How the World’s Luxury Destinations Win With Preventive Maintenance

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 9:41:00 AM
Brett Long

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A preventive maintenance program is the secret weapon used by leading companies to keep customers happy. Where can we get ideas for making the most of this maintenance time and effort? Luxury hotels! These upscale companies know that delighting customers includes keeping properties in top condition.

What You Can Learn About Maintenance from Cruise Ships

Delivering a great customer experience on a cruise ship is a demanding task. Azamara Club Cruises has an impressive maintenance program and customer service. Their approach includes:

  • Taking advantage of maintenance opportunities. When the ship is in port and most passengers disembark, the crew takes extra measures to keep the ship in top condition.
  • Practicing transparency. For those curious about ship operations, there are “ask the officers” events where the senior staff answer questions about all aspects of ship operations.
  • Staying equipped for adverse conditions. Have you ever been to a city that was unprepared for a winter storm? It’s a frustrating experience. Thankfully, Azamara knows better. For example, during rough seas they lock some of the outside doors, strap down the wine bottles and even change course.
  • Knowing the requirements. Did you know that cruise ships docking at U.S. ports can be inspected at any time? The crew takes great pride in earning very high marks from government inspectors.

Lessons From the Magic Kingdom: Disney Knows Maintenance

Most of us know Disney through its many movies and TV shows, including Marvel movies like “The Avengers.” Disney is also a major player in the hospitality industry — it operates resorts and cruise ships too.

The LA Times reports that Disneyland maintenance employees are responsible for: “800 umbrellas, 25,000 chairs and about 7,000 tables in the restaurants and snack bars in Disneyland and neighboring California Adventure Park.”

It's important to use a preventive maintenance checklist to keep your program organized and ensure that key areas and equipment remain in top condition. Clearly, Disney knows how to achieve maintenance at scale. Consider the following ways that Disney approaches maintenance and customer service:

  • Easing visitors out. Park staff gently ease visitors out of the park in order to complete maintenance. It’s tough to carry out meaningful maintenance while customers are present.
  • Testing facilities to make sure they work. After repairing “The Enchanted Tiki Room,” the maintenance employees closely watch the show to make sure it works.

Baros Maldives Practices Maintenance

So far, we have looked at case studies from large companies. If you are responsible for preventive maintenance at a small company, you might be looking for a different example.

Let’s look at the approach used by Baros Maldives. Located in the Maldives — a set of islands near southern India — the resort has the blessing and curse of operating in thriving market.

  • Lead with philosophy. The resort stands out based on its cuisine, location and creative offerings (e.g. The Piano Deck offers an intimate experience with views of the Indian Ocean). That approach shapes everything the company does, including maintenance. It’s a timely reminder that maintenance needs to be connected to your company goals.
  • Consistency sells. Delivering a consistently clean and attractive environment is one way that the resort separates itself from other properties. In Baros’s case, that includes tending to the challenging seafront environment.
  • Add space for customization. Standardizing the majority of your maintenance program is a good approach. However, there still needs to be some capacity reserved for customization, such as getting ready for VIP visitors to your company.

From Luxury to Preventive Maintenance

Translating lessons from the luxury context to facilities management takes some thinking. You may not have demanding guests spending $500 a day or an exotic island location. However, preventive maintenance has a key role to play in delivering a consistent experience to employees and visitors.

How will you apply the lessons of luxury properties to your program?


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Topics: Facilities Management