Cedric Sachs, an engineer by profession, was born and raised in a hotel family. His father owned a 15 room hotel in Paris. In the weekends and in summer holidays Cedric lend a hand working in the hotel. When his parents retired, Cedric was just between jobs and decided it was time to go back to the hotel business. They sold the hotel in Paris and went to Madrid. Next to the famous Plaza Mayor in Madrid, they found an apartment complex and decided it was the perfect place for their new business. With the experience of working with his family in a hotel in Paris, and the three years in Madrid, Cedric is in a good position to assess the current situation and the use of Oscar.
Good. Madrid is a city that has experienced a consistent annual growth in tourism of about 12-14%. So we did well all of these years.
Since we opened. In Paris we used quite old programs because my father was a bit “old school” and did not want to modernise. You had to do most of the work by hand: be vigilant, fill in this form first, then that form, then another etc. It wasn’t easy nor user friendly. It gave you some freedom, but it caused a lot of human error. And this with only fifteen rooms. Imagine if we would have had a fifty-room hotel. It would be impossible. When I opened here in Madrid, I looked for solutions that would get the job done and were easy to use, because in this sector there is a lot of turnover, especially at the reception. Therefore, if you have to spend a lot of time to train each new hire, it would become unsustainable. So, I concluded that the most important thing was to get an intuitive program, which would cover all the work and make the day to day easier to free up time, so I could dedicate more time to my clients instead of to computer work. With Oscar it is very easy. Employees manage the program quickly and can start working from day one. And that's what matters.
It seems to me a reasonable price for the benefit it gives us. My father paid much more for older programs. With this, I think all is said.
We have a bit of a peculiar operation. Oscar offers us far more than we use because we do not have services such as daily cleaning, room service or others. We have a tourist apartment building. You can book via Booking or AirBnB. We are aware that the program allows us to use a series of services we might start using in the future.
For reservation and billing, Oscar is very easy to use. It has very practical things. One of the things that those who work at the reception use the most is the Timetable, to see what will happen in the next 14 days. But the first page the receptionists open is the Dashboard: with one glimpse you know what your day will be like. There you have your history and the status of your hotel today. The Rates page is also very well designed and easy to use. In addition there are simple things, like the document reader, that you can add to the program and save you a lot of time.
A means of communication with the laundry service would be very useful. Now I need to contact them and arrange for the pickup. If this process could be automated, that would be really helpful.
Being able to connect from home, to access remotely, from tablet or mobile, was key. I have been running the hotel for eight months all by myself, at some point you want to disconnect and you need that remote access.
The ease of use. There are people who have not used a program like this in their lives and after five minutes they are able to work with it: know who is in the hotel, when they leave and when new guests will arrive. That is key. Oscar does everything for you, organises your reservations and optimises management and time. Furthermore the quality of the reports, the ease of managing rates, the statistics to help improve management. And “last but not least” the satisfaction of the customer support. The help has been fantastic.
No one had mentioned Oscar to me. I researched online. Even when I was telling other people in the industry that I was going to work with the Oscar program, people didn't know what I was talking about. What I did was try remote demos. I tried various programs and I liked Oscar and also the price was good. It is true that when you start something new, you have your doubts, your fears. But, in the end, Oscar did not disappoint me and I am not going to change because I am happy.