Fragrance Hotel is a leading name in the hospitality industry. Today, with 22 hotels, it operates the 2nd largest economy-tier hotel chain in Singapore. Most of Fragrance Hotel’s property assets and hotel operations are located in the city or city-fringe areas. Their track record and reputation of providing affordable accommodation has led to the “Fragrance” brand of hotels becoming well-established in the local and regional hospitality industry.
Technology-Driven Hotel Management Strategy
Before approaching Forecepts, Fragrance Hotel was using a 3rd party hotel reservation system. The system catered to the company’s basic needs of accepting booking online. Being one of Singapore’s largest chain of economy hotels, and with a new brand of hotel chain launching in the near future, Fragrance Hotel decided to build its own hotel reservation platform. The increasing trend of mobile users also planted the idea for Fragrance Hotel to have a mobile site to cater for mobile bookings. The scope of this new hotel reservation system covered:
- Dynamic promotion with complex settings like discounts, free nights, minimum stay, allotment of promotion and the ability to launch promotion campaigns targeting selected hotels and room types
- Efficient update of room allotment and prices for online hotel booking as these information change frequently
- Allotment and pricing arrangement that are suitable for transit hotel service
- Mobile-friendly hotel booking engine, with online payment for guests
- Channel management and support for multiple tiers of agents via a hotel booking portal for agents to use
- Allow hoteliers to manage information for individual hotel properties, with restrictions controlled by Fragrance Hotel’s headquarters
- API for interfacing with external systems
Building The New Hotel Reservation System
The Fragrance Hotel team was very familiar with their offline operations as well as the various online distribution channels that they were using. However, it become a challenge for them, and for us, when determining the requirements for the new hotel reservation platform. The platform had to sit between the offline operations and the actual online selling. But unfortunately, no one in the Fragrance team was familiar with the online selling part.
We first performed a study of various hotel reservation systems and online distribution channels … We built screen prototypes so we could probe for more details while discussing with the project stakeholders.
Instead of requesting the requirements from the project stakeholders and user, we first performed a study of various hotel reservation systems and online distribution channels. We distilled and handpicked suitable features for Fragrance hotel reservation platform. We built screen prototypes so we could probe for more details while discussing with the project stakeholders. It took us 6-7 rounds of meetings to capture the full requirements of the project, as well as to reach a confirmation on the workflow, as captured on our screen prototypes for the hotel reservation platform.
Some unique use cases and feedbacks surfaced only after the system had gone live … we had to implement the relevant enhancements in a very short time after the system was commissioned.
Actual users i.e. people on ground ops, from Fragrance Hotel’s headquarter and individual hotels were not involved during the requirement gathering and the UAT phase of this project. Therefore, some unique use cases and feedbacks surfaced only after the system had gone live. Because of this new but important requirements, we had to implement the relevant enhancements in a very short time after the system was commissioned. We could have provided a better experience for the end users if we could have gotten their involvement in the project. At the end of the day, the system is built for these end users.
Instant Hotel Booking With Online Payment
We successfully delivered the solution that catered to the requirements of the client. Because of the new hotel reservation system, Fragrance Hotel guests can now make instant hotel bookings and payments conveniently, via a web or mobile hotel booking engine. Fragrance Hotel administrators can now manage their various hotel properties and sales channels effectively.
Fragrance Hotel guests can now make instant hotel bookings and payments conveniently, via a web or mobile hotel booking engine.
Today, we are still providing on-going support to the client and working closely together with them to make more improvements to the system. The invaluable experience of this project has allowed our team to understand the hotel industry in a much deeper manner. It has also provided the Fragrance Hotel team the opportunity to review their processes and marketing strategy, and to have a better understanding of the process of customised development.