Preparing for Hurricane Season

With a large number of our properties in the southeast regions of the United States, being prepared for hurricane season is something we take very seriously at The Service Companies. As a business partner to resorts, casinos, hotels and various other facilities at risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, we train and make our associates aware of each property’s emergency plan right from the start.

Storms in these regions are inevitable this time of year, but it is hard to be sure when, and where, a hurricane is going to hit. After experiencing some of the most severe tropical storms and hurricanes, our team knows that the key to ensuring safety on property is to be prepared, and with hurricane warnings coming days in advance, there is some time to prepare your building and guests for the storm ahead.

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Here are some important tips to remember when preparing for a hurricane:

Hurricane season calls for extra support, but staffing may be limited due to road conditions and the need for associates to be with their families. To work around this issue, it helps to have a “Storm Team” in place. This team, comprised of associates from different departments, is given living accommodations on property for the duration of the storm to support efforts.

While you have more manpower several days out, get exterior preparations done early. Anything that is not securely mounted must go indoors. Items such as waste receptacles and exterior furniture need to be moved to a safe location within the garage, storage area or lower level of the building. Balcony tower furniture can be stacked inside of the guest rooms. This also comes in handy for people to rest and ride the storm in the lower level of your property.

Many times, your hotel guests are unable to travel during the storm and must stay on property. If this becomes the case, remember to do the following:

  • Keep guests informed through regular communications. This includes items such as storm updates, evacuation plans and stairwell locations, safe areas to be within the building (i.e. away from windows), available food options and services during this period.
  • If your property rooms have outdoor space, be sure guests know to bring any personal items inside. Before heavier winds approach, take walks around the building to verify all is clear.
  • If you have guests in need of extra care or that use assisted equipment, make sure to make this information known to your team in the case that they need immediate assistance during the storm.
  • Pre-pack emergency kits so they can be delivered and/or available to each guest. Kits should include: bottled water, flashlights, extra linens, paper products, amenities, trash bags, and dry snacks.
  • Have battery sources available to charge devices, as this is a common request when electricity goes out.
  • Organize indoor activities and keep an inventory of games, especially for families with children.

Leaders in Service – Cornel Sneekes

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

The newest addition to our Leaders in Service series is Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, Cornel Sneekes. Before bringing his engineering expertise to The Service Companies to establish our Engineering Services division, Cornel held key executive positions at ABM, ABLE, ISS and was a co-founder, along with our Chairman & CEO, Mike Latham, of MCR Facility Services (now established as The Service Companies Engineering Services division). Since the start of his career in 1981, Cornel has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of facility systems, staffing, labor relations, contract development and delivery of services for data centers, class “A” high-rise, industrial, hotels, medical, retail and truck route services. Learn more about Cornel and the positive impact he has made on The Service Companies through our Engineering Services division!

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What is your role at The Services Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I am currently the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, a division of The Service Companies. I joined the team in June 2018.

What does your job entail?

As the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, I am responsible for the delivery of our contractual obligations to customers and expanding our engineering model into different markets across the country. My team and I provide labor, monthly site visits, energy analysis, equipment inspections, preventive maintenance implementation, protection of customer assets and improved ROI on their investments. In addition, I am responsible for the design, development and implementation of custom service delivery models.

What projects have you and your team been working on? 

In my first 12 months my team and I have traveled extensively meeting clients and team members, touring facilities, and introducing our Engineering Services platform to new, existing, and potential customers. We are currently working on a new line of business offerings that will fulfill our main goal of generating value and results for our customers.

Since our Engineering Services division is relatively new, can you tell us what distinguishes our services from other companies that offer engineering services to the facility services and hospitality industries? 

