Following the challenges of the pandemic in the hospitality industry, Staycity Hotels wanted to explore ways to improve daily operations. Housekeeping, an often behind-the-scenes department, had been thrust into the spotlight during COVID-19, with guest expectations around cleanliness and service becoming increasingly high.
Against a backdrop of increasing labor shortages and hotel occupancy levels that continue to grow as the world recovers from the pandemic, Staycity needed to find ways to help improve productivity and efficiency in key housekeeping and operations departments. .
Our processes before Optii were based on an outdated system of pen, paper and clipboard. Communication between the cleaning crews and other departments such as reception was clunky and meant valuable time was wasted trying to coordinate everyone. I knew that ineffective processes would inevitably affect our guests, so we had to make a change.
My role at Staycity is to increase our operational efficiency and I knew we needed to invest in technology to do that. My role is fairly new and unique to the hospitality industry, focusing on ways to modernize hotel operations and bring them to the top of hotel managers’ priority lists. Housekeeping and operational services are the backbone of any hotel and I believe they should be the first place to explore when looking to invest in technology or solutions to improve not only team productivity, but also the 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. Their data-driven platform provides a one-stop shop for our hotel operations and provides insight into our daily operations so our team can work in the most productive way. We needed reliable visibility into our daily operations that wasn’t as manual and cumbersome 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 embraced the technology very well. At first I was worried that the cleaning crew would not accept it, but they accepted it from day one. In fact, I think there would be a riot if we ever took it down! Labor shortages are of course a priority for anyone in the hospitality industry right now, so another benefit of adopting Optii was being able to make the daily work of operations and housekeeping teams easier.
Once Optii was live at three pilot Staycity properties, immediate changes began to occur and our operational efficiency increased.
One result we didn’t expect when we implemented Optii, but was welcome, was the ability to reduce the time we spend between rooms. By automating attendee routes, we’ve been able to reduce the time between rooms from 2 minutes to 5 minutes each.
Overall this has meant that we have been able to save an hour and 45 minutes on response time, meaning rooms are available on or before time and has resulted in an 80% reduction in guest queues. We have been able to increase productivity by 25%, which not only benefits us as a team but also our guests. Now that we can change rooms faster, fewer guests have to wait in the lobby and our front desk team can easily see room availability instead of running up and down hallways to find status.
Investing in the right technology and having access to robust data has helped transform our daily operations, and I look forward to continuing to explore how we can continue to use this to give hotel operations the attention they deserve.
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