SuperINN for a Super Inn

(Or why
our guests love technology, even if they don’t know it!  Part 2 in our B&B Technology blog series).
The
transistor was developed in 1947, as was I. 
Sadly the transistor has had much more of an effect on humanity than I
have!  This post was going to be all
about microprocessors and how they have revolutionized the business of running
a B&B but as they are so ubiquitous right through our lives, it seemed a
little disingenuous to write about the way integrated circuits now control
everything from the oven temperature to the fire alarm system.

Instead I
want to mention just one really startling statistic that I discovered when
researching information on Wikipedia.  11
years ago, in 2002 alone, 60 million transistors were built for each man,
woman, and child then living on Earth. 
Think about that for a moment.  (Or
maybe don’t, it’s somewhat overwhelming!)
So even before we opened the Carlisle House in 2004, you would think that technology
might have peaked.  But no, ever since then
we have been increasing our use of high-tech in our small business.  The day we opened, we had our web-site ready
to launch.  
(I cringe when I look back at
it now.  There is a fascinating website
called web.archive.org which has collected and organized archives of many
websites – including ours – and you can see how tastes and trends have changed
over the years).
Back in
2004 we used to carry our laptop computers everywhere we went so that
we could keep in touch by email with our guests.  Our PCs were the life-blood of our B&B
where we wrote correspondence, updated the website and of course where the
Internet connection enabled us to track our reservations and room availabilities.
And the
Internet, or to be more accurate the World Wide Web was the real game-changer
for B&Bs and inns worldwide.  For the
first time we could establish a presence outside of travel books and AAA books,
gaining guests quite literally from all over the world, 41 countries from Argentina to Vietnam, and Australia to Vanuatu.
Before we
opened, we investigated Property Management Systems to decide which would be
the best for our new life as innkeepers. 
We chose SuperINN which hopefully means nothing at all to our guests,
but which has enabled us to have an online real-time reservation system in many
ways superior to those which major hotels were offering at that time.
The most
important aspect of SuperINN is that it is truly a real-time system meaning
that we work with exactly the same data that our guests see on the web anywhere
in the world.  This means that in almost
10 years we have never had a double booking. 
It is quite common for chain hotels to overbook on the assumption that
they will get cancellations, something that we never have done, and never will do.

At the
Carlisle House, our  technology structure helped us have a Better Way to Book a Room,
along the way to becoming a Better Way to Stay!
In Part 3 of this series, I will be talking about how “Low-Tech” can be just as useful as “High-Tech”!

2 thoughts on “SuperINN for a Super Inn

  1. In 8th grade my science fair project was a "computer" that had eight transistors. Each was the size of the tip of my pinkie and cost $2.25 ($18.20 in today's money; big bucks for a 13-year-old). It was actually four flip-flops and a rotary phone dial that added the numbers you dialed — counted all the pulses.

    Years later I met a guy who, at the same age but a few years later, had designed the circuits for a 165-transistor calculator, built it, and had it work perfectly the first time he tried it. Jeez.

    Steve and his partner, also named Steve, were flogging a somewhat more advanced version of that calculator. I turned down their job offer, for reasons I can't imagine.

      — Steve

  2. In 8th grade my science fair project was a "computer" that had eight transistors. Each was the size of the tip of my pinkie and cost $2.25 ($18.20 in today's money; big bucks for a 13-year-old). It was actually four flip-flops and a rotary phone dial that added the numbers you dialed — counted all the pulses.

    Years later I met a guy who, at the same age but a few years later, had designed the circuits for a 165-transistor calculator, built it, and had it work perfectly the first time he tried it. Jeez.

    Steve and his partner, also named Steve, were flogging a somewhat more advanced version of that calculator. I turned down their job offer, for reasons I can't imagine.

      — Steve

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