We have entirely redesigned our housekeeping feature. A key moment in our concept was to find a model that can solve all standard cases we have come across in housekeeping management.
Here your enquiries and suggestions have helped us a lot. In short, we successfully made a transition from a model based on 'Room Status' to one based on 'Housekeeping Tasks'.
In the final paragraph of this section, we have explained how you could continue using the old feature with certain changes.
Here are the cases on which we have focused on:
- Which rooms should be cleaned and what procedures and consumables will be needed for each room, considering the fact that tasks can differ depending on the specific day of stay, room type and rate (package);
- How many housekeepers will be necessary to perform the tasks for next week;
- How to evenly distribute the tasks among the available housekeepers;
- How to inform housekeepers of the rooms with early arrival which are a high priority;
- How to let housekeepers know that certain rooms need an additional bed or baby cot;
- How to notify housekeepers that a guest has specific wishes, e.g. 'More blankets' or 'Lower pillows';
- How to better make it clear that, for certain rooms, special consumables are needed, e.g. 'A bottle of champagne and flowers', or the opposite case – 'No mini bar re-stocking';
- How to alert that certain guests have special needs, e.g. "Hypoallergenic blankets";
- How to keep track of other room issues related to maintenance, e.g. "The remote control is not working". In short, what's the nature of issue and who will fix it;
- How to handle lost and found property at the hotel;
- How to determine which housekeeper cleaned a certain room on a given date;
All of the above issues can be solved by our new housekeeping module.
Housekeeping activities, scheme and forecast
The activities are the individual tasks performed by housekeepers in relation to the servicing of each room. Depending on your needs, you can define activities in general or in greater detail. For example, you can set various individual activities like vacuum cleaning, 'WC cleaning', 'Bath cleaning', etc. or include all of the already mentioned tasks in one general activity: 'Daily cleaning and consumable re-stocking'. The detailed approach is suitable when certain activities are omitted on certain days of the stay. This way you can specify what should be done on each day of the stay. The general approach is recommended when the tasks don't differ from day to day.
For each each activity, you can set a number of Credits. You can view these credits as the time needed for each task. Their role is very important for the proper distribution of work among housekeepers. The credit quantity can be specified in the housekeeping scheme itself, there this quantity will refer to the combination of activities in the specific line of the scheme.
To set up activities, go to 'Settings' - 'Housekeeping Activities'. We strongly advise you to explore the full set of options of the module before proceeding with the setup.
Housekeeping schemes determine which activities and when to be performed. You may specify what to be done on arrival, each N days or on departure. For example, each 2 days – 'cleaning and sheet change', each 1 day – "towel change".
For each line of the housekeeping scheme, you can specify a certain number of credits (i.e. how much time will be needed for the performance of the specific tasks), if left empty, the system will use the sum of credits predefined for each activity. To activate the scheme, you will need to link it to the room types it will refer to. If several schemes are linked to a room type, they will all apply to this room type. This way you can separate all common activities for the different room types into one scheme and link it to all room types, while creating separate schemes of specific activities for each room type.
You can have schemes not linked to any room type. These schemes will not be activated automatically. You can use them for specific rates and packages. We will explain this in greater detail below.
Housekeeping activity forecast. After creating the schemes, the system will generate a housekeeping forecast based on the entered bookings. It accounts for maintenance shifts and two other options discussed below: 'Arrival housekeeping activities' for a specific booking and housekeeping activities related to certain rates and packages.
The forecast gives you info of each date – number of tasks and sum of credits. Based on the number of credits for a housekeeper predefined by you, i.e. how much work a housekeeper can daily handle, the system calculates how many housekeepers will be needed for the expected amount of work.
Arrival housekeeping activities for a given booking
If a booking requires a certain special room preparation, you can specify this in the booking itself. For example, VIP consumables or a special request of the guests. These activities are also included in the forecast.
On the booking edit screen, select the necessary activities in the 'Arrival Housekeeping Activities' field. You can use the existing housekeeping notes. To avoid the creation of activities for each special request, you can create only one activity, named Special Arrival Activities, for example, and describe its specifics in a housekeeping note to the booking. The notes in bookings will continue to appear in the Housekeeping Task Report.
