Your hotel’s facility management
In general, we are talking about the overall mechanics of the building and its general maintenance. Now, having a well maintained hotel where everything functions as it should is absolutely imperative, and there are safeguards in place that will make a difference with that and, in turn, make your role as the general manager a whole lot easier.
There is nothing worse for a guest than them staying at a hotel where things are broken. Perhaps the drain in the bathroom does not work adequately. Perhaps a light has blown and needs repaired. Perhaps something is broken or looks damaged. However, no matter what it is that is an issue, there is no doubt that it will begin to give the guest a negative experience and there will also be clear cause for complaint.
A hotel has to run as smoothly as possible, as it is best to view it as being like a finely tuned machine whereby one single issue with one single cog can make a huge difference to its effectiveness. Building management is going to help make that an actual reality, and that is why any individual that is involved in this particular role must have a good general view of how to run a hotel and what is expected from a general management point of view.
A building manager must know what is going on regarding rooms, facilities, and events as well as the different services that are offered and how it fits in with the general maintenance of the hotel.
It is important that they act as a link between different departments to make sure that everybody is working in harmony as that is the only way in which the hotel can operate and move forward.
As the hotel manager, your main cause for concern has to be the marketing of the hotel, the sales figures, dealing with staff, and the general running of the entire business.
A building manager deals with the fabric of the building and issues that tend to be more in the public eye, whereas the hotel manager will often deal with issues in the background that ensures the smooth running of the hotel in general.
For some hotels, this job may be given to those who are referred to as being assistant hotel managers, who will then refer back to you should there be something that is outside of their own control.
For example, it will be your job to understand who has to be called upon to deal with any plumbing issues throughout the hotel. The same goes for any electrical issues, as that will be another individual or even a completely different company that has to be called upon to deal with that. We can then take it further by looking at different trades or even when a part of the hotel is looking dated and requires to be freshened up, then having the correct professionals on call to do that is an essential part of running a successful hotel.
Success depends a great deal on a person's ability to make positive connections with clients, guests, vendors and other employees.
It is important that, as the hotel manager, you are aware of the budget that has been set aside to deal with maintenance issues connected to the building and rooms. This will be set at the start of the financial year and you should be aware of what is available although there will be times where additional money from the budget should be sought due to the fact that it is not professional for issues connected with the fabric of the building to be left alone.
As the hotel manager, you should have a firm understanding of the financial aspect of the entire hotel and know what is invested in this side of the business. However, this is also why it is important that you spend time talking to the other heads of departments within the hotel to allow you to then keep a real grip on the financial side at all times.
A great deal of your work will involve having to contend with the engineering side of things and working alongside either other staff members or dealing with outside contractors.
You will also be expected to follow a maintenance schedule for the sake of the hotel and this is also something that you will be asked to create as part of your job description. In this instance, it is important that you are able to discuss the actual maintenance of the building with the building manager, as well as the head of housekeeping as the housekeeping department can often be your eyes and ears as to what is in need of repair in individual rooms.
It is not generally your job to walk around and find faults in the hotel, but that is something that you need to be aware of and there should be a regular time whereby you and appropriate staff members check out each part for any faults.
Dealing with emergencies
Whenever something happens with the building from a mechanical or engineering point of view, then this is generally not something that can be delayed for too long especially when it is in a public area.
Leaving this is going to result in the public viewing the hotel with a sense of disappointment as it makes it look unprofessional and they will view the hotel with some disdain.
Instead, there should be part of the budget set aside in order to deal with emergencies and there should also be a number of professionals on call who can deal with anything that could go wrong with the building as quickly as possible.
This is something that, as the hotel manager, you should be aware of as you may be required to give the go ahead for work since it is related to finances and that is one area where you reign supreme.
Waiting is not an option, but swift action will show the hotel in a much better light.
Finally, we should once again stress the importance of these roles in the hotel industry, since they have a direct impact on the quality of the hotel and the basic running of it.
Keeping on top of the actual day-to-day operations of the hotel will make sure that you can ultimately give the guests the kind of hotel and experience that they are wanting. A building and facilities manager will form an integral part of your team as the hotel manager and as we said earlier, you will want to make sure that you have hired the correct people for the roles to give you the confidence to allow them to get on with their job.
Your position as the hotel manager is to keep the hotel ticking over and consulting with every single department and this is no different. However, you must understand what their roles involve, since you should also be able to step into their shoes if this is what is required. Failure to do this means you would find it difficult to keep the hotel running as it should and that is never something that should be able to happen.
Christos Pashiardis – Managing Partner – Consultant