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Be prepared! Getting ahead with maintenance in Hospitality Industry

| Alkimii

In this blog, we catch up with Andrew Toole, Head of Growth at Alkimii UK to discuss the changing landscape of maintenance in the hospitality industry today. There’s no doubt that maintenance has become a high-priority focus for businesses in recent years. And, with guest expectations rising, regulations tightening, and sustainability issues gaining traction, a robust maintenance schedule is more crucial than ever. Want to ensure the smooth running of facilities? Want to ensure happy, satisfied guests? Maintenance is a vital part of the puzzle. However, facility management is no simple operation. There are many challenges to overcome in this complex setting.

Key challenges to get on top of

#1 Meeting rising expectations

Guest expectations are higher than ever, with many forming an expectation before they even book, let alone arrive. With the ever increasing level of competition in the industry, everyone needs to keep up. The rise of feedback tools has also pushed expectations higher, with readily available reviews shaping customers’ expectations before they even arrive. “Naturally, expectations increase over time,” says Andrew. “It’s a good thing for all involved, not just guests and customers but business owners and employees.”

#2 Communications on the move

A team on the move can be hard to manage, and even harder to communicate with. On a daily basis, you will have numerous individuals reporting maintenance issues across the facility. How will these reports be captured? The reality is, that paper notes are often lost before they make it onto the central computer system. And then there’s the issue of prioritising and allocating maintenance tasks across the team. “Having a mobile app that prompts to ensure the correct info is captured and acted on is really valuable. The ability to share images of the issue and resolution also helps break down language barriers and ensures clarity” says Andrew. 


#3 Access in a 24/7 environment

The 24/7 nature of the hospitality industry adds an additional challenge. It means there is no real downtime to schedule major works. And taking areas out of operation for any period of time will always impact the bottom line. It also means the natural wear and tear process happens at a faster rate. “Access can be a challenge,” Andrew acknowledges. “With busy restaurants, bars and hotels, they not only sell a product and service but a physical space. There are frequently times when areas can’t be accessed, or noisy repair works carried out.”

#4 Visibility of your space

For a start, you’re talking about a large area of coverage. A hotel, for example, will typically spread over multiple floors, with a significant number of square metres that need to be maintained on a regular basis. “Keeping eyes on all this space to know that standards are being maintained requires significant coordination,” says Andrew. “You need robust systems and processes to ensure all the information from multiple sources is coordinated and organised into efficient workflows.”

#5 Ensuring regulatory compliance

“Regulations have tightened, and rightly so. Across all areas of business, there has been an increase in the level of regulation,” Andrew confirms. “These regulations are critical to ensure businesses are operating safely. It’s less about ticking compliance boxes and more about keeping your team and customers safe.” More than ever, it’s vital that systems and processes are in place to ensure leaders have visibility of what is happening - especially across multi-site businesses where they cannot physically be on site.

#6 Delivering on sustainability

The drive for sustainability and energy efficiency is having a big impact on the hospitality industry. It’s good news for the planet, but it does add an additional layer of complexity. Businesses are now adopting green maintenance practices and holistic asset management in response. “Ensuring that equipment is well maintained is one of the most important factors to ensuring efficiency,” says Andrew. “This not only has a positive impact on the environment. With energy costs so high, it also has a significant impact on the bottom line.”

Proactive maintenance is the way to go

Andrew is passionate about the need for proactive maintenance. “A preventative maintenance routine is critical to maintaining standards in all hospitality businesses,” he says. “We cannot simply rely on reactive maintenance to stay on top of things.” 

PPM (Planned Preventive Maintenance) checks are essential to any maintenance strategy. The checks ensure inspections, servicing, and maintenance tasks are performed at regular intervals to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for guests and staff. 

An effective PPM routine should include both time-based and condition-monitored items. For example, in a hotel room, the PPM checks should include confirming the condition of certain items, such as paintwork and furniture. The checks also need to cover time-based items such as the replacement of door and remote-control batteries to ensure guests aren’t impacted by the annoyance of dead batteries. “A robust PPM routine ensures that potential issues are resolved before they become issues,” Andrew explains. “It also significantly increases efficiency and productivity of the team by allowing a greater level of planning.”

With PPM checks in place, the risk of critical equipment downtime is significantly reduced. Businesses can’tmaintenance in Hospitality Industry - man in blue hard hat and orange jacket checking air-con unit risk waiting for critical equipment to break before considering replacing it. A hotel can’t operate without hot water and heating, and a restaurant can’t open without an oven. Regular checks and servicing will keep them in good working order for longer. 

