Hotel Online  Special Report


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GoConcierge Helps Keep Guest Service on the Right
Track at InterContinental The Barclay New York
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Historic Railroad Hotel Adds Efficiencies to Work Flow with Web-based Solution

 
NEW YORK—March 7, 2006—InterContinental The Barclay New York, originally built by the New York Central Railroad, is moving full steam ahead with the streamlining of its guest service processes with the help of GoConcierge, the lodging industry’s leading guest service operations solution. The hotel is the second InterContinental property to implement the system. The first was the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco. 

From the concierge desk, to the room service department, to the fitness center, efficiencies have been added to information flow at the historic 686-room hotel. Paper has been eliminated from multiple processes and hotel associates now have access to a single source of online data. The result is that they can spend more time with guests. 

“The front office team at The Barclay New York has done a tremendous job discovering new ways to use GoConcierge to remove inefficiencies from work flow processes,” says Adam Isrow, executive vice president of Los Angeles-based GoConcierge.net, producer of GoConcierge. 

Concierges at the hotel have been using GoConcierge since 2004. They use its online Guest Task Calendar to track guest reservations and other tasks. The calendar includes a task list that highlights open, pending and closed tasks. The color-coded system makes it easy to identify task status. The color green, for example, means that a task has been completed.

“The color coding works great,” says Domenic Alfonzetti, chief concierge. “It provides an at-a-glance reminder of work outstanding and completed.” 

Limousine Companies Given Access

Prior to GoConcierge’s implementation, handwritten vouchers were needed to request service from the hotel’s limousine vendors. Faxes were sent back and forth and multiple phone calls were made. To remove inefficiencies from that process, the limousine companies were given controlled and limited access to GoConcierge. Now they can easily manage transportation requests online. 

“It has eliminated a tremendous amount of man hours,” Alfonzetti says.

Also prior to GoConcierge, restaurant booking information was written by hand. Now, it is typed into GoConcierge. Restaurant reservations and other itinerary information can be quickly printed or e-mailed out of the system with maps and directions—all on the hotel’s letterhead.

“Guests love the professional presentation,” says Nelum Gunewardane, front office manager. 

The fitness center uses GoConcierge to record massage reservations. Front desk personnel, guest relations and the room service department use it to track amenities sent to guests. Gunewardane says having GoConcierge has helped streamline communication from one department to another and from one shift to the next. 

“It has eliminated a lot of miscommunication and reduced the number of phone calls we all have to make,” she says.

‘Like an Online Rolodex’

In addition to the Guest Task Calendar, concierges at the property use GoConcierge’s customized location database to quickly generate restaurant and other area attraction information. Updated information can be easily added. Hot buttons on the GoConcierge screen link to websites used most. Buttons link to flight information, Super Shuttle transportation and Open Table, an online restaurant reservation service.

“The database has been customized to the point where it is incredibly user friendly,” says Alfonzetti, a member of Les Clefs d’Or. “It is like an online Rolodex.”

Reports generated out of GoConcierge tally the number of limousine bookings made. These are used to help negotiate transportation contracts. Reports also show the number of restaurant and massage reservations, amenities sent to guests, and more. GoConcierge maintains a record of activity for each guest, enabling concierges to remind guests where they dined during a previous stay, or what limousine company they used for transportation. Guest activity history appears when typing in the guest’s name.

Because GoConcierge is Web-based, Alfonzetti says he is able to log in at home or from an alternate office. If he needs to contact another concierge and cannot get through by phone, he can simply leave a note within the system.

GoConcierge has resulted in shorter lines at the concierge desk because tasks are handled so quickly. It often takes just a few keystrokes to get guests the information they need. 

“I absolutely recommend GoConcierge,” Gunewardane says. “It is a great system and there is so much it can do. We are still identifying new ways we can benefit from it.”

“Using GoConcierge has become second nature for us,” Alfonzetti adds. “It just makes our jobs a lot easier.”

“It is encouraging to know that The Barclay New York has benefited in so many aspects of the operation since adopting GoConcierge,” Isrow says. “It is a testament to their willingness to find new ways to maximize efficiencies in order to enhance the overall guest experience.”

About InterContinental The Barclay New York:

InterContinental The Barclay New York, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary this year, is a 686-room hotel located on East 48th Street just steps away from Park Ave. The property features the Barclay Bar & Grill, 18 elegantly appointed meeting rooms and the Health Club & Spa. Guest rooms feature modern, oval-shaped table/desks, printer/fax/copiers, soft and fluffy comforters, and centralized air conditioning and heating. The hotel’s 68 suites feature traditional furnishings and contemporary art. For more information, call (212) 755-5900, or go to http://new-york-barclay.intercontinental.com.

About GoConcierge.net:

GoConcierge is a Web-based task-tracking and database solution for concierges and other departments including guest services, front desk, shipping and receiving, and restaurants. It is used by hotels across America, Mexico, Canada, London, Asia and Australia. Customers include properties from major companies including Hilton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott, Omni Hotels, Peninsula, Le Meridien, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, Raffles, St. Regis, Westin, W Hotels and Luxury Collection. For more information about GoConcierge.net, go to www.goconcierge.net/home or call (818) 263-8993. 

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Contact:
Adam Isrow
Executive Vice President
GoConcierge.net
(818) 263-8993
E-mail: adami@goconcierge.net
www.goconcierge.net

Nelum Gunewardane, Front Office Manager
InterContinental The Barclay New York
(212) 906-3218
E-mail: nelum_gunewardane@interconti.com
http://new-york-barclay.intercontinental.com

Glenn Hasek, President
Hasek Communications
(440) 243-2055; cell: (216) 702-0334
E-mail: hasekcom@aol.com
www.hasekcom.com

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