Peter is Director of Engineering for Hyatt Regency, London and takes care of countrywide tenders.
Choosing the right suppliers, and making sure they meet the hotel’s standards and needs, is a major concern for him. After several months of collaboration, Peter spoke with us about his experience with WeMaintain’s service.
How would you describe your hotels?
The Hyatt Regency hotels are designed to attract an upscale clientele. They are located in central locations like The Churchill in Oxford Street, London. Steeped in authentic British charm, The Churchill, overlooking Portman Square Garden, offers a sophisticated stay in Marylebone. The hotel, which honours Sir Winston Churchill, boasts bespoke design details and refined décor that give a subtle nod to his life and legacy. It is a luxury hotel with a unique five star restaurant that would provide excellent comfort for any president (or CEO) visiting London.
“WeMaintain has given ownership to its engineers. This was a big game changer for us”
Why are lifts so important for your hotel?
After Covid, business has definitely picked up, which has impacted how often our lifts are being used. Today, for example, occupancy is 94%, which is an incredibly high rate for this hotel. However, this means higher customer expectations and also the possibility of more complaints.
We use NPS to track customer satisfaction and we have a working order target of 90% relating to facilities etc. Lifts are what we’ve scored lowest on in the past and this year, for the first time, it’s not going to be the lifts. This takes a lot of pressure off us.
What were the main issues you were dealing with before WeMaintain came on board?
I was frustrated with my previous providers in terms of service. They weren’t repairing things quickly enough or with enough dedication and it was taking 3 days to get an engineer out when we had an issue. Maintenance wasn’t being done proactively.
We felt that we didn’t have the technical assistance necessary to take care of our equipment. A technician might turn up at any time, unannounced, and there was no sense of ownership, either from the company or a dedicated engineer.
What are your expectations regarding suppliers?
It’s not all about price. Compliance is a big factor for us when choosing maintenance providers and we have to make sure they are compliant with certain HSE regulations. We are audited for health & safety, which means our suppliers must have the correct accreditations.
Suppliers need to take maintenance one step further. It’s not just a technical issue. We need a global service, including reactivity, accuracy and transparency.
In our hotels maintenance has to be invisible for our customers.
How did the transition go?
Generally, transitions within the industry don’t go well but the transition to WeMaintain went smoothly. We picked the hotels that had a lot of issues regarding lift reliability. The biggest complaints were lifts breaking down. From day one, we had a technician on site, assessing and fixing problems. By having the root engineer work with the technical engineers we were able to bring the lifts up to standard within a couple of weeks. Now the lifts are no longer a problem and are up to scratch. They have been running smoothly ever since.
How has WeMaintain changed your life on a daily basis?
WeMaintain covers all the bases and always goes above and beyond. There’s a better availability of engineers and much quicker response times, which is wonderful.
WeMaintain’s parts system has been a game changer too. We get the right parts, first time and much quicker, instead of a lot of misdirection and jumping between people. With WeMaintain, I can see on the report which parts have been ordered and shortly afterwards a technician shows up to fix the issue. The company has cut out any unnecessary hassle and it seems like less communication is needed. There is also less paperwork, which has definitely simplified things and saved time.
As regards pricing, I’d say the contract cost-wise is about even, but overall with WeMaintain we’re paying less. This is due to certain services such as after-hours call-outs being included in the cost of the contract, which has certainly made life much simpler.
I’ve found the model proposed has enabled us to better manage our capital expenditure. We’ve saved money in the long term, as multiple call-outs for the same issue have been monitored and analyzed and repairs have been made before machinery completely breaks and requires replacing.
Our lives have certainly been made easier all around.
Can you describe your relationship with the engineer?
WeMaintain has given ownership to its engineers. This was a big game changer for us. Having one engineer dedicated to our building, someone who knows it well, has meant any issues are taken care of and resolved. The engineers are friendly and very knowledgeable and they communicate clearly. There have been no complaints about them from our team or our residents.
Why is having more data important?
It’ll be interesting to use the data from WeMaintain's IoT after a busy period, so we can learn more. Learning where the lifts are grounding, for example, can help us optimise energy usage and reduce waiting times.
This information can help us make decisions on required upgrades and allows us to plan for downtime so we can be proactive and minimise disruption to our hotel users’ experience (e.g. arrange for roller changes in winter).
Why would you recommend WeMaintain to other hotel managers?
WeMaintain employs people who want to be the best at what they do and I really like that. I felt comfortable in choosing WeMaintain, and slowly but surely, management and staff have proved that they can deliver the results they promised.
I’ve already recommended WeMaintain to several hotels and I’m happy to hear that some of them are signing contracts with the company.