Housekeeping activities related to certain rates, packages or additional services.
To automatically relay the information coming from the sales department to the housekeeping department, we have added an option to specify the applicable special housekeeping scheme in the charge templates. This way there is now a link among the additional services, rates (through the charge templates for the package elements) and the specific housekeeping activities. The already mentioned housekeeping schemes without a room type are designed this way, because otherwise they will automatically be applied instead of being only activated when there is a charge (for a room, additional service or package element) linked to the this housekeeping scheme for the given date.
You can use this feature to solve the issues with additional beds and baby cots, as well as the stocking of special consumables related to various packages. Here is how:
If for a specific date, there is a posted charge containing a housekeeping scheme, this scheme will be activated on this date. This doesn't mean there should necessarily be an activity for this date under this scheme.
Here is another example concerning additional beds:
- Set two activities: "Additional bed" and "Additional bed sheet change";
- Set an 'Additional bed' scheme without specifying any room type;
- Create a scheme line with 'Additional bed' activity set on arrival;
- Create another scheme line with 'Additional bed sheet change' to be performed each N days;
- Set a charge template (or edit an existing one) and select the above scheme in it;
- If you have rates including additional bed, add this charge template to the packages containing an additional bed. If you don't use rate packages, add the housekeeping scheme to the room charge of the rate including an additional bed.
- Create a booking with this rate and charge the additional service;
- You can use the Housekeeping Forecast to check if the above activities are accordingly shown for the arrival and the rest of the days of the stay;
Housekeeping Task Management
Thus defined activities, schemes, booking specifics, as well as packages, charges and rates will form the actual tasks for each date. A housekeeping task is a particular task defining when, where and by whom certain activities are to be performed. The completed tasks from the previous days are stored as an archive. Soon we will introduce a task archive report.
The housekeeping task management for a date follows these steps:
- Creation of tasks for the given date
- Task prioritization
- Task distribution among the housekeepers
- Change of the status of each task
- Addition of new tasks for the housekeepers or the maintenance staff
Creation of tasks for the given date
At the beginning of each day, set the tasks for this day. Go to 'Availability' - 'Housekeeping Tasks' - 'Generate'. You will see how many tasks will be created. Confirm.
Tasks are created as "Unassigned", i.e. it is not set who is to perform a certain task. Please note that if you have tasks set for arrival, the arrival bookings must have allocated rooms because the rule is that each task is to be linked to a room. Only then you will be able to see the info of the booking-related tasks.
Each task has a certain priority. It can be determined automatically or manually. The task priority level affects the arrangement of tasks in the reports for the housekeepers (Housekeeping Tasks), so that they are informed of the tasks of the highest priority. With the automatically created tasks, the priority is determined based on whether there is an early arrival or late departure. Early arrival and Late departure have been added as new options to bookings. If you have an early arrival, the cleaning tasks have a high priority. A late departure lowers the priority level of the cleaning tasks, and the rest of the tasks get a normal priority level. You can change the priority of each task using the star button next to it, clicking it as many times as you need to reach the desired priority level.
Task distribution among the housekeepers
The distribution can be manual or automatic. To automatically distribute the tasks, go to 'Availability' - 'Housekeeping Tasks' - 'Auto Assign'. The system will suggest the necessary number of housekeepers for the tasks (based on the sum of credits). You can choose among how many housekeepers the tasks to be distributed. The system will use the housekeeper number given by you to distribute the tasks and create a list of tasks for each of these housekeepers. The system will also assign a consecutive number to each list: 1, 2, 3, etc.
Here is a little more info on how the automated task distribution works:
- The unassigned tasks are ordered by room number following the room sorting order set by you.
- When distributing the tasks, the system aims at evenly distributing the workload among the given number of housekeepers while accounting for the set number of credits.
- If there is more than one task for a room, all of these tasks are given to one and the same housekeeper.
