Online Tools to Improve Hotel Management
Time is a valuable commodity in today’s fast-paced world. Unfortunately, the tasks that fill up the day of a hotel manager or employee are time-consuming with little room for any additional activities. When feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember the virtual tools designed to make these jobs simpler than ever.
With these simple, but effective tools, hotels can be more effective at their daily operations. These tips provide effective ways to manage time and tasks efficiently.
1. Online Reputation Management Systems
Each hotel’s reputation has a significant effect on their reservations. Additionally, one of the primary ways that hotels develop a reputation is through online reviews. Many managers are tasked with protecting the hotel’s online reputation, a job that may seem overwhelming. However, there are several excellent tools that make it easy to monitor an online presence. Google Alerts, for example, is a free tool that can be used to track where the hotel is mentioned across the internet. Social Mention and Who’s Talking are also effective tools to manage online reputations and track what people are saying. Take advantage of these tools to streamline part of the day.
2. Quality Management Systems
From booking to sales, a hospitality property management software system is the key to avoiding problems on a daily basis. There are hundreds of systems available today so look through each one available to find the best option for the property. Examples of what these systems do include managing reservations, tracking costs, and training employees. Larger hotels may need an all-inclusive suite that covers all areas of hospitality whereas small hotels can get by with smaller systems. However, be sure to find a system that covers all areas needed for effective daily operations. This system takes some time to set up and learn. However, it can save hours of time and help increase staff efficiency and productivity as well, helping managers to keep costs low.
3. Hotel Scheduling Software
Trying to schedule employees is a challenge, but today’s managers can streamline the process with hotel scheduling software readily available. This software can be used to track number of employees needed and how to schedule employees for the maximum productivity. It can be used to plan for vacation coverage as well and takes much of the guesswork out of scheduling. These software programs are used by managers in almost every area and with good reason. For hotels that have even small hotel staffing needs, these programs reduce employee mistakes and increase productivity significantly. Even the most organized of managers is going to make some mistakes which can be harmful for the hotel and its reputation. Keep the process simple by investing in this scheduling software. They’re an inexpensive way to run daily operations and employees.
4. Online Inventory Systems
Hotels go through a huge amount of inventory each year. From the complementary soaps to the towels that guests keep taking, it’s not always easy to know when to reorder products. While each hotel uses a different system of ordering, hotel inventory systems are a good way to track and re-order products as needed. Use a complete hotel inventory system to simplify the complexities of hotel room stocking. Even regular employees can be involved in the process by inputting how much stock they use each day to make the process as easy as possible. Having a virtual inventory system also takes the guesswork out of the process and some even automatically place orders as needed. While this system provides benefits for almost every hotel, it is an essential part of larger hotels.
5. Clocking In/Out Programs
This is a small aspect of productivity, but can make a difference in most hotels, especially larger ones. Many managers are frustrated with having to deal with employee clocking in and out. One of the best ways to monitor which employees clock in and out on time is to have a time clock which collects the data and sends it to an online system where it can be tracked. This allows management to see which employees constantly show up late or leave early. While simple, it can help to catch smaller problems in the hotel system.
These tools offer significant methods to prevent error and increase productivity. Consider adding these tools to the hotel system to improve workflow on a daily basis.
Also, consider implementing a hotel staff scheduling software right away with WhatTimeDoIWork.com. You can start your free 30-day trial now.
The History of Scheduling & 5 Scheduling Myths Busted
10 Mar, 2014 | Tags: bar scheduling software, Employee Schedule, Employee schedule calendar, employee schedule template, Employee Scheduling, employee scheduling programs, Employee Scheduling Software, hospital scheduling software, hotel scheduling software, online employee scheduling software, restaurant schedules, Restaurant scheduling s oftware, Staff Scheduling, Staff Scheduling Software, workforce schedule
Scheduling began its origins in ancient times when shift work made its first appearance with the need for kingdoms and military watchmen to stand vigilant 24 hours a day. Over time shift working began to growthrough different industries, and in the late 1800s starting with the invention of the light bulb and expansion of electricity, it was now possible to have employees working even through the darkest nights.
With the rising costs of fixed assets and the increased time required to start up machinery, it became more financially sound for certain industries, such as steel mills, iron foundries and textile mills, to have non-stop production. At this time the first traditional models of workforce scheduling appeared, splitting up workers into rotating day and night shift groups. The first schedules were very simple and consisted of working 12 hour shifts with half the staff scheduled to work at night, and the remaining staff scheduled to work during the day. This workforce scheduling would continue for 13 straight days per employee with 1 day off before being scheduled for the opposite shift; however this resulted in a high level of work related accidents and injuries.
In 1866 the first industry unions began pressuring businesses and the government to limit the number of work hours to 8 per day, however at this time the idea was met with a tremendous amount of resistance. It wasn’t until 1933 that congress passed their first labor act, “National Industrial Recovery Act” detailing minimum wage, maximum work hours and collective bargaining. This act was later repealed and replaced with the “Wagner Act” that went much further by also defining rules and regulations for part-time workers and overtime requirements.
