In the summer of 2012 I decided I wanted to travel. It was my last year as a student and I felt that I had to make one final long trip before I jump into business. In Europe, there is a Student Travel Agency that provides students with an option called Work and travel USA. The way the program is designed, you get a summer job in USA, and after the summer and the season is over, you can continue travelling through the country for another month. That was exactly what I wanted and my girlfriend decided to join me. We naturally wanted to work together, so we couldn’t choose where we were going or what we were going to do for the next 5 months. One day when we checked our application to see if there is any news, we saw that we got jobs as housekeepers in a hotel in Yellowstone National Park.
This is how the story of Facility began.
The hotel where we worked is called Gray Wolf Inn and Suites and is a part of the Delaware North Companies. It is a middle ranged hotel with just over 100 rooms. Typical guests were just passing through the town of West Yellowstone where the hotel was located so there was a relatively fast guest turnover.
During our work there, I started looking more closely at how our work was managed and how we – the employees – were communicating. I realized that a lot of time was lost, simply because of the way we communicated, namely on paper, face-to-face and over walkie-talkies. The main problem was that it wasn’t fast and effective.
Let me give you an example:
Our housekeeping supervisor always inspected the rooms. But she had to come to us and check our room lists/plans to see which rooms were already cleaned. If she found any mistakes in the inspected rooms, she had to come back again and the whole cycle repeated. This resulted in a lot of time being lost and many miles walked, only because we didn’t have a better, more efficient way to communicate. What is more, the front office also didn’t have that information for all that time.
Because the processes were so slow, rooms weren’t always ready when guests started arriving at 2 PM, so they had to wait. In the worst case scenario, the supervisor did not have enough time to do a proper check and catch all the mistakes we made during cleaning, and when guests found them, this resulted in lower guest satisfaction.
Time and financial losses can be found throughout the hotel organization.
A lot of time is lost on:
– compiling room lists for housekeepers,
– reporting maintenance issues,
– giving additional tasks to employees,
– calls between the front office and housekeeping,
– managing supplies,
– doing quality inspections with check-lists etc.
The chain of problems goes higher and higher, and it ends with managers who don’t have any real control over events because it is simply impossible to track so many people, phone calls, papers and mouth-to-mouth communication.
Learning all of that, I recognized an opportunity for developing a solution that would solve all of the above-mentioned problems, and meet all of hotel’s internal operational and communication needs.
4 years, a startup accelerator and 100 hotels later, Facility is making a significant impact. It is changing the hotel industry by helping hotels provide a better service to guests all over the world.
Not only does Facility save time, paper, minimize inventory loss and improve communication between all departments in a hotel, it also gives a good overview to managers.
Facility keeps everybody up to date about relevant events in the hotel. Everything anyone needs to know is just a click away.
As our story continues, you are kindly invited to meet Facility – the ultimate hotel operations application.
Luka Berger, CEO