CHICAGO—With guestroom hygiene an increasingly critical element for the lodging industry, UMF Corporation, a specialist in environmental hygiene and infection prevention, has launched the PCiPAD Mattress Protector and Lease Program, giving hoteliers the ability to protect their investment in mattress inventory without compromising the guest sleep experience.
Referring to the J.D. Power 2014 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, George Clarke, CEO of UMF Corporation, emphasized the impact of guestroom cleanliness on the guest experience. One of the key findings in the study is that among all the problems experienced by guests, rooms that are not clean have the greatest negative impact on satisfaction.
“The guestroom mattress is one of the costliest investments made by the hotel operator,” said Clarke. “The mattress experience is also the most likely to have a positive or negative impact on guest loyalty.”
He added, “We have talked to more than 100 hotel managers that are using PCiPADs, and we have heard that mattresses have been saved from all manner of problems, including dirty diapers and, in some cases, 10-12 accidents per week due to leaky bladders. As one manager stated, ‘If they aren’t peeing, they’re vomiting, spilling their drinks, sweating or bleeding.’ These types of events also typically take the room out of service. The PCiPAD ensures that the integrity of the mattress is protected and the level of guestroom hygiene is beyond reproach.”
According to the company, its new PerfectCLEAN PCiPAD Mattress Protector absorbs, wicks and retains fluid. The latex-free product has a comfort layer, backed by a soaker layer and supported by a barrier layer, which all contribute to complete mattress protection. The mattress is durable but lightweight, making it easy for housekeeping to change. The PCiPAD comes in twin, double/full, queen and king sizes, and all pads are sewn with 2½-in. radius corners.
“The benefit of the PCiPAD to guests is the comforting knowledge of staying in a room that includes a clean, fresh and hygienic mattress—free from odors and cross-contamination issues,” said Clarke. “The benefits to the hotel are multiple and include mattress replacement costs, improved Guest Experience Index [GEI] scores and the reduction of out-of-service rooms. Our PCiPAD Mattress Protector is perfect for providing peace of mind for guests and hotel alike.”
In addition to the PerfectCLEAN PCiPAD Mattress Protector, UMF Corporation has provided a simplified calculator and application process on its website for hoteliers interested in leasing information about its new product. In four steps, hoteliers can calculate the cost of leasing the PCiPAD based on the total number of mattresses to be covered, typically less than five cents per day for each mattress, according to the company. Based upon the durability of the PerfectCLEAN PCiPAD Mattress Protector, UMF Corporation was able to provide a lease program underwritten at a competitive interest rate.
“You simply put in the number of different sized mattresses at your property, and it calculates the monthly lease payment,” said Clarke. “You’re one more click away from the online application, or you can print the estimate and submit for your internal approval process. Once the online application is completed, the approval process takes less than 24 hours. There are no upfront fees, no back-end fees—the lease is a $1 buyout after 36 months.”
Clarke indicated that the lease program is the only one of its kind and makes the PCiPAD program available and easy to implement economically for all types of properties. Minimizing cost and maximizing the ROI per mattress, the PCiPAD has exceeded expectations and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost mattresses and, ultimately, kept “more heads in beds,” Clarke noted.
Having worked with Randal Savage, director of rooms and related for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, in developing the PCiPAD, UMF Corporation offers the only mattress protector approved by all Starwood brands, according to the company. “Savage spearheaded the project and provided invaluable guidance and feedback,” added Clarke.
With critical importance placed on guestroom cleanliness and the impact this can have on a property’s GEI scores, all hotel segments, from economy to luxury brands, would benefit from this offering, according to the company. “To draw distinctions in the U.S., you might prioritize the 7% of the rooms in every hotel that must be accessible, followed by pet-friendly rooms,” said Clarke. “One area where we’re currently seeing a lot of interest is from hotels in the Sun Belt [region]that cater to college students on spring break.”
The company’s experience in healthcare and environmental hygiene led to the launch of the PerfectCLEAN PCiPAD for the hotel industry. Several years ago, UMF Corporation developed the first PerfectCLEAN-branded, ONEperRoom color-coded system for processing patient environments to reduce, if not eliminate, the risk of cross contamination in a wide range of healthcare facilities.
“Over time and because of this experience, we were asked to develop a similar system for a hotel due to the growing concerns about hotel room cleanliness and such organisms as MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and Norovirus,” said Clarke. “There had been a number of hidden-camera exposés on primetime TV where room attendants were found to be cleaning toilets and coffee pots with the same rag. After these TV episodes, we were contacted and asked to help develop solutions to these problems.”
UMF Corporation developed the mattress protector to meet extensive criteria. “Chief among these: The guest could not know the pad was on the bed, and it would have no impact on the sleep experience,” said Clarke. “It would provide complete protection from all types of spills and accidents, [and be]durable, lightweight and easy for the room attendant to remove and replace. We accepted the challenge and, many months later, after numerous prototypes and extensive testing, the PCiPAD was ready for market.” HB