B&B Augments Historic Charm with High-Tech Connectivity for Staff Communication
Historic Hudson Valley bed and breakfast, Buttermilk Falls Inn, has selected ALICE’s staff communications platform to improve employee communication and coordination across the 75-acre estate. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.
Although the Buttermilk property had modernized and expanded its offering many times since erection of the main inn building in 1764 (recent additions include a world-class spa, a renowned farm-to-table restaurant, more accommodations, and a popular event space), improvements to the Inn’s technology infrastructure had not kept pace. Prior to implementing ALICE, the Inn’s staff relied primarily on walkie-talkies to relay tasks and updates to one another. Not only were there often not enough walkie-talkies to go around, but the property’s vast size and topography (a mix of elevations and trees) made communication by walkie-talkie unreliable. Other ways of communicating guest requests and keeping records, like verbal communication (which was easily forgotten) and paper logs (which could be lost or not consistently updated) were similarly fallible. An ailing Property Management System made matters even worse.
Now, with all staff departments using ALICE, communication and task management at the Inn has improved substantially, says CJ Hartwell-Kelly, Buttermilk’s General Manager. These improvements are evident in the level of service the Inn can now provide its guests, she adds. ALICE is ideal for her property, she tells us, because despite only having 18 guest rooms, the Inn has a large staff (upwards of 100 during peak season) and a substantial number of facilities under management that were previously difficult to align without such a robust communications toolset. (These facilities, befitting of this rural idyll, include an organic kitchen garden and orchard, aviary, apiary, working farm, and livestock barns for the Inn’s animal rescue activities.)
ALICE has additional benefits for Buttermilk beyond aligning staff on property. The Inn happens to own its own laundromat off-site, and Hartwell-Kelly is pleased that she can now coordinate laundry pickups and dropoffs at both locations through ALICE, thereby streamlining necessary oversight. The GM and her staff also appreciate ALICE for its ability to carve out paper waste and unnecessary printing, which aligns with Buttermilk Falls’ commitment to sustainable practices. “ALICE has helped us in all the ways I expected it would and more,” says the GM.