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Four practical ways to improve housekeeping efficiency and service delivery

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Beena Vijayakumar, Director of Housekeeping, Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences, Abu Dhabi

Beena Vijayakumar, Director of Housekeeping, Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences, Abu Dhabi shares the innovations she has introduced to maximise the potential of the resources at hand.

Guest Engagement Card

Although our housekeeping services have been excellent, there were a few guests who gave us poor reviews online, mainly due to the fact that there was little awareness of the housekeeping process, and employees found it challenging to explain the process to the guests as well. We introduced a ‘Guest Engagement Card’ (GCE) in English and Arabic, which included QR codes of the review page, simplifying the review process.

During the period from June to August, our REVINATE score was 63% for cleanliness whereas after introducing the GCE, the score went up to 93%, including 37 excellent reviews during the month of October alone.

Implementing 5S standards

We implemented 5S standards within the housekeeping operational areas to maximise efficiency and productivity. The 36 linen pantries on each floor were not organised; we rearranged them according to 5S standards, after which the housekeeping staff were able to save an enormous amount of time during busy operations.

We had one housekeeping service store for every three floors where there was only one runner at any given time for all 36 floors. Using past data, we did an analysis to find out the most requested items by guests, and made them available in a cupboard inside the linen pantry itself, so that the required items were available on each floor. The time spent on going to get the items from a floor where a service store was available was saved.

Reusing in-house resources

During the outbreak of the pandemic, a new regulation was introduced by the Department of Tourism and Culture to use a fresh set of colour-coded dusters for each room. At the time, the average occupancy rate of the resident tower was 80% with long stay guests. If we were to comply with this regulation by purchasing new towels, it would have incurred a major cost to the hotel.

We took the initiative of using discarded towels by colour coding them. We were able to reuse the resources we already had within the hotel.

Supervision app

We launched the internally developed BAQ SuperVision App at zero cost. Room checklists used to be paper-based. When the BAQ Supervision App was introduced, we were able to save 20,000 papers during the past year.

The main feature of this application consists of an interactive housekeeping checklist (including pictures) that enables maintaining high room cleaning standards at all times and exceeding guest expectations. Good-case practices have been implemented by colleagues and the go-beyond attitude has been encouraged by using the app.

The app has also helped to increase the efficiency of the cleaning processes, as it facilitates communication between colleagues and guests. This is the first ever hotel-based housekeeping supervisor checklist platform at the Millennium Hotels, which will be taken as the flagship project to be implemented at other properties across the region.

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