Leaders in Service – Alan Ching

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our coAlan Ching 2mpany.

We welcome Alan Ching, Director of Operations at a casino hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, as our newest addition to our Leaders in Service series. A member of our Managed Services division, Alan has been integral to the segment’s success over the past four years. His passion for the job, dedication to service and his associates, along with his knowledge and expertise in the field, makes him a respected leader within our organization. Learn more about Alan as he reflects on what it’s like to work at The Service Companies!

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I have been with The Service Companies since January 2015. I started as a Housekeeping Supervisor and have held multiple positions within the company including Housekeeping Operations Manager, Housekeeping Executive, and Assistant Director of Housekeeping and EVS. I have been working as the Director of Housekeeping and EVS Operations at one of our properties in Laughlin, Nevada since June 2017.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible for the overall management of our housekeeping and EVS departments on property. That includes handling finances, scheduling, training and coaching, and making sure our guests have a positive and memorable stay.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love working with associates and guests of different cultures and backgrounds. I also love that everyday is different from the day before. Even when the same associate is performing similar duties as the day prior, the day always brings something new.

How do you stay motivated? 

Providing for my son keeps me motivated each day. I also enjoy watching how hard my bosses work; it drives me to do the same. View More: http://imagodei127photography.pass.us/likeness

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

On my days off, I love spending time with my son. Some of our favorite activities include going to the movies, bowling, and hiking; we do these multiple times each month. I also run a football organization on the weekends where I am the head coach for two youth teams.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies has been getting nominated for both Manager of the Year within the organization, as well as Emerging Leader of the Year for Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career with The Service Companies? 

Two months after I stepped into my current role as Director of Operations, I went back to my previous location to speak with the employees. Without my knowledge, the entire team gathered in the basement and I walked down to a crowd of employees chanting and screaming my name with excitement. It was in that moment that I realized why I love being in this industry: to make an impact on my employees’ lives.

What do you look for in a potential team member? How can they set themselves apart? 

When it comes to line level employees, I look for a positive attitude. You can teach employees every type of skill, but one thing you cannot teach is positivity. As far as management goes, I love helping my associates grow through the company. I want their dedication and work ethic to prove that they have the ability to take on a management role.

Leaders In Service: Heather Dailey

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. That is why we developed Leaders inScreen Shot 2019-05-21 at 2.14.17 PM Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

Heather Dailey from Acrobat Outsourcing is our most recent addition to our Leaders in Service series. Heather’s passion for the job, along with her recent promotion to Director of Business Development, proves that she is integral to the success of Acrobat Outsourcing. Learn more about Heather and the contributions she has made to our company below!

Congratulations on your recent promotion! Before becoming Director of Business Development, what other roles have you held at Acrobat Outsourcing? How long have you been with us?

I started with Acrobat Outsourcing in 2011 as our Client Services Manager. I was promoted to Business Development Manager in Northern California in 2012 and quickly took over the Southern California region as well. It’s been a great eight years so far and I’m excited for many more!

What does your job entail?

My job entails managing our sales department, driving new business and maintaining / growing our current customer base; I am always finding new opportunities to grow our division!

What do you love most about your position?

I love getting to know my team and learning more about the diverse markets where we provide services. From my previous position, I know our California markets inside and out, but I have enjoyed expanding my knowledge into new markets and working with our clients nationwide. Our associates and customers are phenomenal people; I am excited to work with everyone on a closer basis.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team?

My family keeps me motivated, but so does closing a big deal! Nothing is more exciting to me than bringing on a new large customer. I am very competitive, so I am always working towards bettering myself and my abilities. I motivate my team by building trust with them and learning what motivates them on an individual basis. I help them stick to their goals, both personally and professionally.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing?

My life pretty much revolves around my daughter, Elliott, but I love it! My husband and I enjoy seeing the world through her eyes and we have been having a blast creating memories though traveling, spending time with family, and taking trips to Lake Tahoe.

What has been the most exciting thing you have participated in with Acrobat Outsourcing? What made it successful?

Assisting with the development of our STAMP program! By listening and understanding our clients’ needs, we have been able to create a spectacular lasting program that has opened many doors for us and will continue to help us to grow. I believe we have been successful because we take the time to understand our customer, their issues and how we can solve them in a unique and creative way. I am very lucky to work with such an intelligent and innovative team.

