“Maintenance, testing and inspection schedules are required to ensure that the facility is operating safely and efficiently, to maximize the life of equipment and reduce the risk of failure. Cleaning operations are often undertaken out of business hours, but provision may be made during times of occupations for the cleaning of toilets, replenishing consumables (such as toilet rolls, soap) plus litter picking and reactive response. Cleaning is scheduled as a series of periodic (daily, weekly, monthly) tasks.
The training and certification of cleaning operatives is increasingly a factor in the award of cleaning services providers. The facilities management department has responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the building, these tasks may be outsourced or carried out by directly employed staff. This is a policy issue, but due to the immediacy of the response required in many of the activities involved the facilities manager will often require daily reports or an escalation procedure. Some issues require more than just periodic maintenance, for example those that can stop or hamper the productivity of the business or that have safety implications.
The best managers are organized, persuasive and proactive — not to mention highly ambitious. They have a real attention to detail and a knack for remaining calm when things get hectic. They also know when it comes to guest, a smile can go a long way.
To join, you should have an experience of managing others. You’ll also need to be comfortable working with suppliers and vendors, understand purchasing and invoicing processes, know how to control costs and, ideally, have a management qualification.” — Vaishali Sinha, Director Housekeeping, Mehula The Fern
Need of the hour
“Currently, the hospitality industry does not need the services of professional FM service provider. At present, readymade products along with expertise and professional advice are available, which has resulted in reduction of costing and investment, especially in owner driven properties and big chain hotels. However, the time has come to hire outside services as the FS sector is growing and providing good services in India now.” –– Swarna Raman, CEO, All Seasons Housekeeping Goa
Lack of Training
“FS companies in India are not yet ready to tackle the challenges of the Hospitality industry as they do not want to invest in training and development of Human Resources. Most of them do not have in-house training facility or even trainers. Moreover, they are also not ready to recognize and reward their employees, who despite challenges, have performed well. As a result, good workers get absorbed in the hospitality industry on many occasions.
Our expectations from the facility services companies are transparent payroll by which all benefits are passed on to the worker; basic training related to grooming, conduct and housekeeping; and recognition and reward programme for their employees in order to have a motivated employee.” — Rajat Bagchi, Housekeeper at Pllazio Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi
FS scenario in India
The Facilities Management (FM) market in India has strong and direct correlation with the construction sector’s growth. In India, FM or outsourcing of services constitutes only 35% of the overall demand for real estate services. Unlocking this remaining 65% is hindered by many factors including lack of availability of technical and non-technical manpower, increased lead times in mobilizing resources/staff after a project has been successfully contracted due to manpower shortage, increase in inflation and labor cost, and ineffective provision of services at low rates by unorganized industry participants
Best practices should be aimed at reducing overall cost of maintenance, increasing life of the asset or building and enhancing client experience. All these factors hinge further on the ability of FS service providers to offer personalized solutions and adhere to timelines and quality consistency during service delivery.
Further, since the market is riddled with low-cost unorganized service providers, pricing and margins come under pressure. The FM sector’s business model is also changing, wherein larger facility/ property management companies are outsourcing all elementary activities like landscaping, security, janitorial, plumbing, and electro-mechanical services to smaller or local service companies. However, they retain supervisory services, lease and rental management, construction management, and real estate brokerage services.” – Sarvsukh Anand, Regional Manager Housekeeping, INOX Leisure Ltd.
Having said thus, though the service industry is growing and only partial outsourcing is being opted by the hospitality industry due to various factors, it is important to understand the service providers’ perspectives too. In the following issue, Clean India Journal will discuss what the service providers have to say.