Located just fifty meters from Boomerang Beach on the NSW coast, Mobys Beachside Retreat has become one of the most coveted resorts for visitors seeking a beachside getaway from the nearby cities of Sydney and Newcastle.
Each of their 75 architect-designed one, two and three-bedroom beach houses is a cool, light-filled hideaway that blends naturally with the surrounding landscape gardens to create a restful sanctuary for guests.
The resort’s team has been busy of late. They've recently implemented new technology to help meet growing demand and to modernize their housekeeping and maintenance setup.
We spoke to General Manager Sheldon Martin about how they have transformed their operations with smart tech thanks to HiRUM and Flexkeeping‘s Hotel Operations Platform.
Before Flexkeeping: frustrations and inefficiencies
Our biggest operational frustration before implementing new systems was the lack of automation in our housekeeping and maintenance tasks. Previously, the front desk staff would use the PMS to generate reports, which were then printed out and used by the housekeeping and maintenance teams during their rounds.
This was massively inefficient because it relied on paper-based reports that had to be manually updated and reconciled with the PMS. It resulted in a lot of duplication of effort and made it difficult to keep track of tasks and updates in real time.
Our PMS partner HiRUM then recommended we look at Flexkeeping to help automate and digitalize some of our operations. So we did…and we haven’t looked back!
»A member of our staff who has a language barrier is one of the biggest users of the app! Flexkeeping allows everyone to communicate seamlessly. The simple icon layout and the in-built language translation make it possible for anyone to use.«
— Sheldon Martin, General Manager at Mobys Beachside Retreat
After Flexkeeping: automation and collaboration
We now no longer need any physical meetings, phone calls or even text messages amongst our operations team. The platform and app have been super easy for our housekeeping staff and maintenance team to use and they are loving it. They can all finally see what’s going on, see what they need to do and update everything all in one place and from their own phones.
You just get on the app and you only need to press a button or two as the interface is built around straightforward symbols, which really helps. In fact, one member of our staff who has a language barrier happens to be one of the biggest users of the app! Flexkeeping allows everyone to communicate seamlessly and with the simple icon layout and the in-built language toggle it makes it possible for anyone to use!
But Flexkeeping really shines on our busy days. During the holiday season, the resort is packed for six weeks straight, and every day is a big turnaround day, so having Flexkeeping to rely on is crucial. It’s a massive help; we can be so much more efficient.
For example, I can check on the situation at 1 pm on a big changeover day when check-in is due to start at 3 pm. If we only have three cleaners left still working and there are still plenty of spaces to attend to, I can react quickly to find a way to make sure we can be ready in time.
The maintenance module, in particular, is fantastic when I’m on the move. Whether it’s a fly screen that needs fixing or deck boards that need replacing, it’s all easily logged. As a manager, I can see what’s happening live, even if I’m busy in a distant corner of the property or on holiday. I’m always on the move around our (large) resort and it’s super intuitive. When you are out and about and doing the rounds it has become essential to us as it’s so easy to forget what rooms and places have been done or not done as they are all very similar.
»With Flexkeeping, we don’t miss anything anymore. There are no communication breakdowns, and it’s all done immediately. In the old days, we used to have everything in a book, which was massively inefficient.«
— Sheldon Martin, General Manager at Mobys Beachside Retreat
Seamless onboarding and support
The onboarding process was great and it was particularly easy to switch Flexkeeping on. As a HiRUM user, the integration was seamless and we were able to get up and running almost immediately with the help of the onboarding team.
Oh and the support from Flexkeeping has really been outstanding - I prefer to use email and they always get answered quickly by the team based in Australia.
Flexkeeping has directly helped deliver more revenue as well. In short, the platform makes us more efficient when charging guests – everything is done immediately and timestamped. Beforehand, we would forget to write something down and miss that revenue opportunity. So the platform is quickly paying for itself.
To be more specific, we charge guests for several of the extra housekeeping and maintenance services. Being able to do all of that from Flexkeeping is awesome. It’s now simple to add consumption to a guest’s profile. For example, we charge for maintenance work in 15-minute bundles (e.g., repairing a door lock) or specific things like new light bulbs or new toasters. Then each month, we will charge the guest for that consumption. In summary, Flexkeeping is finally making everything flow really well for our operations.
Becoming more strategic
With Flexkeeping, we’ve become way more efficient and organized, which helps to deliver a better guest experience. Ultimately, that means happier guests and that's what it's all about! As a whole, I love how nothing can be forgotten anymore. It’s all in there, and nothing slips between the cracks.
Flexkeeping also now helps us analyze performance and plan better. Did it really take an hour to fix a light bulb? Not only do our guests care about that detail when it comes to checkout, but so do we when it comes to team performance and assessing where we may need to improve.
I personally like to pull up reports on things like maintenance. For example, I can see where and how often light bulbs are being changed and if there may be a deeper electrical issue. We have become better at preventing future issues. Furthermore, it allows us to show guests if something happened or not in case they have a question. There is now a record of comprehensive notes to share with them.