Reduce Repair Costs with Virtual Technology

May 07, 2017 | 2515 Views

Reduce Repair Costs with Virtual Technology

Mark Boccia

Vice President of Learning and Development | Marriott International

Hotel buildings exist as living, breathing organisms; with complex engineering and structural systems that work in tandem. General Managers (GMs) are responsible for keeping the building well-maintained, however, most GMs are lay people who lack the technical knowledge and skills on specific asset protection and maintenance topics regarding their property’s roof, façade, landscaping, parking lots, HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, and many more.

Innovative learning technologies, such as virtual reality, can help. At Marriott, we recently launched How Your Hotel Works, a new virtual reality training series that engages GMs’ senses to identify potential engineering and structural issues using high-level graphics and animation, video, actors on screen explaining technical concepts using everyday language, and virtual reality practice exercises.

Not only is the training short, compelling, and practical, GMs gain a greater sense of confidence around these topics and a better understanding of their responsibility for asset management. The integral components of the virtual training program include:

Learning Portal -  Featuring a 14-part suite of engineering concepts, such as water infiltration, HVAC, façades, roofs, building air pressure, parking lots, plumbing systems, exterior irrigation, fire control systems, electrical systems, windows, energy conservation, and lighting.

Issue-spotting Exercises – GMs can view 360-degree images and identify problem areas. Additionally, their engineering leader is equipped with a virtual reality headset, so they can partner with them for an enhanced viewing and learning experience.

Quiz and Certification – Quarterly deadlines are established for the requirements to be completed in small segments. Then, participants take a quiz for each module to obtain credit.

Property Inspection – After each episode the GM completes a custom property inspection and results may generate work orders for the Engineering team to investigate further based on the findings.

Analyze User Data – The robustness of virtual technology allows Engineering and regional leadership to easily track participation and quiz scores and follow up accordingly.

Though it has been a short time since the rollout of this virtual training series, it is creating a lot of “buzz” internally, and our GMs are finding great value so far. The return on investment seems clear – increasing asset management awareness through virtual traininig can reduce long-term expenses associatied with higher repair costs, decreased guest satisfaction, owner dissatisfaction, and greater CapEx expenditures due to disrepair. The (virtual) reality – a healthy, well-maintained hotel means happy guests!

Read article at Hotel Management magazine. This article first appeared in the May 2, 2017 issue of Hotel Management. 

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