Change Management is Critical to Successful Digital Adoption

Home2 by Hilton Bismark

Share This Post

First Call operates the Hampton Inn Warroad in Minnesota

When the COVID pandemic hit, Heidi Wilcox, owner and CEO of First Call Hospitality, a management company with 14 hotels in its portfolio, realized it was time to get serious about going paperless. Technology became all the more crucial for the team to effectively communicate amid a rapidly changing world. Corporate needed to be nimble in communicating with on-property staff, and vice versa. Operations needed to be streamlined fast for the company’s portfolio of mostly branded select-service and extended-stay hotels representing nine different ownership groups.

That’s why, although First Call implemented Paperless Night Audit processes in 2017, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that leadership knew change management was critical to see the portfolio through and past the COVID crisis.

“For us to go paperless, the change management process had to happen, and the COVID pandemic became a real catalyst,” says Wilcox. “Once COVID hit, we didn’t have any problems getting GMs to adopt the Paperless Night Audit process.”

Getting the team to buy into saying goodbye to paper proved to be a challenge, however. The team ran into several issues, including training challenges amid staffing shortages and lack of accommodation from brands. “We had to help the franchises prepare some of the reporting so that we could do the Paperless Night Audit process,” Wilcox says.

But the reward was worth the effort, she notes. “We are always looking to centrally accomplish tasks. We want to make sure the hotels are concentrated on the staff, the assets, and the guests,” she says. “We wanted to eliminate all of the dual paperwork.”

First Call Hospitality used another document management software before implementing myDocs from MDO, where Wilcox says the process turned out to be a “nightmare” because the company’s reporting was consistently inaccurate. Now with myDocs, the night audit process is simple and gives the team back time in their day to focus on other tasks.

Today, paperless is status quo and operations are significantly streamlined for everyone on the team – from the corporate office to the on-property staff members. “All of our GMs are now on board and we’ve learned that, when we bring a new hotel into our portfolio, we start training on digital document management right away,” says Wilcox.

First Call Hospitality is one of several companies that have adopted Paperless Night Audit processes through MDO’s myDocs software. The management company has received certification for its measurable impacts on reducing the number of byproducts created in the printing of nightly property-level reports and documents. First Call Hospitality has also received a personalized landing page with real-time sustainability data and a badge to use in communications and materials.

Since adopting the myDocs Paperless Night Audit process five years ago, First Call Hospitality has contributed to saving 175 trees, 71,437 gallons of wastewater and 31 pounds of landfill across its  portfolio.

More To Explore