- The rooms selected for a housekeeper are assigned following the defined room sorting order, so that they are as close to one another as possible. Depending on the hotel occupancy, however, the tasks can be located on several consecutive floors. If you wish, you can specify a name (housekeeper) for each of the already numbered lists. Click the button next to the number and enter a name or select one of the already existing names by typing the first letter of that name. Use this feature to also transfer all tasks from one housekeeper to another. You can easily transfer tasks among housekeepers. Simply choose one or more tasks and click the person button from the side panel. Fill in the name or select one from the list. The same way you can manually distribute tasks among housekeepers. The task management allows the quick filtering and printing of the tasks of a housekeeper. Just select the housekeeper's name (or number) from the panel. Click 'All' to see all housekeepers
Change of the status of each task and the link to room statuses
The final room status as appearing on the Room Calendar or other reports is determined on the basis of the task statuses related to this room. If the task status is 'Dirty', the room status is also 'Dirty'. If the task is completed, the room status is 'Clean'. If you have a room with different task statuses, the room status becomes the lowest one of them (Dirty).
The other task statuses are: 'Progress' – the task is being performed at the moment; 'Inspect' – the task is to be inspected by a senior staff member to be concluded. There is one additional status explained below.
Tasks not linked to a room status
If you have a task that, in your opinion, shouldn't affect the room status (i.e. it should not prevent the guest check-in to this room ), select 'Task' as its status. This way this task won't lead to the room having a 'Dirty' status, but it will be present on the task list. You can use such tasks when it comes to minor maintenance issues, e.g. "battery change of a remote control' or requests of your guests regarding lower pillows or an additional blanket. These tasks will replace the the old Housekeeping Warning field preserving their functionality.
We have added a new 'Housekeeping Task Archive' Report to let you review the list of completed tasks for a period. Using the room or housekeeper filters, you can easily track all the housekeepers having entered a certain room, for example.
Preserving the old organisation of work
We have tried to preserve the possibility for you to use the old room-status-based Housekeeping Report as much as possible. It looks and is used as before. If you take advantage of the full potential of the new task functionality, we recommend you not use the old report for quick status changes because this may lead to information loss. When changing a room status via the old report, all tasks linked to this room will be erased and a new task will be created with the selected status.
Another thing you should know is that when a booking is checked out under the old room-status-based organisation of work, the status of the respective room had to be changed to 'Checked-out'. With the new Housekeeping Tasks functionality, no such operation is needed because the cleaning tasks for the rooms to be checked out on a given date are created at the beginning of that day and are distributed among the housekeepers.
If you wish to preserve the old organisation of work, do not create cleaning schemes or delete the already created ones. If there are no cleaning schemes, on booking checkout, the system will create a 'Task' regarding the room cleaning. This way the room will be marked as dirty. To clean the room, make the task completed.
There is a small change to screen which was used for changing the room status from the Room Calendar or the Room Plan. If you want to make a room 'Dirty', click the 'Dirty' button, and to clean it, make the task completed by clicking green tick button.
Lost and found
We have added a new option for you to register found and lost property of guests. You can add various information of the found or lost property to the register, including a photo of it. Search by custom text or period of losing or finding of such property. To use the new module, go to 'Other' – 'Lost and Found'.
Bookings (and packages) without rooms
For the hotels offering a wide range of products and packages, we have changed the current bookings, so that they can be created without rooms. This way you can create bookings for SPA packages which don't require room allocation. Use the new feature to create bookings for SPA packages, conferences, meals, etc. for guests not intending to stay at your hotel. This functionality can also be used for billing bookings of guests checked in/moved to another hotel.
Here is more about this new type of bookings:
- For the hotels not offering such products nothing has changed. The system will have the same behaviour as before.
- For the hotels also selling non-room products and packages, the new booking option will allow you to skip room allocation while continuing to use the well-familiar user interface of bookings.
- For billing purposes, you can use folios, rates, booking charge templates and manual prices. We would like to remind you that you can now create a rate whose main charge may not belong to the Room/Packages revenue group. This way the revenue from these packages will properly be accounted for and will not affect the ADR.
- For the time being, there is a certain peculiarity about rates. They require a room type, at least for now. You will need to choose a room type, though there is no link between the rate and the room type. This peculiarity will soon be removed allowing the existence of rates not linked to a specific room type. In other words, these will be rates for non-room packages.
