Birkebeineren Hotel, located near downtown Lillehammer has, like most hotels, faced the many difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic. With both national and regional restrictions, hotels all over the world have had to think outside the box in the face of the new “every day”. Birkebeineren is one of these hotels, and they are taking steps towards a digitalized future.
– We, as a hotel, have experienced the difficulties that have occurred because of the pandemic. Not only do we need to follow both national and regional restrictions, but we also want the guests arriving and leaving feeling they have had a safe stay in clean environments, says Kjetil Tærud, CEO of Birkebeineren Hotel.
Taking a step into the future
With the summer season just around the corner, Kjetil Tærud is making sure the hotel is fit and ready for summer tourists. The hotel went through an extensive renovation process of several parts of the hotel in 2020, making it more modern and taking on technological changes. One of these changes was testing out the housekeeping system, Certify, brought by Arribatec Hospitality.
– We kept in contact with Alexander Richter at Arribatec Hospitality over a longer period during 2020. As a hotel, we are always on the lookout for changes making both the facility and the routines more technological. We have been through quite the technological journey – making it possible for guests to access hotel rooms via their mobile devices, digital booking, among other things. The Norwegian customer expects digitalization, and we always keep that in mind, Tærud states.
– The Norwegian customer expects digitalization,
and we always keep that in mind.
Kjetil Tærud, CEO of Birkebeineren Hotel
– Then we were introduced to Arribatec’s housekeeping system, Certify, and decided to test it out. We thought the system sounded innovative and were eager to try it, hoping it would make routines and assurance of quality more efficient and streamlined. By late December, we were ready to take on the new technology!
Certify is an easy-to-use, yet intelligent cloud-based system, helping to simplify and streamline housekeeping for managers, inspectors, and cleaners. The system is fully digital, making it very dynamic and perfect for housekeeping at big facilities such as Birkebeineren. This way it is easy to get an overview over the staff, your assignments as a cleaner and an inspector – all while keeping easy communication at a distance.
– The hotel has now been using Certify for about half a year, and we can already see the benefits of a digital system for managing housekeeping. The most noticeable difference in using Certify, is the efficiency and the transparency of the system. For me, as the CEO, it helps me manage the hotel’s housekeeping easier. I can assign rooms, set time estimates and later analyze the quality and efficiency, with room to improve existing routines.
– For the cleaners, it has been a fun and new experience. Every cleaner is utilized with their own tablet, making it easy to stay on track on their individual tasks, and taking on new assignments if they have the time to do so.
– We also see a reduction in physical meetings, making it more time efficient. At the same time, we can keep a distance while also communicating easily – which is a plus during these times, ensuring safety of our staff as well as our guests.
Next on the agenda: Self check-in
Next in store for Kjetil and Birkebeineren Hotel, is installing the self-service kiosk by Arribatec. The kiosk is an ideal solution for all hotels that want to reduce front desk workload and relocate staff to focus on other value-adding tasks. By the same token, the hotel’s guests will appreciate skipping lines and having the availability 24/7.
– We look forward to testing out the self-check in service as well. We hope to have a busy summer, so this is a perfect opportunity to test out the combination of both staffed reception and self-check-in. I think that Norwegian customers, in the future, will expect hotels to have the combination of both; both for people who want to skip the wait, but also for people who value the help and quality of staffed receptions.
Collaboration with Arribatec Hospitality
– At Birkebeineren we want our guests to feel as at home as possible. We take pride in that our guests will have as nice and seamless a stay as possible. Therefore, I think that our values as a hotel go hand in hand with the systems which contribute to a seamless – and clean – stay for our guests, the CEO says.