Firstly to work within a hotel environment, FM providers will have to understand the concept of customer service and its effect on the overall hospitality environment. Too often, FM companies believe that there is a customer focussed business, but in reality, most are not and certainly not up to the level of most hotel operators. One way to overcome this is to include the FM contractor within the hotel operator’s customer service package. The new FM employees should be trained to the same high standards that the hotel staff are trained to.
The problem with this though is getting the operator to buy into the outsourced model; it will also require the FM company to be invisible to the customers by geting all the staff in hotel operator uniforms. It has been tried in the past on various occasions and usually at the bequest of the hotel asset owner. For it to work successfully, both parties must embrace the concept of outsourcing in hospitality.
Traditionally the hotel owner and operator have two different outputs when it comes to the overall hotel asset. The operator’s role is to extract as much revenue as possible from the asset to achieve its profitability and revenue targets, while this is important for the hotel owner, his role is also to ensure the asset remains viable and the asset is managed to the highest standard. Constant re-investment into the asset following prolonged poor maintenance standards behind the scenes is often a prime cause for concern for most hotel owners, hence the need to outsource to parties that are more used to managing and maintaining assets while at the same time reducing the overall maintenance costs.
Wondering how to start? Valet parking, external window cleaning, pest control & specialised maintenance services (lifts, BMU’s, Fire systems etc…) are the prime areas for outsourcing. Cleaning, engineering, landscaping are the other areas to be followed. Since these services usually require customer interaction, hence the FM provider is needed to be customer centric and focussed.
Hospitality (hotels in particular) is among the key focus areas for FM growth over the next 5-10 years, but FM companies will have to be more interactive and develop similar understanding towards the Hotel owners and operators’ requirements/guests. Focussing just on technical ability will not satisfy the long term requirements of both parties.
– Christian RobertsCEO Facilities
Management (FM) & Asset Management