TASK : Digitalization of Physical Places applied to Hotels
DATE : 2015,2016
Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies in the world and the largest hotel chain in Spain in both resort and city hotels. The company currently operates more than 370 hotels in 43 countries and 4 continents under its brands: Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, TRYP by Wyndham, Sol Hotels and Club Meliá. Meliá Hotels International has been named “Best Digital Transformation Enterprise” at the Digital European Mindset Awards in 2016, which recognise the most innovative companies in customer experience, ICT management, and new digital business model.
Digitalization of Physical Places applied to Hotels
Meliá Hotels International, the largest hotel company in Spain and one of the largest in Europe, is actively implementing a range of digital solutions and services for the hospitality industry as part of its Digital Transformation Strategy.
As a member of the Hotel Technological Institute (ITH), Gennion Solutions was challenged to extract business value from their existing Wi-Fi networks through the analysis of guest intra-stay behaviours.
The challenge was actually three-fold:
Leveraging intelligence effectively over existing infrastructure, that is to say, not installing any additional hardware apart from the existing Wi-Fi access points (over 490 APs).
Accurately Micro-fencing the hotels based on potential interests to different working teams existing at hotel management chain (food & beverage, operations, events & animation, revenue management among others) given fixed positions of existing Wi-Fi APs.
In addition, it was required to assess the quality of data collected as well as the accuracy and relevance of metrics and indicators derived.
Gennion deployed its Smart Places solution called NUTSHELLTM. It detects, tracks and interacts with people and object in real-time based on a network of sensors.
NUTSHELLTM provides all the necessary ingredients to achieve these objectives:Interoperability, in this case collecting data in real-time from existing Wi-Fiinfrastructure, to get a single digital ecosystem; Location accuracy, to effectively understand visitors routes based on proprietary location engineering tools and next-generation machine learning algorithms; Real Time, to collect data in real-time and model contextual events and situations of interest in the right time; Analytical Intelligence to extract value from data ingested.
Gennion collected train data from these areas and run its location engineering process to shape machine learning based micro-fencing models that once validated was set to production. NUTSHELLTMstarts then collecting and interpreting data in real-time giving context to it based on location, moment and specific device and already analysed preferences and routines.
Gennion carried out a previous engineering study in order to identify relevant and feasible zones to be monitored resulted in a Micro-fencing model based on 59 zones that included Lobbies, Pools, Beach, Restaurants, Theatre, MICE areas, Spas, Casino, Gyms, Commercial areas, Kids zones and Villas.
Gennion questioned key decision makers at the hotel (mainly managers of key areas such us operations, events & animation, romance, human resources, revenue, etc.) about actual business issues that could be analysed and so define key performance indicators to be analysed through NUTSHELLTM. Among others, the following were key business questions answered:
Which are the guest routines during their stay? Are there significant differences based on time of the day, length of the stay, purpose of the stay (honey moon, families, royal service, MICE, etc.)?
Is there a way to optimize the presence of workers across the hotel taking guest routines into account? Does current workers allocation match our gest needs?
Are our schedules matching guest routines?
What is the success of our events & animation agendas? Which are the most popular contents? Do them highlight guest’s preferences-based profiles?
When is the best moment to schedule a stage play at the theatre, concerts or parties?
Are there different stay usage profiles? Are these profiles consistent across guests and stays? Which would be key offerings for them?
There are more than 12 restaurants across the hotels, how does our guests choose each of them? Are we able to anticipate choices and pre-book personalized agendas for each of the guest units? Is our mix optimal to maximize visits and spending?
What is the reach and impact of the front counters distributed across the hotels to sell tours or spa services? Are they located at proper zones and times of the day?
How much people visit the shopping mall located closely to the hotels?
What is the level of usage of the kid’s zone and childcare service? How much time do people leave children there?
We do think people located at distant villas wait too much for a transportation to reach main facilities of the hotel, including restaurants, and it affects our customer’s satisfaction. Is it true? Is there a way to optimize the number and location of our drivers?