Maryland Resort Cleans Up With Optii Mobile Housekeeping App
From time to time, they’re given rush assignments that jump ahead in priority—for example, when a VIP guest arrives. The prioritization is shown on each cleaning staff member’s iPod. This minimizes backtracking, so the staff moves from one room to the next on down the hall, where possible. But the ability to change and prioritize assignments also eliminates the previous paper-based methods of housekeeping management. Blieka explained that in the past, changes in room assignments or in priority meant a constant stream of housekeepers and managers moving between the floors and the housekeeping and operations offices. This was a dramatically slower and more error-prone operation. In addition, without the integrated ability to track the activities of the housekeeping staff, there was no effective means of eliminating consistent problems. As a result, guests frequently were finding issues such as table lamps that didn’t work or trash cans that weren’t empty. "The biggest change has been in guest services aspect," Dice said, noting the reduction in guest complaints and the near elimination of guests waiting for rooms. He said it also allows the maintenance staff to stay on top of problems: When there’s something physically wrong with a room, the housekeeper can simply take a photo with the iPod’s camera and send the photo to the maintenance staff, security or wherever else it might be needed to fix the problem.The integration of mobile technology into the day-to-day operations of the most costly part of the hotel’s staff means that the amount of time needed to service rooms is reduced dramatically. This can make the staff more productive because there’s less wasted time. The change also helps the hotel’s management be more effective because they’re wasting far less time finding their housekeeping staff and managing their priorities. Because the application runs on standard iOS devices, it also means that there’s a very small learning curve. One member of the staff told me that it took her less than 10 minutes to learn her part of the application. Optii is used globally, in a wide variety of languages, so it can be used by a diverse, multilingual housekeeping staff. The color-coding and simple interface makes the application easy to learn, even by people who aren't familiar with the iPod. While managing a hotel staff pushing lumbering housekeeping carts perhaps isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about mobile technology, it is in fact a mobile application. By making that process work better, the housekeeping operation is contributing directly to an improved bottom line. According to Blieka, the same mobile processes that are currently being used in hotel management can be translated to other types of use, ranging from health care to theme parks. All of those uses are mobile, and mobile technology is a clear answer to making those tasks more efficient.
While there are other hotel management applications from other companies, currently Optii Keeper is the only mobile app that’s so focused on housekeeping management.