Be Our Guest

AHS Hospitality

Launched in 1993, AHS Hospitality was Australia’s first guest service outsourcing provider for the accommodation industry. Today, AHS has developed partnerships with some of the biggest hotel names in the country like Crown Hotel, Grand Hotel, Hilton, Intercontinental, Mantra Group, Stanford Hotel, Toga Group, Accor Group, Rydges Hotels and SilverNeedle Hotels, to name a few. “We are responsible for servicing about 8 million hotel rooms every year so that’s around 22,000 hotel rooms a day,” says CEO Michelle Loader.

AHS Hospitality offers clients flexibility combined with quality service that makes guests feel right at home.

Focus on Service

During peak holiday seasons – especially over Christmas and Easter breaks – hotels experience increased workload which will eventually slow down. AHS Hospitality can provide clients with the exact number of team members required during busy and quiet periods with permanent, part time and casual employees available. AHS offers a comprehensive range of services, and the focus is always on the convenience and comfort of clients and their guests. “Our primary proposition is in the housekeeping space but we work across all facets of hotel operations including concierge, management, public area services, minibar and more,” explains Ms Loader.

AHS Hospitality is a part of the publicly listed Chandler Macleod Group, one of the largest providers of human resources solutions in the Asia Pacific region. The company has offices and operations nationally.

Approximately 5000 employees working in hotels across Australia are the face of AHS Hospitality and they, says Ms Loader, make all the difference. The company is an equal opportunity employer, and team members range from receptionists and room attendants to those in maintenance and senior management roles. All are encouraged to grow their skill sets and advance their careers. “Our employees are our number one asset,” says Ms Loader. “We truly believe that good people stay with good employers so we work really hard on recognising and rewarding people in that regard.”

Employees may be offered anything from a monetary reward to a traineeship in recognition of their efforts and contributions to the success of the company. “In the last couple of years we have graduated more than 450 people through traineeship programs who had no previous education prior to joining our business, so that’s something we’re very proud of.”

Team members handpicked for the Platinum Service are selected for their excellent communication skills, pleasant personalities and well-groomed appearance. AHS introduced the Platinum Service to meet the needs of deluxe and boutique hotels where guests expect nothing but 5-star luxury all the way. Using a specially designed Quality Program unique to each hotel, the Platinum Service delivers the ultimate guest experience. Platinum employees are equipped with advanced equipment and materials. They receive advanced training with courses ranging from customer and operational services to dealing with unexpected circumstances. Independent professionals provide specialised training when required. AHS Hospitality understands how important first impressions are and consults with each Platinum client on uniform design to ensure that team members have a smart, professional look that blends seamlessly with existing hotel staff.

There are many reasons why hotels choose to outsource their labour requirements for guest services to AHS Hospitality rather than relying on the traditional in-house approach. “You go from having potential that you can do it yourself to a guarantee that someone can do it for you,” explains Ms Loader. With a shifting Australian economy, outsourcing hotel guest services to a specialist like AHS Hospitality makes good financial sense. AHS offers clients a unique pricing structure with a standard cost per occupied room. Prices include all associated on-costs and operating costs so budgeting for room servicing is simple with no guest service budget overruns regardless of occupancy. All team members are managed and thoroughly trained by AHS, which guarantees the quality of its services. This enables hotel management to focus time and resources on revenue generating departments like food and beverage and sales and marketing.

Solid Effort

AHS Hospitality has taken many steps forward to conduct its business in a safer, smarter and more cost effective manner. Ms Loader initiated a rigorous workplace safety improvement program after being appointed CEO in 2010. “I think that successful businesses are constantly looking to improve what they do and raise the bar,” she shares. While there are certainly challenges involved when leading a business with as many employees and high profile clients as AHS Hospitality, Ms Loader is optimistic about the future of the company and sees tremendous opportunity for organic growth. “We wouldn’t continue to grow or indeed operate without a fantastic workforce and stringent governance that ensures that we deliver on our value proposition to our clients.”

AHS Hospitality is led by a management advisory board comprising four senior executives who possess a thorough understanding of the hospitality industry. Executive team member Steve Tochner has experience running his own accommodation services firm; he has also worked for international hotel chains in the US. Commercial Director Gavin Dean manages all aspects of financial and corporate affairs at AHS. Human Resources Director Maree de Bondt has over 15 years of experience in leadership, human resources and organisational development roles. “There’s such a team effort behind what we do,” remarks Ms Loader. “Without surrounding yourself with an incredible leadership team who drive and deliver results to the clients every single day none of it would be possible.”

While there are unexpected challenges to deal with every day in the hospitality industry, there are also pleasant surprises. Last year, Ms Loader was honoured to be awarded the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. “It was a wonderful experience offering opportunity for the acknowledgement of businesswomen of all kinds throughout Australia. How it came about was my leadership team actually nominated me for the award and I received a note letting me know that it had happened.”

AHS Hospitality understands how important freshly laundered sheets and sparkling foyer floors are to hotel clients and their guests, but the impacts of its services extend far beyond that. “What we do is touch so many lives in Australia every day and every week and we feel really proud as a team about that.” With a motivated workforce committed to making every client shine, AHS Hospitality is sure to be checking in to more hotels nationally and internationally in the near future.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 19, 2018, 9:23 AM AEDT