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Use of Computers in Housekeeping Department


Computers are now being used in many housekeeping departments for rooms management, inventory control, linen management, and so on, to varying extents.

Many software packages are now available in India that provides specific applications for housekeeping operations.

Computers can now be linked to the telephone system in each guestroom.

This technology greatly reduces the cost of individual wiring in each guestroom.


Computers are being used in housekeeping for:

1. Rooms Management

2. Forecasting GRA Requirement

3. Housekeeping History & GRA Performance

4. Stock Control

5. Housekeeping Records

6. Work Methods

7. Files

8. Word-Processing

9. Planning System

10. Energy Saving


1. Rooms Management

• Arrival and departure as well as occupancy figures.

• Occupancy Forecast

• V.I.P. and other special arrivals.

• Guest history and other special requests (e.g. Bed boards, vases, flower arrangement, disabled facilities, etc.

• Out of order record giving reasons (e.g. redecoration, maintenance problem, etc.)

• Room change (when a guest moved from one room to another) and also the room type change.

• Complimentary or staff room.

• Rooms sold for various purposes (special) and room arrangement thereof e.g. interview rooms.

• Daylets

• Inter-Connecting rooms sold for friends or in a family plan.

• Sleep-out (where the guest has slept out).

• Walk-out (confirmed reservation guests walk out to other hotels).

• Overstays (where the guest who was supposed to be leaving has decided to stay on).

• Occupancy status of the room and the number of persons in the room.

• V.I.Ps’ in the house.

• Clear rooms required on priority.

• Sick guests if any.

• This information will mostly be in a two-way flowing from the reception to the housekeeping and vice Versa.

• From the housekeeping side, the information may be fed into the computer from the keyboard.

• If the computer is linked to the telephone system, information on room status may be dialled in directly by the floor supervisor.


2. Forecasting GRA Requirement

Computers may be used to forecast the total number of GRAs needed each day in the future, based on the current in-house occupancy and staffing and the expected arrivals/departures over the forthcoming period.

These can forecast staffing requisites up to 365 days in advance, given the right inputs.


3. Housekeeping History & GRA Performance

It is possible to measure the performance of each GRA by tracking the estimated clean time’ and the ‘actual clean time’, as well as the variances.

Since supervisors use the intercom in the room to mark the room as ‘ready for guests’, the computer can also store the time at which the supervisor finished the inspection.


4. Stock-Control

All types of housekeeping stocks may be controlled by a computer including:

• Linen Inventories

• Cleaning Agents

• Cleaning Equipment

• Uniforms

• Guest Supplies

• Soft Furnishing

• Bedding

• Spare carpets and curtain/upholstery fabric etc.

• By keeping efficient stock control, purchases and budgeting will be made easier and information on stock levels etc. will be readily available.


5. Housekeeping Records

• All the housekeeping records may be kept on the computer. For example,

• Room type with standard content design and colour scheme;

• Housekeeping Items’ purchase details like

• Name of supplier

• Date of purchase

• Cost of Item,

• Problems if any,

• Method of cleaning, and

• Maintenance.


6. Work Methods

These should be identified for use in training periods or where special cleaning operations are carried out.


7. Files

Computer files take the place of traditional files reducing the need for filing cabinets.


8. Word-Processing

The computer used as a word processor takes the place of a traditional typewriter, so all correspondence could be prepared in this way. A standard letter could also be kept in memory.


9. Planning System

A well-organized housekeeping department has a planning system in operations.

The computer is ideal for keeping such records and preparing forecasts for example, on window cleaning, redecoration, etc.


10. Energy Saving

Computers can be used to control heat, light, power and telephone usage.


Other IT Applications in Housekeeping

Some companies also offer tray detection technology.

When a guest puts a tray outside of the door, housekeeping is alerted from a triangle sensor on the tray that triggers another sensor in the doorway.

This immediately alerts the staff to the waiting tray by way of a blinking light.

The housekeeping staff can also be alerted when a room is available for cleaning by the guests.

In this application, guests click a button, which sets off another sensor, to indicate they are gone and the room can be cleaned.


Use of Computers in Housekeeping

Many hotels have invested heavily in information technology infrastructure and networking that deploy the latest technical advances in their operations. The new technologies which are gaining entry into the hospitality segment are Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), radio frequency identification, and the possibility of tracking inventory and guest data through the convergence of cellular and wireless technologies, GPS (Global Positioning System), VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), handheld communication devices and so on.

Hotels either provide Wi-Fi as a value-added amenity to the guest or offer the service at a cost to their guest. Wi-Fi is provided in guest rooms as well as public areas, lobbies, meeting rooms, lounges and so on.


In The HouseKeeping Department

▪ WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) technology is enabling a wide range of hospitality applications in the housekeeping department. Housekeeping staff can now conduct room checks after a guest vacates the room through the handheld Wi-Fi enabled device to report the status of the room

▪ They also communicate with security personnel instantly over e-mail in case of an emergency.

▪ Staff can also ensure from a remote spot that fire extinguishers are charged, emergency lights are functioning, and so on.

▪ Check and communicate inventory invention for guest room supplies and the stocking of minibars in order to ensure that provisions are replenished in an efficient manner.

▪ Computers are now being used in many housekeeping departments for room management, inventory control and linen management.

▪ Computers can now be linked to the telephone system in each individual guest room. This technology greatly reduces the cost of individual wiring in each guest room. For e.g. an interface can be created between the telephone systems of the hotels’ computer network by the guest room attendant dialling a specific sequence of numbers on the phone from the specific guestroom. Once connected the computer immediately recognizes the room no. to which it is being connected.

▪ Housekeeping operations modules are widely available such as forecasting attendant requirements, daily housekeeping scheduling, tracking housekeeping history and monitoring room attendant’s performance.

▪ There is also a module to track the status from dirty room to ready room for inspection and a cleaned room which is ready for the guest.

▪ Many hotels also offer a detection technology when the guest puts the tray outside the door, housekeeping is alerted from a triangle sensor on the tray that triggers another sensor in the doorway. This immediately alerts the staff to the waiting tray with a blinking light.

▪ The housekeeping staff can also be alerted when the room is available for cleaning by the guest. In this application, guest clicks a button, which sets off another sensor to indicate they are gone and the room can be cleaned.

▪ Occupancy report, discrepancy report, list or under repair rooms can be sent to front office through WLANs system by which manual work can be avoided.

▪ The housekeeping module can also schedule the servicing of guest request, for e.g. if a guest calls the front desk and request for a crib or extra towels, the front desk can simply input this request into the computer and it then appears on the main housekeeping monitor screen. A guest request notification can also be sent to the room attendants automatically to the handheld wireless PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or cell phone by way of text message or e-mail.

▪ WLANs allow guest to share hi-speed internet connections, browse the web, access their corporate networks, remotely yet securely, access the business centre from their rooms, organize video conference, play games online, and use multiplayer gaming options


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