“Fifteen years ago, the Hyatt Regency Mumbai was one of the first buildings in the international airport area to have a complete glass façade. Designed at an angle that defies cleaning it posed many challenges. Over the years the glass cleaning has been outsourced to a cleaning agency,” says Nupur Lalvani, Housekeeping Manager – Hyatt Place – Pune.
[box type=”shadow” ]Today’s building designs are innovative and energy-efficient but they involve considerably more complex shapes and detailed architectural features. These make cleaning more challenging.
– Vaishali Sinha
“Most housekeeping departments find a balance between what can be handled internally and what must be farmed out to a professional, based on manpower, skills and time. Today’s building designs are innovative and energy-efficient but they involve considerably more complex shapes and detailed architectural features such as cantilevered glass elevations and double-skinned climate walls. These make cleaning more challenging.” says Vaishali Sinha, Director Housekeeping, Meluha The Fern, Mumbai.
Guest rooms are the main focus of the housekeeping services provided in a hotel. In an attempt to keep up with competition, a wide range of complimentary items are now being provided. These have complicated the process of guest room cleaning. Vacuum cleaners may have provided some relief to guestroom attendants. Hotels now have several brands to choose from to suit specific tasks and their budget.
Mechanization for cleaning in public areas is absolutely essential. The performance and productivity standards of cleaning tasks are taken to a higher level and dignity of labour is maintained. Each GRA cleans an average of 15 rooms in a morning shift and this may vary according to the type of room.
The usual procedure for the selection of products used in the housekeeping department, involves creating specifications of what is required and having the Purchase Department float a tender to invite quotations. Usually, three vendors are selected to provide demonstrations of their product to the housekeeping team. Based on the feedback from the team, the executive housekeeper makes a selection, the price of which is negotiated by the Purchase department. The main pitfalls of this process could be choosing the lowest priced quotation which may outlook quality and not involve actual users of the product at the operational level.
The onslaught of epidemics across the globe brought about a focus on hygienic standards of cleaning. Since then, washroom products have been researched and marketed creating the niche that is now known as washroom hygiene.
Maintaining inventories of the various products stocked by the housekeeping department essentially needs to be computerized. But this is not the only area of computerization. The creator of the software Kazzam, Manish Jain states, “There existed the need to have an absolutely fair and justified modus operandi for the appraising of housekeeping staff. This led to the origin of the early draft of Kazzam – a comprehensive housekeeping solution.”
[box type=”shadow” ]Flower arrangements are being phased out of most of the Hyatt hotels. Hyatt Place-Pune does not have them at all and in Hyatt Regency Mumbai, very simple, small and streamlined arrangements are made usually with anthuriums, orchids and elephant grass
– Nupur Lalvani
To provide a basis for training and to ensure performance standards, SOPs are created.
With advanced technology, these procedures are no longer documented in manuals that collect dust on a shelf. Instead they are audio-visually represented on computers and laptops so as to be easily accessible and easy to understand and update and also provide an excellent tool for training.