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Posts tagged ‘maintenance tech’

How Teamwork Cut a Hotel’s Expenses by over $120,000

The hotel management explained, versus announced, to all staff the “need” to cut expenses “across the board,” as much as $120,000.

 

To kick off the effort, all managers – salaried staff – volunteered to take a 10 percent reduction in salary. “To start.” In addition, they agreed to pay 50 to 100 percent of certain expenses “out-of-pocket,” and non-reimbursable later by the hotel business.

 

Examples: Vehicle gas for local driving, association membership dues, event registrations and meals, and business entertainment.

 

They opted to fly 100 percent coach seats for all hotel-related business travel. Also, they gave up their vacation and bonus packages for one full year.

 

Then, the entire staff got accountable, and very creative.

 

1. Each department set a goal to reduce its budget by $10,000.

 

2. Management and all department directors and supervisors agreed, committed to, and announced: “No staff member would be let go.”

 

3. Then, the staff members in each department voted themselves pay cuts: 50 cents an hour for part-time employees; $1.00 an hour for full-time. Like the management they gave up their vacation pay for one full year. (A big sacrifice for employees with families.)

 

4. Each staff member assumed responsibility for reducing his or her supplies budget by at least 10 percent. The supplies had to relate specifically to his or her job description. Also, management’s productivity expectations for staff members was set in proportion to the reduction in supplies and materials available for them to do their work.

 

Examples: Painter. The “paint shop” expense reduction goal: 25 percent.

A. Less expensive paint would be ordered and used for low traffic and less visible areas.

B. Used rags still in good condition would be soaked, laundered and reused.

C. Worn, essential brushes would be replaced with mid-brand products – eg. Linzer, Branford, Arro Worthy, Merrit, Bestt Liebco, Proform. Worn, rarely used brushes would be replaced on an as needed basis during the tight budget year.

       Note: Read “Paint with Budget Cuts: Your Paint Shop Brushes,” posted March 07, 2015.

 

Examples: Maintenance techs. Maintenance shop” expense reduction goal: 15 percent.

A. All recyclable parts, from no-longer usable air conditioners, would be removed, cleaned, catalogued, and stored for making future repairs.

B. Parts, which were tarnished or mildly corroded, were cleaned instead of replaced.

C. Some parts were painted and reused, until replacement parts could be budgeted.

 

5. Each department group launched a “team support” program.

A. Whenever possible, team members shared rides to and from work.

B. Staff that were parents, especially of younger children, created a plan to save each other babysitter and transportation costs.

 

6. A related “Share My Ride” program was implemented interdepartmentally.

Example: Keisha, a housekeeping supervisor, picked up and dropped off PBX operator Elsa at her apartment complex’s front entrance, on days that both worked the same shift.

 

7. Departments shared supplies, tools and equipment whenever and wherever possible. This practice reduced overall purchasing expenses by 15 to over 20 percent with some essential items.

 

8. Monthly, each department hosted its own “carry-in” lunch. During every shift.

 

9. The hotel kitchen sent no good food to the dumpster. Especially leftovers or over-cooking from guest/conference banquets, dinners, buffets, etc.

A. The leftover food was made available to all staff members at meal and break times.

B. Depending on the quantity of leftover food, staff could pack “doggie boxes” to take home at the end of their shift.

 

The hotel management incurred no major problem – and no resistance – from any department or any staff member in meeting the budget cut needs.

 

Everyone pulled together to make it all happen. They protected their own jobs and livelihoods by helping to protect each other’s jobs.

 

They focused on need. They prioritized. They got very creative.

 

Two Engineering Department examples:

 

  1. A maintenance tech attended a technical college two evenings a week. To catch his connecting bus, he had to clock out one hour earlier those afternoons. A coworker passed the college on his way home each day. So, he offered the tech a ride to the college’s front entrance. The tech was able to work his full eight-hour shift, and could afford to pay a few dollars to the coworker for the rides each week.

