What challenges did your housekeeping department have to deal with before the implementation of hotelkit?
In the housekeeping department, our way of collaborating and communicating was characterized by the use of considerable amounts of paper. Various lists and printed reports of stay-over and arrival rooms were part of our daily work routine. We wanted to change this.
How did the process of assigning rooms work before hotelkit Housekeeping? How does it work now?
All of this was done by hand, which was quite a lengthy process and required lots of effort: Once the Housekeeping Manager and her assistants arrived at the hotel in the morning, they immediately started sorting through the printed reports of the rooms that needed cleaning on that day. Only after this was done, they could start assigning the rooms to the housekeeping team, whereby they had to ensure that everyone’s workload and available working times corresponded. In the past, all of this took about two hours.
This process was considerably simplified and sped up through the possibility of assigning rooms digitally via the hotelkit Housekeeping tool. Furthermore, the Housekeeping Manager is no longer required to come to the hotel to do the planning. She can now undertake this task from anywhere where she has a PC or laptop at her disposal. The hotelkit App also makes it very easy for her to follow the status of the cleaning and inspection processes from anywhere. Moreover, the distribution of the workload doesn’t require as much effort as it did before as the available working hours of the employees can be entered into the hotelkit Housekeeping tool. The assignment of rooms and sections is now done—almost playfully—per drag & drop.
Meanwhile, we only need about 30 to 45 minutes to complete the planning for the day ahead.
How did the communication between the reception and the housekeeping department function in the past? What has changed since?
In the past, the housekeeping department and the front office exchanged information and updates in phone calls or meetings: On a daily basis, we spent about one and a half hours doing this. The result, however, was not always to our liking. The housekeeping team was often preoccupied with the cleaning of the rooms and was therefore not able to take on further assignments that were communicated to them in phone calls right away. The consequence was that these tasks were often forgotten altogether, which is naturally what happens when humans have a lot on their plate.
hotelkit Housekeeping spares us from all of this as all the information that is entered into the platform is retained there. This means that the housekeeping team can, whenever there is time, check the app to see if there are new tasks. Regarding the exchange of updates between the housekeeping department and the front office there is a specific handover within the hotelkit platform in place. Furthermore, the tasks for the different room types are defined and stored in the hotelkit Housekeeping tool. The system therefore knows what tasks need to be carried out when and where. This allows us to reach the quality standards that we envisage for housekeeping without the previous organizational effort which included phone calls and physical meetings.
The communication between the housekeeping department and the front office meanwhile takes no more than 20 minutes per day.
How does your housekeeping team access the digital platform?
When we implemented hotelkit Housekeeping, we also purchased 23 smartphones for our housekeeping team. Each of these devices has a generic hotelkit user account, since the staff from the cleaning company occasionally changes. Our Housekeeping Manager and her deputies have a personalized hotelkit account. So the housekeeping employees arrive at the hotel in the morning, receive a smartphone from us as part of their uniform and find all the rooms that have been assigned to them for the working day in the hotelkit Housekeeping tool.
In what other areas did you benefit from the effectiveness that hotelkit offers with its tools?
The Housekeeping Manager and I also really like the hotelkit task tool. Our task tool contains a checklist that includes all our KPIs, which we use for a quick and structured room inspection. This has allowed us to shorten this process, which used to take seven working hours per week, by two hours. The Housekeeping tool also saves us a lot of time because we can configure everything in the tool, whereas previously all of it had to be communicated to the housekeeping team in meetings. Necessary tasks, such as the change of bedlinens every three days or the refreshing of a cleaned room if the room hasn’t been occupied in ten days, are configured in our housekeeping tool and therefore automatically appear as a task to the housekeeping team at the given time. We need to take less into consideration and can act quicker when it comes to planning. Guest requests and complaints can also be taken care of faster with the hotelkit tools and do no longer require long phone calls or physical meetings. Thanks to hotelkit the time needed for this has been cut in half: from three to one and a half hours. Similarly, informing the maintenance team about damages via the repair tool has made our communication with them much more efficient.
In what way did the implementation of this digital solution impact your daily efforts and costs?
I believe that efficiency always saves time and costs. hotelkit Housekeeping has managed to notably reduce the workload of our Housekeeping Manager, her deputies and the external housekeeping team. Moreover, it has also minimized the effort we used to put into planning. Especially in times of personnel shortage, digital support like hotelkit is worth its weight in gold.
How does your team view hotelkit?
It didn’t take long for our team members to recognize the many advantages of this platform. Instead of being handed a stack of paper, the housekeeping team can now check all its assignments in the hotelkit App. It’s not only our younger employees who value the digital convenience of hotelkit; our older team members are also very satisfied with this tool.