Hotels frequently loan out items to their guests in order to give them great customer service and satisfy an immediate need.
The headache that goes with that level of service, is trying to keep track of all the phone cords, cribs and any other items that you have loaned out on a temporary basis, especially as the loan is often very short term.
The cost of these items can quickly mount up if they are not returned and charged for, which is why solutions like asset tracking software need to be considered seriously, if you run a hotel or motel and want to keep stock of who has borrowed what.
No charge- but at a cost
In such a competitive industry, it is entirely understandable that many establishments will want to offer a variety of equipment to their traveling guests, if they need one of several common items that frequently get requested at many hotels and motels around the globe.
This equipment is often loaned to guests upon request and often at no charge. The problem arises when you lose track of where these items are and who hasn’t returned them, as this quickly becomes an expensive problem that adds to the overheads when you have to keep replacing things like phone charges, so that other guests get the same level of service when they check in.
Depending on the rating of the hotel and the demands of its guests, you can be called upon to loan out things like voltage adaptors to white noise machines and alarm clocks. Offering guests the chance to borrow these items is great for your reputation but you do need to set up a system that monitors and tracks who has got what, so that your hospitality does not come at a cost.
The hotel housekeeping manager or someone in an equivalent role, is the ideal person to assume responsibility for monitoring and maintaining an up to date inventory and log of what items are out on loan.
The inventory should contain relevant information about each item, such as an item name, manufacturer’s details for identification, purchase date and cost, warranty information and storage location.
The records should also show how many of each item you have in stock and needs to be updated every time an item is loaned out, taken out of service if broken or when a new item is added.
Getting a receipt
It is also advisable to get guests to sign a receipt to acknowledge that they have received an item.
This receipt should note the details of what item has been loaned, the guest’s name and room number it was delivered to and the expected return or check-out date.
Some hotels do ask for a deposit to cover the non-return of items at the time of the request. This is down to management of the hotel to exercise discretion and based on how frequently certain items go missing and need replacing or whether you want to display a level of trust with your clientele.
As well as keeping a strict control over your loan items through the use of asset tracking software and other records, you will also need to get items checked regularly to ensure they are in good working order and safe for guests to use.
Patrick Young works as a warehouse supervisor. He enjoys sharing his experiences on the web. You can read his articles mainly on management and business blogs.