Could your hotel benefit from utilizing RFID microchips technology to prevent further theft in the hotel? Here are some potential benefits.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and strategically embedding RFID microchips into hotel assets can offer a number of benefits, including enhanced security, better cost control and more personalized customer service. The technology is getting better and more cost-accessible all the time, and the number of hotels adopting the technology is growing fast.
How RFID Microchips Work
RFID technology allows objects to be tracked and relevant data to be easily transmitted. These microchips are now so small that they can be easily embedded into almost any object, including easily-stolen hotel bathrobes (the microchips are even washable). They emit a unique signal that can be read over distances, enabling location tracking. For example, if a hotel guest tried to steal a bathrobe embedded with a microchip, an alert would go off notifying hotel staff as the guest tried to leave with the RFID-enabled bathrobe.
These embedded microchips are also smart, and can communicate on a wireless network. A microchip in your credit card, for example, can instantly and securely transmit your payment information to a store’s network via a card reader at the store’s point of sale. Such technology is everywhere these days, and will only expand. How might you use RFID technology in your hotel? It depends on your particular hotel and your specific business needs, but here are a few areas to consider.
Potential Benefits for Your Hotel
1. An Anti-Theft Tool
RFID is extremely useful for tracking items that have a high level of shrinkage due to theft. In order to determine whether the technology is worth the cost for your hotel, you’ll need to measure how much money theft costs your hotel each year, and then compare that number to the cost of implementing the RFID solutions. It may cost you a dollar per item to embed microchips in luxury items such as bathrobes, linen and towels, according to one report.
2. An Easy Audit Solution
Because microchips are so easily read by sensors, you can automate the auditing process when you have RFID-enabled inventory. This can save you both the cost of manual labor (auditing stock is among the most tedious jobs imaginable) and time, helping you to better and more cheaply track your hotel assets.
3. Microchips for Hotel Uniforms
Again, the possibility to track and audit your uniform inventory can be a major advantage. You’ll be able to see in real-time what sizes you have on hand, and can even track when they’ve been laundered, according to Truecount. Combining RFID microchips with a professionally trained uniform room manager that is equipped with the proper software will help improve uniform asset management and in many cases even save on inventory costs.
4. Key Cards and Payment Cards
With an RFID-enabled key card, a guest only needs to wave their card in front of their door lock and the door will open automatically. These smart cards can be used to allow guests access to certain areas of the hotel, such as a health club/gym or a parking lot. The card can even be set up to allow payments for food, beverages, gift items and other in-hotel purchases. Moreover, the card can help you track inventory and know what hotel amenities your guests are actually using. A smart, RFIP-enabled card may allow you to greatly enhance the guest experience via digital technology.
5. Track for Better Service, Security and Business Insights
As Truecount explains it, RFID microchips can tell you where your guests and staff are at any moment: “When staff members are provided with RFID-enabled IDs and badges, management can more easily monitor staff activity properly, keeping a check on their locations, monitoring staff attendance and also keeping an eye on unauthorized access in critical areas.”
Of course, building a business case for RFID technology for your hotel will take a careful assessment of your needs, the potential benefits of the technology and the direct and indirect costs of the solution. However, knowing the basics of the technology and some potential benefits for any hotel, as described above, is a good place to begin your customized cost-benefit analysis.