Made in The USA

GE brings production of the Zoneline PTAC back to the US

General Electric’s Zoneline Packaged Terminal air conditioners are currently being produced in Louisville, Kentucky. The new and improved PTAC’s full production started last year at their Appliance Park location. About $250 million dollars has been invested in this location with $40 million dedicated alone to GE Zoneline. About 100 operators will support the line, with 75 new jobs added to their production department. One of GE’s cultural values is providing opportunities to exercise their responsibility, integrity and creativity. Bringing production back to the US and releasing an even better PTAC for the hospitality Industry just goes to show how strongly they feel about their values.

About the new GE Zoneline:

  • The number one priority for hotel owners when it comes to PTACs is having a reliable, dependable unit. If the unit isn’t working or too loud for the customer to return this presents a loss of revenue for hotel owners. GE has millions of installed Zoneline units with an excellent service record. The new design will build and improve on that legacy.
  • GE Zoneline is the quietest PTAC compared to leading competitors, has the best noise insulation and lowest dBA, as verified by an independent, nationally accredited certified acoustics lab.*
  • GE’s Zoneline units are on average eight percent more energy efficient than leading competitor units. For a 100-room property, this can save a hotel owner thousands of dollars annually on their utility bill.

GE appliances has been making big strides building energy efficient appliances ranging from refrigerators to washers and dryers. The company takes pride in its products and people which reflects in the quality and reliability of their business.

*Independent Third Party Testing at nationally accredited certified acoustical lab, conducted March 2015 in accordance with ASTM and AHRI standards.

The Growing Need of Digital Communication

The preference to communicate online is growing strong. Whether it’s due to a language barrier, shyness or just too busy- avoiding human contact is easier now more than ever. In a recent poll by Ikea, about 68% of people prefer communicating online.  Businesses have to have to be aware of this trend to adapt properly and not miss out on potential revenue.

Implementing technology is now a necessity for digital communication. The Adobe Travel Report showed that 52% of people go mobile to find information while traveling. Despite holding great potential for increasing guest satisfaction and revenue, online communication tends to overlooked at times by hoteliers.

There are 2 main methods to help you reach your guests in a digital world, email and chat.

First impression is probably an email

Many guests book through online travel agencies and the chances of them seeing a hotel’s website over the confirmation email is slim. Emails must be aesthetically up to date, branded and tested. Make sure to keep it short and informative. About 60% of people read email from their phone and if it’s too long interest will be lost. Lastly use it for upselling, a room is already booked by your guest so why not see if they would like any additional services or upgrades.

Meet the 24 hour receptionist

Imagine an automated messenger where your guests can ask questions and order services that provides programmed answers to those repetitive questions guests will tend to ask. That’s a chatbot and they are popping up and being testing in big hotel chains such as Starwood. Using a familiar interface such as facebook messenger couple with 2 way communication, the chatbot can ask for feedback or remind them the start of an event or promotion- who wouldn’t want to know when happy hour starts?

Start engaging with your guests before they even arrive to the hotel. Digital communication is what will reach them first.

Choosing the Right Wall Mount

Four types of wall mounts

Wall mounts come in four basic functionality categories: fixed, flat, tilting and full motion mounts.

Fixed:
With this mount, the TV hangs parallel to the wall in a fixed position. It is the most economical way to hang your TV.

Flat:
The ultra flat mounts place the TV/Monitor very close to the wall (approximately 1/3″). This type of installation enhances the flat “hanging picture” dynamic of a wall hung TV/Monitor which is built specifically with the ultra-thin TV’s in mind.

Tilting:
The Tilt mounts are ideal in situations where the TV is mounted higher than eye level position. You can tilt up or down to adjust vertical viewing angle.

Full Motion:
Your TV can be pulled out, rotated side to side and tilted up or down to achieve an unlimited combination of viewing angles. Multi-Angle mounts are ideal for large rooms where the desired horizontal viewing angle needs to be adjusted periodically.

