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Now more than ever safety and security is on the checklist when searching for a hotel, whether for business stay or a family holiday. Here, Jason Cooke, Traka Market

Development Manager shows how key control and management systems can help maintain a hotel’s excellent reputation.

“It takes 20 years to build reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” said Warren Buffet, American Businessman, investor and philanthropist, second wealthiest person in the USA and fourth in the world.

All hotels want the same thing, whether an economy hotel or a luxury boutique hotel; to ensure guests want to return time and again. This is important for the hotel’s long- term and future growth, happy guests will talk about their positive experiences on and offline, and this in turn, can attract other customers. It is the duty of hotels to continue to keep improving the quality of their offering, without becoming complacent.

The list for attention may seem endless: exterior maintenance and reception for a great first impression, room décor and furnishings making sure common areas such as dining rooms and bars alongside leisure facilities are refreshed; attracting and training the right staff; re- vising the food and drink offer; marketing and promotion.

create an efficient hotel, which ensures keys are always in the right place to welcome and check-in new guests and cleaners have access to all rooms necessary to carry out their duties with no disruption to a guest’s experience whilst on site.

At the same time, if hotels have refurbished and upgraded security to rely on access control cards, an efficient running hotel would depend on easy-to-use, proven technology, with necessary equipment easily on hand for authorised personnel to organise access for guests and staff.

Staff on site would much rather be dealing with happier guests on a regular basis than utilising valuable resources and time (and invariably cost on discounts or vouchers) to resolve complaints in a mutually beneficial way. This is especially true when it comes to something as ‘simple’ as having the right access card or key, at the right time, for the right person.

Staff on site would much rather be dealing with happier guests.

With all this going on, it would be easy for ‘small details’ like key management to slip down, or even off the agenda. And yet, this simple consideration could impact security, with just one criminal incidence leading to complaints, police involvement and inevitably a bad online review, damaging a hotel’s brand and reputation, potentially impacting on future business.

Efficiency There is a secondary impact on poor key management on site. Whilst such security measures can be used to protect guests and staff from crime, another function is to


The key to success is ensuring keys are managed efficiently, and stored carefully, allowing authorised staff to know exactly where keys are at all times. As if a key or credential is misplaced or not returned, the right course of action can be taken immediately, ensuring little delay or impact on the guest experience.

Intelligent Management Traditionally for hotels, any attempt to manage keys has relied on staff checking in and out all keys at reception. This arrange often proves inefficient, unreliable and can make tracing keys an almost impossible task.

The system relies heavily on the diligence of staff, whom, when under pressure to check in (or out) a guest may lead to keys being taken without being logged correctly, or returned to the correct place. In turn potentially leading to delays with preparing and cleaning a room and checking in the next guest, which is never a welcome position for anyone involved.

The same is true for leisure facilities, whereby guests want to experience hotel offerings in a safe environment, without delays whilst staff establish whereabouts of keys. By automating the process, hotels can almost eliminate the room for human error from this perspective, and ensure accountability and traceability of all keys and credentials, at all times.

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