- Package elements or charges linked to counters will be accounted for the same way, enabling you to track package availability regardless of whether they are consumed in relation to a room or non-room booking. In other words, you can track the availability of non-room packages, too.
- The transfer of charges to a company has also remained the same, but now you can use it to bill events no matter if the respective bookings are linked or not to rooms.
- You can use the Guest mailer the same way with the new non-room bookings. We will also add a new filter to distinguish between the room and the non-room bookings. But for the time being, they are treated the same way.
- If guests with a non-room booking change their mind and decide to stay at your hotel, this can very easily be done. Simply allocate a room, the booking will automatically be transformed, as the related data, folios and charges will remain intact.
Setup and use
To allow the creation of non-room bookings, go to: Settings - Booking fields. Untick the 'Required' checkbox for the 'Arrival bookable' field.
To create a non-room booking: On the new booking screen, untick 'Require room resource' checkbox and skip the room allocation. We would like to remind you that if your customers change their mind and decide to stay at your hotel, you can allocate a room at any time.
In all reports, where possible, we have added filters ("Room Bookings" / "Non-Room Bookings"), so that you can differentiate between the two types of bookings.
Such filters are added to: Booking Segmentation Report, Advanced Search, Booking Day-By-Day Report, Booking Pace Report, Groups Report.
The non-room bookings are also added to the operational reports: Arrivals, In Hotel, Departures, Search Booking.
The existing booking endpoint continues to also work for non-room bookings. If you wish to create such a booking via the API, please remember to make the require_room_resource field false.
- RoomCloud – New mapping for the setup of the the processing of extra services (supplement). You can link the text of the extra service coming from the channels to a charge template to charge the service. The amount of the charge is taken from the data of extra services in the received booking instead of the charge template.
- The 'Deposit auto payment' setting has been added to each product. If there is a setting for the product itself, this setting is used instead of the main setting. Choose the most suitable behaviour for each of the products. You can disable the product function in channels sending a virtual card which cannot be used prior to the check-in date. To do so, remove the main setting and select the desired function for each of the products.
- We have disabled the auto send of confirmations upon import of bookings with an enabled automated payment feature. If you still wish to use this feature, you can set up a special Guest mailer template for this purpose.
- New 'Nights from last occupancy' Report. The report gives information of each room regarding how many nights it has been since the last stay of guests. This reports is for housekeeping purposes. If a room has not been used for more than 30 nights, the report will show '30+' marking. Use the Min nights filter to get the list of rooms being vacant for already 5 or more nights, for example.
- New 'Adyen Settlement Report'. To track the settlement of Adyen payments, we have added information to each payment detailing when the payment is expected to be received from Adyen, as well as whether it is received. The expected date of payment receipt from Adyen is filled in automatically with the booking arrival date. From report, you can receive information regarding the expected payments and mark which of the payments have already been received to better track the pending payments.
- New "Closed Folios in Print Format" Report. The new report contains all closed folios for a period, as each folio is shown in a detailed format the way it has printed out. The new report can be used as an electronic document archive.
- In the Booking Pre-Authorization Report, we have added new booking filters – period type (Arrival, Departure, In Hotel), as well as booking status: Valid (default), Cancelled and No-Show, All. Additionally for each pre-authorization, we have added a cancel button for the quick release of pre-authorization amount.
- In the Advanced Search, we have added new two columns – times of expected arrival and departure
- In the Booking Day-By-Day Report, there is now address column.
Event Offers - new custom templates. In the Event Offer templates, we have added multiple parameters to let you use offers both as static price lists and functional printouts containing the whole information of the respective offer. Because such a template already exists and it contains additional liquid code, you are not advised to edit it using the CK editor. This may lead to the displacement of important code by the editor. Please use the Plain Text Editor for such complex templates. We have added a sample template resembling the present standard print template. You can find the sample at the bottom of the New/Edit Offer Template screen.
Credit Card Screens – Customization. We have redesigned the credit card screens adding a few new customization settings: Background and font colours, as well as images for the screen header and footer. Use the image options to show the brands of the cards you support, the logo of your hotel or the payment operator. To use the new settings, go to 'Settings' - 'Credit Card' - 'Credit card screen layout'. We would like to point out that our approach to the customization of this screen is highly conservative. We have deliberately refrained from supporting a custom CSS, because this poses a security issue and may facilitate hacker attacks which violates the ground rules of PCI DSS.
