- If we don't progress, we regress ^

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"As a family driven hotel we have been forced to think outside of the box in the competition against the big chains. The hotel business is under pressure, and so we have to constantly look for new solutions. It’s all about being oriented towards the future and taking part in the development of the field"

- Tord Moe Laeskogen, owner of Sundvolden hotel.

A traditional industry

Sundvolden hotel, located just south of Hønefoss, has entered an exciting technological era. The hotel has utilized robot vacuum cleaners, and now they are about to introduce unmanned check ins- and outs. 

– The hotel industry is quite traditional in the way it’s being run. The way we work is very similar to the way they did it in the 80s, that’s almost 40 years ago. The business sector, the industrial sector, the transport sector – they’ve all found ways to work smarter and to be more effective. The hotel industry has to do the same. If we don’t progress, we regress. It’s like a frog that’s slowly being boiled.

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Want to offer better service

Tord and the rest of the staff at Sundvolden hotel are currently working closely with Arribatec Hospitality, the entrepreneur and technology company that has developed this solution. 

After a period of testing and breaking in the new routines, the hotel is now ready to offer the service of self check ins and check outs on a permanent basis. For the guests that wish to use it, of course. 

─ This is all about being clever in the way we run things, and it’s not like we will be removing the reception all together. However, in the long run one might see that the reception area will have a slightly different set up than what we’re used to. 

─ We have to provide the best possible service to the guests that still want it, and this group will likely keep approaching the staff for help. Other guests might wish to get check in and check out done quickly and easily, and this group only wants a room to stay in and does not have the need or wish to talk to anyone at all, Tord explains. 

"If we don’t progress, we regress. It’s like a frog that’s slowly being boiled."

- Tord Moe Laeskogen, owner of Sundvollen Hotell

Reducing the peak load

In charge of running Sundvolden hotel, Tord knows all about how busy things can get at specific times of the day. He believes that the self check-in system will help provide a more steady workload for the employees, as well as it will reduce the time guests have to spend waiting in line.

─ It is not necessarily that the goal is to save a heap of money, but rather to spread out the hotels resources throughout the day. We will be able to give the employees the opportunity to work with tasks that are more meaningful. The receptionist will have more time to develop our branding and provide personal service to the guests that want it. The cleaning staff will be able to see what rooms need cleaning in real time, making their days more flexible and effective. 

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Collaboration with Opera

Arribatec Hospitality has a close collaboration with Opera as Gold Partner. Opera are currently supplying approximately 80% of PMS-systems to the hotel industry. In other words, the system can fully integrate with your hotel’s current systems. Our products also support other PMS-systems.

Entrepreneur and CEO of Arribatec Hospitality, Alexander Richter says “The collaboration with Sundvolden hotel during the development of the system has been an amazing journey. We have learned about and gotten to know the hotel industry, and maybe even more importantly the hotel guests throughout the development.”

─ At Sundvolden we will be supplying multiple self check-in kiosks, where the guest will sign in and program their own key card. In addition to this we have developed an app that makes it possible to check in and open the door to your hotel room directly with your smartphone. Of course, this requires that the locks to every room supports bluetooth-communication, Richter clarifies.

The perfect solution for a conference hotel

Tord explains that the self-check in system could be a golden opportunity for hotels that relies on hosting conferences.

─ When a conference is booked you might risk several hundred guests walking in the door at the same time, and this is why I am truly excited to see the self-check in system in use. By moving the kiosks to the conference area of the hotel we will also be able to prevent long lines in the reception area. The conference guests will easily be able to check in without needing any help from the staff or even being close to the reception area, Tord remarks.

─ This is the future, of that I am 100% confident. That’s why I’m so pleased that we’ve been on the ball and gotten this great collaboration going with Fácil. This is something we have to do if we want our hotel to keep being loved by our guests and envied by our competitors, even a 100 years into the future, the hotel owner concludes. 

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