After the challenges of the pandemic on the hospitality sector, Staycity hotels wanted to explore avenues to improve daily operations. Housekeeping, a department often behind the scenes, had been put in the spotlight during COVID-19, and guest expectations around cleaning and service were increasingly demanding.
Set against a backdrop of increasing labor shortages and hotel occupancy levels continuing to grow as the world recovers from the pandemic, Staycity needed to find ways to help improve productivity and efficiency across the key departments in housekeeping and operations.
Our processes before Optii were based on an outdated system of pen, paper and clipboards. Communication across the housekeeping teams and other departments such as the front desk was clunky and meant valuable time was being wasted running around trying to coordinate everyone. I knew that inevitably the ineffective processes would trickle down to our guests so we had to make a change.
My role at Staycity is to increase our operational effectiveness, and I knew we needed to invest in technology to achieve this. My role is a fairly new and unique one in the hospitality industry, and focuses on ways to modernize hotel operations and bring it to the forefront of hotel manager priority lists. Housekeeping and operational services are the backbone of any hotel and I believe should be the first place to explore when looking to invest in technology or solutions to improve not only the team’s productivity but your end guest experience.
This is what led us to Optii Solutions. Optii optimized our hotel operations through predictive technology that maps daily room attendant routes based on guest profiles and hotel needs. Its data-driven platform provides a one-stop shop for our hotel operations and provides insights into our daily operations so our team can work in the most productive way. We needed reliable visibility over our daily operations that wasn’t as manual and clumsy as pen and paper. Optii centralized our operations so we could see where the gaps were in our team's performance and where we needed to improve.
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The team adopted the technology really well. I was initially concerned that the housekeeping team wouldn’t accept it but they ran with it from the first day. In fact I believe there would be a mutiny if we were to ever take it away! Labor shortages are of course front of mind for anyone in the hospitality industry at the moment, so another benefit of adopting Optii was being able to make the operations and housekeeping teams day to day jobs easier.
Once Optii was live at three pilot Staycity properties, immediate changes started to happen and our operational efficiency increased.
A result that we weren’t expecting when we implemented Optii, but was welcome, was the ability to reduce the time spent in between rooms. By automating the attendant routes we have been able to reduce time spent in between rooms by 2 to 5 minutes each.
Overall, this has meant we’ve been able to save one hour and 45 minutes off turnaround time, meaning rooms are available on time or earlier and have resulted in 80% reduction in guest queues. We’ve been able to increase productivity by 25%, which not only benefits us as a team but also our guests. Now that we’re able to turn rooms around faster, less guests are having to wait in the lobby and our front desk team can easily view room availability rather than running up and down the corridors to find the status.
Investing in the right technology and having access to robust data has helped transform our daily operations, and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore how we can continue to utilize this to give hotel operations the attention it deserves.
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About the author...
Lloyd Green is head of operational effectiveness at Staycity