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Importance of Asset and Inventory Tracking for Hotels

In 2011, the lodging industry generated $21.6 billion in pretax income. Hotels are constantly working to offer the best customer experience and services. In order for hotels to achieve glowing, customer satisfaction reviews and to encourage new and returning visitors to stay, they need proper systems in place to manage the items necessary for smooth and efficient operation. Think about it. In the housekeeping area alone, there a variety of costly fixed assets like carts, vacuum cleaners, and laundry machines that need to be managed and maintained. Here are three ways an asset or inventory tracking solution can assist in the hospitality industry. 1) Prevent Shrinkage According to the Los Angeles Times, “Experts estimate that losses from hotel theft total $100 million a year.” Clearly, lost, misplaced, or stolen assets are a drain on a hotel. An asset management solution helps reduce the number of items misplaced.  Asset tags can be placed on items, such as valuable art displayed in the lobby, wooden hangers in the individual rooms, or employee uniforms. These items can be monitored based on the information included on the tags and can be more easily recovered if something is taken. The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel for example, uses this technology in their operations to track 35,000 textile items known for going missing - including sheets, uniforms, and towels. 2) Maintain Compliance Hotels typically have procurement processes set up, where they work with specific vendors in order to receive pre-determined pricing. Purchases made outside of a preferred vendor can be costly because they don’t reflect discounts or other advantages. An automated inventory system helps prevent employees from purchasing items outside of the preferred system of vendors because the correct vendor information and information from past purchases is stored within the solution – preventing last-minute purchases from outside vendors. Overall, streamlining operations helps the hotel run more efficiently and accurately while saving costs. 3) Manage Hotel Shops For the Omni Dallas Hotel, total operating revenue—including money from the spa and gift shop—was $61.4 million. A gift shop or a spa provides an additional revenue source for hotels, but also creates more management responsibility. An inventory tracking system makes sure items are always stocked or can be easily re-ordered. Keeping on top of inventory is imperative for any retailer, and gift shops are no exception. Say a hotel sells 20 bottles of water per day. If one is sold for $2.00, the hotel has the potential to earn approximately $40 per day. If they run out or don’t have any in-stock, that is $40 per day lost. What would that cost the shop if it was a more expensive item or if they were out of stock for a longer period, like a month? Using an asset and inventory tracking system allows a hotel to manage their valuable items to prevent shrinkage; to manage the inventory of the hotel gift shop; and to maintain compliance when ordering new items. Having more effective asset and inventory management solutions in place allows a hotel to focus on creating an awesome experience for their guests. Happy guests will return and will recommend a hotel to other travelers.