- Rate and Availability - Descriptions for the Staff. The Descriptions for the Staff allowing you to give more information about guarantee policies, room types and rates are now available on the Rate and Availability calendar screen, too. Click the caption balloon next to each of the above mentioned. Enter the Descriptions for the Staff in the respective edit screens – the list of rates, the list of guarantee policies and the list of room types.
- QR code login via the Kiosk We have added a possibility for guests to quickly log in via the Кiosk. If this option enabled (Settings – Kiosks – QR Code Login), in each booking confirmation, there will be a QR code. On arrival at the hotel, the guest can use this QR code to log in to the Kiosk instead of using their booking number and PIN. To do so, the guest needs to click the 'Scan QR code to log in' button from the Kiosk and show the QR code from their smart phone or the printed booking confirmation to the Kiosk camera.
- Self Service Portal – ID photo option. We have added a new 'ID Photos' setting to the Self Service Portal's 'Fill your Registration Card(s)' section. If enabled, when completing their registration cards, guests will be prompted ID photo.
- General Ledger Codes for Payments. General Ledger Maps are designed to help you assign a general ledger code to each payment depending on whether the respective payment data is for export or integration purposes. Maps are evaluated as per the defined sorting order (coming from the Sort Order field). The first line of the map to meet the defined criteria is taken and the evaluation stops. This behaviour can be used to define more precise filters with a smaller sorting order and broad (default) maps below in the table. A map can be changed at any time. This way reports generated for past periods will reflect the newly created or changed maps, too. The code is not saved in the payment, instead it is evaluated each time. Please contact our support for more information. To create the map, select: 'Settings' - 'Payment Subtype' - 'General ledger accounts'
- Adyen Integrated Payment – to the payment created by the interface, now we transfer the card type (in the sub-type field), as well as the masked card number (in the text field). For this data to be successfully transferred, your Adyen account is to be set up to return this type of information. To do so, in the Adyen portal, go to the navigation bar - 'Account' - 'API URLs'. Then in the 'Additional data in API response' section, tick the 'Card Summary' checkbox to enable the transfer of the masked card number to the payment text field. Also select 'Variant' (paymentMethod) to allow the transfer of the card type to the 'Payment Sub-type field. If you wish more detailed information of the card type, you can also select 'Subvariant' (paymentMethodVariant). In this case, for example, instead of simply 'visa', you will receive the detailed card type: visadebit, visapremiumdebit, visacommercialpremiumcredit, visadankort, etc. Unfortunately, if using HPP (Hosted Payment Page) integration, the masked card number is not returned by the interface and we cannot add it to the payment.
- Payments - Custom fields. For the purposes of integrations, we have added custom fields to payments. You can find their setup by going to 'Settings' - 'Payment fields'. The custom charge fields are now accessible in the POS, too.
- Package elements – two new options. If you don't want a package element to be visible as a separate description in guests' folios, now you can use the 'Hide in folio printouts (the rate print text will be used)' option. As a result, the print text field in the charge of the package element will automatically be filled in with the value taken from the rate's 'Print Text' field. This is a way of hiding the charge which will be added to the room price in most of the folio printouts. The second option we have added to custom fields is about quantity determination. Now it is no longer necessary to create separate charge templates to track quantities.
- Account owner's email change. Now it is possible to change the email of the subscription owner. To do so, log in as owner. Go to 'Settings' - 'Users' - 'Change your password'. Click the 'Change accounts owner e-mail' button. Retype your current password and your email address (in the respective fields). Confirm. The system will generate a new password which you need to copy. This password will also be sent to your new email account. If you wish, you can change it for greater security
- Guest mailer – now the email's subject can also contain liquid parameters. This way you can add the booking number, arrival date or guest name to the email's subject, for example.
- Room Calendar – bookings are now opened in a new browser tab allowing you to work with multiple bookings simultaneously.
