A zealous personality Fritz Zerweck is the CEO of ehotel®. He is a proactive thinker, creator, innovator, and ideator of innovative approaches and new technologies. Well, these leading titles talk a lot about Fritz persona, skillset, mindset, business acumen, and leadership standards. So, lets find more about this inspiring business leader.
Be in Tune with the Gut Feeling
During his early days, Fritz made decisions based on gut feeling and listened to his inner self. He decided not to take over his parents’ successful sanitary installations business, but to study economics instead. Along the way, he took a detour and turned away from a great career in finance management to join the board of ehotel®. As always, it was his gut feeling that guided him to follow this path.
As a business leader, one needs to make decisions based on profits and listen to the mind. However, Fritz connects his gut feeling with his head and makes the decisions accordingly. He believes that one should not be focused purely on profits, as profits are required for company’s liquidity but not at all costs.
One of the most important aspects of traveling is accommodation. As business travelers, finding the best hotel with specific measures and desired interests can be a tough job. Here’s why ehotel® was founded. It is an online booking platform that specializes in business travel. Twenty years ago, it pioneered a service that establishes the comparability of all options and offers. With its specially developed meta-search technology, the company offers a comprehensive search that takes into account all available rooms from all leading hotel room providers, tour operators, resellers, and hotel contingents. The search can be adapted to internal company specifications and filtered according to personal preferences and criteria such as sustainability, comfort, and more.
The comprehensive service offering of ehotel® enables companies to handle their entire travel planning and billing through ehotel® that includes individual bookings to conferences, from cost assumptions to tax refunds, from participant management to booking statistics.
In addition, it simplifies the work of travel managers, buyers, and accountants with adept tools such as the ehotel® Rate Manager – which helps to keep an eye on rates and save costs from negotiation to audit – or ehotel® Analytics, which provides transparency regarding the booking behavior of employees, costs, budgets, and other factors – an important basis for data-based decisions related to savings and process optimization.
An Ultimate Hotel Booking Solution
The core principle of ehotel® is “Making business trips easier for its customers”. The approach is a practical one and the motivation is to offer a complete digital cycle that provides a solution for every problem and to close even the last small system breaks in corporate travel booking.
Offering a Home away from Home for Business Travelers
ehotel® is for every company whose employees go on business trips. Its customer base ranges from small family enterprises to medium-sized businesses, to large DAX-listed companies, and international corporations. The service helps employees and companies with the planning and management of business trips. In addition, it offers award-winning customer service – around the clock and in any form.
ehotel®’s relationship with its customers is based on trust. It offers an ideal experience to its wide-ranging customers through transparency and fairness. In this respect, the ties to customers are based on long-term association.
Navigating to a New Destination
The turning point in Fritz’s life came when he joined the board of ehotel® in 2000. Since then, he has curated a perfect blend for his passion for travel with his talent for numbers to creatively shape the future of business travel, alongside a great team.
The Leader Talks
I take my role as a leader very seriously. For me, leadership means preparing the ground for creativity and providing food for thought. I’ve been doing it since the beginning and that’s how the team has grown and bonded.
At ehotel®, no one needs to worry that they will be held accountable if an idea does not work. For every new idea, we bear the risk together. This takes the pressure off and is very good for mutual trust. Becaus we also focus on transparency and fairness among ourselves. This approach has been going very well for over 20 years now.
Implementing New Ideas for an Advanced Future
New ideas are part of the day-to-day operations. This is how ehotel®’s innovative meta-search technology came into the picture. With the help of new technological possibilities, the company will continue to further improve as an online hotel booking portal in the future. There is not a single ‘big idea’ that ehotel® is working on, it always has the entire process and the complete digital cycle in mind.
Teams that build Dreams
Fritz is a big-time team-oriented leader. He stands with the team and works along that includes, sometimes trailing behind as a backup, sometimes leading with an idea, sometimes right in the middle as a coach. He thinks the expression “flat hierarchies” is misleading, “open-door policy” is more apt for them.
Despite all the team building, Fritz is ultimately responsible that everyone gets their salary at the end of the month and keeps their job. The hierarchy means the final decisions are taken by Fritz and it is expected him to keep an eye on everything: the numbers, the forecasts, the different teams, and the future.
Fritz pens Words of Wisdom on Success
The dictionary describes success as the positive result of an effort. And that is exactly what it is. If we pursue an idea and in the end, it does exactly what we imagined, that’s a success. Satisfied customers are a success. And 21 years of ehotel® are a success, on which we will build the next 21 years.
I am proud that we have just celebrated our 21st anniversary. We have grown organically, which has put ehotel® in a very good position as a healthy company. This is one of our biggest achievements.
Working with a Team-Driven Approach
Fritz believes that the most important thing for a leader is to keep their ego small. He has seen managers hit the dirt out of sheer vanity. Being a team player is the more successful approach.
To move forward, one should keep an eye on the goal, but be flexible along the way to be able to respond to new ideas that may be better than the path to follow originally. Even obstacles should not always be seen as negative, sometimes they can lead a team in a new direction, which can be unexpected but also inspiring.
An Exceptional Take on Competition
ehotel® doesn’t constantly look to the left and right to compare itself to its competitors. On the contrary, good ideas make the industry more attractive. This is exactly what distinguishes them from their biggest competitors.
It manages to keep the structures lean and maintains direct contact with its customers. This allows them to respond faster and more flexibly to everything. The pandemic has shown just that: In a short time, ehotel® adapted its tools to the conditions such as increased card payments, simplified cancellation processes, search for valid contingents despite hotel closures, practical solutions for locating employees in crisis areas, and much more.
And although we as a company are smaller than the big competitors, we can easily keep up with or trump the service of the other hotel booking portals. The customer is always at the center of our mission and our
Being up-to-date with the Changing Demographics
As in most industries, digitalization is continuously progressing in the hospitality sector. During times of transformation, it is important to stay in touch with changing scenarios and progress accordingly.
This is important to us, and pioneering new ideas is part of our DNA. In doing so, we always keep an eye on the interplay of technology, content, functions, and service. Our progress is therefore customer-oriented, not competitive. Moreover, we are not only continuously expanding our website with its service offerings, but are also making sure our mobile application is state-of-the-art.
Key Takeaway from 2021
Last year was marked by the global pandemic. In this respect, 2020 is not necessarily comparable to the years before, and hopefully, it will have nothing in common with the years ahead. Surprisingly, despite all added-hygiene measures, lockdowns, and restrictions, ehotel® has not seen a major drop in sales. A major reason for it is the company was looking for ways to make the business trips possible that had to take place irrespective of the concerning situation.
With individual solutions and adding new functions in existing tools, the organization learned from this difficult time that proximity to its customers is a strong foundation for being able to react to all challenges.
In the future, ehotel® want to close even the last system breaks companies encounter in travel booking to offer a complete digital cycle. There are always ways to improve and tackle the issues at hand with upgraded offerings. In addition, keeping up with the times and want to continue to meet the growing demands for sustainable travel at reasonable prices.
An Upfront Advice To Young And Aspiring Entrepreners
With decades of experience and a successful career, Fritz is an inspiring business leader to look up to. However, his straight-up advice to young minds is I’m not Yoda who has a wise answer to everything, so I will just quote the old Jedi Master: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
He also asserts, “Don’t be afraid to make decisions, even if there are countless mistakes that you could make”. Take action, aim high, and work with dedication and focus to accomplish dreams.