also enables us to communicate efficiently across all hotels.

Lorenz ter Veen COO

One of the challenges that was faced, was the improvement of their inter-hotel communication, whereby the individual character of each Living Hotel was not to be changed. A focal aspect to be implemented was not only a transparent communication system, but also the digitization and standardization of processes. As an example, guest services as well as the equipment had to be raised to a uniform standard.

Implementation & Test Phase

Living Hotels was one of the first customers not only to use hotelkit from the start, but also to actively participate in the further development of its multi-property solution by providing constant feedback. The technical set-up took place in 2012 for all 14 hotels at that time and was then gradually expanded to the 17 Living Hotels that exist today. All employees were trained within a test period of just 25 days, and all the hotels started using hotelkit at the same time.

An important point in the implementation of hotelkit was the creation of several managerial levels: every hotel had to be able to work with the software internally to make daily procedures and processes more effective. At the same time, a chain level was created to connect the different hotels with each other so that work could be carried out across all properties without any problems.

Using the chain level, every employee has access to Derag’s central handbook, which is maintained by the head office – changes are automatically synchronized in each hotel’s hotelkit. At this level, employees can exchange ideas across the company, give feedback, ask questions or discuss ideas with each other. At the same time, the head office can easily distribute information to specific target groups via this level, for example to all employees or to certain groups, such as the directors of all the hotels. Within the group, approximately 500 members of staff work with hotelkit.

Results

The goal of improving internal communication and standardizing processes was not only fully achieved, but in many areas even exceeded: in addition, hotelkit has become a much-used social network among staff.

A total of 1,800 articles have already been created at the chain level alone, meaning the hotel group, including all hotels, already has an enormous knowledge base with a total of 9,500 articles. Communication works perfectly internally as well as across several Living Hotels with 65 handovers and news items per day. Around 3,260 comments on a wide variety of topics are written each month by staff.

Today, hotelkit has proven to be an excellent tool for innovation throughout the group: on average, three new ideas are created per month. These are then commented on and further processed by all members of staff – this has been consistently and persistently done over a period of six years. From guest surveys to discussions about design proposals for Christmas cards and gifts for their guests, everyone, who wants to participate, is involved in making the decision.

Innovations are advanced much faster with the help of hotelkit and all members of staff can participate in discussions.

Hermann Arlt General Manager Living Hotel am Deutschen Museum