Hoteliers, like many of us living in the 21st century, have become accustomed to a certain level of sophistication in the technology they use in their day-to-day lives. Most of the devices and software they use to manage their lives are “smart,” and they generally integrate with one another seamlessly. This technology, from fitness trackers to banking apps, makes hoteliers’ personal lives easier.
However, this level of technological sophistication does not extend to most hoteliers’ working lives. In fact, most of the technological solutions available to hoteliers for managing their data are incredibly outdated. These “solutions” require hoteliers and their staff to spend their valuable time doing tedious, manual work.
This presents a huge challenge, particularly for brands with multiple properties spread across the globe. Many hoteliers in these contexts struggle to understand which accounts are bringing in the most (or the least) revenue in each global segment. This lack of visibility leads to huge inefficiencies. In a COVID and post-COVID world where hoteliers have to do more with less just to survive, inefficiency is no longer an option.
Seeing the problem
Thynk’s co-founder, Nils Scheers, grew up looking for ways to make life easier. As a child, he was competitive - always trying to complete tasks faster and more efficiently than his peers. This was possible because he had access to current and emerging technologies at home and school.
When Nils entered the world of hospitality as a receptionist, he did not have that same access. Instead, he encountered old computer systems, basic software, and a complete lack of automation.
As a night auditor, he had a front-row seat to the problems that this outdated technology created. Each night, as he spent 2 - 3 hours manually checking the data from the previous day to ensure it was accurately entered into the system, he noticed operational inefficiencies and departments that were making mistakes.
As he progressed in his career and began working at Hilton, he was astonished to find that they were using Excel as their CRM reporting tool. He realized that the problem he had identified was not limited to one or two small hotel brands; in fact, it extended to the most well-known players in the industry.
A shared vision
After his time at Hilton, Nils began working as a sales manager for another company, covering 14 hotels in Belgium. As he took on more of a project management role, he started looking for software that would allow them to manage MICE and sales data and run data analytics. Though he found the options to be less than ideal, he ultimately decided to choose Microsoft Dynamics.
But before Nils was able to sign the proposal from the Dynamics team, he received a call from Pascal Petit. Pascal, a then external consultant for Salesforce, told him that Salesforce could offer Nils’ hotels better functionality and more flexibility for a similar price. While it hadn’t initially been obvious that Salesforce was well-suited to Nils’ use case, Pascal helped him see that it would be more customizable, and ultimately more helpful, than Dynamics.
Later on, Pascal remembered Nils’ strong desire to find a modern solution that would bring ease and efficiency into the lives of hoteliers. Rather than continuing to search for the perfect software, Pascal asked Nils if he’d like to help him create it. It was then, in 2019, that Thynk was born.
Creating the solution
Even though the pandemic disrupted the hospitality industry, it also gave hoteliers ample time to consider improvements they could make in the operational efficiency and effectiveness of their hotels. With less financial and employee resources available, many hoteliers realized that success in a COVID-19 world would require adaptable, up-to-date technological solutions.
For a data management and automation solution to be useful in this context, it needed to have two key qualities.
First, it needed to offer seamless, two-way integrations with other platforms that hoteliers already used. Nils and Pascal knew that hoteliers were not IT professionals, nor did they have the time or desire to acquire those skills. This meant that Thynk needed to be easy to implement and use and provide reliable visibility of data stored in multiple places.
Second, it needed to be agile. With rapidly changing travel conditions, country restrictions, and safety requirements, any solutions needed to be able to adapt quickly to hotels’ changing needs.
As Nils and Pascal continued to bring on customers, they used their feedback to continuously improve the platform. This was their way of ensuring that Thynk provided a seamless experience and adaptable functionality.
Technology for tomorrow
Over the course of 3 years, Thynk has continued to grow, adding customers across the globe. These forward-thinking hotel leaders are now able to simplify and automate sales, operations, and data management in a way that wasn’t possible before, empowering them to do more with less and succeed in an unpredictable market. On average, these hoteliers are seeing a return on their investment after just 6 months of using the platform.
Nils believes that hoteliers deserve the same level of sophistication from their data software that other industries, like finance and real estate, currently enjoy. That’s why he, Pascal, and the rest of the team at Thynk continuously strive to build and maintain a platform suited to the needs of the modern world. In the future, Nils envisions a world in which no receptionist has to spend 2-3 hours a night manually checking data, and all hoteliers have easy access to the information that matters most.