Do you have what it takes to be a Leader in Service? We have hundreds of positions open across the nation. Apply today!

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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Thiesfeld’s Tips for Travel

Our Senior Vice President of Sales, John Thiesfeld, spends more than one third of his year on the road. This makes John our most well-traveled team member and our go-to expert for traveling advice. Whether you fly once a year, or multiple times a week, John’s tips can turn even the most inexperienced flyer into a traveling connoisseur!

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Move away from checking a bag.

“It not only saves you time on departure, but you have everything you need if your flight gets canceled. This allows you to get on a different flight without worrying about your possessions.”

 

Sign up for TSA Pre ✓.

“It is worth every penny of the cost, even if you don’t fly often. Knowing you will rarely have a long wait for security is reassuring.”

 

Pack smart and be prepared.

“If you are traveling for business, pack your dress shirts and suits in the plastic bags from the dry cleaners. It keeps them fresh and less wrinkled. If you can, always have a bag packed with your regular travel items; this saves time and stress when a trip comes up last minute.”

 

Pack healthy snacks.

“Always keep healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Though most airports sell healthy options, you can bring your own for a fraction of the cost”.

 

Charge electronics.

“Make sure to charge all electronics the night before your flight. Some airports are loaded with outlets, while others keep you searching.”

 

Sign up for an airline lounge membership.

“If you fly at least once per month, make sure to sign up for an airline lounge membership. They are a great place to re-charge before a flight. The flight attendants are able to do everything a gate agent can, and sometimes more if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.”

 

Stick with one hotel company / airline.

“Try to stick to one airline and hotel company. I know with so many travel options available, including Airbnb, it may seem silly, but the perks available (even at the lowest levels of some programs) are worth it.”

 

Sign up for frequent flyer programs

“Sign up for different airline’s frequent flyer programs, even if you are not sure if you will ever fly them. Being a member and downloading their respective apps can help you if your airline of choice is not available or if there is a problem with your flight. You can often find new flights on the app much faster than trying to call the airline and it is faster than going to the customer service counter.”

 

Book non-stop flights.

“If possible, make sure to book non-stop flights. Many times, the stress and potential problems that can occur with connection flights, especially those with a tight timeline, are not worth it.”

 

Take the early flight out.

“It is never fun to wake up at 4 am for the first flight out, but statistics don’t lie; the first flight of the day rarely gets cancelled or delayed. The first flight sets the tone, so the airline will do whatever it takes to get the plane out on time.”

 

A round trip ticket may not be the best option.

“Though a round trip flight may look easier to book, two one-way tickets may be cheaper. Also, if one of those flights gets cancelled, it is much easier for the airline to change one ticket, as opposed to the airline having to re-issue a round trip ticket.”

 

Print a boarding pass.

“There have been multiple occasions where the TSA processors were down or the actual check-in machines for the flight were inoperable. The only people allowed through were those with paper boarding passes.”

 

Exercise and explore the area.

“As a runner, I appreciate a well-equipped fitness center, but my preference is to run outside; it gives me a feel for the destination. If running isn’t your thing, get out of your hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Not only is it good for your health, but you never know what you may be missing!”

 

Smile and be kind.

“Travel can be stressful on both the traveler and the airline/hotel associates. Make sure to smile and be kind; it is always better than the alternative.”

 

 

Our Dedication to Service Through The Service Code

As the nation’s one-stop-shop for services to the gaming, hospitality, and facility services industries, we believe approaching our work with dedication, a keen attention to detail, and a quality standard driven by our Service Code lead to best-in-class results. It is essential for every member of our team to ‘live our brand’, and because of this we created The Service Code as a guideline for our daily conduct, attention to detail and the quality of our work.

 

Service is not what we do – it is who we are.

We make service our main focus to ensure our teams are prepared to accommodate your property like no other. Through our weekly pre-shift meetings, comprehensive training and Quality Assurance and Quality Management programs, service is an essential part of our daily routine.

 We come to work to make our customers SHINE.

 Well-versed in quality cleanliness and customer relations, we guarantee your guests a positive first impression that will keep them coming back for years to come. Our rigorous inspection processes and lists of policies and procedures keep designated areas spotless as we deliver unmatched customer service.

