Despite the recent year’s economic downtrend, hotels are still building and finding ways to meet the changing consumer needs. According to Tophotelprojects.com, there are over 4,000 first class and luxury hotels under construction with the vast majority located either in North America, Europe or The Middle East. These hotels are also in a race to adjust to the top consumer trends. That trend in is to accommodate the need for travelers to be socially and environmentally conscious.
“Their objectives for vacation periods are changing and so are the demands they are placing on their brand partners. To lead in the category going forward, it is vital that brands fulfill these four imperatives:
Source: Hotel News Resource
Incorporating a green theme is no longer an option, it is a requirement to attract consumers. A good listing of Green organizations for hoteliers can be found at Green Hotels Association.
How Hotels Can Manage The Need For Green
On top of the social constraints being pushed by consumers, hotels still need to manage their assets from conception to retirement. It is important because exceptional management of assets will free capital needed to make consumer changes and remain competitive. The best tool for managing assets in this manner is an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system. Since the term asset management can be vague, the following describes how an EAM can impact hotel operations.
Building The Knowledge Base For Green Hotels
It is important for hotels to record the maintenance history of all assets. Green designs are still relatively young and there is not always enough historical data to properly manage the hotel assets. Without this history asset lifecycles may be shortened, capital budget planning may err and maintenance management more difficult to schedule. This is a good practice for a number of reasons. The top three reasons are:
- Stored knowledge. Maintenance activities (work orders, preventive maintenance, inspections) when recorded properly describe the detail of what was done, who did it, when it was done, what was needed, the time spent, as well as the cost of materials. Having this information provides a shared database that can be used when training new maintenance personnel. The maintenance workforce average age is over 50. As these workers retire their knowledge of problem resolution will be lost unless it is recorded.
- Capital Analysis. Data collection enables greater predictability of useful lifecycle of an asset. Analysis of the frequency and cost of repair will provide management with the information necessary to make timely asset replacement decisions.
- Reduced Labor Costs. Lowers the learning curve for the next maintenance call, reducing repair time, preventing recreation of the wheel.
Efficiency Impact of Good Asset Management
One of the most important features of an EAM system is the automation of the maintenance tasks from work request through work order completion. The automation of workflow processes is designed to lower reactive firefighting and increase pro-active preventive maintenance through inspections as well as regularly scheduled care. A good rule of thumb is to have reactive repair work no more than 20% of all maintenance requests. Scheduling preventive maintenance and inspections will help accomplish this. In turn, lowering the amount of reactive maintenance has multiple financial impacts including but not limited to:
- Reduced Overtime. Organized maintenance scheduling increases the flexibility of maintenance management to handle emergency repairs with less overtime. Scheduling preventive maintenance also reduces unexpected emergency work orders.
- Efficiency Gain. More can be done with the same amount of staff as work orders can be prioritized by need and location. In addition, the use of handheld devices will allow inspection results to be immediately turned into work orders without delay.
- Turnover is lowered. Most people prefer not to work in an environment where they feel like they are running around with their hair on fire. An EAM will ease the anxiety caused by unnecessary emergency repair work. Lower turnover means less training is required to handle situations.
Financial Impact of an EAM
The third area is the sum of the efficiencies and knowledge base benefits. Increased asset lifecycles, accurate replacement projections will reduce the amount need capital funds. Combined with lower labor costs, hotels have the potential to decrease overall costs significantly. Additional expense savings will be realized through energy expense reductions in equipment such as HVAC and boilers which will operate far more efficiently than with our proper maintenance. In summary, a properly implemented EAM will help free up the capital necessary to pursue the more expensive green hotel/resort ventures and keep them profitable.
Tell us how your hotel will adjust to the green trend.
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