Industry Update
Opinion Article28 August 2014

The fork in the road

Optii Solutions (Optii) CEO, Soenke Weiss discusses the future direction of housekeeping and the increasing impact of technology.

By Soenke Weiss, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Optii Solutions Pty Ltd

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"Housekeeping has long been plagued by a reputation that they are slow to adapt to change and, in particular, slow to embrace technology. In our experience, we have found the opposite to be true, with housekeeping staff and hotel management well aware of the benefits that focused software can bring to their daily roles and guest satisfaction. It is most often the hotel owners - who are managing different priorities - that may not fully understand the impact that streamlining housekeeping has on financial results, service advantage and ultimately, competitiveness.

However, in the next twelve months, we will see a deeper awareness within the hospitality industry that the housekeeping function has grown in complexity; and that it will continue to do so at a rate that cannot be responded to purely with manual labor."

This shift is in large part being driven by the increasingly high expectations of hotel guests – expectations that hotels ignore at their own peril! As the latest study from Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research shows, a guest's arrival experience has a tremendous impact on their overall satisfaction with a hotel. For some guests, exceeding the 'breaking point' of a five-minute wait to check-in resulted in a 47% decrease in satisfaction.

"Whilst hotels are embracing mobile technology to streamline the check-in process, without a system to prioritize cleans, and turnaround rooms faster, the impact of having Mobile technology can easily be lost", said Mr Weiss.

It is therefore paramount to the success of all hotels to ensure that their housekeeping department is given the tools to optimize their performance and best manage the core product of the hotel – clean rooms.

"We predict it is no longer going to be a decision whether to implement software or not, as those who don't will simply be overwhelmed managing the logistics of the task. Instead, it will be a decision between solely automating communications or fully addressing the complex challenges of housekeeping from the bottom up.

This is the fork in the road."

"When Optii Solutions introduced its Optii Keeper software six years, ago, it flagged the importance of housekeeping as a business critical function that needed the appropriate management tools to be able to perform optimally. A new niche was created.

As a result, alternative systems vendors were keen to extend the focus of their existing products, and created add-ons that bring the traditional housekeeping processes to floor-staff via a mobile device. The key value proposition is two-fold: improve communication between floor-staff and streamline the recording of maintenance requests. Leveraging their existing client base, this was a quick win.

Therefore, historically, system selection has often been purely price driven or based on an approach of integration with existing job dispatch systems using an add-on from the incumbent vendor. Whilst this can fulfil a short-term need to quickly automate communication, it fails to deliver a transformation in guest service levels and a measurable return on investment. As hotel owners & managers begin to fully understand the potential for transforming the housekeeping function at its core - and the extensive impact this has on other areas of the business – we believe that they will begin to expect much more of their technology providers, just as guests expect more of their hotel."

About Optii Solutions

Optii Keeper is the result of years of dedicated research and development from the thought leaders in housekeeping. As the only company that is exclusively focused on solving the challenges at the core of housekeeping, this comprehensive product has unrivalled depth in the market and the new version released in April, developed on a new platform, has introduced functionality that is unmatched.

For further information regarding Optii Solutions, see:

Soenke Weiss

    More from Soenke Weiss

    About Optii Solutions

    Headquartered in Austin, USA, Optii Solutions was founded in 2006 by hospitality professionals who recognized the need for innovation in housekeeping and operations management. The Optii hotel operations platform allows hotels to reduce costs, streamline operations and enhance the guest experience in proven and tangible ways. We bring together smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to empower operations teams, without requiring capital expenditure and complex integrations.

    Backed by investments from Thayer Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, and HOF Capital, the company services large international hotel clients throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

    or further information regarding Optii Solutions, see: 

    Soenke Weiss
    Chief Strategy Officer
    Phone: +1 512 256 6611
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