Rationale

Rotana has partnered with FCS to bring a technology solution to its hotels across the MENA region to help drive guest satisfaction through the optimization of guest services management. Rotana was looking to ensure smooth communication and efficient workflows between the various operational departments in the hotels to ensure consistency in service delivery.

Eric Rogers, Regional Head EMEA for FCS said, “Working with Rotana was an opportunity for us to fulfill a defined need to further improve quality of service for guests and to allow Rotana to understand the operational mechanisms of their properties in a much more visible way. Through the rationalization of guest requests and interdepartmental work order management, Rotana was able to identify key areas for improvement of overall efficiency in the use of their resources, both human and systems. In addition, each Rotana hotel now has a much clearer view of key departmental costs.”

Objectives

Rotana’s main objectives for this project were to increase operational efficiency in each of their hotels by having the right delivery time assigned to each service request with an escalation mechanism to ensure guest service satisfaction is guaranteed. In addition, Rotana was looking for an analytics tool that could provide its operational departments with comprehensive service request data and trend analysis information to improve specific operational processes as well as the overall guest experience. In order to meet this objective it was essential to centralize all guest service requests and inter-department work orders in one system with real time statistics and monitoring ability to address issues immediately.

Some of the key features / solutions Rotana was looking for included:

  1. Service requests management function – with the ability to generate service requests, assign tasks, monitor progress and escalate requests based on urgency and priority for both guests and internal purposes
  2. Reporting tool – The availability of standard and customized reports that demonstrate the production and efficiency analysis for each department and job delivered
  3. Analytics tool – The ability to highlight repeated challenges or incidents to the management to be able find a permanent solution
  4. System integration – the ability for the solution to integrate with Rotana’s hotel systems including its Property Management System (PMS), Guest Mobile and In-Room Control System

Solution

Rotana chose to partner with FCS because of its comprehensive FCS Connect solution, which offers rich capability and a user-friendly interface for users. The system covered all of Rotana’s business needs and was fully compliant with the hotels’ technical requirements.

About FCS Connect

FCS Connect is a bilingual automated job dispatch system for guest requests and inter-department work orders. FCS Connect functions via a centralized call center that enables hotels to achieve efficiency and consistency in guest service levels at minimal cost. It improves internal operational flow by streamlining all guest and internal requests across different departments. Additionally, FCS Connect provides hotel management with clear and detailed real time statistics to identify areas of improvement across all hotel operations.

FCS Connect was deployed as a guest and inter-department service request management system at Rotana across all operational departments including front office, concierge, housekeeping, engineering, room service and laundry.

Timeframe

The projected project timeframe for the deployment of FCS Connect at each Rotana hotel was 3 to 4 months and comprised the following stages:

  1. Gathering and collation of all relevant data to fully tailor the system to the respective hotel based on the architecture of the property, locations covered, types and number of guest requests, capability of the runners, etc.
  2. Working with each department to revamp its process to eliminate redundancy and manual intervention
  3. Implementation of the solution within the system infrastructure and integration with the hotels’ PMS, PABX systems and the guest mobile app for guest request fulfillment
  4. Go live with parallel runs on the system, moving towards the fully-automated service request and delivery service mechanism tightly integrated with the FCS application
  5. Training for all hotel personnel to ensure they were fully adapted to the new solution to improve guest and internal requests with more operational efficiency

In system deployments of this nature, challenges typically occur in stages 1 and 4. Since every installation of FCS Connect is fully customized to suit the specific needs, processes and objectives of each property, stage 1 was critical to gather all the detailed information and data from the hotel about its operational processes in terms of resources, capability and current work streams.

In stage 4, the FCS Professional Engineer worked closely with the hotel teams onsite to ensure system adoption. When the solution went live, employees had to adapt to the new workflow – often moving from traditional paper-based workflows to a new technology environment. Not only was this the time employees had to put their training into practice, they also had to deal with certain changes in the work culture and this always requires a lot of support, coaching and at times, additional training. Systems are only as good as the people that use them and in-depth training and support is critical in ensuring user acceptance of new technology.

“The initial project implementation was, and always is, a learning curve but thanks to the project management and support from Rotana at both the corporate level and in the hotels, the process was very smooth. So far the rollout of FCS Connect has taken place in over a dozen Rotana properties throughout the MENA region, some installed by our own FCS engineers, others through our trusted partner CADD Emirates,” said Eric Rogers.

Outcome

Measuring the return on investment was an important project criterion for Rotana. After the deployment of FCS Connect the hotels were able to effectively measure their service delivery in terms of time, guest feedback and demand for different requests as well as recurring incidents. The time of delivery has improved by at least 30% with a 50%+ reduction in guest complaints since the solution was deployed.

Samir Abi Frem, CIO of Rotana commented, “At Rotana, the return on investment (ROI) of our projects is not just measured based on a breakeven period or revenue; it is also about the quality and consistency of service delivered to all our customers without fail. The FCS Connect solution as our new guest service management tool keeps all this in checks and enables us with a great reporting functionality to assess where we are and how we can continue to improve and drive guest satisfaction, which was one of our main objectives for the project.”

He added, “The figures and statistics report and explain the issues and trends in guest services requests at the hotels, which help our operational teams take well-informed decisions to mitigate any challenges and risks and to focus on the core of our business, which is delivering great guest service.”

Eric Rogers said, “Once fully implemented, the benefits of the system in terms of cost savings and operational efficiencies were clear to see, which resulted in several more Rotana properties coming online on FCS Connect after our first implementation.” He added, “As part of our ongoing commitment to Rotana, we were happy to have recently confirmed the direct integration from our FCS Connect solution to Rotana’s own guest mobile app. This is available to Rotana properties as a retro-fit to the existing FCS Connect systems and sends guest requests directly to the runners, by-passing the Call Center, ensuring all requests are performed quickly.”

Always be there for your guests with FCS Connect

With a constant flow of guest requests able to overwhelm property resources on any given day, it pays to implement a solution equipped with all the tools necessary to consistently achieve total satisfaction. With FCS Connect, hoteliers can always ensure that each task and request is instantly handled by the most qualified property representative. Able to direct and manage resources accordingly, FCS Connect can also guarantee that expenses are handled with efficiency while assuring guests of their ability to enjoy all hotel services, regardless of when they book their stay.

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