The Housekeeping Department is the heartbeat of a hotel, supporting all other departments on a daily basis, making the day to day run smoothly for all. The housekeeping team is not just responsible for the guest rooms from top to bottom; we all rely on them for so many more things such as cleanliness, sanitization, uniforms, flowers, towels, linen, public areas & back of house cleaning, etc…
Housekeeping team members are always on the go. You hardly ever find them in the office because they are walking many miles a day around your hotel working hard physically and mentally. Due to their mobility, a strong communication solution needs to be in place to give the housekeeping teams the tools they need.
Wherever your housekeeping team might be in the hotel, they need to be able to access every piece of changing information, in real-time. Immediate, mobile communication is the only solution to keep your hotel running smoothly.
There are three primary ways technology can assist any housekeeping department to be more efficient and to make the day-to-day much easier for all team members:
- Immediate mobile communication
- Personalized operational optimization
- A platform that puts together data for your benefit
Eliminate all Miscommunication
As previously mentioned, your team members are mobile. This means they need a hotel operations communication tool that works everywhere and immediately connects them to the necessary hub of information. This communication tool is also necessary for the time sensitive, ‘pop-up’ guest requests that are texted to the housekeeping department throughout the day asking for “more towels for room 32B” or “extra linens in room 102”.
ALICE Guest Messaging allows guests to get in touch directly with the housekeeping department to submit requests and also allows your housekeeping staff to respond very quickly and delight guests. ALICE auto-assigns task and the employee closest to the location can deliver and close the request ticket.
With a hotel operations platform like ALICE, all of your hotel’s departments are streamlined. This means that every department is able to communicate with each other, relieving that pressure from the front desk. Guests are now able to place their requests directly to housekeeping, and housekeeping can place maintenance concerns directly with that department.
Automate all Housekeeping Duties
Assigning rooms is often done manually or semi-manually. This is a very time consuming task and if not done correctly, it results in unhappy room attendants and potentially unhappy guests. If incorrect multiple times, this will lead to unhappy staff and bad guest reviews. Having to assign rooms manually also forces room attendants to monitor their floor section and walk the corridors frequently, resulting in wasted time and energy.
You wouldn’t want to spend any more money than you have to, especially with leaner teams and tighter budgets. With ALICE, the room assignments are done in a centralized manner and are completely automated. Once the rules are configured and tested, the system can accurately auto-assign and save your hotel a lot of time and money.
By having a centralized solution through a platform, ALICE also allows the sequence of rooms to be automated. For example, if a specific VIP changed their room request or was added as a “rushed room” then it flows to the top of the room assignments so that the room attendants can see the notes and messages associated with this room/request.
Use Data to your Advantage
Since most hotel housekeeping departments work under tremendous pressure to reduce costs yet increase consistency in cleanliness, sanitization and service, the department has to constantly review and change their efficiency output. This can be done through process changes, efficiently using technology and should absolutely be based on facts and hotel data.
The common excuse I hear for hotels not using data is that it isn’t reliable or it is not easy to obtain. This is where ALICE comes in with it’s multi-functioning operations platform. With ALICE you have robust reporting and the flexibility to create custom reports which provide advice and guidance to your team specifically. This advice and data is invaluable for the Executive Housekeeper and their teams, and it brings many benefits to daily productivity.
ALICE reporting can help evaluate the impact of decisions taken. For example, you are a 200 room hotel and may have decided to remove toothbrush kits in your rooms. The immediate result is a cost saving, however, if your ALICE report now shows that in 4 weeks you had 155 guest requests for a toothbrush and a colleague had to physically run to get the kit and then deliver it to the guest room you can calculate the cost of labor vs. the cost savings of toothbrushes.
The report data can support you in analysis and decision making, not just in the day to day hotel housekeeping operations but also for longer term strategies. Any housekeeping department can use ALICE to their advantage and increase the guest experience as well as ensuring their hotel staff are working efficiently.