- WRS – user profile edit. Apart from the possibility to use the data already entered in your profile, we have added the option to edit this data. The access to this functionality requires email address entered in the guest profile as well as the creation of an additional password which will be used for accessing the personal data. Both of them can be entered by the guest themselves. We have also addend an option in the WRS to allow you to hide the whole profile functionality in the WRS.
- Rate copying. Apart from the copying of a whole Rate Plan, we have added an option to copy a single.
- City Tax – maximum amounts for an adult and child. If you have a City Tax that percent of the nights, however, it is greater than a certain amount, you can now use the new fields to set their maximum amounts. The system will determine the maximum City Tax amount by multiplying the number of adults and children in the booking by the set maximum values. If the calculated tax is greater than the limit, the limit value is taken. It is necessary to fill in both fields, if you wish to use this functionality.
- Companies - Branch. We have added the Branch field to all Company searches.
- Kiosk – bill payments by a private individual – the data fields now account for the new visibility setting (Folio column)
- New liquid parameters for templates. To the respective templates, we have added the parameters related to: billing info of persons, the company branch, booking main guest, all booking guests.
- We have added a new setting to enable you to forbid the issue of room key cards if the booking has not been checked in yet. The new setting is called 'Issue keys for checked-in bookings only' and you can find it by going to: 'Settings' - 'Room Key Settings'.
- On the Event Blocks screen, we have added the number of available hotel rooms to the edit table.
- Hotek - new door lock interface
- QuickBooks online. We have added an Auto Export option. When enabled, the data will be exported to QuickBooks every 12 hours. In order to enable the Auto Export, you need to go to 'Other' - 'Settings' - 'QuickBooks Settings' - 'Check Auto Export' under the Export from date. If Fax number is filled in the guest or company profile in the Clock PMS+, it will now be exported to QuickBooks;
- Zapier functionality has been extended and it now includes Clock PMS+ To-Dos (Pull of new To-Dos, Pull of updated To-Dos, Create a To-Do,Update a To-Do);
- LightSpeed POS
- The Configuration screen of the interface has been redesigned and all configurations are now available by going to 'Other' – 'Settings' - 'Lightspeed Account Settings'. The following options have been added:
- Allow Transfers to Company (Hotel Transfer) – If enabled, when you search for a guest in LightSpeed POS interface, you will be able to find all open folios of companies matching the entered names;
- Allow Payment Data Transfer (Daily POS Transfer) - If enabled the daily revenue will be transferred along the payment information to a specially created POS account to allow you to generate common hotel and restaurant revenue or payment reports;
- Clock PMS+ Revenue group/category - LightSpeed Product category mapping - The feature allows you to control in which Clock PMS+ revenue group and category the revenue generated by LightSpeed product category items will fall. If the mapping is not configured, a charge of the Food and Beverage revenue Group will be created, as its revenue category will be LightSpeed POS transfer.
- The export to Excel didn't interpret data properly for certain time zones. We have disabled the interpretation and dates are exported as a text.
- City Tax – the percent didn't allow for more than 2 characters after the comma.
- In the folios issued to private individuals, the address and postal code fields were missing in the address section after the last changes.
- WRS – upon integration with iframe, sometimes the errors returned by the payment services were missing.
- POS – the navigation bar was hiding the content of some of the screens when a mobile device used
- The Room Type filter in the Room Calendar didn't work properly for virtual rooms
- Booking Edit Screen – The Save button remained disabled with certain type of errors.
- WRS – We have improved the processing of rival requests to minimise the risk of automatic allocation of one and the same room to two bookings when two or more bookings made simultaneously.
- The default values for the "Charge transfers Accept" field didn't work with new bookings
- In certain cases, the 'Tax settings' screen showed an error when saving the % surcharge and templates fields
- The Rate and Availability screen didn't open from the Channel Manager screen, if the rates are too many
- WRS – now at least one completed guest data field is required if there no settings to that end.
- The profile import no longer requires email.
- POS – In the Closure report didn't show the name of the Control Event
- The log of adjustments didn't always work properly.
- The folio links to "Invoice To" (Booking or Company) of closed folios didn't work.
- Kiosk – the folio payments issue fixed.
- Adyen - refund – if the user hasn't been granted negative payment rights, there was an error with the processing of the requests