Savings, Better Guest Service Via MTech’s REX
Operating on the Apple iPhone/iPod
touch platform, MTech’s new Room Expeditor tool helps
MIAMI — JULY 7, 2009 — MTech, a leading developer of Software as a Service (SaaS) products aimed at improving service and efficiency for the hospitality industry, has developed a solution that allows the Gaylord Opryland to check guests into rooms faster and save more than $220,000 per year. The solution is REX, MTech’s Room Expeditor, and it’s a system that Gaylord Opryland piloted earlier in the year. Based on its initial findings, the landmark Nashville resort and convention center has decided to proceed with a complete rollout of REX.
“Gaylord Opryland, like any other large convention or resort hotel, has found the process of assigning rooms to room attendants and communicating room rushes to be filled with unnecessary manual effort and inefficiency,” said Luis Segredo, MTech president. “Room attendants work off of paper forms that are often printed and changed manually. This process can take four hours and still it includes no priority in which to clean the rooms. At assignment time, it is really impossible to prioritize because the priorities can change based on early check outs and arrivals. This prompts the room rush process whereby the Front Office communicates to Housekeeping who then has a runner alert the room attendant of the rush room. Even applying significant human resources, guests have to wait to get into a clean room. Gaylord Opryland came to MTech saying: ‘There has to be a better way.’
“There is,” he said. “Meet REX.”
How It Works
REX is a SaaS-based housekeeping application. It starts with a feed from the property-management system of rooms and reservation data. From this information, coordinators quickly assign the rooms to each room attendant. MTech tailored the REX's assignment process to Gaylord's traditional process. At their option, the hotel could also assign multiple room attendants to large sections. This further streamlines the assignment process and accelerates room rushes even more.
“Once the rooms are assigned and the day starts, room attendants are no longer given a list of rooms. Instead, they are given an iPod Touch,” Segredo explained. “Configured to attach to the hotel's wireless network, the room attendant selects the REX icon from the incredibly intuitive Apple device. Then, they are prompted for their PIN.
“Upon entry, they are logged in with the screen presented in their preferred language, and that's when the magic happens,” he continued. “REX analyzes a collection of variables about the rooms assigned to the room attendant. It looks at information like current PMS occupancy, VIP level of the guest, stay-over/checkout, estimated arrival time, room rush, room type, even physical occupancy (requires compliant in-room energy management system) and more.”
From this information, REX ascertains the next most important room to clean, and it presents it to the room attendant. The room attendant has the option to start cleaning the room or declining for one of the following reasons - Service Refused, DND on the door, or guest asked to come back later.
“If the room attendant starts cleaning, she can see the guest profile for the guest assigned to that room for that evening and can report defects in the room from an icon based list of issues that is integrated to HotSOS,” Segredo said. “When the room attendant finishes cleaning the room, the housekeeping status is updated in the PMS. If the previous guest has left with his bags, REX will send a message to the front desk. It is that simple.”
Given that REX is SaaS based and iPod Touch devices are very affordable, getting started and recouping the investment takes a matter of a few months. Guests are waiting for rooms less time, and the old manual process is gone.
Efficiency Times Three
At Opryland, they found efficiencies in three areas. The room assignment process is streamlined in the morning; the distribution of "boards" is shortened; and, the room rush manual process is eliminated.
First, the room assignment process is streamlined. Working with data from the PMS, the coordinator spends 4 hours a day creating room lists or "boards" for the room attendants. This creates about $18,500 in increased productivity per year. Second, the process of distributing the boards takes an average of 14 minutes from each room attendant's day. Now, they receive their keys and Touch and off they go. This translates into about $75,000 per year in additional productivity, and it gets the room attendants cleaning faster.
Third, the room rush process can be very labor intensive. Front Desk rooms control people assign rooms. When no rooms are clean, they contact the Housekeeping Status Board. The Status Board then gets a runner or supervisor to contact the room attendant as to the room rush. With REX, the Front Desk enters the room rush into REX screen and the software takes care of the rest.
Spicing Up Service
The integration of REX to MTech’s Internet-based Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS, pronounced “hot sauce”) makes it very easy for room attendants to report faults in the room using icons. Even though HotSOS offers a simple telephone interface that is widely used at Opryland, they saw an increase of issues reported by room attendants on REX.
Opryland focuses on group business. As a result, many rooms need to have group information packets placed in the room, or there are other special instructions. With REX, the coordinator can sort by group code in REX and simply add the special instructions to all of the rooms.
“The impact on guest satisfaction should be significant, as this will now effectively and completely automate and expedite the unassigned process, as well as allow room attendants to send real time HotSOS work orders from the device with simple picture technology - breaking through the language barrier we currently experience,” said Derek McCann, Gaylord Opryland Hotel Director of Rooms. “I would estimate that REX will allow us to leave open five full-time positions, since we will no longer need as many STARS dedicated to rushing rooms since they will be rushed through REX. This will save approximately $90K per year plus benefits so approximately $130K all in.
About Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Director of Sales
Tel: (786) 544-1105
Tel: (440) 930-5770
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