Our greatest differentiator is our ability to adapt and change. We are a group of people that look for continual improvements and out-of-the-box service models that fit the needs of our customers. We accomplish this through the use of technology and strategic partnerships. As a private organization with a senior management team and a board that embraces change, we are not held back by the decision-making processes or “tunnel vision” approaches. This allows us to focus on how to best service and meet the needs of our clients and employees. Change is embraced, communication is valued and employee involvement is treasured.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love the positive effect our team and services have on our customers and their facilities. Creating long-term relationships with these clients, who become friends, is very special. I also enjoy helping my employees see their potential and achieve their personal goals. Having the ability to guide my team members to self-improvement through training, continuing education and working hands-on at the job site brings me a lot of satisfaction. Finding new ways to drive value, improve job site experiences and motivate employees to become their best self brings its own rewards.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team? 

Identifying opportunities for process improvement is hard work that brings many challenges, but having the ability to work with employees at different locations keeps me motivated. The people we have in this company, and their desire to be the best in what they do, drives me to excel in my areas of responsibility.

As for my team, I keep them motivated by proving a positive work environment and ensuring that they feel valued. Acknowledging a job well done creates an environment where each employee is able to do their best for their co-workers and customers. The challenges that come with the job, paired with defined goals and renewed performance standards, are motivators on their own and keep employees engaged.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

My greatest passion is my family. My wife and I have four children and three grandchildren, who are the greatest joys in our lives. Watching my children become parents and take on the responsibility of raising children is something that has had such a profound effect on my life. When I am not working I enjoy outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball and motorcycle riding. I also enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and learning more about other cultures. Finally, I am a sitting board member at PCRF, an organization that is working to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishments have been providing a new, positive outlook on how we are moving forward as a company and being part of a team that is committed to providing consistent improvements to the gaming, hospitality and facility services industries.

What advice would you give those looking to join our Engineering Services team? 

Come ready to work and bring your “A game”! The Service Companies is on the path to becoming the best in our fields of expertise and we are looking for dedicated associates that are committed to professionalism and growth. We can promise you a great working experience where you are valued, rewarded and appreciated for all of your efforts.

Contact us for more about The Service Companies’ Engineering Services division.

The Future of Janitorial Services for the Gaming, Hospitality and Facility Services Industries

According to a survey conducted by the IFMA, “poor janitorial service” and a “lack of cleanliness” were among the top three complaints facing facility operations today. These complaints destroy a property’s reputation when shared online and reflect poorly on guest service scores. To combat this issue, management has resorted to pulling staff from other departments to fulfill the janitorial needs of the property. This process is only a short-term fix, as the redistribution of staff creates a lack of productivity in other departments.

Our team of experts have been dedicated to finding the most technologically advanced solution that not only solves cleaning issues, but also improves the guest experience. That is why The Service Companies partners with a best-in-class technology provider to offer smart facility solutions to the gaming, hospitality and facility services industries.

What is our smart facility solution?

Through our partnership with a smart technology provider, we are able to offer a facility solution that uses AI to automate the janitorial process. By installing sensors in strategic areas of the restroom and other public areas, management is able to monitor the needs and cleanliness level of the space, without pulling employees from other departments or hiring additional labor.

How does it work?

By installing smart sensors in or around garbage cans, soap dispensers, faucets and more, management is notified when restrooms and public areas need attention. From a dispenser in need of more paper towels to an overflowing toilet that needs immediate attention, smart sensors send real-time notifications to any smart device for a quick resolution.

In addition, we are able to track usage patterns and traffic flow to project the restroom’s busiest times during the day. This allows management to staff for the need and create an accurate cleaning schedule. Because supplies are replenished when needed, it also saves costs by reducing waste.

What are its benefits?

Implementing our smart facility solutions on property will allow you to experience the following long-term savings:

Time – Instead of checking on each restroom multiple times per day, you get the what, when and where for each janitorial issue that may arise. This allows employees to spend their time attending to other problem areas on property.

Resources – Smart sensors monitor each trash container, toilet paper, soap and paper towel dispenser, and faucet to ensure water and hygiene products are only replenished when needed.

Money – The more resources you save, the more money you save! In addition, the smart sensors eliminate the need to pay associates overtime for spending unnecessary hours patrolling the restrooms areas, along with eliminating the need to hire additional labor to attend to the restrooms.

