Mintek Mobile Data Solutions White Paper Makes Case for Automated Asset Management, Preventive Maintenance

  • Mintek Mobile Data Solutions
  • 09.12.06
Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has released a white paper entitled, “The Case for Automated Asset Management & Preventive Maintenance,” making the case for implementation of an automated solution such as Mintek’s Lodging Asset Management Suite to protect and extend the life of a hotel’s physical assets.

The white paper includes examples of hotels that have implemented the company’s handheld, bar code and ASP-based systems.

“Smart hotel owners and operators know that proper maintenance and management of hotel’s assets will result in extended asset life and fewer breakdowns,” said Lind Hutton, executive vice president and COO of Dunedin, Fla.-based Mintek, which has installed automated systems in almost 300 hotels throughout North America. “In addition, a proactive asset management approach can result in significant energy savings, a safer work environment, higher profitability and increased guest satisfaction.”

The white paper details each part of the Lodging Asset Management Suite—WinTrack PM, Maintenance Portal, Alerts, Asset Director and Work Order Kiosk—and how each helps make preventive maintenance and asset management easier to accomplish. The white paper is available upon request and at Mintek’s Web site.

The cornerstone of Mintek’s suite of solutions is WinTrack PM. It incorporates easy-to-use handheld devices and bar coding. When engineers scan bar codes on pieces of equipment or other items, it prompts them to answer previously determined questions. After preventive maintenance (PM) steps have been completed, the bar codes are scanned again. Each step is recorded within WinTrack PM.

Engineers use WinTrack PM for rounds, PMs and inspections. It adds accountability to the PM process because managers know exactly when an engineer was at a piece of equipment, what was recorded, and how long the engineer was there. WinTrack PM automates PM scheduling and streamlines the work order process. Work orders can be generated automatically through the handheld based on answers provided by engineers. WinTrack PM adds additional efficiencies by tracking parts and warranty information for each item needing checked, as well as the costs associated with parts and equipment replacement.

“Knowing the amount of labor and money put into an existing piece of equipment is significant,” said Hutton. “It gives a hotel or management company the ammunition it needs to recommend a specific capital investment.”

Mintek’s Web-based maintenance portal works in tandem with WinTrack PM and gives chief engineers and other upper level managers the ability to monitor each hotel’s PM progress anytime, anywhere. Specifically, the portal enables a manager to produce reports that show outstanding work orders, completed and uncompleted rounds, and how long tasks took to accomplish. The system ensures standardized maintenance procedures are accomplished across multiple properties.

The portal provides the means to ensure that assets are protected and preserved throughout an entire group of hotels, and that guests are never inconvenienced by failing equipment or infrastructure. The portal is also a means to monitor and confirm labor productivity. One can quickly see how long a particular task took to accomplish. Icons on the portal screen are color coded to provide the ability to quickly review PM progress. Red, for example, indicates the number of PMs overdue more then seven days. Green means that no PMs are overdue.

Alerts, an addition to the maintenance portal, proactively distributes critical engineering, maintenance and work information to managers and employees via e-mail or pager. The parameters for an alert can be set for any event or situation within WinTrack PM. For example, a regional manager may wish to be notified when any of his properties have a certain number of overdue work orders. When that point is reached, a text message is sent by e-mail or pager. In addition to the maintenance portal, e-mail messages also can be automatically pushed out to inform a manager that an asset’s warranty is about to expire.

Mintek’s Asset Director takes the Portal’s ASP approach toward asset management far beyond PM. It is currently used by one of the world’s largest hotel chains to track items such as furniture, TVs, fire safety equipment and other items throughout its system of hundreds of full-service hotels.

Companies typically track assets at the property level in spreadsheets—a tedious, time-intensive task. Using Asset Director, data can be entered or uploaded from spreadsheets into the easy-to-access system and be made immediately available for corporate use. It centralizes access to asset, warranty, recall and contract information and improves the capital expenditure (CAPEX) planning process. It also speeds up the internal audit process.

“Asset Director reduces costs associated with the gathering of CAPEX information, enhances short- and long-term strategic planning, and reduces labor costs,” Mintek’s Hutton said. “Its centralization of asset information makes it easier for hoteliers to make bulk purchasing decisions. Asset Director also provides the means for an asset manager to track any asset from purchase to retirement. It is a robust tool that provides a competitive edge to management companies pursuing additional contracts.”

Work Order Kiosk is an application that enables anyone outside of the engineering department of a hotel—housekeeping, general managers, food and beverage staff and others—to submit work orders via a browser-based system. The status of each work order—whether “open,” “assigned,” or “closed,”—is visible along with the name of the engineer assigned to perform the task. After a work order is submitted, the system automatically e-mails the designated supervisor. Supervisors check the kiosk multiple times each day. When a work order is ready to be assigned, it is printed out and given to an engineer.

In the kiosk, supervisors note whether a task is in progress, if there are parts on order, or if the work order has been completed. Once a work order is noted as being completed in the kiosk, the system automatically e-mails the originator of the work order to let that person know it has been closed.

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