IN THESE DAYS of rising labor costs, particularly in hotel housekeeping, technology is becoming widely available to help optimize room cleaning. Several brands of software allow hoteliers to maintain brand standards across multiple properties, though smaller operations may choose to take a different path.
KNOW Housekeeping from Knowcross, RoomChecker by qMetrix Group and HotSOS Housekeeping by Amadeus are all top brands of housekeeping software. However, Quore’s Cleaning Plus tops the list according to HotelTechReport, and Quore’s Vice President of Strategy and Alliances Richard Bradbury gave Asian Hospitality the rundown on the software’s features.
Held to a standard
Launched in 2012, Franklin, Tennessee-based Quore now has 3,600 hotels and 560 management companies as customers.
“I saw the need for a cloud-based service-optimization platform that would change the way hoteliers work with colleagues and interact with guests,” said the company’s founder Scott Schaedle.
The company now expects to be serving 5,000 hotels by the end of 2019. Its software can operate on iOS or Android.
“We handle the end-to-end operations of assigning rooms to housekeeping staff, assuring that cleaning is done in an organized manner” Bradbury said.
Flexibility is a requirement for their software, he said, because its application in the real world must compensate for a number of variables.
“Each brand has its own standards for however they clean their rooms,’ Bradbury said. “Quore has the ability to load those standards in.”
This function is most beneficial to owners with multiple hotels cleaned by one crew, Bradbury said. Third-party management companies benefit, too.
“As the housekeeping staff walk into each room they have a complete list of what is required to meet brand standards,” he said.
With labor shortages being felt most acutely in housekeeping staff, software like Quore’s helps owners do more with fewer people. It can be used by outside cleaning services as well.
“We’re finding that many cleaning companies are becoming familiar with our software,” Bradbury said.
“The owners are concerned with protecting their assets and making sure maintenance issues are addressed,” he said.
The Quore software provides an easy way for staff to report those issues without being familiar with a particular property. The system then ensures that the issue is followed up.
“These are things that were never available to limited and select service properties before because of price,” Bradbury said.
Management companies use the software to monitor staff activity without having to be onsite, Bradbury said. They can determine management level changes and adjustments to make at a property level.
That is similar to a primary use of the software by the Anderson, South Carolina-based Paragon Hotel Co., said the company’s Regional Director of Operations Amulya Singh.
Paragon manages 25 hotels, each cleaned by internal housekeeping staff with teams of between 10 to 50 members depending on the size of the hotel. They fully deployed Quore about two years ago. They run Quore on desktop computers as well as mobile devices, but it’s mostly the latter.
“We use it for just about everything,” he said.
The team members most often use Quore to report problems they see or experience around the hotel.
“The individual housekeepers will only use it for 10 to 20 percent of their work,” Singh said. “Now the supervisors and department heads, they use Quore quite a bit because they do the inspections.”
As part of those inspections, Singh said, the supervisors use Quore to grade the performance of each housekeeper and reward those with the highest rankings.
“That’s based on their score in Quore,” he said.
Bradbury said that 85 percent of Quore’s customers are limited and select service properties. However, independent hotels make up a much smaller percent of Quore’s customers, around 1 percent, primarily due to awareness and cost.
Housekeeping software isn’t the best option for every hotel, said Raj Das, vice president for development at Palace Inn Franchising in Houston.
“The software programs used in larger properties help them maintain efficiency with cleaning times and room maintenance,” Das said. “For smaller properties it becomes an added cost that isn’t worth the benefits.”
Hotels that are considering the software should conduct a cost benefit analysis and review of their processes first, he said.
“In some situations they can simply update their hotel’s processes and make them more efficient instead of buying in to a software for added costs,” Das said.
Das also owns several hotels in Houston and he has opted not to purchase housekeeping software.
“We do leverage technology in general to optimize our operations,” he said. “Our front desks brand wide are all equipped with an iPad that the front desk staff can use to take pictures of issues in rooms and track maintenance tasks. We have seen that sometimes using simple solutions to operations are often more beneficial rather than complicating processes with more steps in between.”