What can the office world and the hotel industry learn from each other? Hanneke Verhoeff, Area Manager Netherlands at Hotel Facility Concepts (HFC) knows the answer. 'The focus for the guest and employee is the common denominator; the difference is in the interpretation.'

The hotel industry has substantially different dynamics than the office and real estate world. Hanneke experiences this daily. After 15 years of working as an Interim Manager and Client Manager in the office world, she thought it was time for a new challenge.

'I get a lot of energy from facility management, but I wanted to experience this in a different environment. The hotel world has a different perspective on hospitality and facility management than the office world. In my position as Area Manager at HFC, I get this opportunity and immerse myself in the dynamics of the hotel industry every day.'

Hanneke is responsible for the Integrated Facility Management (IFM) of the four citizenM hotels in the Netherlands. In practice, this means 'unburdening citizenM around facility services and ensuring that the highest standard of quality is achieved every day. Hanneke is a questioner, problem solver and contract manager all in one.

'My workplace is in the hotels, where I constantly contact our facilities partners. They are our eyes and ears on the floor. Together we look at what is going well, the challenges, what is on the agenda for the coming period and how is the occupancy? I also have close and personal contact with the Hotel Manager.'

The great advantage of this working method, according to Hanneke, is that the Hotel manager of citizenM can keep their complete focus on the guest, HFC makes sure that all facility matters continue to run in the background as agreed. We have a genuine partnership with citizenM in this. Through a clear demarcation of tasks and responsibilities, together we ensure that processes run smoothly, and matters are picked up quickly. In this way, we contribute to the ultimate hotel experience for the guest.'

The highest standard for every guest
The impact of facility management differs in a hotel from an office environment. A cleaning process needs to run smoothly. If a component in the cleaning process is skipped, it directly impacts the guest and their perception of hospitality. It is potentially resulting in poor reviews.

'That's why the hotel industry is all about the highest standard for every guest. Therefore, a personal approach and focus are necessary; the guest must have a full experience. Not just once, but every time he visits, he must be surprised. This is also the big challenge: how do you ensure that the guest experiences that five-star experience every time, and how does facility management contribute to this? It is very interesting to look at what is very important to the guest. Is it the clean, fresh towels, the quality of the mattress or is it mainly the smile of the hotel staff? And what role does Facility Management have in this process? This also applies to the office world. Whereas before it was mainly looked at groups of employees or teams with common denominators in their needs around the workplace, since the corona period it is now much more about the individual employee and his/her needs. People are becoming more aware that the office must be more than just a workplace if you want to attract employees to the office. They, too, want to be surprised. Our partnership with Hoogwegt is an excellent example of how this can be fulfilled.'

Alignment with our partners
However, what the hotel world can learn from the office world is working with clear KPIs on various pillars. 'In the office and real estate world, it is customary to make contractual agreements on different themes, with facilities partners and measure the extent to which these are being met. Of course, we continuously measure the quality of the services, but it is also good to look (ahead) together to see whether we are still striving for the same goals. Because no two days are the same in a hotel, people often live by the day's issues. This is precisely why it is good, for example, to reflect twice a year with facility partners on questions such as:  What agreements did we make with each other at the beginning of the year? How is the cooperation going? But also, what trends and developments do we see in the market?

Two tips
Now that Hanneke is experiencing the best of both worlds, she likes to give two tips to anyone with a focus on hospitality in any industry:

  1. Stay curious. Immerse yourself in the world of hospitality to get a feel for it. After all, hospitality goes far beyond a friendly reception and a clean workplace.
  2. Engage with everyone on the floor which has a role in the process that contributes to the customer experience. No matter how small this role may seem at first. And above all, be surprised and inspired by all the good ideas out there.

Do you want to know more?
How can you bring the Integrated Facility Management and Hospitality factor to a higher level within your organization? For more information, please feel free to contact Commercial Director Kimberley Roersma on 06 54 91 86 62.