Status – Negative guest service scores and bad online reviews can be a thing of the past. Notifications from the smart sensors will allow your team to tend to any janitorial issues right after they occur, leaving your facility in prime condition throughout the day.

To learn more about our smart facility solution and the positive effects it can have on your property, contact us today!

Leaders in Service – Alan Ching

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our coAlan Ching 2mpany.

We welcome Alan Ching, Director of Operations at a casino hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, as our newest addition to our Leaders in Service series. A member of our Managed Services division, Alan has been integral to the segment’s success over the past four years. His passion for the job, dedication to service and his associates, along with his knowledge and expertise in the field, makes him a respected leader within our organization. Learn more about Alan as he reflects on what it’s like to work at The Service Companies!

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I have been with The Service Companies since January 2015. I started as a Housekeeping Supervisor and have held multiple positions within the company including Housekeeping Operations Manager, Housekeeping Executive, and Assistant Director of Housekeeping and EVS. I have been working as the Director of Housekeeping and EVS Operations at one of our properties in Laughlin, Nevada since June 2017.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible for the overall management of our housekeeping and EVS departments on property. That includes handling finances, scheduling, training and coaching, and making sure our guests have a positive and memorable stay.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love working with associates and guests of different cultures and backgrounds. I also love that everyday is different from the day before. Even when the same associate is performing similar duties as the day prior, the day always brings something new.

How do you stay motivated? 

Providing for my son keeps me motivated each day. I also enjoy watching how hard my bosses work; it drives me to do the same. View More: http://imagodei127photography.pass.us/likeness

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

On my days off, I love spending time with my son. Some of our favorite activities include going to the movies, bowling, and hiking; we do these multiple times each month. I also run a football organization on the weekends where I am the head coach for two youth teams.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies has been getting nominated for both Manager of the Year within the organization, as well as Emerging Leader of the Year for Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career with The Service Companies? 

Two months after I stepped into my current role as Director of Operations, I went back to my previous location to speak with the employees. Without my knowledge, the entire team gathered in the basement and I walked down to a crowd of employees chanting and screaming my name with excitement. It was in that moment that I realized why I love being in this industry: to make an impact on my employees’ lives.

What do you look for in a potential team member? How can they set themselves apart? 

When it comes to line level employees, I look for a positive attitude. You can teach employees every type of skill, but one thing you cannot teach is positivity. As far as management goes, I love helping my associates grow through the company. I want their dedication and work ethic to prove that they have the ability to take on a management role.

Leaders In Service: Heather Dailey

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. That is why we developed Leaders inScreen Shot 2019-05-21 at 2.14.17 PM Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

Heather Dailey from Acrobat Outsourcing is our most recent addition to our Leaders in Service series. Heather’s passion for the job, along with her recent promotion to Director of Business Development, proves that she is integral to the success of Acrobat Outsourcing. Learn more about Heather and the contributions she has made to our company below!

Congratulations on your recent promotion! Before becoming Director of Business Development, what other roles have you held at Acrobat Outsourcing? How long have you been with us?

I started with Acrobat Outsourcing in 2011 as our Client Services Manager. I was promoted to Business Development Manager in Northern California in 2012 and quickly took over the Southern California region as well. It’s been a great eight years so far and I’m excited for many more!

What does your job entail?

My job entails managing our sales department, driving new business and maintaining / growing our current customer base; I am always finding new opportunities to grow our division!

What do you love most about your position?

I love getting to know my team and learning more about the diverse markets where we provide services. From my previous position, I know our California markets inside and out, but I have enjoyed expanding my knowledge into new markets and working with our clients nationwide. Our associates and customers are phenomenal people; I am excited to work with everyone on a closer basis.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team?

My family keeps me motivated, but so does closing a big deal! Nothing is more exciting to me than bringing on a new large customer. I am very competitive, so I am always working towards bettering myself and my abilities. I motivate my team by building trust with them and learning what motivates them on an individual basis. I help them stick to their goals, both personally and professionally.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing?

