IoT is already making so many industries and sectors smart and successful. No doubt, organizations are also embracing this new technology. Hospitality is another industry that devours the benefits of IoT by integrating it with internal management, and the output is more than expected.
We all know that housekeeping and maintenance have been the most critical components of smart hotel management. It is essential to keep a place running smoothly while maintaining quality, as it can affect the guests’ experience. When everything is done accurately, guests may not even notice that maintenance or housekeeping is being performed. In fact, issues are resolved before any guest sees it, or if someone notices it, requests are addresses immediately and seamlessly.
When things are not done as expected, it might go downhill much promptly- guests might complain, ask for recourse or write a negative review which ultimately causes business drop and no repeat business as well.
Thus, it is clear that the housekeeping and maintenance model matching guests’ needs and hotel management is challenging. Compromising quality and thoroughness by spending too little on housekeeping and maintenance may lead to guest dissatisfaction. Or spending too much on maintenance and housekeeping may result in appreciation, but you may feel that you’re spending more than the requirements.
So now, the most significant challenge is to know how to strike the proper perspective smart hotel?
Well, before switching to Smart Hotel, it is necessary to understand the state of current operations. To understand this, you need to ask few questions about housekeeping services like “How many rooms are cleaned every day or weekly? How much time is consumed in cleaning, and how many staff are engaged in it? How many rooms are allotted to a single staff and how assignments are made?
You even need to question on maintenance front, too, like “how often maintenance requests are made? What are the things which need frequent repair? How much is spent on maintenance?” It would be best to determine how often preventative maintenance is performed and how much it stops more significant issues from emerging down the line?
These small but essential questions are challenging to answer as these issues can be resolved only by employing the right system or process.
Many organizations discovered that their systems are:
Apart from housekeeping and maintenance being hands-on and physical work, recordkeeping has also been manual. Every input must be made manually from room allotment to service requests, thus dragging the possibility of errors and sometimes ambiguity.
Even if the software is part of hotel management, there are separate systems for each function that troubles to find out who’s doing what or what happened at what time. The process for housekeeping can be different from the maintenance procedure. Sometimes, a system for maintenance requests is varied depending on the type of service or vendor.
We all know that most maintenance systems are dependent on submitting service orders to acknowledge or resolve things that are already broken. This results in a system that reacts to the emerging problems rather than one that actively works to fix them before it happens.
These different and manual systems have been part of the industry for a long time despite having limitations. Now, there are many firms and companies that offer software to digitize and collect housekeeping and maintenance operations. Yet, these solutions are still dependent on some level of human interference. Whether recording time spent completing a particular task or determining if something needs servicing indicates the degree of unpredictability and difference in the data as long as you do not have a smart hotel.
The Internet of Things empowers hospitality industry professionals to view the current status of essential services like maintenance and housekeeping in entirely new dimensions, analyze past data in a centralized form and utilize data to extract actionable insights to improve the business.
Let us know the benefits of employing IoT based housekeeping and maintenance solutions.
Leak sensors on water lines and bathroom fixtures, vibration sensors on HVAC appliances and airflow sensors in ducts can be helpful. These sensors provide alert when things are damaged or broken, and it can even identify problems before it turns into a big issue. These sensors can be installed on an individual room basis or in common utility areas to get alerts. One can set a limit for moisture, airflow or vibration to get alerts to perform preventive maintenance or promptly address the arising situation accordingly. With sufficient available data, some IoT solutions use machine learning or artificial intelligence to execute complex models for predictive maintenance.
Attaching proximity sensors and indoor positioning beacons to either housekeeping staff uniforms or carts can provide data on rooms cleaned at any given time. As staff move from one room to another, these sensors capture the data of time spent by the staff in cleaning a room without manual reporting. By getting zone and room level data, hotel management can know the current state of rooms- cleaned or have to be cleaned. Occupancy sensors installed in rooms can inform staff with a real-time indication of which room to skip to avoid the requirement for repeated manual follow-ups. Collecting and analyzing past housekeeping data can help pinpoint operational bottlenecks to notify total staff headcount and cut housekeeping costs.
Interactive tablets are added in rooms for the comfort of guests to place room service orders like request extra towels or mark their room as ‘Do Not Disturb.’ When these sensors are integrated with housekeeping and maintenance data in a centralized system, front desk employees get access to the real-time dashboard of every room’s status, enabling them to respond to requests and send the required personnel. This ultimately results in an improved service experience where services are prompt and seamless to visitors.
Data collected from housekeeping, maintenance and guest service requests can be utilized to bring about reports and metrics like average cleaning time consumed per room, maintenance requests made per week, or average request fulfilment time. Sensors attached to HVAC appliances can be utilized to monitor energy usage and optimize it in response.
Thus organizations are aware of metrics that can be deployed for suitable operational changes.
Sensors used in an IoT solution will depend on the particular demands of the Smart Hospitality use case. For example, to track housekeeping activities through indoor positioning, current hardware technology consists of WiFi tracking tags, BLE beacons, or RFID tags. For maintenance purpose, leak sensors, there is ultrasonic-based and mechanical impeller leak sensors. Vibration sensor technologies comprise piezoelectric and MEMS-based accelerometers.
In Smart Hotel network connectivity, sensors can cooperate with the cloud through a variety of wired and wireless protocols, like
In the end, you’ll need an IoT software platform to ingest, convert, and envision the data. This may also comprise the skill to connect or remove sensors to various appliances and assets, set alerts and create customized reports.
Thus we can conclude that IoT supports hospitality organizations to stay ahead of the curve in the guest experience and streamline operations.