As serviced apartments continue to gain popularity, an emerging brand, MOOI Apartments is taking the co-living concept to the next level. The essence of MOOI derives from the Dutch term meaning beautiful, homely or pretty.
Based in Switzerland, MOOI Apartments is a dynamic innovator in the micro living space, providing high-quality, self-serviced apartments for short, medium and long stays. Their properties in Schlieren, Grenchen, St. Gallen, and soon in Biel are designed to meet the unique and tailored needs of temporary living. With investment from their parent company, Manser Group - assets totaling over 600 million CHF - MOOI Apartments is set to expand across Switzerland with 6 destinations already confirmed.
In a recent interview, the CEO and Co-founder of MOOI, Roman Lengwiler, emphasised the company's pioneering efforts in providing a hassle-free and contactless guest experience, successfully tackling the growing problem of staff shortages in the hospitality industry.
Challenge: Legacy systems limit scale & overall operational success
To efficiently manage their present 3 and future 6 properties, Roman sought out traditional hotel PMS systems. However, he found these systems to lack an easy-to-use and centralised interface of all of their properties. Often, crucial information of multiple properties were either inaccessible or essential integrations required additional costs. The hotel operations team would have lost several hours of work creating one-time solutions that could not scale with MOOI's business objectives.
Given that each location has a unique setup, Roman recognized the crucial need for tailor-made technology to ensure property roll-out at scale. To best meet customer needs, MOOI embraces the lean startup approach. This means that Roman’s main goal was to open new properties quickly in a stable way to ensure guest satisfaction.
Solution: Full multi-property capabilities to manage all properties instantly
Apaleo's genuine multi-property capability, at the account level, was one of the most significant factors that led Roman to choose it as the best option for their hospitality group, MOOI. With the full multi-property capabilities, MOOI can centralise its departments effectively, manage reservations, create bookings for multiple properties, access multi-property reporting, manage user-rights centrally, and leverage property templates and cloning for faster rollout.
Roman acknowledges the valuable assistance provided by the Apaleo team during the initial property rollout. However, he emphasises the significance of the easy and smooth self-service option for new property onboarding. He perceives this as a vital factor in scaling their business processes effectively.
Result: Speedy property roll-outs in 2 hours.
Roman was impressed with how easy it was to view all available properties and set them up quickly using templates. All new properties take only 2 hours to set up on the Apaleo platform. The decision to partner with Apaleo perfectly aligns with MOOI's growth strategy, and this allows them to break free from their dependence on tech providers and pursue their business goals at their desired pace.
“The setup for a new hotel in Apaleo needs just another 2 hours. After this a few days are needed for connecting to other relevant systems and going live. That’s it.”
Challenge: Extended stays demand a greater sense of control for guests
MOOI Apartments prioritises meeting guests' expectations in the digital age with seamless check-in, self-service options, and contactless communication. With plans to introduce staffless properties in the future, this approach puts MOOI in the need of finding the right technology to support their vision. Legacy systems lack scalability, resulting in loss of both market share and potential guests seeking digital experiences.
Solution: A platform fully accessible via APIs enabling self-service technology
Roman and his team were drawn to the Apaleo platform for its cutting-edge API-first approach. This empowers them to seamlessly integrate with third-party applications, as they have unrestricted access to all data and functionality of the property management platform, creating a bridge between their operations and external tools to enhance productivity and efficiency.
Leveraging the API-first approach, their tech stack enables guests to take full control of their stay from booking to check-out with ease. Apaleo's partnership with the visual automation platform, Make, enables automated check-in, check-out, and prepayments for an enhanced guest experience for guests. In addition, thanks to MOOI Apartments’ custom development, they also implemented a check-in terminal allowing 24/7 check-in capabilities fully integrated to the Apaleo property management platform.
Roman concluded: “Apaleo delivers a stable PMS function which connects easily to other systems. Going with Apaleo means keeping flexibility for the future - which is actually strongly needed.”
Result: 100% of the check-ins and check-outs are automated
With 100% automated processes in place, service is faster and the check-in process has also been streamlined. Guests can now take charge of their stay, avoiding queues and waiting times. MOOI's powerful technology stack is evident in their staffless reception desks, which not only showcases their innovation but also allows them to achieve their vision effectively. By leveraging open APIs, MOOI was able to build a flexible and customised solution that is not confined by out-of-the-box applications or the business logic of outdated legacy hotel PMS systems.
Challenge: Employee productivity is significantly hindered by time-consuming finance and accounting-related tasks
Back-office employees currently face an issue with a lack of automation when it comes to centralising payment transactions, resulting in most of their time being spent on manual processes. Roman and his team recognised that this can easily result in low staff morale, which is a significant HR hurdle, hindering productivity. To boost morale, the team sought ways to streamline administrative tasks and increase efficiency among staff. Therefore, automating monthly prepayments for extended stays was a key challenge in this area, as identified by Roman.
Designing the perfect tech stack became imperative for Roman and his team, owing to their growing automation needs. They consulted with IT experts, receptionists, general managers, and suppliers to identify promising software add-ons to effectively scale their operations.
Solution: Fully automated prepayment transactions Apaleo streamlines the payment process by integrating it directly with the reservation, allowing for real-time updates across all connected systems. By automating prepayments and monthly reconciliation, the platform frees up valuable employee time to focus on enhancing the guest experience and more value-adding initiatives, without compromising payment accuracy. This empowers back-office staff to oversee transactions and act as controllers or as Roman calls them “system observers”, elevating their role within the organisation. With Apaleo's fully integrated payment services, MOOI benefits from increased efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to provide personalised service to their guests.
Result: Saving 30% off on HR expenses & weekly 5 hours in overtime due to 100% automated payments
By automating simple and repetitive tasks, hotels can reduce HR costs while providing guests with easier and faster access to services. Thanks to 100% automated payment transactions, MOOI Apartments was able to save significantly on HR expenses as reported by Roman. This led to a weekly time saving of 5 hours in overtime for employees while delivering a 30% reduction in labour costs.
MOOI Apartments stands out from the competition with its revolutionary approach to hospitality. By offering hassle-free, contactless guest experiences, MOOI solves the problems of staff shortages that plague the industry. Employees take on a new role as "system observers," which elevates their importance within the organisation and allows them to focus on providing a more personalised service to guests. This approach guarantees guest satisfaction and aligns perfectly with MOOI's plans for scalable growth.
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