My life pretty much revolves around my daughter, Elliott, but I love it! My husband and I enjoy seeing the world through her eyes and we have been having a blast creating memories though traveling, spending time with family, and taking trips to Lake Tahoe.

What has been the most exciting thing you have participated in with Acrobat Outsourcing? What made it successful?

Assisting with the development of our STAMP program! By listening and understanding our clients’ needs, we have been able to create a spectacular lasting program that has opened many doors for us and will continue to help us to grow. I believe we have been successful because we take the time to understand our customer, their issues and how we can solve them in a unique and creative way. I am very lucky to work with such an intelligent and innovative team.

Do you have what it takes to be a Leader in Service? We have hundreds of positions open across the nation. Apply today!

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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Thiesfeld’s Tips for Travel

Our Senior Vice President of Sales, John Thiesfeld, spends more than one third of his year on the road. This makes John our most well-traveled team member and our go-to expert for traveling advice. Whether you fly once a year, or multiple times a week, John’s tips can turn even the most inexperienced flyer into a traveling connoisseur!

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Move away from checking a bag.

“It not only saves you time on departure, but you have everything you need if your flight gets canceled. This allows you to get on a different flight without worrying about your possessions.”

 

Sign up for TSA Pre ✓.

“It is worth every penny of the cost, even if you don’t fly often. Knowing you will rarely have a long wait for security is reassuring.”

 

Pack smart and be prepared.

“If you are traveling for business, pack your dress shirts and suits in the plastic bags from the dry cleaners. It keeps them fresh and less wrinkled. If you can, always have a bag packed with your regular travel items; this saves time and stress when a trip comes up last minute.”

 

Pack healthy snacks.

“Always keep healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Though most airports sell healthy options, you can bring your own for a fraction of the cost”.

 

Charge electronics.

“Make sure to charge all electronics the night before your flight. Some airports are loaded with outlets, while others keep you searching.”

 

Sign up for an airline lounge membership.

“If you fly at least once per month, make sure to sign up for an airline lounge membership. They are a great place to re-charge before a flight. The flight attendants are able to do everything a gate agent can, and sometimes more if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.”

 

Stick with one hotel company / airline.

“Try to stick to one airline and hotel company. I know with so many travel options available, including Airbnb, it may seem silly, but the perks available (even at the lowest levels of some programs) are worth it.”

 

Sign up for frequent flyer programs

“Sign up for different airline’s frequent flyer programs, even if you are not sure if you will ever fly them. Being a member and downloading their respective apps can help you if your airline of choice is not available or if there is a problem with your flight. You can often find new flights on the app much faster than trying to call the airline and it is faster than going to the customer service counter.”

 

Book non-stop flights.

“If possible, make sure to book non-stop flights. Many times, the stress and potential problems that can occur with connection flights, especially those with a tight timeline, are not worth it.”

 

Take the early flight out.

“It is never fun to wake up at 4 am for the first flight out, but statistics don’t lie; the first flight of the day rarely gets cancelled or delayed. The first flight sets the tone, so the airline will do whatever it takes to get the plane out on time.”

 

A round trip ticket may not be the best option.

“Though a round trip flight may look easier to book, two one-way tickets may be cheaper. Also, if one of those flights gets cancelled, it is much easier for the airline to change one ticket, as opposed to the airline having to re-issue a round trip ticket.”

 

Print a boarding pass.

“There have been multiple occasions where the TSA processors were down or the actual check-in machines for the flight were inoperable. The only people allowed through were those with paper boarding passes.”

 

Exercise and explore the area.

“As a runner, I appreciate a well-equipped fitness center, but my preference is to run outside; it gives me a feel for the destination. If running isn’t your thing, get out of your hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Not only is it good for your health, but you never know what you may be missing!”

 

Smile and be kind.

“Travel can be stressful on both the traveler and the airline/hotel associates. Make sure to smile and be kind; it is always better than the alternative.”

