Hotel Automation Guide Pt. 2: Automating Back-Office Operations

Trade Secrets | Changeovers | Getting Online | Making a Profit

Table of contents

Share this article

While the front desk is the core of your hotel’s customer-facing operations, the strategic work that happens behind the scenes is just as vital to your success.

This is especially true as you gear up for the annual busy season. As your peak bookings period advances, the back-office team should be driving both direct and OTA channel performance through seamless distribution channel management and revenue-generating pricing strategies…  

To make the right decisions in those areas – and more – they also need to monitor your business’s performance and gather accurate insights…  

Then, once the busy season is in full swing, the team must continue to manage distribution channels, revenue and reporting – while also ensuring that the room changeover process runs smoothly amidst the steady flow of guests. 

It’s a lot of work! Thankfully, the effective use of automation gives the back-office a reliable way to streamline these processes and simplify complex strategic tasks, once and for all.

Let’s explore how automation can improve how the back-office markets your hotel online, manages revenue, reports on your business, and co-ordinates changeovers. 

1. Marketing your hotel online

Did you know that only about 50% of hotels worldwide use channel manager software?* This means that half of hotels have staff managing their distribution channels manually – spending countless hours updating availability, rates, and content on different extranets. 

These updates can become virtually impossible to stay on top of, especially when the hotel gets busy with bookings. And any errors or omissions can lead to major check-in embarrassments, including dreaded accidental overbookings when room availability is not updated accurately and promptly.  

Therefore, channel manager software is a must if you wish to save precious time and avoid overbookings while advertising on multiple channels. A channel manager provides real-time connectivity, using automation to instantly keep room rates and availability in sync across your chosen channels, including leading OTAs and metasearch sites like, Agoda, Airbnb, Expedia, Google Hotel Ads and TripAdvisor. 

However, not all channel managers are created equal. If your channel manager’s automation capabilities only keep rates and availability in sync, then your team should still expect to spend hours updating everything else manually on OTA extranets. To save the most time possible, look for a channel manager that automatically keeps the following up to date on your distribution channels too: 

  • Promos 
  • Photos 
  • Descriptions 
  • Policies
  • Taxes
  • Extras
  • Fees
  • Guest reviews
  • Messages 

eviivo Suite gives hoteliers access to the industry’s deepest OTA integrations, allowing your staff to save the hours spent on manual extranet updates. What’s more, our award-winning channel manager is integrated with your hotel’s PMS and booking engine in one system, so your teams get centralized control and visibility over your distribution channels.  

2. Revenue management

The number of new hotels opening worldwide continues to rise year-on-year.† Amidst the ever-growing plethora of options, you need to make sure that your hotel stays competitive.  

Effective revenue management is a key way to do this. By strategically adjusting your pricing and inventory at specific times, you can make your hotel stand out, increase revenue, and improve overall financial performance. Good revenue management helps you:

  • Capitalize on peak periods.
  • Minimize revenue loss during the low season.
  • Attract a diverse range of guests year-round.  

Put simply, it’s a critical role within your hotel – and adjusting your prices manually just won’t cut it in today’s hyper-competitive, fast-paced landscape. 

Automating your revenue management typically involves enabling your room rates to be adjusted automatically in response to real-time trends in demand. For example, you may wish to set up basic pricing ‘rules’ that instruct your pricing software to automatically increase your rates as your rooms fill up or, inversely, lower them as demand drops. By doing so, you’re more likely to capture additional revenue throughout the year. Similarly, setting a rule to close your inventory on OTAs as you fill up may help you to increase commission-free direct bookings.

Of course, your team’s strategic input is always important to ascertain when – or whether – it’s right to make decisions like these with your channels and pricing. 

To add an extra layer to your revenue management automation, you can also explore specialized dynamic pricing software packages. For example, eviivo Suite can be integrated with leading third-party solutions that optimise your room rates based on: 

  • Broader market data. 
  • Your historical data. 
  • Your real-time data (e.g. changes in bookings). 

This allows you to implement sophisticated pricing strategies automatically based on a combination of data sources. By doing so, you capture the most revenue at all times – without wasting any hours on manual rate updates

Deciding when and how to run promotions at your hotel is another crucial element of revenue management – and another area where automating tasks can help you thrive. Let’s say your goals are to relinquish your dependence on OTAs, drive more direct bookings, and attract guests as far in advance of the high season as possible…

With the right promotional tools, you can run special offers that are available exclusively on your hotel’s website. In this scenario, you may wish to offer an ‘early bird’ discounted rate to those who book in advance of a certain date. Set your promo to expire automatically at the date of your choosing and voila – you’re ready to attract more direct bookings over the period of time you have selected. 

A hotel website displaying a pop-up promotional offer encouraging travelers to save money by booking direct.
An example of a promotional offer designed to drive direct bookings.

3. Performance and financial reporting

The cornerstone of any hotel’s strategic operations is effective reporting. Tracking KPIs like ADR and RevPAR is critical to moving your business forward. But gathering and analyzing the data required to do so can be time-consuming. And this poses challenges when making the most effective decisions depends on having access to timely, accurate data. 

