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EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, UK
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Readying your property to maximise trading potential: facilities management checklist essentials

Access Hospitality Business Development Manager Max Carruthers offers advice on using technology for facilities maintenance and putting your business in a winning position.

There used to be a saying in hospitality that ‘if you’re leaning, you could be cleaning’, which was all about using your time wisely to deliver the best environment and the best experience possible for the customer.

After a busy period at the end of 2018, followed by a New Year dominated by Dry January, things can feel a little flat, and hospitality operators have been known to find themselves leaning on the bar or counter rather more often than they would like. So, what better time to take stock of property maintenance issues to make sure that your site is not only structurally sound, legally compliant, linked to a meticulous property maintenance plan but also appealing and inviting to customers?

As potential guests start coming out of hibernation, there is business to be won and, whilst getting your offer right is an absolute essential, your infrastructure and property must be up to scratch and not let you down. Get the basics right and you’ll be in prime position when people start to spend more of their leisure time, and money, out of home again. For multi-site operators, it’s even more important to be conscious that all the bases at all of your sites are covered and brand standards are maintained throughout the estate.

Cloud hosted technology solutions such as Access ProNett look after the laborious admin work associated with property maintenance, leaving you free to concentrate on all the other things that make a real difference to the customer experience. They provide streamlined processes with minimal administration whilst enabling you to retain control. Simply, they give you freedom to do more.

When you stop to think about your property maintenance needs, what could be better than getting improved service, performance and value from your supply chain? Would you benefit from having real-time information available with a traffic light dashboard system so that everyone in the sequence knows exactly what needs doing, and when? If this sounds appealing, multi-site technology is an obvious answer as it can fully integrate and automate your facilities management process.

If you ever feel concerned about what needs attention as a matter of urgency to keep your business operating safely and efficiently, or whether there’s something you should be prepared for that you hadn’t quite got around to, then now is the time to find out how technology can take away all that worry. Getting the right technology will enable you to handle all the elements on your property checklist with the minimum of effort and now is a good time to review whether your facilities management process is the best it can be for your business or whether it could be streamlined:

Compliance and Emergencies

  • Ensure your compliance certification is up to date and in place, with the information readily available should you need to present it
  • Full emergency contractor cover arranged, with someone on standby to cover all eventualities and their details shared with duty management at all sites

Day to Day Operations

  • All equipment serviced, well maintained and warranties documented, with staff fully trained on its appropriate use
  • Everything working and in good, operational condition
  • Utilities managed effectively and efficiently with heating, lighting, cooling and drainage all in working order at the most economical rate possible

Operational controls & monitoring in place

  • Systems and operations implemented to provide an environment which ensures customer and staff health and wellbeing remain the highest priority
  • Appropriate processes in place to guarantee minimum downtime of revenue generating equipment
  • Emergency and general contractor support approved with a clear service level agreement specified, ensuring excellent service but avoiding premium costs
  • Simple authorisation and sign-off processes in place, with no room for ambiguity and lengthy discussions about the work carried out after the event
  • Budget and expenditure controls in place including responsive escalation or approvals process via mobile devices
  • GPS tracking of engineers to aid effective time management and ensure everyone is accountable at every stage of the procedure

Simplified Processes

  • System processes developed to be as simple to use as possible with integration across all platforms
  • Provision of real-time awareness of issues across all sites, head office, contractors and suppliers to maintain visibility and accountability, preventing problems falling between the gaps
  • Escalation alerts for all facilities management in place, with an automated process providing the best solution for maximum efficiency and prompt action
  • Quick decision making and authorisation enabled; with an integrated system connected to mobile devices offering the most effective option

In a busy environment, with so many touch points having the potential to impact on your business, it makes sense to use the technology available to reduce your risk. Confidence breeds confidence and property maintenance technology has been seen to boost morale, control costs, build revenue and get issues resolved quickly and efficiently.

Over 160 branded concepts, for example, are already reaping the rewards from the many benefits of Access ProNett, streamlining and simplifying the compliance, operational and control aspects of their facilities management. Early wins are achievable to make 2019 your best yet and using integrated technology for multi-site facilities management will continue giving back to your business for many years to come.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by QSRMedia UK. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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