 

  1. The painter generated free supplies from construction supply and paint stores where he did business. Also, he tapped the superintendents of several large commercial contractors that he knew. In kind, he arranged for the store managers to be able to (1) test out a few new product and equipment lines at the hotel and (2) videotape the new products being used. The construction superintendents received comp stays for their families at the hotel.

 

Hotel budget cuts provide a great opportunity for teamwork in action. At its best! And, at every level: organizationally, interdepartmentally, departmentally.

 

It invites tremendous creativity, collaboration and cooperation on a small-to-large scale. Most important, at a particularly stressful time, team-driven hotel budget cuts bring people together.

 

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An early “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY” to all ye Irish lads and lassies.

A special “Hello” to everyone in the Chicago area.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Engineering Team Training – Pilot Project 2015

In August of 2014, a large hotel chain conducted a three-day run-through of a skyp training program that will activate in 2015. The unique, standardized program is geared toward the chain’s facilities services’ team members. The company’s goal: Establish, standardize and unify practices and operations in its engineering departments throughout the chain.

The double goal for team members is specific: preparedness for change, and job security. Each worker – painter, maintenance tech, engineering tech, HVAC technician, etc. – will be able to (1) check-mate his or her basic techniques and skills, (2) update capabilities, and (3) learn to use newer and/or better methods, products, materials, tools, equipment, and systems.

The program was developed by experienced craftspersons in construction, property maintenance, and power systems operations. It features multi-disciplinary, hands-on workshops in painting, maintenance, HVAC, electrical, mechanical, carpentry, plumbing, power plant, groundskeeping.

Each session will be skyped, on a rotational basis, into each property’s secured, employees-only telecom system. Each will be offered three days a week, at different times – again within forty-five days. This flexible feature tries to accommodate for unexpected departmental work surges, emergency situations and worker demands.

Participation is required. Each team member takes every workshop in his or her core job description. In addition, each person takes at least one workshop in every other job area in the department. And, every team member takes each workshop during his or her work shift.

 

Basically, here’s how it will work…

 

  1. A team member signs up for each training session two-to-three weeks in advance.
  2. A team member is encouraged to take all training sessions in his/her area before taking others.
  3. A team member can sign up, in advance, for the entire series of workshops in his core area.
  4. A team member reserves the option to take any other session before completing core program. 5. Class “size” is limited to two team members at a time.
  5. Each workshop runs thirty minutes.

Each workshop will follow a similar format…

 

  1. Each engineering department site is set up, in advance, for the next scheduled workshop.
  2. At his or her respective site, each team member “student” is provided with the same products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment being used by the trade craftsperson and instructor.
  3. Each team member uses the technique, or performs the task, that’s being demonstrated by the craftsperson/instructor.
  4. Every team member can e-mail or text questions and comments to that workshop’s instructor after each session, or at a later time or date.
  5. A team member completes each workshop by logging onto his or her online registration page.
  6. After completion, a team member can access the DVD-version of each workshop – at any time, at work.
  7. All products, materials, supplies, and tools used at a specific hotel site become part of that engineering department’s inventory – and can be used by team members in the future.

The training program draws on the filmed systems used for years by employer and franchise giants in nearly every industry. A painter friend works for the hotel chain, and attended the three-day run-through in August. He described the five-minute, on-line/mobile app critique at the end of each workshop.

“The questions were very specific. No ‘strongly agree to strongly disagree’ rating system. No multiple choices… Clearly the program’s developers – and the hotel people – wanted honest feedback. Input they could use to make the training even more helpful to engineering people.”

His enthusiastic attitude about the required program reminded me of something:

Every facility painter – every painterthat I know is always learning new things. In fact, they look for new things to learn. And, they look for ways both to improve and to upgrade what they already know. That’s what makes every one of them stand out from the crowd!

 

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“The top quality paintbrush can be improved upon only so much. The painter that puts that brush to work is always looking for – and seeing – room for improvement.”  RDH

 

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