Cedric Sachs, an engineer by profession, entered the hotel industry due to family tradition. His father had a hotel in Paris with fifteen rooms. Cedric helped him on weekends and during vacations. When his parents retired, at the same time Cedric was seeking a career change, they sold the hotel in Paris and moved to Madrid. They found an apartment building just steps away from Plaza Mayor in Madrid and decided it was the perfect location. They have been open for three years. Combined with his experience working with his family in a hotel in Paris, it allows him to assess the current situation and working with Redforts.
How was the business before the pandemic?
Good. Madrid is a city that has an annual tourist growth of 12-14%. It has worked very well all these years.
How long have you been using Redforts?
Since I opened. In Paris, we used quite old programs because my father was old school and didn't want to modernize. You had to do almost all the work manually: keeping track, filling in the boxes first on one side, then on the other. It was inconvenient. It gave you a lot of freedom to change, but it caused a lot of human errors. And that was with just fifteen rooms. Imagine in a fifty-room hotel. It would be unfeasible. When I opened here in Madrid, I was looking for solutions that would do the work for you and be easy to use because there is a lot of turnover among reception staff in this industry. That's why, if you have to provide very specific training to each new employee, it becomes complicated. For me, it was essential to find an intuitive program that would consolidate all the work and make day-to-day tasks easier, freeing up time to dedicate to customers rather than computer work. Redforts is very easy to use. The employees learn it quickly. Plus, you can take it step by step. But they can start working from day one. And that's what matters.
Do you find it affordable?
I think it's a reasonable price for the service it provides. My father paid higher prices for older programs. That says it all.
What needs does it fulfill in hotel management?
We have a unique operation. Redforts offers more options than we actually use because we don't have services like daily cleaning, room service, or others. We are a tourist apartment building. You can book through Booking or AirBnB. The program would allow us to develop more functionalities than we currently use, implementing a series of services or features that could be registered with this program.
How does it make your work easier?
It's extremely easy to use for reservations and billing. It has very practical features. One of the most used by receptionists is the agenda, to see how things are looking fifteen days in advance. But the first page that receptionists open is the grid: there you can instantly visualize how your day looks. You have the history, a snapshot of how your hotel is right now. The rate management part is also well-designed and easy to use. There are simple things, like the document reader, that you can add to the program, which allow you to save a lot of time.
Could any improvements be made?
It could be synchronized or somehow communicate with the laundry service. Right now, I have to write to them or establish a route with them and they give me a delivery note. But if the process with the laundry service could be automated, it would save a lot of time.
Since the COVID pandemic, did it help to have the program?
The ability to connect remotely, from home, from a tablet or mobile device, was crucial. I have been managing the hotel alone for eight months. At some point, you want to disconnect and you need that remote access.
What surprised you the most about Redforts?
The ease of use. There are people who have never used a program like this in their life, and after five minutes they are able to manage and know who is in the hotel, when they check out and when they check in. That is essential. Redforts does everything for you, it reorganizes the agenda and optimizes management and time. Also, the quality of the reports, the ease of rate management, the statistics to help improve management, the INE box and the ability to send it automatically. And finally, after contracting it, the satisfaction with support. The service and assistance have been fantastic.
How did you learn about Redforts?
No one had told me about Redforts. I researched online. Even when I mentioned to people in the industry that I was going to work with the Redforts program, they didn't know what I was talking about. What I did was try remote demos. I tried several programs and liked Redforts, and the price was good too. It's true that when you embark on something new, you have your doubts, your fears. But in the end, it didn't disappoint me and I'm not going to switch because I'm happy with it.