“Work optimization” is a fancy name for figuring out how to do things in a more efficient and economical way. In a resort setting, it promises to reduce operating costs, leading to lower maintenance fees. It also promises enhanced customer service, leading to happier owners and guests.

That’s a general concept. So, how do you put work optimization into practice?

Consider, for example, those heavy carts the housekeepers push around on cleaning/turnover days. When was the last time you asked the housekeepers whether anything should be added due to need, or subtracted due to extra weight and lack of need? Given the chronic turnover in housekeeping staff at many resorts, it’s possible that most of your current housekeepers may never have been asked.

Suggestion: Put a housekeeping-cart evaluation on your to-do list at least once a year, preferably far enough in advance of budget time so your next year’s housekeeping budget can reflect what you’ll actually spend on cart contents — including cleaning equipment, supplies, and personal protective items such as work gloves.

Toilet clogs are another candidate for work optimization. When your toilet at home won’t flush properly, you probably have a plunger on hand as a first line of defense. Only when that doesn’t free up the clog would a plumber be called. On vacation, you might at least make an attempt at plunging before calling the resort operator for help — assuming, of course, that your unit has a plunger handy.

Does your resort’s standard equipment include plungers in all units? If so, where do you keep them? In the back of a closet, where no one has to look at them and wouldn’t think of looking for them? Or in the bathroom, where they challenge the image of luxury your interior designer has sought to convey?

Can you have both luxury and convenience? Consider a toilet brush and plunger combination in an elegant canister that looks good enough to encourage owner and guest self-plunging and reduce the frequency of toilet-clog calls.

Wherever winter snow falls, still another opportunity for work optimization arises. How do you keep your resort’s roads, parking areas, and sidewalks snow-free? Do you shovel and plow, and/or use a de-icing agent? If both, in which order? Once you scatter those crunchy little crystals around, shoveling and plowing will just push them aside. Scheduling your snow-removal activity involves continuous monitoring of the weather forecast, strategic decision-making, and careful cost analysis of whatever strategy you adopt for a particular storm. If your resort is located where such issues matter for half the year, you’ll want to consider seriously and systematically how best to combat Old Man Winter’s fury without busting the budget.

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