Automated reporting provides your teams with real-time visibility on key performance indicators (KPIs), so they always have access to the insights they need. Make sure you can adjust the timeframe that your automated reporting covers to gain instant insights into year-on-year growth and key metrics for specific periods (e.g., the past month, the past 3 months, or the past 12 months).  

Similarly, consider opting for automated reporting capabilities that are integrated into your PMS. Having your data centralized can give you instant access to more precise information and a wider range of KPIs. Equipped with the right reporting tools, you can monitor ADR, RevPAR, performance by booking source, occupancy, revenue growth, and more, all at your fingertips.  

Keeping track of all your financial transactions is also critical for your hotel’s strategic growth, as well as its regulatory compliance. Whether your staff works with a local accountant or uses a preferred accounting software, they need to be able to produce fully balanced journal entries for every transaction type, including:  

  • Accommodation. 
  • Food and drinks. 
  • Extras.  
  • Taxes. 
  • Ownership charges.  
  • Commission costs.  

Generating trial balances allows your teams to verify the accuracy of your records and make sure that all charges, payments and adjustments have been accounted for. However, it often requires staff to manually extract and balance data from multiple other reports, which can be a pain-staking process. 

Automation can help the back office account for every transaction without the hours of number crunching. For example, eviivo Suite allows users to generate fully balanced journal entries for every transaction type, ready to be imported into their preferred accounting system or sent to their accountant. eviivo’s reporting capabilities also allow you to generate trial balance reports in one click, and easily drill-down to the underlying transactions to make reconciliations easier. All reports generated by eviivo Suite can be imported into Excel or CSV formats, or integrated with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. 

Whether your teams are bookkeeping or tracking performance, automated reporting allows them to generate insights at a moment’s notice. This real-time visibility allows back-office professionals to quickly identify areas of opportunity or concern (e.g., unbalanced transactions or downward trends in bookings). As a result, it’s much easier for you to capitalize on strengths and improve your hotel’s overall financial performance. 

4. Cleaning and changeovers

Scheduling changeovers is certainly not the most glamorous part of the job. Yet it’s vital to ensuring that the day-to-day runs smoothly. No guest wants to check-in to a room that’s unclean, unstocked, or otherwise unready for them!  

Ensuring that each guest checks-in to a spotless room requires a lot of work behind the scenes. Between navigating strict time-constraints and the inevitable unexpected situations, you must also coordinate communication between your front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance teams. 

Automation can ease the burden of keeping changeovers running smoothly. Look for a cleaning management system that allows you to set up general rules specifying when, how often, and under what circumstances your rooms get cleaned. These rules can then be used to automatically issue instructions to cleaning teams, meaning less time is spent setting up daily cleaning rotas.

Additionally, setting automatic cleaning buffers allows you to block a room for a set number of days before and after a stay to create extra time for deep cleaning between guests. Streamlining these all-important scheduling tasks gives your teams more time to attend to any unexpected delays or disruptions that pop up. 

Automation can also help facilitate seamless communication with housekeeping teams. With automated alerts, you can ensure that your cleaning teams always receive the most up-to-date cleaning instructions and their daily schedule, wherever they are on the floor – either by email or on their mobile. 

You can set up all of the processes mentioned above with eviivo’s Cleaning Dashboard. This mobile-friendly dashboard can also be used by housekeeping staff to monitor their tasks, mark rooms as cleared, provide feedback, and report maintenance or inventory issues. Put simply, it keeps the lines of communication open, no matter where housekeeping staff are on the floor. 

By adopting tools like eviivo’s Cleaning Dashboard, hotels can keep housekeeping running smoothly through streamlined processes and crystal-clear communication. Not only are cleaning teams happier, but guests arrive to clean, well-prepared rooms that meet their expectations. 


This guide has outlined some of the main ways that automation can help hotels streamline their operations without compromising on quality.  

Of course, how and where you automate tasks at your hotel should always come down to your own challenges, demands, and preferred ways of working. However, we hope to have shown how both customer-facing and back-office operational teams can see the benefits of hotel automation. By automating previously manual tasks, staff are finding more ways to save time, create efficiencies, and be productive. When you let automation take care of time-consuming admin, you’re freeing up your customer-facing staff to deliver great face-to-face interactions, and your back-office team to focus on the bigger (strategic) picture.  

Needless to say, these staff benefits also have a huge impact on the guest experience – and, ultimately, your hotel’s bottom line. 

To roll out automation as seamlessly as possible across your hotel’s operations, you should opt for your automation tools to be integrated into your property management system. This means that there’s less for you to buy, less training needed for your teams, and less to worry about – as well as a faster ramp-up time to get things rolling. 

With eviivo Suite, you get all the automation tools we’ve covered in both parts of this guide, integrated in one award-winning platform. eviivo Suite also seamlessly integrates with third-party automation specialists in dynamic pricing, automated check-in solutions, and more. Our integration with Zapier allows you to connect eviivo Suite with 6,000+ web services, so you can create custom automated workflows without any coding or developers needed.  

Read part 1 of our hotel automation guide to learn how you can automate the guest journey and simplify your front of house operations.

*Hotel Tech Report 
Statista, 2023

Learn more about how eviivo's powerful automation capabilities can transform your hotel's back-office operations.


Table of contents

Share this article