 We are guests in our customer’s ‘house’.

We fit seamlessly into your operation by tailoring our training programs and operating policies to fit your property’s unique needs. We work with property leadership on processes, procedures, and standards to ensure our associates look and perform their best when representing your brand.

We trust our co-workers, in all ways.

Our on-boarding process has taught over 15,000 associates the skills needed to succeed in providing our customers and their guests a high level of service, while giving them access to a support system comprised of company leaders. The Service Companies is a family. We work together to help one another, and your property, progress each day.

We leverage our expertise to solve problems.

700 years of industry expertise within our executive and management teams combined with the industry’s most innovative technology differentiate The Service Companies from other service providers. We use these differentiators to solve your most challenging problems, increase efficiency, and increase your bottom line.

 

For more information about how we utilize The Service Code to deliver best in-class results, visit our website or contact one of our industry professionals today!

Why Preventive Maintenance Strategies Create Value

At The Service Companies, our Engineering Services team strives to be at the forefront of the facility maintenance and operational strategies. We have invested heavily in software, processes and people to ensure we deliver custom service delivery models to each of our customers. Our team utilizes up-to-date software to plan, document and protect client assets and train associates. We also produce monthly reports on staff performance, equipment and utilities.

Our maintenance plans are built in a proactive manner with unplanned downtime avoidance at the heart of the program.

Our Approach

Engineering Services’ non-destructive testing methods mimic equipment operating conditions and schedule maintenance based on the collected data. This procedure results in increased:

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Implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy eliminates much of the unplanned maintenance expenditures that are experienced in a “run-to-fail” model. Based on historical data, the initial savings generated by effective preventive/predictive maintenance programs fall into the following areas:

  1. Elimination of unscheduled downtime caused by equipment or system failures
  2. Improved manpower utilization
  3. Increased uptime
  4. Increased useful life of the equipment by 33%

Preventive maintenance is key to the custom service delivery models Engineering Services develops for each of our customers. For more information about our customized Preventative Maintenance programs, visit our website.

2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Services Awards acknowledge The Service Companies’ top performing associates who have shown great customer service, leadership, and dedication to our company. Chosen by our executive leadership team, the winners are an elite group recognized among thousands of associates in our managed services department.

Recipients of the President’s Awards and the Distinguished Service Awards were evaluated on the following categories: associate, customer, and guest satisfaction, and compliance with company / property requirements and procedures. Our Manager-level award winners, along with the categories above, were evaluated on their implementation of the SHINE campaign and their financial management.

We are proud to recognize the following associates who continue to make our company SHINE!

President’s Awards Winners

Robin

Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

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Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

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Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

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Associate of the Year, Eastern Region – Oscar Pena

Felicitas Arrizon (1)

Associate of the Year, Western Region – Felicitas Arrizon-Ledon


Distinguished Service Awards Winners

Gilda Postigo Dist. Svc (1)

Manager – Gilda Postigo

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Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

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Central Region Associate – Terry Anderson

Orlando Rosario Astacio Reno (1)

Western Region Associate – Orlando Astacio

Case Study: Luxury Casino Hotel in Mississippi

A reliable stewarding team, along with a professional EVS and housekeeping team, is key in the success of your casino hotel. The Service Companies has the expertise needed to provide a superior quality of service that generates positive shifts in service scores. Take a look at how the introduction of our services benefited one of our casino hotel customers in Mississippi:

Situation Overview

A 65,000 square foot casino with a 505 room hotel located in Tunica, MS, which is part of a large American gaming corporation, approached us to provide managed EVS, housekeeping and stewarding services in 2010. The property leader had previous positive partnership with our managed services team and brought our team in to implement the same positive results.

Challenges

At the time, the property was struggling with staffing shortages and poor quality of cleanliness. The property was ranked at the bottom of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness and the property’s leadership team desired to achieve a higher level of expertise and cleanliness.

Opening Process

On November 12, 2010, our Heart of House Services team took over the Housekeeping, EVS and Stewarding departments utilizing a task force of 14 trainers with significant experience in each area. 155 property employees transitioned to The Service Companies, leaving 20 open positions for our team to fill.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms, and deep cleaned the casino and other public areas to bring them up to standards. The deep cleaning process also served as training for the transitioned and new employees.

