Maryland Resort Cleans Up With Optii Mobile Housekeeping App
NEWS ANALYSIS: Using a mobile application to streamline hotel housekeeping tasks may not seem obvious, but it delivers big gains in efficiency and dramatically lowers operational costs.I was sitting next to Catherine Blieka, product and client services manager for Optii Solutions, as we watched Donna Gallyon schedule the housekeeping staff for the day. Gallyon, who is operations manager for the Rocky Gap Casino and Resort in Cumberland, Md., was discussing the schedule with housekeeping supervisor Becky Bunnell as she made a few clicks on the green and orange blocks on her computer screen. Then she was done. "Normally I spend about 20 minutes setting up the housekeeping staff," Gallyon said. On this day it had taken a little longer because she was explaining what she was doing to this eWEEK columnist, who was watching her every move. Once Gallyon was finished assigning housekeepers, she assigned the supervisors, including Bunnell. Then she was done. Lest you think that assigning the housekeeping staff to its daily rounds is a trivial task, it’s worth noting that housekeeping is about 90 percent of a hotel’s overall operational costs. Any improvement in housekeeping efficiency directly improves the hotel’s bottom line. By using Optii Keeper housekeeping software, the hotel has cut housekeeping costs by about 25 percent, according to general manager Skylar Dice.
Optii Keeper is a set of applications created by Optii Solutions that links the scheduling program on a Windows computer in the office with Apple iPod Touch handheld devices and iPads. The iPods, which are controlled by IBM’s MaasS360 secure mobile management system, run a dedicated application that the staff can’t change. The hotel’s IT department has an iPod for each employee in the housekeeping department, plus a few spares.