By Stuart Smith
The advent of web-based Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) has changed the face of hotel maintenance management forever. This is especially true for owners of multiple hotel facilities. Corporate operations managers can now look across their operations with the click of a mouse to identify problem locations, ensure issues are being addressed timely or schedule work. In an age where shrinking profit margins demand higher levels of management control, implementing a modern CMMS system is the logical solution for cost containment as well as improving the customer experience.
At the core of any CMMS program is the capability to provide maintenance management with an automated tool capable of scheduling inspections, preventive maintenance and work orders. With this type of tool, managers at the local hotel or resort can manage work request in the most effective manner. When integrated with mobile handheld devices the ability to respond with more speed is increased. This is important as prompt reaction to reported issues will enhance the customer experience.
10 Corporate Advantages of a CMMS for Hotels/Resorts
The advantages of a CMMS system don’t stop with the local facility. A web-based CMMS offers many advantages to corporate operations as well. Some of these are:
- Knowledge of maintenance problems across all properties. A CMMS provides a real time look at maintenance problems at any location. This allows for analysis of data to identify common problems, trends, vendor issues, costs, and likely capital replacement items.
- Ensuring corporate policies are being followed. For example, the corporate policy may be to have all HVAC units checked quarterly or boilers semi-annually. The CMMS software will identify properties that are falling behind and allow new instructions to be sent.
- Monitoring inspection schedules. The same principal applies to inspections. Many hotels have seasonal spikes in occupancy. Prior to the spikes, a checklist of items to be inspected can be scheduled. Hotels not performing/reporting inspection completion can then be scheduled for an “Official Visit” to find out why.
- The standardization of maintenance practices. Combining 1,2 and 3, maintenance practices across all properties can be standardized thus allowing for the inter-facility transfer of labor and knowledge when necessary. The standardization of maintenance practices is critical to effective operations management. With just a click of a button management can identify properties that might be increasing the risk (liability) of the company by not adhering to guidelines.
- Hosted or non-hosted solutions. A web-based CMMS allows for two types of setup. The first is the hotel hosts the software. This means that the hotel or resort has the software installed on their servers. The hotel is responsible for server hardware upkeep, installing updates, and security. This option is generally more expensive (upfront costs) than the second option which is a hosted CMMS. More companies today are going with a hosted CMMS solution because it has lower upfront costs, allows for greater security, uptime and the vendor takes responsibility for installing timely software upgrades. A hosted CMMS solution will also have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) then the client hosted option.
- Mobility is increased when using a CMMS especially when mobile handheld devices are integrated into the maintenance management routine. Mobile handheld devices render the old clipboard checklist obsolete but also enable work orders, inspections or instructions to be recorded at any location either online of offline. The transmission of results reduces the need to return to the office or make phone calls to set actions. The result is greater efficiency and throughput.
- The establishment of a historical asset database. When properly set up the CMMS will collects detail on results, costs, repairs as well as assortment of other asset detail. Besides helping with budget planning this information can be used to mitigate the loss of know-how of retiring workers.
- A decrease in maintenance expenses. The primary objective of any CMMS system is to manage the maintenance of assets to keep them in working order and avoid early or unnecessary repair/replacement. Timely inspections and preventive maintenance has been proven over and over as a great way to identify problems early before they lead to major repairs costs. A CMMS organizes this function potentially saving anywhere from 10-30% of annual maintenance costs.
- Going green. Consumers today want to be associated with hotels that are doing their part be environmentally responsible. Implementing a CMMS will help high energy consumption equipment such as boilers or chillers maintain their highest efficiency levels through proper care. Not only is this environmentally responsible but it will save countless dollars on energy bills.
- Greater customer experiences. Attracting and retaining customers is in large part based upon their experiences at a hotel. Poorly maintained pools, elevators, A/C units, damaged rooms fixtures and so on result in a negative image for any hotel or resort. This impact is only aggravated if a customer reports a problem that is not addressed timely during their stay. In addition, safety issues if not addressed timely can lead to liability claims, something no hotel can afford.
The above list are not the only advantages a CMMS maintenance solution is ideal but does provide corporate hotel management with enough information to recognize that maintenance should not be considered a back office operation. Good maintenance management can significantly impact the bottom line of any hotel as well as increase maintenance visibility. Investing in a good CMMS solution is critical to survival in today’s marketplace. Tell us how a CMMS has impacted your hotels bottom lines.