“There will always be a need for reactive maintenance. But the better the proactive maintenance regime, the less frequently planned work schedules will be interrupted by urgent failures,” Andrew confirms. 

5 ways Alkimii Property impacts customer experience, cost and team productivity

It’s clear that robust systems and processes are required to ensure maintenance standards are upheld. So how can smart technology help? This is where hospitality maintenance software, as included in the Alkimii suite of services, can play a significant role in streamlining maintenance operations. The mobile app covers all the crucial elements, from team communication and coordination, reporting and dashboards to checklists and scheduling. “Where Alkimii really comes into its own is the ability to access information in real-time,” Andrew explains. “With Alkimii, you know exactly what is happening, and where it is happening. You can identify trends. And you can make timely informed decisions.”

#1 It improves communication and coordination between teams
Alkimii allows real-time interactions between teams, on the move. Alkimii chat enables messages and documents to be sent instantly and directly to individuals or entire teams. “And, because it’s a mobile app, there’s no need to get back to a computer,” Andrew confirms. “The schedule puts a calendar in everyone’s hands, not just Outlook users. No one will miss a meeting again! The ability to instantly communicate and set tasks for the team is so powerful. Quickly changing priorities are a fact of life, and being able to drop an update to any of the team instantly cannot be underestimated.”

#2 It helps you maintain robust PPM schedules
With Alkimii, you can easily get ahead of PPM schedules. The preventative maintenance software keeps all the information in one place with easy-to-read dashboards and reports to keep track of where everything is up to. The tasks function allows for proactive maintenance to be easily prioritised and scheduled. Action points from meetings can be allocated and made accessible to individuals on the go, with deadlines for completion. “It makes it easy to manage and coordinate your teams on the go. Decide priorities, allocate tasks, monitor progress all on the go and in real-time.”

#3 It helps you handle reactive maintenance effectively
However robust your PPM checks, there will always be a need for reactive maintenance. The tasks function allows for individual items, such as reactive maintenance tasks, to be allocated to an individual, with absolute clarity. “There’s no more ambiguity. Alkimii lets you send annotated photos of tasks that need completing, so anyone can log a maintenance issue with absolute clarity. Nothing is lost in translation.”

#4 It identifies trends in maintenance requirements
As all items are logged in Alkimii – both reactive and proactive - you can leverage the data to identify patterns, manage resources and optimise schedules. The dashboards which are available allow trends to be seen at a glance. This could be anything from items that need repairs or maintenance more frequently than others to areas or departments that report more or less maintenance items. “The powerful reporting capabilities allow you to drill down into the detail by area, property, or portfolio,” Andrew says. 

#5 It reaches reach across multiple sites
Alkimii allows leaders at the centre to view all sites on one platform. It enables clear visibility to see group-wide trends and performance. They can clearly see who is keeping up with the workload, and who needs a helping hand. “It gives a helicopter view for people at the centre - to see what’s going on across multiple sites,” explains Andrew. And thanks to the flexibility of the system, Alkimii can work with you to collate and record anything you need to maintain a complete overview of your sites. 

About Alkimii Property
Alkimii Property gives your team all the information they need, integrated into a single app. Checklists, handovers and reports have you covered at all times, and preventative maintenance is a cinch with hotel and group-level overviews. Plus, you can manage staff and guest incidents as they happen with seamless communication and full oversight. Find out more at https://www.alkimii.com/alkimii-property

About Andrew Toole

Andrew is a highly accomplished leader with over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry having held senior positions across multi-site, internationally branded hotel groups.

Andrew is known for his customer focussed, goal-oriented approach and excellent communication skills with a proven track record managing large projects, building strong teams, and developing new business.

With the ability to adapt quickly where innovation and challenge are an integral part of the working environment, Andrew has successfully led operational initiatives and implemented cost-saving measures across numerous diverse hospitality businesses. Andrew’s expertise extends across areas such as acquisition, energy-saving technologies, and ensuring compliance with health and safety standards.


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Why choose Alkimii

Specialist hospitality software, built on experience, proven across hundreds of hotels.

After years of working in the hospitality industry and running his own hotel our founder Ronan McAulay knew first hand the technology challenges that the hotels face. Alkimii was built to exclusively solve these challenges.