In the 1960s 12 hour shifts again became popular to employees looking to complete their work during fewer days, increasing time with family and friends. This continues today, but has become more complicated with employers offering different lengths of shifts, and then scheduling their workforce to overlap for portions of the shifts. Due to this paradigm shift, scheduling software like What Time Do I Work.com has become a required tool to ensure that businesses of all industries are adequately staffed, while taking less time to create the schedule. This is the future of scheduling!
Myths of Scheduling Software:
Employee scheduling software is expensive
What Time Do I Work.com is affordably priced and offers special pricing based on company size. On average users spend about 75% less time creating and dealing with their weekly schedules, and end up saving themselves and their employees many wasted hours each week.. What Time Do I Work.com employee scheduling software saves time throughout all aspects of scheduling, with unique features such as our automatic conflict alerts and approved time-off requests that are auto populated on schedule.
Employee scheduling programs are hard to use
Employee scheduling itself can be difficult, but What Time Do I Work.com has specifically designed the software for ease of use. Additionally once you sign up (and anytime you need assistance) there is a wizard to walk you through the features, and to help you add all your information into the program. With our import wizard you can upload all your employee information right to the program, instead of entering the information manually. So set up is a breeze too!
Scheduling software is used by large companies
What Time Do I Work.com scheduling software was designed for all companies, no matter if you have 5 or 500 employees. If you have to create a weekly schedule, then you need scheduling software. Our system has many features that benefit companies of all sizes. The program allows your employees to enter their time off and availability requests directly through the software. This means you no longer need to remember everyone’s requests, they’re saved in the system for you to approve and they are auto populated on the schedule. Once the schedule is created it’s posted online where all employees have access to view it, eliminating countless phone calls asking “What Time Do I Work?”
Scheduling programs require constant and time intensive updates
What Time Do I Work.com provides employee scheduling online supported with secure logins. There are no downloads required, so you can access and create schedules from wherever you are in the world. Also our enhancements to the program are seamlessly added without any disruption of service.
Online employee scheduling programs require long term contracts
What Time Do I Work.com offers monthly pay-as-you-go billing; there are no contracts and no hassles. We‘re so confident that you will love our software that we’re offering the first 30 days free!
How to increase Employee Productivity in the Service Industry: Leave the Past Behind and Move into the Future!
21 Feb, 2014 | Tags: bar scheduling software, Employee Schedule, Employee schedule calendar, employee schedule templatee, Employee Schedules, Employee Scheduling, employee scheduling programs, Employee Scheduling Software, hospital scheduling software, hotel scheduling software, Increase profits, medical staff scheduling, online employee scheduling software, restaurant schedules, restaurant staff scheduling, Staff Productivity, Staff Scheduling, Staff Scheduling Software, workforce schedule
In almost every industry, except for the service industries, when it comes down to efficiency companies are looking to produce more products/solutions in less time with fewer employees and in turn increase profits. In the service industries this is unrealistic and will ultimately provide a lower level of service and affect the customer experience. For those of us in the service industries, the real productivity challenge is to provide quality with quantity. If you can maximize efficiency of your staff to help the highest number of customers without sacrificing customer satisfaction you will be successful.
There are many steps you can take as an owner or manager to help improve the efficiency of your employees and there are a number of factors to consider, such as:
- Training of employees and setting them up for success (including policies and procedures)
- Modernization of technology (electronic medical records programs, hotel registration systems, restaurant and bar POS systems, kitchen order printers, scheduling software, etc.)
- Monitoring employee performance and skills to accurately schedule your employees to the positions
There are also little improvements to the work environment that can easily make staff more efficient with very little additional effort from your employees. First look at your floor plan, are employees taking too many steps to accomplish their tasks? In a bar or restaurant you want to look at the layout of the back of the bar- each bartender should be able to reach everything they need to help your customers from their service station. If you cut down the amount of walking your bartenders must take, you can easily increase the number of customers they can serve. You can easily set up stations that will handle orders on the floor and leave the bartenders better able to assist customers at the bar.
An important piece to the puzzle starts with prep before work beginnings. Before customers start coming through your door or at the start of every shift stations should be checked to ensure they are fully stocked and prepared with the tools they need to complete their jobs. With What Time Do I Work.com scheduling software you can assign these tasks to individual employees during their shifts. In fact, you can schedule your employees to different stations/jobs throughout their shift through the program.
What Time Do I Work.com online scheduling software goes beyond straight scheduling and includes many feature to help you improve the performance of your business/employees and increase profits. With schedules created and posted on the cloud, employees are able to view the current schedules, swap shifts with employees and enter their time off request right through the program. With this comes the elimination of all the daily calls from employees with questions and requests about scheduling, giving you and your staff more time to devote to the customers.
There are numerous other benefits from What Time Do I Work.com and we are so confident that you will love our software; we are offering you a 30 day free trial. After you sign up there is a help wizard that will help you get running as easily as possible. Try us out today.
