The customer lies at the heart of any effective hospitality management strategy. Here’s how Butlin's get it right with iAuditor by SafetyCulture.
across three resorts
Inspections and Issues
The customer lies at the heart of any effective hospitality management strategy. And no one knows that better than Butlin’s. With more than 80 years of hosting holiday getaways, the UK chain of large seaside resorts keeps their guests coming back, season after season.
Each of their holiday parks might be better described as mini-towns, decked out with swimming pools, retail, buffet restaurants, leisure activities and a smorgasbord of entertainment options — not to mention the 1,700 accommodation units themselves.
Needless to say, keeping track of brand standards can be a challenge. Here’s how they get it right with iAuditor by SafetyCulture.
Leading hospitality businesses know that driving great guest experiences isn’t a “one and done” exercise. Proactive, daily checks are best practice to drive high service standards. Butlin’s started with their cleaning training and procedures, re-writing the playbook to ensure guest rooms and common areas ticked the boxes of safety, functionality and of course, ambience.
Cleanliness checks often take place on paper — Butlin’s was no exception — but that paper trail can leave gaps.
At their peak, each of Butlins holiday resorts hold between 5,500 to 7,500 guests. Paired with the sheer variety of facilities and accommodation options, paper tools simply weren’t cutting it when it came to these daily checks. The volume of paperwork and the double handling when it came to audit management were eating into the work day.
This is where iAuditor comes into play. Its easy-to-use mobile interface is the perfect intuitive companion for staff members. With digitized cleaning and housekeeping checks centralized in one single location, it allowed Butlin’s to keep track of everything across their sprawling resorts.
“I’m not going to stop and take notes on a bit of paper as I go. We’re human beings. We tend not to do that. We rely on our memory,” shares Paul Taylor, Head of Compliance and Continual Change at Butlin’s. “That’s the problem though — you’ve got to rely on memory to actually put those issues and improvements into writing, after the fact.”
“The big advantage for us was being able to capture and upload pictures. Being able to take pictures as part of a checklist takes away any of that ambiguity when it comes to checks.”
— Michaela Lake, Business Support Partner
Scheduled daily inspections were one thing — but what about problems that were identified on-the-go? When you’ve got a resort that’s over a mile long and probably just as wide, the reality is that once you’ve returned from the far end of the property, you may have lost track of the observation to report — or spotted 10 other issues enroute. “You can be stopped three or four times walking, 10 meters up the road,” says Michaela. “It’s a challenge.”
The solution? It starts with people.
“We want to empower people,” shares Paul. “If you don’t do that, people won’t take action.”
Butlin’s works on a principle called a value chain. What that means is that the most important people in the value chain is the person that sits directly in front of the guest. Everyone else along the chain has direct links to those able to provide support. “So essentially, our team is everybody,” says Paul.
In short, at Butlin’s if you see a problem, it’s your responsibility to raise it.
Nothing taps into people-driven process like Issues in iAuditor. With it, everyone — whether a facilities manager or resort director — is able to identify issues as they enter or exit a space as well as log maintenance requests, which can be assigned within the platform. With clear visibility from start to completion, it’s easy to ensure facilities are kept up to scratch in a manner that is efficient and organized.
“I think it is human behavior to think someone else will do the job because you haven’t done it yet. And when we have to remember to do it, we may not recall all the details needed,” says Paul. “That’s the reality. The problem is pretty human.”
A pretty human solution to a pretty human problem? Ease. That’s what Butlin’s found with iAuditor, a simple tool to support rather than hinder staff.
“We shouldn't underestimate what Issues has done for the team. The team feel empowered. The engagement is phenomenal because they can actually see that this is making their life easier... It’s intuitive to use and doesn't need a huge amount of training. It means they can do the work in real-time.”
— Michaela Lake, Business Support Partner
In hotel management, you’ll find that business happens 24/7 and visibility is critical. With Issues, you get all hands on deck to achieve the speediest outcomes. Butlin’s facilities, accommodation, safety and security teams cover the most ground, as the go-to when it comes to matters of safety and functionality. F&B, resort chefs and entertainment teams get a look in as well, inspecting equipment to ensure everything is in working order. It culminates in total visibility where every team contributes to the bigger operational picture.
“I can see the common problems — issues that affect one resort may also crop up in another resort. So centrally, I can report those problems in iAuditor.”
— Paul Taylor, Head of Compliance and Continual Change
It comes in handy from a planning perspective too. “With Issues, we can pull in relevant bits and pieces to talk about weekly staff meetings. And that’s really important for us because it means that we’re more effective and efficient in how we allocate our time,” Michaela shares.
In doing so, teams can really start to see the knock on benefits of these workflows. With patterns and the bigger picture made visible, teams can see what’s working and what’s not and put improvements in place.
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