Brand Standards: The Hotel’s Bible

Reviews can make or break a hotel’s reputation, not only directly affecting the property but also the brand itself. Bad reviews should always be taken into consideration and rectified to alleviate guests about a negative experience associated with that property. Just as important is remaining true to the flag, ensuring that standards and expectations are met.

Properties that feel they are not up to par or have turn the cheek on required updates should consider the following to get going in the right direction:

Operators are fundamental

It’s important that the operators really understand the standards so that reserve allocations for future maintenance can be factored into operating costs. Once those minimum requirements are met, it’s time to come up with a plan to set your property apart from others to truly boost guest satisfaction and experience.

Follow the Standards

This is an obvious one, but the importance should not be overlooked. The brand standard manual should be followed from cover to cover on all that is required not only on amenities, case goods but also on the maintenance schedules. Cutting corners on requirements will stand out to your guests. To carry a brand’s name means that you must meet the customer’s expectation associated with it.

Compliance Management is Key

Every member of the brand must be on the same page and work towards the common goal of improving the guests experience. To maintain the brand image, visits to the properties regularly should be happening. Not only to inspect the current state but also paying attention areas that might need improvement down the road to have the most proactive approach possible.

Drivers for Hotel Energy Management

It’s no secret how much energy is spent by hotels, more than double of a residential building its same size. With only 65% of an average occupancy rate, many hotels are looking into how they can reduce such high volume of energy consumption. Energy Management Systems (EMS) have been trending for the past couple of years and for good reason – not only can you save money down the road but going green is a movement that will keep guest returning.

Eco-Friendly is a Social Motivator

There is an increasingly number of guests that make green choices at home who will value staying at an eco-friendly hotel. To many this feature will be the deciding factor to where they choose to stay. Properties that invest in EMS will be able to provide better guest satisfaction giving the assurance they supporting environment friendly choices.

Smart Technology

Connected homes are starting to become the norm. Consumers like to have the ability to control house functions at their fingertips and they anticipate doing the same when they travel. The hype of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) gives guest the flexibility to connect and control to their room during the duration of their stay.

What Hotels Should Consider to be More Tech Savvy

To be or not to be? The answer is to be tech savvy in today’s world. It’s difficult to know where to start with all the technology trends out there and some can be quite costly to implement. What can a hotel do right now to get some traction in their technology initiatives?

booking

CEO of Voyat, Benjamin Habbel, points out eight suggestions to try that can help understand what will work for a property.

1. Simplify
Whether it’s in the ads or on the website, organize it to be user friendly and appealing. Adding incentives and urgency messages (such as “one room left”) are effective at increasing conversions. The booking process must be simple so that guests can easily get in and book with as few clicks as possible.

2. Spread out into the Neighborhood
Hotels should be in tune with things to do in the city or town. However, they should consider taking into the next level and partner with the community to really show case any upcoming events, festivals, or concerts. This will provide an edge to your business and give your guests the opportunity what it feels like to be a local.

3. Think like a Travel Agency
Use the same tactics as an online travel agency does- display urgency messages, if there was a booking within the last 24 hours and how many people are viewing that room or service. Showing online activity will help even out the playing field and help to bring more online customers to the hotel site.

4. Always try New Distribution Channels
Look for other networks to promote the hotel. Being flexible as to where rates are displayed and advertised can tap into other audiences that weren’t considered to be targeted. This applies to social channels and sites that are not as mainstream.

5. Tryout Chatbots
Generation Y (also known as millennials) prefer contacting a business on their platform of choice (messaging through Facebook or WhatsApp) rather than calling in. Implementing chatbots not only prepares hotels for this entire generation but also can be used as a customer service tool.

6. Build your Presence on Social Media platforms
Dangle a carrot of deals for rooms rates or a discounted service if a guest shares property details with a friend. Build reoccurring business by offering a discount rate for those that leave a positive comment and rating.

7. Sell into your Website
Advertise car rentals, activities, transportation through ad units on a hotel’s site. Mimic the competition if they are doing affiliate marketing with rival properties. With this approach, a hotel can generate revenue from the ad space.

