NEW YORK—Today, technology is being used in just about every aspect of business—from operations to project management to communication—and the hospitality industry is no exception. Hospitality Technology’s 2016 Lodging Technology Study found that 54% of hotels were planning to spend more on information technology (IT) this year than in prior years.
By investing in technology, a company hopes to streamline operations, improve efficiency and positively affect its bottom line. Of course, in order for this to take place, IT funds need to be spent wisely. Fred Mouawad, CEO and founder of Taskworld, has created an all-in-one platform and mobile app for large-to-small companies he believes will help those in the hotel industry better manage their companies by effectively improving communication between all departments.
The eldest son of the Mouawad family, a well-known diamond jewelry company best known for their watches—the company’s other claim to fame is the diamond-studded bras it created for Victoria’s Secret—Mouawad started out working in the family business. In 1994, he went out on his own and created Synergia One Group of Companies, an international conglomerate that runs a number of businesses. Although he returned to the family business in 2010 as co-guardian, Mouawad continued to run his other companies. It was during a search for a more streamlined project management system for his own businesses when he eventually developed Taskworld.
“Taskworld is our latest venture that opened to the public in 2012,” he said. “The idea came out of necessity and it developed into a vibrant tech company from an internal solution.”
Mouawad explained that the rapid global growth of his companies brought about its own series of challenges. “Tasks were falling through the cracks and accountability was getting lost. I was spending most of my time and energy on following up on work, which left me very little time to think strategically,” he said. “I studied the pain points from this experience and consolidated them into one list, the ‘7 Pain Points of Project Management.’ We created an internal solution called Task Management System to solve these seven pain points. Over time, through continuous feedback and fine-tuning, TMS evolved into Taskworld.”
According to Mouawad, Taskworld allows teams to collaborate seamlessly and finish work more efficiently. It does this by providing essential features of task management, team messaging, project planning and performance analytics in one simple app. “This means that you can assign work, send messages, share files and measure progress of all your projects without switching apps and without paying for additional integrations,” he said.
One of the companies Taskworld is working with is AccorHotels, a Paris-based hospitality company with more than 4,000 hotels. It began using the app about five months ago. “We have developed the app in close collaboration with AccorHotels, so we have a good sense of challenges faced by the hospitality industry,” said Mouawad. “AccorHotels is now using Taskworld to open hotels in South East Asia and they plan to use it in China by the year end.”
“We needed to find a solution enabling us to gain in efficiency during the process of opening hotels,” said Aline Massart, regional director of digital marketing, South East Asia, AccorHotels. “We wanted an online solution where everyone could see the latest progress on a real-time basis and where all documents and processes would be consolidated and easy to find.”
Massart said the company has gained in efficiency since using Taskworld. The app has enabled them to transform an existing complex checklist into a more seamless, concise one that all players have easy access to. On average, she said, Taskworld has saved the company hours of work each day.
Mouawad noted that one of the benefits of the app is its ease of use. “Project management intimidates people,” said Mouawad. “It doesn’t help that most project management tools only stoke that fear through their complexity (some even requiring certifications). What attracts people to Taskworld is its simplicity. A lot of effort has gone into designing it. Its feature set is carefully chosen so users don’t feel overwhelmed. Nine years of fine-tuning gave us a solid idea about what people need and don’t need to manage projects.”
Most users get used to Taskworld’s interface in a matter of hours, added Mouawad. There is also an in-house team of productivity experts on hand to provide personalized consultancy and support to clients.
Massart touted Taskworld’s core simplicity and its user-friendly features. “Prior to Taskworld, we used to gather all of our information via email, update the checklist on an Excel file and send it to various persons who would then have to combine it with their own excel file, etc.,” she said. “With Taskworld, the checklist is updated in one click and visible to everyone. In addition, Taskworld enabled us to reduce the number of emails during the hotel-opening process thanks to the chat.”
“It’s easy to put all the features under the sun in one app if you have the resources. Not much thought goes into that,” added Mouawad. “To make user-friendly products, you need to be creative and place ease of use at the top of your priorities. Taskworld at its core is an easy app to use and will always remain so. Our motto is to be customer-centric while selecting our features and to be user-friendly while delivering them.”
“I would absolutely recommend using Taskworld to other managers,” said Massart. “It definitely eases our day-to-day work life.” HB