As Belle Haven’s Assistant General Manager running daily club operations, Michael Keith is continuously looking for better ways to get everything done. Every day, Keith’s managers are fielding visitors to the golf course, running food and beverage service, maintaining the grounds, and keeping their fitness center operating at full steam.
Finding smarter ways to run Belle Haven’s daily operations is Keith’s greatest challenge. One of his priorities is maintaining seamless employee communication to deliver high-quality service every day. Management initially set up a two-way radio system and issued walkie-talkie handsets to staff. However, radio handsets proved too fragile for long-term use, and investing in better quality radios would have been cost-prohibitive. Additionally, the system exhibited problems typical to traditional radio systems, such as missed messages due to limited range.
Out of necessity, managers and staff turned to the other communication tool they had available: their personal smartphones. However, commonly used smartphone apps like texting and calling didn’t work for Belle Haven staff either. A groundskeeper making repairs could make multiple phone calls to locate specialty tools and fail to hear back quickly. Group texting was time-consuming for managers and teams. Sometimes managers needed to reach a staff member and discover too late that they didn’t have that individual’s phone number.
Keith recognized that old methods were failing the team and sought a better solution to operational difficulties. Working with the General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer, Keith researched technology options and chose the Orion voice platform.
Belle Haven Country Club replaced their radio system and cumbersome phone processes by provisioning managers and key staff with Orion Pro service. Employees connect through Orion’s unified platform using a mix of devices: Onyx smart walkie-talkies, Orion-managed Kyocera DuraForce PRO rugged devices, or personal smartphones running the Orion Push to Talk app.
Because Orion works over local LTE networks and the club’s Wi-Fi, staff stay in touch anywhere on the entire 150-acre property, an area much greater than was possible previously with radios. Orion also eliminates time-consuming calling and texting — now, everyone is available via group push-to-talk as well as direct, one- to-one communication.
Belle Haven’s Orion talk groups are active throughout the day. Every morning, managers and staff log on to their Orion device when they arrive at the club. Employees instantly join their Orion group and monitor for messages or report that they’re ready for work. Clubhouse staff provide better service to diners and event guests by alerting their group that “guests need hot coffee at the front” or “food is ready to serve.” In one instance, while Keith was away from the club grounds, someone accidentally triggered a fire alarm. Using Orion, Keith rapidly advised managers to resolve the issue without making numerous phone calls and waiting to hear back.
To take advantage of advanced, artificial intelligence-enabled voice services, the club activated two Orion AI Workflows to streamline communications further. First, management uses Orion’s All Call workflow to reach every worker with a single voice message, no matter what groups staff are actively using. The All Call workflow makes it easy to distribute safety advisories and essential morning announcements.
Second, the club activated Orion’s real-time Language Translation workflow to ease communication with staff who speak Spanish fluently but are varyingly proficient in English. Keith uses Language Translation frequently when addressing Spanish speakers among Belle Haven’s staff during morning meetings, ensuring clear communication and helping team members feel confident that each of them knows exactly what managers expect that day.
With Orion AI Workflows, Belle Haven is providing better guest service than ever.
Founded in 1924, Belle Haven Country Club is a private club located along the banks of the Potomac River, just outside of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The club has a sprawling property with an 18-hole golf course, tennis complex, fitness center, ballroom, and clubhouse and a 200-person team serving thousands of active members.