This post-pandemic period provides a great opportunity for hospitality to reinvent itself. Mark Dickinson of DONE! Hospitality Training Solutions explores the importance of a paperless work environment.
Technology is moving with ever-increasing speed and solutions to basic problems are now online. The objective of every F&B operation must be to go paperless as quickly as possible. This requires intelligent thinking to determine why any piece of paper exists and to uncover a paperless solution to remove it.
The decision to go paperless will not be without resistance, however. Those most resistant to changes in technology are in the millennial group and above. Gen Z are already there. They have grown up using only technology and have no use for paper; it just makes no sense, slows things down and can get lost. Cloud is now standard for the world and is not some novel, suspicious way of doing business — it is the norm. Working on tablets, mobile and cloud must be the mission for every administrator running hospitality. The computing power far outstrips the mental processing capacity of management.
The challenge to making this shift is frequently found in the insecurity of those who are in administrative roles who fear that their authority, future or career might be taken away. Those who are savvy and aware will realize that while there will be fewer requirements for back-office teams, the business was always about serving customers anyway and that getting the company focus back onto customer-facing activities is far more important than building office empires. Every dollar saved on a backoffice process is a dollar that can be invested in growth
There are multiple key technologies that will reduce the need for back-office teams and increase the responsibility of team members on the floor, devolving decision making naturally.
Banking is an online affair. Everything that ever needs to be done for banking can now be done digitally. Throughout the pandemic, we became almost a cashless society and that is only set to continue to grow. Money has become online and is just digits on a screen, so management of all banking must be paperless
Accounting is frequently a bottleneck and attracts a large number of employees who seem to be continually immersed in a backlog of paperwork. That is now over. There are excellent solutions out there that involve online software and outsourcing. The first step is to get a system set up that handles all purchases, all invoices and all supplier payments that is integrated into the entire operations system; no more paper, no more petty cash. This decision alone may take some companies a few months to implement, but six months down the line, the accounting will be run by a minimal crew of a couple of team members.
Online reporting is essential for management, but thanks to solutions online, all revenue, expenses and costs can be viewed by management online instantly at all times. P&Ls are automatically up to date 24/7, and bank positions are in real time. Apps exist for cashing up and management of actual daily revenue, which can be completed by team members on the floor. End of paper.
Time and attendance, records of the disciplinary process, management of vacation days, sickness and all related HR activities reduce the administration work of HR and cause the team members to manage their own personnel-related admin through the online information that they need. No more paper
The POS has long been a pillar of the industry. However, with the growth of cloud-based POS, the solutions now offer massive flexibility and smooth interface with accounting, allowing for automated cost control, procurement and revenue control
Checklists have long been desirable elements of an operation, and yet neglected because they have been difficult to implement and even more difficult to monitor. Today, that problem has been solved through the introduction of online, digital checklists. Team members are prompted by their mobile phones to fill in the checklist and provide pictures as visual proof of the status of the operation. These apps are all online and automatically inform management through valuable reports of any issues or problems.
Training is now an online activity through platforms that provide a system upon which operations can upload their entire training program via videos and documentation.
With all this power in hand, the need for large numbers of back-office personnel is vastly reduced and the efficiency of an operation accelerates
Going paperless is a decision that will yield outstanding savings, improve productivity and return the organization’s focus to providing outstanding customer service for every customer every day.