4 minutes

Van der Valk: “We were convinced that this would bring about a small revolution”

Van der Valk Hoorn was there right from the start of the development of Leviy’s housekeeping module. They were partners in the pilot version. Since then, Leviy has been implemented at several Van der Valk International locations to ensure the best and most efficient process possible, with the aim of making sure that Van der Valk’s guests are very satisfied. Casper Naber, director of Hotel Van der Valk Hoorn, talks about the small revolution that Leviy has brought about.

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Van der Valk Hoorn is a unique establishment. They have cinema rooms, multi-purpose halls, presentation rooms, luxury boardrooms, all equipped with the latest technological gadgets, and they have been nominated for the best conference location of the year award. There is a coffee bar, lounge bar and two restaurants plus a casino and spa with a swimming pool on the 14th floor. With entrepreneurial director Casper Naber at the helm, they are an extremely progressive establishment and great partner for Leviy.

“We were convinced that this would bring about a small revolution”

Casper, “Leviy is an extension of what we want and what we stand for: The best and most efficient process possible, where everything is focused on the customer. The guest is always central here. We were convinced that the implementation of Leviy at Van der Valk Hoorn would bring about a small revolution. It would provide greater convenience and better lines of communication between Housekeeping and the Front Desk. It turns out that these predictions were completely accurate.”

Leviy’s rollout did not occur in isolation. It was part of the general introduction of Lean philosophy at Van der Valk Hoorn. Casper continued, “This was a longer process and Leviy fitted in with this perfectly.”

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Van der Valk Hoorn is a progressive establishment. Many new methods, pilots or initiatives are being tried out here in Hoorn. Casper Naber said, “We have a very entrepreneurial and progressive mindset. We test new suppliers, new methods and other new applications. Consider, for example, the introduction of WineStein. Or comprehensive guest satisfaction surveys. Or a pilot on unconscious consumer behaviour. These methods are tested by us first and, if they produce positive results for business operations, then other Van der Valk locations can make use our knowledge and experience.

“We don’t run back and forth anymore”

With 13 floors, 155 hotel rooms and a high occupancy rate, you would a face some challenges if you were to work with only pen and paper. Van der Valk Hoorn has been using the Housekeeping and notification modules for Technical Services for a few years now. Casper said that Leviy supports the Housekeeping staff. “It provides them with a guide throughout the day and also towards their finishing time. This way, they can be clearer about where they are in the process and whether they are on schedule, for example. It provides more added value for supervisors. In the past, supervisors were called constantly and had to rush between 13 floors to inspect rooms. After inspecting a room, a message was quickly written on a computer for the Front Desk. Then they went back to the lift to inspect new room and so on. It was intense! Leviy has saved them a lot of time.”

Van der Valk Hoorn has a real-time link between Leviy and the reservation system. Rooms that have been inspected and approved are then automatically updated in the reservation system so that new guests can be checked in. Casper, “Of course you do have to worry about the risk of prejudice. Our youngest employee is 15 years old and the oldest employee is 60 years old. Would this new technology work for every employee? But it soon became apparent that the app on the smartphone worked well for everyone.”

Employee of the month

This year, Van der Valk Hoorn will also use the checklists with accompanying analysis. “We want to get a good insight into which employees make a positive – and perhaps exceptional – contribution to quality. This also gives us the opportunity to appoint an employee of the month,” said Casper.

“Help paper…”

Casper, “You only start to notice how old-fashioned everything was before when you have to go back to pen and paper because of a fault. Of course we still have a procedure/protocol if something goes wrong. But when we actually experienced a failure and suddenly had to start working with pen and paper again, it’s only then, at those moments, that you notice how old-fashioned everything was and far you have already come.”

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Through standardization and a better working method, a better cleaning

“We work very well with Leviy. It is a very flat organisation and easily accessible. Through standardisation and better methods we have created a more efficient cleaning process, but also improved quality. And Leviy has supported that. Our guests now rate us with an average score of 8.9. But we are not where we want to be yet. We want to raise our guest satisfaction to a higher average of 9! The guests’ quality and rating is not only high due to the implementation of the app, but also because the app was part of the larger project: the implementation of the entire Lean process, which is really something to be proud of!” Casper noted.

Working together to find the best solution for the market

The implementation of the Housekeeping module at Van der Valk Hoorn two years ago was Michiel Hillebrand, Operations Manager at Leviy’s, first implementation. Michiel, “From the start of the project I saw the Housekeeping team’s enthusiasm and motivation as soon as they started working with Leviy. We have visited Casper Naber and his team in Hoorn several times with potential customers and it is great to see how the team has embraced Leviy. Last year, during an evaluation interview, Casper indicated that he would like to see employees’ progress in the system. Whereas we initially thought of increasing insight for the Supervisor, Casper asked that this insight be made available to the employee. Casper said that with this insight, employees could self-manage to a greater extent, become more efficient and more results-oriented. This is just one example of why we are so happy to collaborate directly with a client like Van der Valk Hoorn – collaboratively looking for the best solution for the market!

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