Just like the other industries, the hospitality industry is also slowly making its way out of the economic downturn. In order to achieve its growth targets, the industry will have to infuse new energy into its building blocks. The players are busy preparing new strategies to reverse the declining trajectory. No doubt, cost containment will play an important role in revival process, but the focus of the hospitality companies will also be on value addition. Both these aspects of revival strategy can be adequately supported by outsourcing.
As value creation demands automation and IT support, these two functions will be outsourced in a big way. The hospitality industry, in particular, relies heavily on sales and customer retention for its growth. Interestingly, both these areas are well covered by the outsourcing industry; therefore, the hotel and travel industry is likely to (and should) outsource reservations and customer service more aggressively than ever.
So, the business processes that will be outsourced by the hospitality industry in the time to come are:
Information Technology (IT): Big hospitality players usually lack integrated systems for most of them have come up as a result of big mergers. Every individual company in this industry has its own system that needs to be merged with other constituent companies. This merger of systems has been pending for a long time due the cost factor involved. However, to enhance the delivery of products and services, an integrated IT platform is a prerequisite. So, in an effort to get more efficient technology, hospitality players will be looking for offshore IT service providers. Fortunately, there is enough IT talent available in countries like India that can cater to the demands of those in the hospitality industry. In a way, the demand and supply equation in this area is perfect and hence an increasing number of IT projects will find their way to offshore locations.
Reservations: Every hospitality company, be it a hotel group or a travel agency, relies heavily on the volume of sales. For this job, they need experienced reservations specialists. To increase their sales, hospitality companies have to employ adequate number of resources which proves to be a rather cost prohibitive exercise. However, by outsourcing this function, companies can not only meet their sales targets, but can also save cost. So, an increasing number of airline, travel companies and hotel chains will take advantage of this opportunity in the time to come.
Customer support: Customer retention is very critical for the growth of a hospitality company. These players cannot get repeat customers unless they deliver excellent after sales service. As a whole, customer support involves a lot of sub-processes ranging from refunds, cancellations to customer service. Interestingly, the outsourcing industry has an impeccable track record of delivering on these attributes. The hospitality industry will realize this capability of the outsourcing industry sooner than later and will increasingly outsource customer support functions to offshore locations.
Finance and Accounts: Another key area where the hospitality industry can cut cost and at the same time get good result is finance and accounts. These functions have been successfully outsourced by other industries as well. It is a back office function that can be controlled remotely through automation tools. Therefore, outsourcing of finance andaccounts will also witness a surge in the near future.
By outsourcing these functions, the hospitality industry will not only save cost, but will also add value to its bouquet of services.