SINGAPORE (Apr 23): The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned lodging business unit, is embarking on a digital ecosystem transformation to support its expanding global lodging portfolio.

The company aims to drive revenue growth, improve operational efficiency and enhance value to its customers and business partners through a comprehensive front-to-backend systems makeover.

As part of its digital transformation, Ascott has launched the Ascott Star Rewards, the world’s first loyalty programme in the serviced residence industry to offer full flexibility to earn and redeem points. It will also be adopting a new revenue management system, as well as updating its backend global property management system to a cloud-based one.

Ascott Star Rewards is now offering members no cap to the points that can be earned, no minimum points required for redemption, no blackout dates, and even the option to nominate other guests to earn points.

To complement the launch of Ascott Star Rewards, Ascott has also revamped its booking websites to enable members to access their rewards, redemptions, booking history and preferences on a personalised dashboard. It has also enhanced members’ online experience by streamlining its room booking process from six to three steps.

Ascott’s other digital initiatives underway include using advanced emotion analysis of guest reviews to sift out customer insights for operations, marketing and branding strategies; and an enhanced Customer Relationship Management system for Ascott’s sales workforce to access and capture information on corporate clients on their mobile devices while managing leads on the move.

Furthermore, the company has introduced service robots in its establishments in China to perform a suite of tasks including providing concierge services, leading guests to their rooms or facilities at the property, delivering clean laundry and packages, and providing refilling room supplies, increasing productivity by about 40%.

Ascott Orchard Singapore also sports a self check-in kiosk with facial recognition, reducing check-in time to just two minutes.

Kevin Goh, CEO of Ascott says, “As we continue to grow our asset-light business model through management contracts and franchise deals to achieve Ascott’s target of 160,000 units globally by 2023, the ability to expand and multiply efficiently is paramount. Technology is therefore a critical enabler to succour this rapid expansion and boost our multiple revenue streams.”

“By combining the technology of cloud commerce, revenue and customer relationship management applications as well as location analytics, Ascott will be able to capture an unprecedented level of data, both online and offline. We will then be able to customise entirely unique experiences based on our guests’ implicit and explicit preferences. To sharpen Ascott’s competitive edge to stay ahead of the curve, we must continue to harness technology to reinforce our strong international network of customers, boost employee productivity, gain cost advantages from economies of scale and strengthen our operations,” adds Goh.

As at 12.00pm, shares in CapitaLand are trading 3.3% lower at $3.52.