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In an increasingly competitive environment and faced with ever-changing guest needs and preferences, hotels need to continually look for ways to differentiate themselves through the delivery of a superior guest experience. One way to do this, is by investing in the automation of a hotel’s core processes such as housekeeping. Automation will help streamline operations, improve productivity, increase efficiency and save time and money, allowing employees to spend more time with the guest, hence being able to deliver a more personalised guest experience.
The right housekeeping technology solution can provide housekeeping teams with unparalleled support when carrying out their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, giving them the tools to communicate seamlessly with each other and the guest, being able to track schedules and requests in real time, and to anticipate guests needs.
In this article we discuss five core features of FCS housekeeping that help hoteliers to raise the bar when it comes to their housekeeping operation, which is known for its complexity.
Housekeeping assignments that change when priorities do
We all know that in a busy 24/7 hotel operation, tasks and priorities change all the time and housekeeping departments need to be agile and responsive to ever-changing guest preferences, changing arrival and departure times and unexpected maintenance requirements. These dynamics can make the running of housekeeping departments highly complex, but through the use of hotel automation solutions such as FCS Housekeeping, hotels can provide their staff with real-time access to assignment lists that reflect current priorities, allowing the streamlining of task-related data to ensure the swift and effective completion of all assignments or responsibilities.
One of the key features of FCS Housekeeping is the ability to implement task assignment rules that can adapt to changing priorities throughout the day, which means housekeeping teams have real time access to the latest information, guest updates and team tasks and priorities. This helps to minimize manual workstreams and duplication work whilst improving service delivery to the guest.
A reduced carbon footprint through automated reporting
As hotels go through their digital transformation journey, they will not just be able to enhance the personalisation of the guest experience and achieve improved operational efficiencies, they will also be able to make their operations significantly more environmentally friendly.
Take reporting in housekeeping as an example. This allows for real time room status updates throughout the daily cleaning schedule, which will speed up the check-in process and improve the arrival experience, which we all know is a key driver of guest satisfaction. In addition, hotels can reduce costs through automated reporting through the elimination of manual paperwork, and in telephone costs by decreasing the number of calls needed to coordinate and communicate the room status between housekeeping, front office and engineering throughout the day. Case studies have shown that for an average five-star hotel with 300+ rooms, one ton of paper can be saved through housekeeping automation annually, which equals to saving eight trees.
The amount of data that is often not captured and the quantity of paper that is generated are inefficiencies that can really impact a hotel’s bottom line if it doesn’t embrace the clear advantages of technology available. Housekeeping technology, such as FCS Housekeeping, will help eliminate duplication and manual paperwork, saving lots of paper hence trees, and giving valuable time back to rooms division teams to focus on the core of the business; providing service and hospitality to guests. Moreover, housekeeping solutions improve the management of amenities, linen inventory, and allow for better allocation of resources, and save on wasting of commodities.
Assuring quality and providing a safe and secure working environment
The safety and security of hotel employees is paramount for hotels and resorts and FCS Housekeeping incorporates several safety features for housekeeping staff. The mobile app features a “panic button” that allows staff to trigger safety alerts via SMS, instant messaging, direct call, job dispatch and alarm sounds from their mobile device in the event of an emergency situation. In addition, the mobile solution features a QR code to ensure that the correct room is being cleaned before a housekeeping attendant enters a room that’s on the assignment list, to assure quality and efficiency by tracking the start and completion time of the room cleaning.
Access all areas
Most housekeeping solutions on the market can only manage the cleaning schedule of hotel guest rooms. FCS Housekeeping takes it one step further – managing the cleaning schedule of public areas including lobbies and meeting rooms.
As part of their daily schedules, room attendants can be assigned to clean public areas, ensuring that the cleaning of public areas is not only remembered but is completed on time and with minimum guest interruption. As information can be updated and accessed in real time by staff on the mobile app, urgent requests for the cleaning of specific areas in the hotel other than the guest rooms can be assigned to a staff member that’s, for example, closest to that specific space.
Using big data to enhance the guest experience
Big data may sound as yet another buzzword in our industry, but with the many tangible benefits the use of data brings to a hotel’s housekeeping operations, it’s important for teams to understand how hotel automation can help them use their guest data effectively to further improve their housekeeping operations. By recording guest data and using guest preferences effectively, teams will be able to better anticipate guest needs and deliver a more personalised experience ahead of their arrival. One of the key features of FCS Housekeeping is the room attendant’s instant access to guest profiles and guest room details, such as pillow preferences and requests for specific amenities, via the mobile app, and the ability to view or update an array of additional information via the mobile device allowing them to work in real time at all times.
Also, through real time data, housekeeping and engineering teams can adjust their cleaning and maintenance schedules based on the needs of guests throughout their day; for example through the activation of the do-not-disturb sign in the system which will allow preferences to be updated in real time and communicated to the team or attendant responsible for that floor.
FCS’ mobile and web-based applications seamlessly integrate across all hotel operations and are designed to underpin a hotel’s business success, helping to improve efficiencies and increase operational excellence. The use of automated hospitality technology solutions such as FCS Housekeeping, streamlines processes, procedures and systems enabling hoteliers to focus on enhancing and further personalizing guest experiences. In addition, automation removes the need for manual work streams, double handling of data and unplanned resourcing issues.