3 ways the QA inspection process can be used to advance the success of your property
– Benefiting Your People, Product & Profit
Part 2: Benefiting your Product!
In follow-up to the first part in this series (“QA (Quality Assurance) Inspections – A waste of time or advancing the success of your property? – Three ways to advance the success of your property – Benefiting Your People, Product & Profit), we will now look at the second way to make your QA process advance the success of your business, benefiting your product.
Benefit your product:
No one disagrees on the financial necessity of preventative maintenance and proper deep cleaning of all aspects of your property. Without proper deep cleaning schedules and preventative maintenance, equipment wears out sooner, increases electrical costs (easily by 10% or more), hurts Trip Advisor ratings, and ultimately business levels and ADR.
There is no dispute that preventative maintenance and deep cleaning is a fundamental part of protecting your investment. Yet, there is some debate on the necessity of software vs. manual tracking and documentation. One might ask, “Why would a property leave something this important to manual systems, which more often than not leads to critical items slipping through the cracks?” Imagine having a manual based record keeping system in your accounting department? No way! The potential for human error would be too costly. Thus, investing in accounting software tools is an obvious decision.
The situation is no different for heart of the house departments such as Housekeeping and Maintenance which are charged with the care and upkeep of your product. Yet, too many hoteliers still opt for manual tracking systems even at the detriment of their investment.
Wouldn’t you agree that General Managers and Owners should be able to see at a glance the status of their property’s care? Reservations, payroll, when staff clock in and clock out – all are at the General Manager’s fingertips. Shouldn’t a General Manager also be able to see exactly what has and has NOT been done at their property in Housekeeping and Maintenance at any time?
In the example to the right, Touch System users run their Quality Assurance Report and at a glance see everything that has been done, as well as any tasks that are past due. This is highly beneficial to owners and General Managers alike.
The Quality Assurance inspection process is vital to sustaining brand quality and reputation. There are many benefits to the QA process, especially to the product itself. Owner investments are protected by a requirement of a minimum of two deep clean and preventative maintenance rotations each year.
In fact, it is rather easy to identify properties who do not have a good documentation system in place for their Deep Clean and Preventative Maintenance schedules. Very simply, the well-known adage with a modern twist proves particularly true:
Inspect & document what you expect.
Expect what you inspect & document.
It is an ugly picture when inspections are not documented electronically with automatic schedules and reminders. Just how ugly? As someone who travels for business, I regularly stay in hotels across many of the leading brands. While I often find very clean and well maintained properties, there are those times when I just stop and say, “WOW! There is NO way this property has a proper tracking tool in place, nor an effective deep clean schedule.” Let’s see what you think. Would you say the following pictures reflect a property with adequate schedules and tools in place?
These are pictures I have personally experienced and taken:
Perhaps one of the most horrifying air vents I have ever seen! I encountered it while staying at a Florida hotel for a speaking engagement. This was taken in the bathroom of a leading branded hotel (you would be shocked if I told you who). At first the spacious suite seemed clean. Then I looked up. This air vent was directly above the toilet. Ick!
You make the call, do you think this property has an effective tool in place for documenting their inspections or for adhering to a Deep Clean schedule?
While traveling for an industry conference, I stayed at a prominent South Carolina resort. It was a beautiful property and the staff was very service-oriented. However, in my room there were multiple issues that indicated a lack of an effective tool for inspections and project scheduling. Here is a snapshot of the hair dryer. In addition to this, the soap rack was falling off of the shower wall and the bed skirt was completely wrinkled. You make the call, do you think this property has an effective tool in place for documenting their inspections or for adhering to a Deep Clean schedule?
It’s simple. Without tangible accountability in place, the most basic important details slip through the cracks. The documentation of checklists, inspections, deep cleaning, and preventative maintenance must be tangible. As we established in part one of this series, manual systems are ineffective and costly. Whereas, inspection software keeps everyone on their toes, holding all accountable for both small details and the big tasks.
“Inspect what you expect and expect what you inspect.” QA Inspections are vital to the checks and balances of a brand. However, the greatest benefits come from living your QA standards day-in-and-day-out, not just twice a year to satisfy the inspector. Otherwise, air vents and the like, are much worse than imagined.
For a deep clean and preventative maintenance schedule to be of utmost benefit to your physical product, the schedule needs to reflect the specific circumstances of your property, not just minimum brand requirements.
For example, perhaps the brand requirement is twice a year. You are meeting this requirement yet your QA score and guest ratings are too low. You also note that aspects of your product are clearly not looking pristine.
Could it be that this is simply due to higher business volumes in certain rooms and, therefore, there is more wear and tear (such as in your first-sell rooms)? Reality may dictate the need for three or four times a year in those locations, and only twice per year in last-sell rooms.
There are many software tools available designed to manage this for you. These services are for the betterment of your product. It is to your benefit to know in real-time what locations or projects require action.
We have established how the QA process can advance the success of your people and your product. Next, we will pull it all together and consider how to make your QA a benefit to your profit! Stay tuned for part three of this series.
The Touch System Location Report clearly identifies where issues are occurring and what they are; with this knowledge properties receive the care they require.
Touch user example: By targeting their top three issues over a 90-day period, one hotel’s Housekeeping & Maintenance Issues dropped by a whopping 68%!