At the start of 2020 the company launched its 'Robotics 360' project and already has 30 software robots in operation worldwide.
During the worst year in the history of travel, Meliá Hotels International continued to explore opportunities to enhance its competitiveness and prepare for an eventual recovery, making digitalisation the backbone of its strategic plan.
At the start of 2020, the company announced an automation project with UiPath, a pioneer in the deployment of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the hotel industry. One year later, RPA is already being used in 30% of the company's areas, with a total of 30 software robots in operation.
RPA is a technology that automates business processes and repetitive, rules-based tasks, freeing up time and allowing employees to focus on performing more strategic tasks that add greater value.
Meliá implemented the UiPath Platform as part of its Robotics 360 project, one of the cornerstones of Meliá's “Be Digital 360" global transformation programme, aligning the company with other leading companies using RPA in Spain.
Guillaume Pasquet, Managing Director Spain and Portugal at UiPath, said: "Having started their journey of automation with UiPath two years ago, Meliá Hotels International has fast become a trailblazer in the deployment of RPA in the hotel industry. Meliá's continuous commitment to improving employees' work experience and enhancing the quality of services with automation for the benefit of tourists everywhere sets a high bar in the industry. We are happy to support as Meliá's automation partner of choice and put the strength of the UiPath Platform behind the recovery of the hospitality industry at such a crucial time".
In the medium term, many of the company's employees will be helped by software robots in their work as the project is totally adapted to their needs and based on their own involvement in identifying the processes to automate. In 2020, Meliá has achieved very positive results through automation in areas such as Administration, Operations, Sales, Human Resources and Risk Management, among others.
For example, robots are already performing tasks such as the reconciliation of invoice payments, reading and extracting information, mass document delivery or the automated management of internal requests, among others, helping the company to reduce the execution time of those tasks and its failure rates below 1%
One of the key factors behind this success is a commitment to raising awareness and continuous training of team members to ensure that software robots are seen as major allies of company employees.
"During the pandemic, we had to drastically adapt our way of working and interacting, and RPA technology is helping our employees manage a large number of transactional tasks automatically and remotely," explains Carlos González, Strategic Planning VP at Meliá Hotels International.
The hotel company will continue to use RPA, as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve the end-to-end automation of processes within the business. Building on the success it has achieved with automation during the pandemic, it aims to further empower its employees to use automation to improve the quality of their work.