How to Manage Your Hotel's Appliances and Prevent Premature Damage

May 27, 2022

Summer travel bookings are trending back up after a pandemic-induced downturn. Rapidly increasing demand for leisure and business travel is pressuring hotels to open back up at full capacity. Appliances, especially HVAC, lighting, refrigeration and washing machines, will feel the heat of cycling up to maximum, and then facility managers feel the heat of the inevitable appliance failures, repair scheduling, waiting for parts, and disrupting guest reservations. If you own or manage hotels, do you have appliance-maintenance optimally

prepared to survive the post-pandemic surge without critical levels of repair, disruption and negative reviews from hot, angry guests?

Fortunately, some things did improve during the pandemic, including preventive, software-based maintenance and management of appliances for property managers. Best practices for maximum-efficiency appliance management have therefore changed significantly. Here are six … New, Improved … preventative-maintenance best practices to take into account this Spring, as you prepare your properties for high guest volumes, fast turnover times, and heightened consumer expectations for uninterrupted comfort.

1. Task-by-task, group and document preparations and upgrades

With maintenance and support staff, you may be short-handed facing full-occupancy. You have to work smarter, not harder, when preparing and updating your hotel rooms, so you’re not still updating rooms when you could be selling them. Group your room preparations, upgrades, appliance maintenance in waves of skilled tasks (i.e., HVAC service technicians and remodelers), so that you get the most from the time your crews are on site and in each unit. If you think it’s difficult to even find those resources for prep work, try securing them when the appliances fail, and you have exponentially higher costs on top of empty rooms.

While you have those dedicated resources in the rooms, it’s an ideal time to avoid future room visits by documenting appliances, which will reduce the time and cost of transitioning to appliance-management software. Confirming make, model, year and serial number will enable property-management and appliance-management software to schedule maintenance, predict failure and connect smart appliances for remote control and diagnostics.

2. Anticipate guest impacts, and over-communicate to inform them

An informed guest … is a more agreeable guest … and is a less expensive guest as well as a referral source. Surprises are not what guests expect when they arrive. Inform them ahead of time if maintenance crews are on site, especially if any work (HVAC tests, bulb change, etc) is being done in their room during their stay. This will alleviate guest frustrations or potentially avoid them altogether.

Over-communication during the summer months will help to reduce the heat of guest escalations and bad reviews.

3. Check equipment health, and add appliance-management software to streamline remote diagnostics

During that cataloging process from best practice #1, assess the health of your hotel room appliances in preparation for the travel season, and add

appliance-management software, so it’s at your fingertips and constantly achieving savings via convenient app dashboard to ‘do more with a leaner staff’. If you’re not using an appliance-management platform to monitor and configure your appliance network, this is a great way to avoid appliance failure and schedule maintenance, repairs or replacements before they escalate into guest complaints, lost revenue and costly, ‘surge’ service calls for those devastating ‘one-offs’.

4. Replace manual routines with software for efficiency and guest satisfaction

If you’re still using analog checklists or processes to maintain your hotel room appliances, you’re stacking higher costs of today’s premium labor on top of the exorbitant costs of tomorrow’s emergency labor. It’s time to employ an integrated, online tracking system to automate more of your reporting and data gathering. Imagine tracking and monitoring all of your hundreds or thousands of appliances in real time - from your personal mobile device.

If you’re a hotel property manager not yet using a predictive-maintenance, appliance-management software, a demo of SmartHQ Pro should be on your calendar. Helpful and timely alerts for each of your appliances gives you direct feedback on how your appliances are performing. How’s that for cost-reducing, guest-satisfying, proactive appliance management? And it easily integrates into any existing property-management software.

5. Interior, exterior walk-throughs make optimal use of staff, and provide opportunities for appreciation

Your on-site staff are the eyes and ears of what’s going on in your facilities. Make the most of them, and reward them for work that is costly to replace. With each new season, look at all areas of your property to manage the aesthetics, security and functional components of your property. Doors, walkways, windows, finishes, furniture - they all have a shelf-life that requires continuous monitoring. The same is true for your electronics and appliances - they too have a lifespan - especially with heavy usage by your guests, and the intermittent nature of room changes and short-cycling equipment.

Since your staff members are always out and around, create a digital, shared seasonal checklist of preventive-maintenance issues that only eyes can see. Then be sure to reward participating staff for completing their tasks on time, perhaps with individual rewards of recognition and ice cream, and the group reward of a seasonal staff party.

6. Preventive service calls keep rooms functioning, full

With regular inspections of your hotel property and its various systems, you’ll have a better handle on the components that need regular servicing. As the Spring and Summer seasons ramp up with higher volumes of guests, take note of preventative service calls - these are important moments to catch smaller issues before they become costlier service calls that impact guests or even blocks of rooms. Of course, software helps! If not employing the efficient remote and automated monitoring of appliance-management software, scheduled manual diagnostics are a second-best (but still cost-saving) imperative for surviving the heat of peak travel.

Hotel managers, as vacationers and business travelers returning to hotels with high expectations of service, take advantage of the lucrative opportunity with precautions to minimize expenses and guest complaints. Prioritize appliance maintenance and repair in anticipation of the busy Spring and Summer travel seasons. If you have a seasonal preventative-maintenance plan in place, be sure to include both the cosmetic and comfort elements, as well as the digital appliances and systems in place - even if they are from different manufacturers. Check out the SmartHQ Management platform to monitor and track the performance of both GE and non-GE appliances. With regular monitoring, repair and maintenance, you can focus on whole-facility management, guest comfort and quality of stay for residents and guests.

To find out how GE SmartHQ can improve your season appliance maintenance pains with proactive appliance management that reduces expense, lost time, and guest inconvenience, click here for a free demo.

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