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.”
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:
Rotana chose to partner with FCS because of its comprehensive e-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.
FCS e-Connect is a bilingual automated job dispatch system for guest requests and inter-department work orders. e-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, e-Connect provides hotel management with clear and detailed real time statistics to identify areas of improvement across all hotel operations.
e-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.
The projected project timeframe for the deployment of e-Connect at each Rotana hotel was 3 to 4 months and comprised the following stages:
In system deployments of this nature, challenges typically occur in stages 1 and 4. Since every installation of e-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 e-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.
Measuring the return on investment was an important project criterion for Rotana. After the deployment of e-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 e-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 e-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 e-Connect solution to Rotana’s own guest mobile app. This is available to Rotana properties as a retro-fit to the existing e-Connect systems and sends guest requests directly to the runners, by-passing the Call Center, ensuring all requests are performed quickly.”