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Gaylord Opryland Anticipates $220K in Annual Housekeeping Savings with iPhone, iPod Touch App

Gaylord Opryland expects to check guests into rooms faster and save more than $220,000 per year with the selection of REX, MTech's Room Expeditor. Opryland piloted earlier this solution earlier in the year. Based on its initial findings, the landmark Nashville resort and convention center has decided to proceed with a complete rollout of REX.

How it works
REX is a SaaS-based housekeeping application. It starts with a feed from the property-management system of rooms and reservation data. From this information, coordinators quickly assign the rooms to each room attendant. MTech tailored the REX's assignment process to Gaylord's traditional process. At their option, the hotel could also assign multiple room attendants to large sections. This further streamlines the assignment process and accelerates room rushes even more.

Once the rooms are assigned and the day starts, room attendants are no longer given a list of rooms. Instead, they are given an iPod Touch. Configured to attach to the hotel's wireless network, the room attendant selects the REX icon from the incredibly intuitive Apple device. Then, they are prompted for their PIN.

REX analyzes a collection of variables about the rooms assigned to the room attendant. It looks at information like current PMS occupancy, VIP level of the guest, stay-over/checkout, estimated arrival time, room rush, room type, even physical occupancy (requires compliant in-room energy management system) and more.

From this information, REX ascertains the next most important room to clean, and it presents it to the room attendant. The room attendant has the option to start cleaning the room or declining for one of the following reasons - Service Refused, DND on the door, or guest asked to come back later.

Given that REX is SaaS based and iPod Touch devices are very affordable, getting started and recouping the investment takes a matter of a few months. Guests are waiting for rooms less time, and the old manual process is gone.

Efficiency times three
At Opryland, they found efficiencies in three areas. The room assignment process is streamlined in the morning; the distribution of "boards" is shortened; and, the room rush manual process is eliminated.

First, the room assignment process is streamlined. Working with data from the PMS, the coordinator spends 4 hours a day creating room lists or "boards" for the room attendants. This creates about $18,500 in increased productivity per year. Second, the process of distributing the boards takes an average of 14 minutes from each room attendant's day. Now, they receive their keys and Touch and off they go. This translates into about $75,000 per year in additional productivity, and it gets the room attendants cleaning faster.

Third, the room rush process can be very labor intensive. Front Desk rooms control people assign rooms. When no rooms are clean, they contact the Housekeeping Status Board. The Status Board then gets a runner or supervisor to contact the room attendant as to the room rush. With REX, the Front Desk enters the room rush into REX screen and the software takes care of the rest.

Spicing up service
The integration of REX to MTech's Internet-based Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS, pronounced "hot sauce") makes it very easy for room attendants to report faults in the room using icons. Even though HotSOS offers a simple telephone interface that is widely used at Opryland, they saw an increase of issues reported by room attendants on REX.

Opryland focuses on group business. As a result, many rooms need to have group information packets placed in the room, or there are other special instructions. With REX, the coordinator can sort by group code in REX and simply add the special instructions to all of the rooms.

"The impact on guest satisfaction should be significant, as this will now effectively and completely automate and expedite the unassigned process, as well as allow room attendants to send real time HotSOS work orders from the device with simple picture technology - breaking through the language barrier we currently experience," says Derek McCann, Gaylord Opryland Hotel Director of Rooms. "I would estimate that REX will allow us to leave open five full-time positions, since we will no longer need as many STARS dedicated to rushing rooms since they will be rushed through REX. This will save approximately $90K per year plus benefits so approximately $130K all in.
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