Effective daily team communication across three unique London properties
Welcome to The Zetter Group
A picture says 1000 words. And all the photos of the Zetter Group properties make you go “I am definitely going there the next time I am in London.”
"Sexy drinks, exclusive service, and staff that can make any cocktail you'd like. We look after you well, focus on you, we know you, recognize you. You get exclusive service that makes you feel welcome". ... is how Liutauras Vaitkevicius, the group's Managing Director explained what The Zetter is all about.
The group consists of 3 hotels together offering 96 guests rooms. Being a small family-like team running three hotels, they must be efficient. To stay on top of things, Liutauras and his management team needed an easy way to oversee daily operations across all three properties.
Faced with an outdated technology stack, digitizing and automating their daily operations was one of their main objectives at the start of 2021.
Start of 2021: Outdated software tools caused inefficient daily operations
At the start of 2021, their hotels were equipped with outdated software solutions, some 15 years old or more. The problem was that the software tools were inefficient, lacking technological flexibility and forcing staff to operate the old paper and phone way.
Liutauras: "We wanted to make things better, automate processes and save money. One of the key areas we wanted to improve was daily operations, especially in housekeeping, maintenance, and the whole team communication which was very inefficient. The team was losing a lot of time. "
Housekeeping was running on papers, maintenance got calls, and the management team lost hours every week preparing reports.
Before implementing Flexkeeping the team at Zetter faced all the common problems of paper and phone-based communication. Housekeeping was working with a piece printed out of the PMS. The maintenance team received their tasks via phone calls and sticky notes while struggling with language barriers, as other staff members did not always report problems in perfect English.
Liutauras: "When I asked the maintenance team how they are organizing their work, they said well, we get calls. We spent so much time just trying to communicate and sort things out, trying to understand where the problems were before we could even tackle them. The usual kind of inefficient operations that we see so often in a hotel.
Flexkeeping as the core solution to digitize and automate daily operations across all properties
With the introduction of Flexkeeping, daily operations at the Zetter group properties saw immediate improvements. Housekeeping schedules and updates from housekeepers are automated. Maintenance tickets get sent directly to the maintenance team via the Flexkeeping app in just seconds while also being translated in the case of foreign co-workers. All team communication flows centrally across all three properties so that everyone is informed. The team also uses Flexeeping'g digital Checklists for quality and safety checks, digital SOPs for internal knowledge sharing, Lost and Found, and the real-time reporting system for the management team.
Automated reports now provide oversight of daily operations
Liutauras and his management team can now oversee all daily operations at any time on their smartphones. They are receiving automated reports via email and the app with all daily KPIs from Housekeeping, Maintenance, and other departments. It also includes details about potential guest complaints, events, and other important daily updates.
Liutauras: "With Flexkeeping I have an oversight. I can log in for my peace of mind at 7 am, arriving in London by train. I can review any issues over the weekend, have things been done, are there any leaks, any customer complaints, anything like that. I now get that kind of data at a touch of my fingertips very quickly, without having to text, call, email people, and not involve my GMs because I want them to focus on customers rather than do reports for me. "
No need for managers to prepare the reports - it's all automated
Housekeeping managers and other department managers have to report daily statistics and noteworthy events so that the team can discuss and make sure their services and staff are performing as they should. But making these reports is a large time-consumer because managers have to collect data from paper reports, phone calls, and emails and retype it into excel sheets or a new email. With Flexkeeping all daily updates from all departments are automated and instant.
"I want my team to use the system there and then, very quickly. I can then open that system, take a look at it, and ask if there are any specific questions. We create efficiency through Flexkeeping rather than unnecessary reporting." - Liutauras
De-stressing the team and making them happier
Inefficiencies, unknown situations, and lack of communication are key factors that lead to hotel staff burning out. Not having regular information causes staff to be inefficient, do tasks the hard way and get small unpleasant surprises all day long. The Zetter group recognized the vital role which Flexkeeping plays in de-complicating team communication and de-stressing the team.
Liutauras: "We have a great team with good people, and we want to provide tools to de-stress them because even the best of people can burn. Flexkeeping plays a central role in that. If I can give my staff a tool to make their job easier and better, I will do that.
Bonus: A seamless integration between Flexkeeping and their chosen PMS - apaleo
When asked how the experience was when they were integrating Flexkeeping with apaleo, and how it is working today, Liutauras's answer was instant and short: "Seamless! You always expect these integrations to be a project, lasting for some weeks, but it was seamless in this case. We have all the information we need, and there are no complaints whatsoever. "
Liutauras's quote of the day:
"Flexkeeping brought us an easier way of working together while making our whole team happier." - Liutauras Vaitkevicius, Managing Director at the Zetter Group