For any hotel, OPTii delivers a whole host of measurable housekeeping improvements in terms of individual accountability, team efficiency, and overall quality of guest experience. For the management team at Radisson Blu in Prague, where worker wages are relatively low, the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most are online customer reviews. Since its deployment of OPTii, the hotel elevated its cleanliness score from 9.2 to 9.5 on Booking.com, making Radisson Blu uniquely competitive in the heart of one of the most prestigious business capitals and tourist destinations in the world.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
Originally constructed in 1932, the Radisson Blu Prague stands eight stories tall, a renovated Art Deco architectural gem offering guests true luxury accommodations. Temporarily closed in 1990 as the former Soviet Union came unwound, the hotel’s current owners engaged Radisson to consult on the property’s complete renovation, and eventually to manage its operations upon re-opening in 1998. Today, the fully modernized hotel, benefiting from advanced IT systems deployed throughout its operation, provides a refined atmosphere and superb service to a discerning and sophisticated clientele.
Michal Chour, General Manager of the hotel for ten years, remembers the moment when he realized the hotel’s housekeeping department required some fundamental process improvements. “We were struggling with cleanliness, but we wanted to compete with the best products in the market,” Michal admits, referring to the competitive market in central Prague for excellent luxury hotels. To get a better understanding of the intricacies and challenges of his hotel’s housekeeping operations, Michal decided to spend an entire day with one of the department’s supervisors.
Starting early one morning and working his way down from the eighth floor, checking the current status of all the individual chambermaids along the way, Michal grew increasingly convinced of the need to fundamentally modernize their workflow. Spending another entire day with a chambermaid as she performed her various duties, Michal emerged at the end of the shift completely persuaded the housekeeper’s traditional procedures were clearly obsolete. “The room attendant would knock on doors, listen for a response from the guests, trying to get in to clean the room. This game of ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ was simply a waste of time and created inefficiencies and, frankly, was annoying for guests,” he says.
"Investing in Optii was no brainer. It brought technology to the hotel’s most labor-intensive department. Now people working in housekeeping and the teams interacting with them are linked through technology which enables instant delivery of information and allows us to analyze overall efficiency.", according to:
MICHAL CHOUR, GENERAL MANAGER, RADISSON BLU ALCRON, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
THE OPTII SOLUTION
Searching for the best solution available on the market, Michal turned to Radisson Blu’s IT manager for advice about how to modernize the housekeeping department’s operations. After conducting thorough research into competing vendors, Radisson Blu’s in-house tech team returned with a specific recommendation for Michal to deploy OPTii based on its proven capability to improve the guest experience and address the multitude of labor and operational challenges that Michal had identified. OPTii Keeper from OPTii Solutions was selected as it was the only product addressing these challenges in whole.
With OPTii’s powerful reporting functions, the Radisson Blu managers are able to map out the work patterns of each housekeeper. Insights produced by the solution’s real-time tracking, combined with detailed metrics and reporting functions, enable the hotel’s managers to identify specific housekeeper training needs and optimize the department’s overall performance.
Within just a few weeks of deploying OPTii, the amount of time spent by supervisors scheduling room-cleaning assignments each morning fell from approximately 1.5 hours to around twenty minutes, according to Victoria Moldovanu, Executive Housekeeper of the hotel. All rooms are fully clean and ready for re-occupancy 90 minutes earlier in the day now than they were prior to deploying OPTii.
“OPTii provides us with real productivity measurement and management tools,” Michal says. “It allows us to measure time spent on cleaning each room, providing performance information on every single chambermaid and every single room.”
RADISSON BLU NOW
At the end of the day, in a market such as Prague where worker wages are relatively low, what really matters most to Michal are the positive reviews on quality of cleanliness from guests commenting on public websites like Booking.com. He understands it’s the overall quality of guest experience and word-of-mouth reputation – with cleanliness a major contributing factor – which leads to long-term success for a unique, luxury brand like Radisson Blu. As a notably visible sign of improvements enabled by OPTii at Radisson Blu – or rather invisible sign – the housekeepers have completely done away with awkward cleaning-supply trolleys which used to clutter the hotel’s hallways throughout much of the day. Due to far greater levels of efficiency enabled by OPTii, housekeepers now are able to easily re-supply from inconspicuous storage closets, as they clean from room to room in a well-sequenced and orderly fashion.
In short, the days of manual scheduling, cumbersome supply trolleys, and knocking on doors to gain access to rooms are a thing of the past. At Radisson Blu, these relics of an analog age have been relegated to the dustbin of history, along with a less liberated political regime which this fine hotel and the city of Prague previously endured.
As Michal sums up the improvements at his hotel, “Optii simply provides vision to the housekeeping department. All changes and room status are visible to everybody, immediately. I feel sorry for all the hotels that still have to work with paper in today’s data-driven word.”