An owner-run traditional hotel with 168-rooms right in the heart of Munich – the Hotel Platzl stands for high quality and Bavarian tradition in an excellent location. 140 employees ensure that the hotel’s daily processes run smoothly, and that the guests are satisfied. Achieving this type of efficiency at the highest level requires robust standards, smooth company-wide communications, and lean processes in all departments.
Heiko Buchta, the General Manager who has a background in classical hotel chains, took over the helm in 2014. Inefficiencies in the hotel’s daily communications and its paper-based processes triggered the search for a new digitized solution. The aim was to find a holistic operational solution which would also serve as an employee platform.
In our line of business, information is the basis for providing perfect, tailored service.
The hotelkit set-up process began in 2015. Based on the hotelkit team’s experience, the hotel agreed on a small-scale start: employees from the Front Office, Building Services, Management & Administration departments would implement a limited number of processes exclusively via hotelkit for 30 days. These included handovers, the daily employee newsletter containing important information from all departments, as well a the entire coordination of the hotel’s damage reports and repair orders.
After two weeks of using hotelkit every day, the results were positively overwhelming for staff and management. After the 30-day test phase was complete, the team agreed with Heiko Buchta and decided to implement hotelkit permanently in the Hotel Platzl, and to roll it out to the entire workforce. Within a few weeks with the support of the hotelkit team, the hotel operations and communications software was integrated into all other departments, and employees were trained in how to use it on a daily basis.
Since then, the majority of the Hotel Platzl’s internal communications have taken place via hotelkit. Information is passed on digitally, and a daily newsletter informs all employees about the most important facts, figures and events in all departments. Information is made available to employees in a structured manner at the beginning of their shift.
“You might think that now we have hotelkit, we don’t talk to each other any more! But in fact, exactly the opposite is true, because we save so much time searching for information. You can also see that the team is less stressed”, says Sabine Schneider, Reservations Manager.
Our work really has become easier with hotelkit – all information and events are collected there, and you can’t inform your colleagues of anything they don’t already know.
Many other departments also benefit daily from hotelkit. Building Services does not accept any repairs that are not first been logged in hotelkit. In this way, they have a perfect overview of all open orders, and team members’ workloads can be better coordinated. Around 315 damage reports are logged every month, mostly by employees in Housekeeping, Reception, and Management. All information relating to damage reports is available to the hotel for evaluation.
After the test phase they began to organize their existing knowledge within hotelkit. They collaborated with the Munich University of Applied Sciences, to insure all quality standards were updated and improved. The results of this process have been directly integrated into the hotelkit handbook. Entries have since been expanded to include many helpful tips from all departments. Together with the Quality & Training Manager, the General Manager has made it his task to document employee ideas in hotelkit, keep them up-to-date, and to promote their implementation. On average, 5 ideas per month are are created and discussed in hotelkit, from which 70% are successfully implemented.
“The exciting thing is that hotelkit doesn’t stand still. The hotelkit team is continually introducing new ideas and tools to help us make our daily work more efficient through digital means.” Heiko Buchta, General Manager at Hotel Platzl.