8. Gather Data
Recognize buying trends of a consumer to take a predictive modeling approach or testing site features by comparing two versions of the same webpage to see which gets a better conversion. These are ways a hotel can improve their online activity and they must consider how they can utilize online services to get a better online presence.

Sound and Noise — What’s the difference?

Sounds are all around us. Noise comes from sound as an irregular, unpleasant or unwanted audio signal. Noise is subjective as one person’s noise is another person’s sound. There is a difference, it all depends on who is listening and what is considered comfortable to them.
Zoneline_Better_Sound_Quality

In the hospitality industry, quiet and comfortable rooms are key to guest satisfaction.

The biggest noise culprit can be the air-conditioning unit in the room. About 66% of dissastified guests are unlikely to return due to poor noise and temperature control and about a third are unlikely to recommend the hotel for those reasons.*

General Electric is making big strides to boost the best sound quality in the industry. In addition to adding a baked on mastic barrier and a weather barrier system seal to help sound insulation, Zoneline also has the largest fans which means less rotation and quieter performance. Looking to stay ahead of the competition, their team consists of sound acoustics and mechanical engineers that have developed a sound testing lab. Proven and tested to have the lowest operating sound and best-in-class noise insulation,** GE Zoneline PTAC will provide superior sound quality to provide better guest satisfaction.

Find out more details on how GE tested above and beyond to crush the competition in all areas of sound quality.

Download the GE white paper

* Clarabridge Ratings and Reviews, for hospitality data collected July 2013 and June 2014.
** Independent third party testing at nationally accredited certified acoustical lab, conducted March 2015 and October 2015 in accordance with ASTM and AHRI standards

Hospitality Energy Management

Save 20% to 30% while boosting guest comfort

ecotouch roomsuite

Energy is typically the second-highest operating expense in a hotel, which presents a good opportunity for savings. One of the easiest ways to be more energy efficient is to not use energy when it’s not needed. Energy Management Systems (EMS) are designed to do exactly that without sacrificing the comfort of your guests.

The biggest savings can be seen in HVAC controls. Cutting edge technology can detect occupancy and efficiently scale the air conditioning to ideal temperatures. So there are no more extreme highs and lows. The Crowne Plaza Times Square in NY saw an annual savings of $112K from reducing their HVAC equipment run time with the very same principals using an EcoSmart System.

In addition to the savings, installing EMS software can provide real-time data that can help identify potential high-priority guest room equipment problems before they occur. Combined with other wise arrays of other integrations, like door locks, shades, hoteliers now have the ability to implement a full EMS to enhance guest experience as well.

Striking Out with Digital Signage

5 Reasons why consumer panels won’t work for your digital signage needs.

Tough Enclosures: Commercial screens can be placed anywhere and are made to withstand the elements like dust, grease, high heat or even water.

A Variety of Inputs: To maximize your impact, commercial digital signage uses require numerous amounts of inputs for networks and media players. Consumer screens are typically made to accommodate one piece of external hardware i.e. a DVD player.

Built to Last: The average household may turn on their consumer grade screen from one to eight hours a day. As for digital signage displays, many deployers demand 12-15 hours a day and sometimes the screens are used 24/7.

Robust Warranties: A consumer product’s warranty is typically only good for a year, and may even be voided out if the product is used more than four to six hours a day. Commercial grade units have a warranty that lasts up to three years.

Extra Features: Commercial grade screens have a variety of extra features like the ability to perform in landscape or portrait OR cooling systems to prevent overheating.

New GE PTAC: Quieter, More Efficient, and as Reliable as Always

66% of guests are unlikely to return to a hotel due to poor noise and temp control. Redesigned with a fresh sleek appearance, the latest GE Zoneline PTAC models offer baked-on insulation mastic with the lowest operating sound and best-in-class noise insulation. Breakthrough technology allows this to be done while delivering 8% more efficient cooling than other leading brands, saving you thousands in energy costs.