Why the Mandolay Chose Oracle & Canary for Their PMS & GMS
The Mandolay Hotel is a boutique luxury property with 80 rooms nestled in historic Guildford, England.
Recently, the Mandolay’s Managing Director, Matthew Milliken, decided the time was right to make big technology upgrades that would align the guest experience more closely with the expectations of modern consumers. This upgrade included a hard look at the legacy technology solutions upon which The Mandolay relied.
“We need technology to be on our side and help us fight these big, global chains who can throw money at any problem. We need to be at the cutting edge of things, rather than being left behind” said Milliken.
Upgrading The Mandolay’s Technology Stack
After a thorough audit of the hotel’s technology stack, and review of the hospitality industry’s leading options for property and guest management solutions, Milliken selected two top players to address the needs at his property — OPERA by Oracle and Canary Technologies, respectively.
For The Mandolay’s Managing Director, one of the key factors in making these two selections was the frequency of updates to the platforms. Milliken pointed to the lack of product updates in his legacy PMS as one of the prime reasons to replace it with something new.
“We wanted to look at partners that would keep updating,” he continued. We looked at a few different solutions to address The Mandolay’s needs and when you would ask them ‘What have you done in the past twelve months?’ and they would tell you, ‘nothing,’ it really put me off.”
Milliken chose OPERA and Canary to help improve efficiency at the reception desk and future-proof The Mandolay so it would remain at the forefront of guest experience management for years to come.
Milliken started by replacing his legacy PMS with a more modern, agile cloud solution. “We changed everything… we went to Oracle OPERA Cloud and we thought, ‘Right, what else can we do?’” said Milliken.
Beyond implementing a new PMS, Milliken was looking to make a number of other upgrades to:
- Improve the guest experience
- Grow top-line revenue
- Reduce labor needs, especially given the challenging labor market
Milliken and his team looked at a number of solutions on the market, but found that he may have to implement a few different solutions to meet his goals. However, after speaking with Oracle, he was introduced to a single solution that could fulfill their needs: Canary Technologies.
Thriving in a Tight Labor Market
Guests are now presented with two check-in areas when they enter the lobby of the hotel. One is for guests looking for the standard guest check-in experience. The other is for guests who have checked-in via Canary’s solution and only need to pick up a room key. Milliken says that about half of all guests to the Mandolay go through the contactless check-in process powered by Canary and this has enabled him to cut front desk coverage from two team members to one.
According to the Managing Director, the checkout process has also vastly improved since implementing Canary at the property. Guests can now checkout quickly and easily right from their mobile devices and even leave a review of their stay. The contactless checkout process is also great for staff because each morning they already know who has already checked out and can focus on the people who want to do a face-to-face checkout.
“I’ve cut the wage bill in half," said Milliken. The efficiency gains have allowed the Mandolay to actually thrive in a tight labor market where other hotels are struggling to find enough staff. He continued, “I’m so glad we’re relying on technology for operational areas of our business because it means we’re not really feeling the pinch as much as others.”
A 1000% Revenue Boost
Milliken has found Canary’s Upsell platform to be immensely powerful. Prior to using Canary’s solution to market and sell add-ons that drive ancillary revenue, The Mandolay relied solely on the staff at their front desk. However, this proved less than effective, no matter what Milliken tried.
“We tried to incentivize [our staff] with a commission based on what they bring in, but their lives are much easier just to get [guests] in quickly and hand them a key,” said Milliken. “Instantly we can see that we’re making more money from Canary… We’ve gone from doing virtually no upsells… to around £2,000 per month,” he continued Milliken. “The system pays for itself. It’s a no-brainer.”