 

 

Our Dedication to Service Through The Service Code

As the nation’s one-stop-shop for services to the gaming, hospitality, and facility services industries, we believe approaching our work with dedication, a keen attention to detail, and a quality standard driven by our Service Code lead to best-in-class results. It is essential for every member of our team to ‘live our brand’, and because of this we created The Service Code as a guideline for our daily conduct, attention to detail and the quality of our work.

 

Service is not what we do – it is who we are.

We make service our main focus to ensure our teams are prepared to accommodate your property like no other. Through our weekly pre-shift meetings, comprehensive training and Quality Assurance and Quality Management programs, service is an essential part of our daily routine.

 We come to work to make our customers SHINE.

 Well-versed in quality cleanliness and customer relations, we guarantee your guests a positive first impression that will keep them coming back for years to come. Our rigorous inspection processes and lists of policies and procedures keep designated areas spotless as we deliver unmatched customer service.

 We are guests in our customer’s ‘house’.

We fit seamlessly into your operation by tailoring our training programs and operating policies to fit your property’s unique needs. We work with property leadership on processes, procedures, and standards to ensure our associates look and perform their best when representing your brand.

We trust our co-workers, in all ways.

Our on-boarding process has taught over 15,000 associates the skills needed to succeed in providing our customers and their guests a high level of service, while giving them access to a support system comprised of company leaders. The Service Companies is a family. We work together to help one another, and your property, progress each day.

We leverage our expertise to solve problems.

700 years of industry expertise within our executive and management teams combined with the industry’s most innovative technology differentiate The Service Companies from other service providers. We use these differentiators to solve your most challenging problems, increase efficiency, and increase your bottom line.

 

For more information about how we utilize The Service Code to deliver best in-class results, visit our website or contact one of our industry professionals today!

Why Preventive Maintenance Strategies Create Value

At The Service Companies, our Engineering Services team strives to be at the forefront of the facility maintenance and operational strategies. We have invested heavily in software, processes and people to ensure we deliver custom service delivery models to each of our customers. Our team utilizes up-to-date software to plan, document and protect client assets and train associates. We also produce monthly reports on staff performance, equipment and utilities.

Our maintenance plans are built in a proactive manner with unplanned downtime avoidance at the heart of the program.

Our Approach

Engineering Services’ non-destructive testing methods mimic equipment operating conditions and schedule maintenance based on the collected data. This procedure results in increased:

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Implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy eliminates much of the unplanned maintenance expenditures that are experienced in a “run-to-fail” model. Based on historical data, the initial savings generated by effective preventive/predictive maintenance programs fall into the following areas:

  1. Elimination of unscheduled downtime caused by equipment or system failures
  2. Improved manpower utilization
  3. Increased uptime
  4. Increased useful life of the equipment by 33%

Preventive maintenance is key to the custom service delivery models Engineering Services develops for each of our customers. For more information about our customized Preventative Maintenance programs, visit our website.

2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Services Awards acknowledge The Service Companies’ top performing associates who have shown great customer service, leadership, and dedication to our company. Chosen by our executive leadership team, the winners are an elite group recognized among thousands of associates in our managed services department.

Recipients of the President’s Awards and the Distinguished Service Awards were evaluated on the following categories: associate, customer, and guest satisfaction, and compliance with company / property requirements and procedures. Our Manager-level award winners, along with the categories above, were evaluated on their implementation of the SHINE campaign and their financial management.

We are proud to recognize the following associates who continue to make our company SHINE!

President’s Awards Winners

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Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

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Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

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Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

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Associate of the Year, Eastern Region – Oscar Pena

Felicitas Arrizon (1)

Associate of the Year, Western Region – Felicitas Arrizon-Ledon


Distinguished Service Awards Winners

Gilda Postigo Dist. Svc (1)

Manager – Gilda Postigo

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Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

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Central Region Associate – Terry Anderson

Orlando Rosario Astacio Reno (1)

Western Region Associate – Orlando Astacio

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