Housekeeping productivity standards were established and training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

Results and Current State of Partnership

Guest service scores improved immediately and at the end of Q1 2011 Room Clean at Check-In and Overall Casino Cleanliness scores increased by 9.48% and 7.4% respectively QOQ. At the end of 2011 the property ranked in the top 10 of all of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness.

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Today, we continue to manage all three departments with a total employee base of 175. Guest Service scores and company ranking remain in the top tier of all of the parent corporation’s properties, while saving over $1 million annually through improved productivity and lower overall benefit costs driven by our team.

For more information about the stewarding services and the other managed services we can offer to your casino hotel, visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/services/managed/.

What to Look for in a Staffing Agency for Corporate Cafés

One of the best ways to get qualified staff members for your corporate cafeteria or corporate café is to turn to a hospitality staffing agency. Staffing agencies do not necessarily offer the same services or benefits to their clients, and it can be difficult to distinguish the good companies from the bad. Consider the impact a poor organizer or a sub-par chef could have on your company’s reputation. Hiring top talent is imperative and we have put together some things to consider when selecting a hospitality staffing agency for your business:

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  1.  Experience working with your type of business– Every kitchen and front-of-the-house is unique (that’s the best part of the industry!), and not all staffing agencies are familiar with the needs of every setup. For example, a company that routinely places candidates in traditional restaurants or hotels may have little experience finding the right person for the job with a university food service contractor. Kitchen environments are diverse; choose a hospitality staffing agency that has experience working with your type of corporate cafeteria operation.
  1.  Broad pool of candidate backgrounds and skill sets– This should seem obvious, but it’s something that cannot be emphasized enough. Just because a company claims to find candidates for hospitality jobs does not mean it has a large pool of them available. Many generic staffing agencies will bill themselves as offering corporate cafeteria staff members, but that does not mean they’ve courted many people with the right experience. There are many diverse skill sets needed to run or work in a hospitality setting. Focus on industry-specific agencies that have a diverse array of hospitality candidates with the exact backgrounds you need.
  1.  Assistance with screening and interviewing– The best hospitality staffing agencies not only connect you with candidates, but can pre-screen them using your criteria and even conduct a first round of interviews for you. This saves you time and money on your search.
  1.  Timely & Accurate Invoicing– Different staffing agencies use many varying fee structures but, in general, we believe you should only pay for results. You’ll want to know that your staffing agency is working for you and that they are incentivized to provide only the best candidates possible, all of whom meet and exceed your standards. Always be sure that payroll, taxes, workman’s compensation and fully-bonded insurance are included with your all-inclusive fee. This helps you keep peace of mind and ensures a healthy bottom line.

As the leading National Hospitality Staffing Firm, we look forward to providing your corporate cafeteria or café the top talent you need to be successful. For more information about our front and back-of-house and recruiting solutions, contact us at www.acrobatoutsourcing.com/contact-us/.

Common Issues We See In Casinos

With over 1.1 million sq. ft. of gaming area under contract and over 15 years of experience providing services to the industry, we understand the unique challenges that commercial and Native American casinos and casino hotels face in their day to day operations:

  • The struggle to find legal labor due to low unemployment rates, rising wages, and the ongoing “War on Talent”
  • High workers’ compensation and general liability rates/expenditures/exposure
  • Valuable resources are spent managing relationships in union environments
  • Inefficiencies and lack of productivity in non-core departments
  • Maintaining a consistently high quality of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • High energy usage

These challenges create a large cost burden for casinos, and one option to alleviate these issues is to partner with a well-capitalized service provider (see our previous article on what to take into consideration when selecting a vendor). Our team of seasoned industry experts established a diverse list of services that cater to the common needs of every casino resort.

The Service Companies is the premier provider to the casino industry. We offer managed services, staffing services, specialty services, and engineering services to casino properties across the nation. Backed by a large investment fund, we have the capital to support a casino’s stringent requirements and massive needs and have the years of experience driving productivity and providing solutions that reduce costs and energy.

As part of our commitment to service, our team takes full accountability of recruiting needs, compliance checks, and training to ensure success. To learn more, click on the links to our services above, or contact one of our industry experts at https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

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