Challenges of outsourcing housekeeping

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Outsourcing in housekeeping is either partial or complete. Partial outsourcing also referred as selective outsourcing, means that the cleanliness, aesthetic upkeep and maintenance of few selected areas or facilities are given to an expert agency that works in tandem with the housekeeping department and receives the directions on the frequencies of cleaning and the standards from the housekeeper. The common areas being:

  • Chandelier cleaning
  • Carpet and upholstery shampooing
  • Floor Maintenance, especially of marble, granite and wood floorings
  • Pest control
  • Laundry
  • Gardening & landscaping

Advantages  of outsourcing

:Some of the facts that worked in favour of outsourcing in housekeeping were:

  • It allowed the housekeepers to concentrate on the core competencies of delivering a well-kept house and keeping the areas maintained as per the standards of the hotel.
  • It allowed a certain level of flexibility of operations in terms of utilising and rotating the manpower to deliver extra on other jobs which needed more attention.
  • Specialised and expert guidance for the maintenance of the areas.
  • Reduced staff problems! Right from recruitment, training, allocation, appraisals, increments to dismissals.

The decision of outsourcing is property specific, but before outsourcing, the executive housekeeper must consider certain key points:

  • Assess what work needs to be done.
  • Assess the workload requirements and prioritising assignments.
  • Prepare a daily, weekly and periodic cleaning schedule for every surface/area.
  • Create frequency charts.
  • Calculate the man hours required for the above frequencies & schedules and the payroll for the same along with other benefits (cost to company of an employee).
  • Calculate the cost of training, equipment and material costs.
  • Obtain bids from different companies either through networking with other hotels who have hired such agencies or through advertising.
  • Check references carefully.
  • For specific tasks such as marble maintenance, the executive housekeeper should ask for a demonstration to measure the company’s performance and capabilities.
  • Have preliminary discussions with the companies as to what needs to be done, when, where and how it has to be done.
  • The available manpower with the company (number as well as skill levels).
  • The available equipment with the company and the equipment required to carry out the defined tasks.
  • The coverage of contract with respect to men, materials and machines; clauses for unsatisfactory services rendered and termination of services.
  • In case of cleaning of external glass façade of the hotel, the condition should be put on the company to get the insurance for the staff carrying out the task. Also the company would be liable for safety of the equipment/process being used.
  • Make it clear to the company that all statutory requirements like ESI PF etc. of staff should be taken care of and certificate towards the deposits made should be furnished to the hotel.
  • Both the hotel (executive housekeeper) and the company should reach an agreement as to what the contract would cover before starting with the negotiating process.
  • Ultimately the deciding factor should be ‘Value for money’ and not the “cost” alone.
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