Proper and appropriate coordination between the departments and sections is essential for smooth operation and for superior service to the guests. Every department or section staff is a team player-hence everyone should work together with mutual understanding and trust for smooth functioning in other words co-ordination means to bring into harmonious relation in-between the departments and sections to get the job done at right time.
Co-ordination between Front office and Housekeeping department
Co-ordination between front office and housekeeping department is very important. Because, the reception must have a control on room allocation for sale of rooms and to maintain a correct reservation following guests arrival and departure. Housekeeping has got to send room status report three times a day to the reception (normally in big hotels). Housekeeping should get the room ready after guest’s departure as soon as possible. Both the departments should get in touch with one another in connection with arrival and departure.
Handling of discrepancy report: After receiving the room status report from housekeeping department, the reception has got to reconcile it with reception room rack status. After checking the whole part if any dissimilarity appears, then a discrepancy report has to be prepared by the front office agent. This is a printed document (like a form) available at the reception counter all the time. Now, the discrepancy report has to be written by the front desk agent and to signed by the shift duty manager or the chief front desk personnel. Having prepared this report the front desk agent has got to check it physically and after checking the correct status has to be noted down on remarks column of the report for the front office and housekeeping.
After checking out of a guest, the reception has to inform housekeeping immediately so that they can make-up the room earlier for the next guest arrival and as soon as the room is ready the housekeeping has to inform the front office too. In large properties this co-ordination is maintained by electric buttons. Now-a-days most of the star level hotels are computerized with network so that this co-ordination can be maintained through their individual computer terminals.
Having received the last room status report from housekeeping the night auditor has got to reconcile it with reception rack status. If everything is found in correct position, the night auditor makes some statement though prescribed documents (if the system is manual) for management information, as follows:
- Occupancy position
- Categories of room sold
- Categories of guests (whether by reservation or walk—in)
- Categories of local and foreign companies
- Average room rate, occupancy of the date
- Month-to-date occupancy
- Percentage of discounted provided on average
- Difference between charged rate and the actual rate
- Month-to-date room sale revenue and so forth.
Night auditor also has to make in-house guest list and copy and distribute them to all concerned departments.
In case of different groups, air line crews, lay—over passengers and VIPs, the front office and housekeeping need much more co-ordination for quick service or any special arrangement and for these types of guests co-ordination with F&B department is also needed because of some set menu or lunch, dinner and breakfasts for groups and lay—over passengers and normally coupons issued to the guests by the front office for their meals monitoring the amount for the set menu.
Front office cash counter is the center point of collecting whole revenue of hotel. They need to be coordinated with the chief cashier, income auditor, credit department and all the outlets of the hotel, as throughout the whole working day the charge vouchers are coming to the front cash to be charged to guest account and city ledger account. Then all their bills are posted to respective amount and finally all sales summaries are coming to the counter. Front office cashier receives all kinds of settlements. Such as:
- Cash credit cards
- Company accounts
- City ledger payments
At night the night auditors will do their night auditing on all the revenue activities of the day. Next morning all the documents will be placed at the table of the concerned person (ex-income auditor or credit supervisor). Every shift of the front office cashier and all the outlets of the hotel make cash remittance to chief cashier. So, the income auditor, credit supervisor, chief cashier, front office cashier, night auditor and all the revenue collecting out let of the hotel need to be co-ordinate with each other.
Hotel Room service Department should closely be in touch with reception in respect of arrival and departure of guests to avoid any wrong billing of room service. Reception has to send one of in-house guests list to room service.
Front office should intimate with the housekeeping department and room service to provide flower bouquet, fruit basket and welcome drinks upon VIPs arrival. Normally these services are given on complementary basis depending on the policy of the hotel.
Co-ordination between Front office and Sales & Marketing Department
Sales and marketing department is always engaged in sales promotion activities. They communicate with local and foreign companies, foreign missions and airline offices to pursue clients for selling room and F & B services. So, often they have are having business from different sources and in this connection they have to intimate the front office to make reservation and also make necessary arrangements for group or VIP or airline crew accommodation. If there is any special rate or service or facilities are available the pre-assigned instructions have to be followed by the front office.
Co-ordination between Front office and Laundry Department
Laundry department should be well informed by the front office about guest’s arrival/departure and reception has to send one copy of in-house guests list to laundry department. This co-ordination is essential to avoid wrong room numbering and wrong delivery of laundry.
Co-ordination between Front office and Engineering Department
There has to be someone on duty round the clock in engineering department to meet maintenance requirement anywhere of the hotel. So, any maintenance requirement being noticed by the front office immediately be brought to the notice of the engineering department to take necessary steps to get the work done properly as soon as possible, so that the guest service is not hampered at all. In case of any emergency situation (such as fire or any accident) the front office should inform the engineering at once for safety measures and to do everything urgently. In any case of emergency the front office can use emergency paging system for necessary announcement so that the situation can be tackled successfully without any loss and damage to life and property.
Co-ordination between Front office and Accounting Department
If any discrepancy arises regarding the credit cards or company accounts settlements—the credit department can make queries in the front office cash to figure out the correct position of the dispute. If the two departments maintain good co-ordination then the discrepancy regarding the settlements of bills can be reduced to the lowest level. In respect of cash handling whether local currency or foreign currency, the front office should be coordinated by the chief cashier.
Co-ordination between Front office and HR Department
Personnel department/human resource department co-ordinates the front office in case of any misconduct or any activity that violate the house rule or law of the property committed by front office staff. They also co-ordinate any kind of cultural event or sport event that takes place in the hotel from time to time. Front office department co-ordinates with security department all the time. In case of any theft or law and order situation the front office manager or the shift duty manager works together with security officer to maintain the formalities for the incidents or whatsoever. While going on round watch all the parts of the hotel, shift duty manager accompanied by security officer on duty.
Those are all in shorts what the front office co-ordinates. Co-ordination and cooperation are not the same terms. Needless to say that cooperation and helping attitude is an essential quality for all staffs of property. Every department of the hotel must ensure co-ordination among themselves for greater interest of the hotel and thus, the quality guest service to earn the name and fame for the property. Everyone has to be guided accordingly.