Mar 21, 2014
Paul Mansi, COO of Edwardian Group, London, oversaw the implementation of Optii Keeper in the group’s 14 hotels in 2011. We talked to him about the impact on the business and how this transformed the level of service the front desk could offer guests.
What issues did your hotels have before implementing Optii Keeper ?
In the past, if a guest arrived early wanting a certain type of room, reception would look at the rooms available and if one wasn’t ready they would often randomly allocate one of the other rooms that was going to be cleaned. Without having any visibility of the cleaning schedule - and who was currently cleaning where - they would allocate the room and then call the housekeeper asking for that room to be prioritized.
Therefore, at our larger hotels, you could theoretically have six receptionists all calling housekeeping giving six different priority instructions to the housekeeping coordinator. This resulted in a room attendant having two rooms that were on priority at the same time. Optii Keeper has completely transformed this issue.
Now the front desk team can actually see the status of all rooms - in real time - in each category and when each room is due back. Rather than reception referring the guest to the official arrival time of 2pm, they can say with certainty “Your room will be ready in x minutes. Please have a seat and I’ll come and take you to your room personally.”
Not only is the guest experience enhanced, but also that of our staff. In the past, housekeeping would complain that reception was putting them under undue pressure by allocating the wrong rooms, and reception was wondering why they were waiting for the rooms they needed. These frustrations have totally dissipated.
As another example, if a room attendant had to clean a couple of particularly challenging rooms where perhaps, a large family has been staying for a week, in the past, they would struggle to remain on schedule. Now, Optii Keeper immediately flags up when someone is behind schedule (because we have scientific timings of how long a certain room should take to clean) and the housekeeper in the office can quickly send a colleague to help out and get them back on target.
Neither the guest nor schedule suffers and the room attendant doesn’t get overwhelmed by rooms in a challenging state.
What recommendations would you offer to GMs considering implementing Optii Keeper?
It’s very easy to recommend this technology. Optii Keeper improves efficiency within the housekeeping department: rooms are cleaned more quickly, quality goes up, and communication and coordination improves. Automatically!
Optii Keeper also gives you a strong training tool to improve the quality and standards of your team. You can sit down and show where people are doing well, and where the same problem has had to be corrected again and again. It helps with the development of the individual and with their efficiency and quality.
Optii Keeper definitely offers a great return on investment with the resulting ongoing economies of scale coupled with marked improvements in quality and training.
It’s not a cheap technology but because of the returns you get it, it pays for itself.
It’s a win-win all around!