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Pier House 60 Marina Hotel Digitizes Operations, Reducing Paperwork and Wasted Time

Clearwater institution Pier House 60 Marina Hotel and the nearby, newly opened Edge Hotel said they are both using ALICE’s hotel technology platform to digitize their operations and provide conveniences to guests. The ALICE platform provides hotels with a full suite of task management and communication products for housekeeping, engineering, F&B, front desk, and concierge departments, as well as guest engagement tools, such as text messaging.
Prior to implementing ALICE, Edge Hotel General Manager J.R. Patel, formerly GM of Pier House 60, talked about the “mounds and mounds” of paper required to manage operations at the Pier House property. Every guest request and work order would be noted on a 4-copy carbon copy notepad, with one copy sent to the operations manager, one copy sent to the department manager, one copy sent to the housekeeper performing the task (for example), and the last copy kept on file. This paper trail was supplemented by phone and radio communication between staff members, which wasn’t trackable, as well as the chasing down of other team members to pass these notes along, which consumed a fair amount of time. At the end of each day, every department head would spend hours sifting through all these slips to learn about what had happened on property that day.
“It’s night and day,” says Patel about the impact of ALICE on staff operations. "The transition from this analog system to digital task tracking has been 'beyond successful.' There are no more mounds of paper coming over my desk every day. I can just log into ALICE and immediately see what’s going on."
Guests at both properties are also benefitting from ALICE. Texting guests about the status of their room is a “great use case” for guest messaging, says Patel. If guests arrive on property early in the morning and their rooms aren’t yet ready, the hotels can now just text them as soon as the rooms become available. “Guests find this very convenient,” he adds. Other use cases for guest messaging at the hotels include requests for room amenities, like extra towels, and inquiries about late checkout.
Staff at Edge and Pier House 60 are also delivering an even better guest experience with the help of ALICE’s Lost & Found log. Previously, if a guest left something at either property, the guest could only inquire about the status of an item during the hours when the housekeeping manager was on duty. Now, with ALICE, any staff member that finds a guest item can add it to the ALICE Lost & Found log (with a photo attachment!) and if a guest calls, they can quickly - and at any time of day - learn whether or not their item has been found.
Patel is pleased with his staff’s reception to ALICE. Employees at both properties appreciate how easy ALICE is to use, how fast communication is now between staff members, and how they no longer have to decipher each other’s handwriting to understand what needs to be done. The maintenance department no longer has to waste time radioing back and forth with the front desk for tasks, and communication between the front desk and the housekeeping department is also now greatly improved, since ALICE translates messages between departments from English to Spanish and vice versa.
By digitizing his operations with ALICE, Patel can gain insight to the performance of his hotels and staff in ways he couldn’t before with paper slips. With ALICE’s business intelligence tools, Patel can see how quickly staff are responding to internal orders and guest requests. (He attributes their improvement in response times to accountability of the new system and the friendly competition it’s generated). He can also now compare efficiency between staff members, and better allocate them to tasks, as well as award them with more responsibility or a promotion.
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