Make Your Hotel Property More Profitable With Preventative Maintenance
Is starting a hotel preventive maintenance program worth not having to call in expensive experts during an emergency? In the long term, yes.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “A stitch in time saves nine.” The saying is about taking steps now to prevent problems in the future. More often than not, big issues start as little ones, so taking time to resolve little issues before they become big ones can save time, effort, and, most importantly to your hotel property: money. The stitch, in this case, is preventative maintenance.
What is Preventative Maintenance for Hotels?
Nearly everything requires a little bit of preventative maintenance. We really can’t overstate the importance of maintenance in the hotel industry. It’s a safeguard against future problems. If you’ve changed the oil on your car, installed antivirus software on your computer, or taken vitamin C to fight off a cold, you’ve already performed preventative maintenance. Doing a small thing now keeps any problems from building up without your knowledge and becoming a big thing later. Don’t let poor planning now turn into a crisis in the future. Take steps to protect your equipment from the elements.
The most obvious benefit of becoming proactive is stopping problems before they start. Tightening the seals on a pipe now might keep it from bursting and flooding several rooms later. Emergency repair calls are costly for a reason; the contractors can charge a premium because they have the leverage to do so.
Preventative maintenance also keeps your maintenance crew working efficiently. Finding minor problems will generate small work orders, which will set your staff’s schedule. Minor repairs on essential machinery help those machines last longer and save you from replacing your assets as often. Make sure your maintenance teams and staff have a wide range of supplies to clean and maintain everything from electrical issues in your air conditioning units to the TV remote control in guest rooms.
Check the Obvious Hotel Maintenance Tasks
Most of your equipment came with a user manual that explains preventative maintenance. It’s wise to keep this information where your maintenance staff can access it easily. Even if the manuals are long gone, the information might be available online.
Maintaining the public spaces of your building is essential. You want to make sure the plumbing works, the HVAC has been checked, and the furniture remains in good condition. Your staff can even check machines not ordinarily part of their responsibilities, such as vending machines, and forward those requests to the contractors you use to maintain those services for your guests.
The same goes for your guest rooms. Your hotel room preventive maintenance checklist should be painstakingly detailed. Make sure that lightbulbs are changed regularly and that toilets flush properly. If guests see paint peeling and flickering lights, they might request a new room or a refund, which will reflect poorly on repeat stays.
Have the staff member in charge assist in coming up with a preventative maintenance checklist for everyone to follow. Once they’ve gone through your rooms a time or two, they’ll get a better sense of what parts of your hotel need a bit more attention regularly. The hard part about preventative maintenance is inertia. Once it becomes part of a routine, it turns into an easy part of the day.
Not-So-Obvious Maintenance Tasks That Matter
Your customers may never see the back of the house, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need maintenance. The machines here are what keep your guests comfortable and happy. Make sure you check your HVAC system. Nobody wants to have the air conditioning break down during a heatwave. You can’t keep your landscape well-trimmed if your lawn mowing equipment needs repair.
Details are important. Pay attention to little things, like shower water pressure, clean air filters, and effective vacuum cleaners, and other housekeeping tasks that might get overlooked. Common guest complaints on review sites mention dust, dirty floors, weak water pressure, or lack of hot water. Losing sight of customer satisfaction issues tends to turn off potential guests.
Today, electronics and computers are becoming an essential part of the hospitality industry. Properly functioning electronics makes running your hotel easier for your guests and your employees. Maintenance can be as simple as replacing the batteries for your television remotes or updating the software that runs your booking system on a regular basis. Ask your IT service for tips for doing preventive computer maintenance. Preventative maintenance goes beyond wrenches and toolboxes these days.
Get Your Staff On Board with Your Hotel Preventative Maintenance
You can’t do hotel maintenance on your own, so you’ll need your staff members to assist. Setting up and sticking to a schedule lays out your expectations to your staff. You can schedule preventative maintenance during slow periods or off-peak hours to minimize disruption. Get feedback from your maintenance staff on how to set up the schedule. Set a pace that your team can handle, but make sure that they cover anything they might miss should an emergency crop up. Before locking in a schedule, do a test run during a week and see how much gets done.
To get your staff ready to keep things running smoothly with proper training. Provide a general overview of things they should look out for and train staff working in specific areas on what to or report. Your kitchen staff, for example, know their refrigeration units better than general maintenance. When a worker reports an issue, be sure to follow through on your end. If a staff member files a report and you don’t take action to correct it, they are less likely to file the next report. Lack of response can be discouraging.
If you could stop a problem before it started, wouldn’t you take that action? Preventative maintenance keeps horror stories like floods, computer crashes, and more from happening.
Spending a little time and money keeps problems from blossoming into future disasters. You are already halfway there. By paying attention to the owner’s manuals for your equipment and maintaining grounds, common areas, and guest rooms in good repair, you’ll make your guests happier—and you’ll be more likely to see them again.
Keeping the back of the house in order is just as important as keeping up appearances. That includes electronics vital to your operation. Once you’ve decided to keep things maintained, training your staff will share the burden with everyone. That stitch in time saves a lot later, keeping more money in your pocket.