How we eliminated "paperwork" at our hotel

When Trae and I purchased Berry Springs Lodge in Tennessee, it was a paper-heavy business.

Most things involving operations were printed out or written down:

  • Check-out folios (every single one)
  • Grocery orders
  • Breakfast schedules
  • Guest preferences
  • Housekeeping checklists (daily!)
  • Innkeeper checklists (also daily!)
  • Inventory counts (and audits)
  • And more...

It's safe to say, if it happened at the lodge, it was on paper.

And that was a problem.

Trae lives in Florida, I live in California, and the lodge is in Tennessee. Neither of us were on-site on a daily basis to review the paperwork!

And with most of the operational pieces of running the lodge happening on paper, we had little-to-no insight into things like:

  • How efficient and high-quality our housekeepers were (unless we saw something good or bad in a guest review)
  • How new housekeepers were being trained in our various types of stayover, check-out, and check-in cleans
  • What merchandise we needed to reorder because we were selling through it
  • How often we were using grocery items, and if there were opportunities for bulk ordering to reduce supply costs
  • How each shift was going, and if there were any problems or at least "newsworthy" updates

Our goal in buying Berry Springs Lodge was to grow the hotel into the best place to stay and work in the Smoky Mountains (while turning a profit, of course). And in order to do that, we realized we needed to curate a wonderful group of staff and equip them with the tools to deliver the premium guest experience we were after.

And we needed to do this without being there everyday.

We spoke to other hotel owners and managers and realized that even if they weren't “remote” like us, they wanted more oversight of their housekeeping, maintenance, and more so they didn't have to be there everyday.

So Trae, being the software developer that he is, got to creating what we call Comfortly with our other friend, Andrew. Thankfully, we were able to eliminate the paper-heavy nature of running Berry Springs Lodge and gain more oversight of our business operations within weeks of operating on Comfortly..

By combining Comfortly with rezStream for managing reservations, and Akia for guest text messaging, we've given the staff the tools to make sure the guests get what they need when they need it. And we, as owners and managers, have oversight of our business without all of the "paperwork".

Between Comfortly's housekeeping app, maintenance, and shift notes, everyone in the business is now connected.

And we'd argue there's a better "papertrail" than actual paper because of it :)