Keep an eye on the big picture
A good mobile housekeeping audit app is affordable, simple to use and ideally does not require proprietary devices.
A few simple mobile pages, that summarise the information needed. Some simple filters to limit results to the floors or room types. A button to change the room status, can deliver significant operational advantages.
No more calls to the front desk, to check on room status. This allows front desk employees to focus on the guest. Floor supervisors can stay on the floors and receive the latest updates as to which rooms require cleaning. And if guests have left without checking out, housekeeping can “check out” the guest.
5 audit software factors to consider
1 Keep an eye on the big picture
Housekeeping operations can often prove daunting. Look for the following:
- Ability to keep track of each individual room’s status.
- Intuitive on-screen room template that is updated in real time.
- Capability to view such data remotely from any location and at any time.
- Means to reallocate and prioritise tasks.
2 Step up efficiency with full automation
- Built-in automation for example instant alert notifications.
- Wherewithal to identify rooms ready for inspection.
- Ability to review the quality of completed staff tasks.
- Tasks completed in a timely and efficient manner.
- Housekeeping automated assignments, particularly when it comes to dealing with rooms that require specific needs.
- Allow employees to focus directly on the task in hand.
- Power to manage resources both people and inventory to be utilised when servicing a room in a manner that produces superior results and satisfied guests.
3 Properly allocate your resources
The time of the year often dictates occupancy levels and this factor may lead to shifts in task prioritisation.
- An intuitive management platform, able to forecast factors such as the number of incoming guests or how many staff members are needed for a specific shift. This capability can prove vital in maintaining and delivering a quality service.
- A solution capable of providing forecasts regarding guestroom occupancy by specific floor can ensure that such areas are staffed adequately during peak times.
- Ability to view staff rosters in real time. At the same time empower supervisors to determine how many staff members are on duty for a shift. And if necessary allow supervisors to reallocate resources accordingly.
4 Maintain proper inventory
Ability to maintain adequate stock levels of amenity items.
- Capability to avoid over ordering of supplies.
- Check hotel budgets to actively track guest consumption.
- Alert staff when replenishment is required by using pre-set inventory levels.
- Ideally inventory controls should be able to track loaned service items, to ensure their return.
5 Maximise communication
- Ability to maintain direct lines of communication between all staff members regardless of location.
- The capability to remotely transmit and update tasks can play a deciding role in whether a department’s efforts are ultimately successful.
- Allow employees to leverage the use of personal smart devices in reviewing tasks as they go about their responsibilities.
- Allowing employees to share details of completed assignments with fellow staff members.
Wherewithal to manage resources go to where they are required.
Pro’s of daily hotel room inspection checklist app
Housekeeping departments are complex operations. Nonetheless leveraging the right strategy can improve efficiency and minimise costs.
Traditionally housekeeping depended upon a paper-based management strategy. Generally, such an approach works well. However, in dynamic world of hotels and resorts assignments or responsibilities can change without notice. Such circumstances can increase the likelihood of guestrooms and public areas being overlooked. The likely outcome guest’s experience and future property revenues suffer.
With this is mind, more and more properties are discovering the advantages of implementing hotel checklist software. An audit app can deliver real time communications and data to staff members. Better communications improves’ deployment of staff. For example chamber maids’ path of travel can be optimised to prioritise guestroom cleaning, and the room inspection process.
Some hoteliers report on average the software reduces disruptive communications by 70%. An added benefit improved communications can reduce labour costs by 10 to 15%. The reason housekeeping staff are not spending time trying to find the next room to clean. If the information they need is in the palm of their hand, they can simply go and clean the next room.
Rooms turned around quickly, means the next guest does not have to wait for a clean room, and a good and fast check in experience, is great for rating reviews.
Five Top Rated Audit Apps
Another suggested benefit is reduced employee turnover. According to a study by Cornell University’s School of Hospitality Management, each member of staff who leaves costs a staggering £4,545 as of October 2019.
Things to remember about employee turnover
Factors such as recruitment, the cost of training new people, reduced productivity and standards. The result more pressure on the whole team, and an increase in manager workload the list goes on. It all adds up to serious costs when budgets are tight.
Conclusion of pros
If you implement housekeeping software, some hoteliers suggest you’re looking at an ROI of 2 to 4 times.
Even if you just consider the following:
- time savings for room assignments
- reduced back-and-forth communications
- management visibility
- improved hotel room cleaning times and standards
- reduced labour turnover
these factors alone are probably worthy of your consideration.
A further point of interest. In the UK alone, there are 140,000 unsold hotel rooms every night. Apply an average rate of £100, and that works out at £5bn a year. Being an ex-hotelier, I know that hotels always have the potential to accurately foresee when, under normal circumstances, they’ll have unsold rooms. Knowing which rooms are instantly available for sale might help reduce the number of unsold rooms.
7 cons to consider regarding back-office automation software
1. Even if a tech tool or platform does make work more efficient for everyone, there are often "hidden off-loaded costs." For example the WiFi black spots prevent data updates.
2. Tech tools lean towards standardisation.
a. The consequences can leave little wiggle room for volatility.
b. And hoteliers know only too well housekeeping is inherently unpredictable, because of people's whims, habits and moods. People rarely fit the plan.
3. And housekeepers know every move counts:
a. They're getting on their hands and knees countless times throughout the day to clean under the sink, check under the bed for rubbish, and vacuum the floors and in the bathroom, they might not use mops, just rags.
b. So, something small, like traveling to one room that's a little farther away, takes a toll.
4. A number, of audit app users’ have commented that some apps don’t provide an option to delete and edit notes or offer real time messaging.
a. This oversight means housekeepers aren’t instantly notified of reservations changes.
5. In the hospitality sector, it’s not uncommon for staff turnover to exceed 60% annually, some venues are unfortunate enough to see figures of up to 90% and above.
a. Even if your business is performing far better, I’m willing to bet that you’d welcome anything that helps you to engage and retain your best staff.
b. While an app may encourage a culture of team working to grow. However an app by itself is likely to fail to create a collaborative culture.
c. What does an employee engagement survey mean if there are only newbies left to fill it, or even worse, not enough employees to make it matter?
6. Further points of consideration.
a. Your staff don’t want to give out their personal phone number and belong to 10 different WhatsApp groups that interrupt them day and night.
b. They just want to be able to talk to the right people at the right time to get the job done.
c. They also want 2-way communication with management regarding anything important that affects them.
7. What you should look for is an audit app. One that facilitates operational excellence, issue management and centralises communications. Doing so you allows you to ditch email, ditch WhatsApp, ditch any other tools you pay for.
Conclusion of cons
Is there such a thing as a silver bullet?
An audit app is just a tool, so no. Engagement requires people talking to each other. Software cannot do that. And what’s great about meaningful employee engagement, its free and far more likely to build core capabilities.
Why focus on core competencies
Competences make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits.
Best of all they are difficult for competitors to imitate. This means it’s easier for a hotelier to maintain a higher profit margin.
Core competence do not diminish with use. Unlike physical assets, which do deteriorate over time, competencies are enhanced as they are applied and shared.” (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990)
Nevertheless back-office automation software can make a positive business contribution.
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