5 Tips For A Successful Software Deployment In Hospitality

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You probably have a bunch of systems helping you run your business. Some of them you love, some of them you hate – but why are you keeping the ones you hate? The most common answer is usually that business leaders can’t even imagine rolling out a new system and changing various team’s processes across their whole estate.

Don’t fear change, embrace improvement and streamlining. Get a system that will make your life easier, and get your deployment right. The difference between a good deployment and a bad deployment will drastically affect the returns you get from your new software. So bear these tips in mind, and get that new, fancy piece of kit up and running in no time.

1. Identify your needs and make them clear

When I am onboarding a new customer, before even thinking about beginning their roll-out, I need to know what results they want to get from their new system. Once these goals are set, we know what we are working towards, and everything else is circumstantial. You need to lower labour costs, shave time spent on schedules and payroll? No problem, let’s get it done.

So don’t be afraid to be honest with the supplier / salesperson / customer success manager when they ask you this. You are basically giving them a tangible way of knowing if the rollout is a success or if something is wrong. And this way, you get exactly what you paid for.

2. Assign a champion

Someone needs to be a driver. Someone needs to work with the supplier and ensure that advice and tasks are being followed through.

When you tell your employees that the processes they are used to are changing, there can often be a lot of reluctancy. Which is understandable; especially with part timers who won’t see any benefits from this new system, so encouragement is needed.

This is why you need someone on your team to be a driver for change, sit in on the trainings, watch the demos, and act as a guru, a shepherd, a sensei, and a champion for this system.

3. Work with the onboarding team

I’m not just saying this because I am one of the onboarding team. But it is imperative that the advice and requests of this team are supported. They run onboardings for a living (literally) and know what makes a good roll out and a bad roll out.

So when your account manager asks for certain info, or exports, or historical figures, they aren’t doing this to annoy you. This is purely for the benefit of your deployment and to ensure that you are set to get the best usage from what you paid for. You swim a lot faster with the current than against it.

4. Roll out in steps

Imagine a football team starting the match by getting every player to sprint at the opposition – it may seem like a strong and fast approach to reaching the goal, but ultimately, if they hit one speed bump it could cause them to concede very early on, knocking everyone’s confidence for the rest of the game.

When you deploy a new system, take your time and think about how you are going to break it up, step by step. Will you begin with one store, then another, then another. Or perhaps one region of stores? Or perhaps you’ll begin by running your old system in line with your new one, so you have a fall-back if there is a mistake. Although you will want to get going on this new process and solve your issues asap – don’t be afraid to take your time and get it right. Or you may find yourself living in the pocket of customer support!

5. Stay educated

If your supplier’s customer success team is worth their salt, they will let you know when new features are being released and it is in their best interest to educate you and your team to maximise you usage of these new tools. It will lower the amount of customer support required, and increases the chances that you will review this system positively with your connections and peers.

So leverage these people that want to help you, that are paid to ensure you get the most from your system and bang for your buck.

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