Little Changes that will make a BIG Difference with Customer Service
17 Feb, 2014 | Tags: bar scheduling software, customer experience, customer service, Employee Schedule, Employee schedule calendar, employee schedule template, Employee Schedules, Employee Scheduling, employee scheduling programs, Employee Scheduling Software, hospital scheduling software, hotel scheduling software, Medical Scheduling, Medical Scheduling Software, online employee scheduling software, Online Restaurant Scheduling Software, online staff scheduling, restaurant schedules, restaurant scheduling software, restaurant staff scheduling, Shift Scheduling, Staff Scheduling, Staff Scheduling Software, Whattimedoiwork.com, Workforce Scheduling
In the food service, bar and nightclub industries you are selling more than just food and drinks to your patrons. While quality food and drinks are important, there are probably many other similar restaurants, bars or nightclubs in your area that offer similar selections. What you are truly selling is a solution to a problem and what distinguishes you from your competitors is the customer experience you provide. We have searched far and wide to provide you with the best advice for improving customer experiences.
The first place to start is to challenge your staff to provide more than expected for every customer during their scheduled shifts. Servers should ensure that customers’ drinks never get below 1/3 full, offer extra bread for extended waits, and remember to always maintain eye contact and be personable when taking orders and interacting with customers.
You can really go above and beyond if you’re near a theater, sports area, etc., by asking your customers if they are in a rush and try to accommodate their limited time needs. Help your customers during the ordering process by pointing out deals on items that they are ordering. You can offer additional perks for your customers, such as tasting different foods and wines before ordering. You might make a little less on this sale, but they will be sure to return. And if you have an unhappy customer, thank them for their honestly (they told you instead of someone else) and look for a simple way to rectify the situation.
Improving the customer experience does not rely solely on your staff. As a manager/owner there are ways you need to train and prepare your staff for success. Train your servers on how to handle different customers (large groups, first time visitors, families) so that they can provide a superior level of service to every customer. Another great tip is to fully train your staff on your menu, ensuring they can answer any questions. Ensure that you fully train your entire staff on your policies and procedures, as well as when to escalate situations to the manager.
Here are some of the items that each of your servers should know off the top of their head:
- What foods are spicy
- Ingredients in each dish
- Items for special dietary requirements
- Tasted all items including specials
The final crucial piece of the puzzle is all about scheduling. There is a tight line to walk to ensure that you have adequate staffing for all shifts (over- and under- staffing not only impacts your bottom line, but can seriously impact the customer experience). What Time Do I Work.com has reports and features that can help you determine the ideal coverage for each of your scheduled shifts. Check back here in our next edition to learn more about how What Time Do I Work.com helps to determine your staff requirements for each shift. Can’t wait? Click Here to try it out for yourself for 30 days in our no obligation free trial.
Why should you pick WhatTimeDoIWork.com Online Employee Scheduling Software? Part 3: Benefits for Staff
14 Feb, 2014 | Tags: bar scheduling software, bar staff scheduling software, conflict free schedules, employee relations, Employee schedule calendar, employee schedule template, Employee Schedules, Employee Scheduling, employee scheduling program, Employee Scheduling Software, employee turnover rate, hospital scheduling software, hotel scheduling software, Medical Scheduling Software, online employee scheduling software, Online Restaurant Scheduling Software, restaurant scheduling, restaurant staff scheduling software, Staff Scheduling, Staff Scheduling Software, workforce schedule
In this third piece to our series, we will review the benefits offered to your employees by following our newest client Tom, whose company just began using What Time Do I Work.com staff scheduling. His story matches the story of countless employees whose companies are now using our software.
In the past, there had been many issues around who was approved for time off requests after multiple employees had requested the same day off. Employees would complain that one co-worker always was given the day off, and oftentimes there were arguments about who submitted their request first. To make matters worse the old system of leaving a note on the manager’s door was problematic at best. All too often employees complained because the scheduler never got the Post-It notes that were left on the door. It seems that between this and simply forgetting requests, the scheduler constantly had to update the shift schedule. This left Tom, and his fellow employees, feeling like they never really knew when exactly they were expected to be working.
Right away Tom saw the added benefits of What Time Do I Work.com online scheduling software, simply with the availability of the schedule. Usually, Tom would call in each Monday and hope to reach an employee who could run to the schedule, and read him his upcoming shifts. Now, Tom simply logs into the program from home and checks his schedule. He can also see who else is working, and if a last minute change comes up, he can swap shifts.
Late one Monday night, Tom couldn’t remember what time his shift started the next day. Luckily, because his schedules are now posted online, Tom was able to review his schedule and to his pleasure realized that he didn’t have to be at work until late morning (allowing him a few more precious moments of sleep).
There were many other benefits that Tom noticed right away: fewer revisions to the schedule each week, and with the ability to enter and log requests for time off in the system, a record of who took days off. He also loved how he could set up alerts for upcoming shifts, so that he always knew what time he had to be at work. Recently, Tom felt that he had not been getting many prime shifts and that he had asked the scheduler for, however there were no records of past schedules to look at. Within a month of using What Time Do I Work.com, the scheduler and Tom were able to look over the history of the schedules to ensure that in the future, everyone was getting not only an even number of shifts, but also an equal number of prime shifts.
To learn how What Time Do I Work.com can help your business, Click Here and try our no obligation 30 day free trial (we won’t even ask for a credit card!)