1. 0 Executive Summary Dubai is growing into one of the world’s most well known travel destinations. With this comes the insurmountable competition between rival resorts and hotels in the pursuit of excellence and customer satisfaction. It is this pursuit of excellence and customer satisfaction that brings an establishment’s operational management to the forefront of an executives mind.
This report has been compiled to analyse Wendy and David’s experience at The Creek Hotel in Dubai in order to identify possible issues relating to the management of operations, and present possible solutions to the issues identified by using the appropriate theoretical framework. The report will then conclude by summarising the recommendations made throughout the paper and introduce the steps of implementation. ? 2. 0 Operational Design Choices The way in which goods and services, and the ‘processes’ that create and support them, are designed and managed can make the difference between a delightful or unhappy customer experience” (Collier & Evans, 2008). These processes are governed by two main theories which directly relate to the underlying issues of The Creek Hotel – its customer benefits package and value chain. 2. 1 Customer Benefit Package A customer benefit package (CBP) is a “clear and defined group of tangible and intangible features that the customer recognises, pays for, uses or experiences” (Collier & Evans, 2008).
The package is centred around a primary good or service which is then encompassed with numerous peripheral goods or services which serve only to enhance the primary good or service. Essentially the CBP establishes the key aspects of the good or service which provides employees and customer’s the knowledge of what to expect when dealing with it therefore acting as somewhat of a safeguard against customer dissatisfaction. As diagram 1 above shows, the CBP must be equal to or above the customer’s needs and satisfactions in order to be successful.
Knowing exactly what your primary good or service is to begin with is the key to developing successful business practices. Fundamentally a tangible good is something which you can touch and see and intangible good is something you cannot. Although trivial it may seem, the decision of making your primary offering tangible or intangible is the single most important step when starting a business. A senior executive of the Hilton Corporation stated, “We sell time, you can’t put a hotel room on the shelf” (Collier, Service Management: Operating Decisions, 1987).
From looking at Wendy and David’s experience of The Creek Hotel it becomes apparent that its primary offering is its hotel room as that is the only aspect of their stay that Wendy and David were 100% satisfied with. The service features of the CBP were only peripheral and still substandard at best. It can be concluded that by making service (time) the primary offering of the CBP changes can be made within the areas of processes, technology and service delivery systems. . 2 Value Chain ‘In today’s ever-changing economy, both big and small enterprises are continuously faced with the constant struggle to manage and adapt their business value chains’ (Blanchard, 2008). The value chain ‘describes the network of facilities and processes which are required to bring a product or service from the beginning of production until delivery to the customer and ultimately final disposal after use’ (Kaplinsky & Morris, 2000).
An effective business value chain essentially depends on good over-arching operational systems and management which can constantly communicate with both suppliers, customers and employees (Kess, Law, Kanchana, & Phusavat, 2009). Without a clear and functional value chain, any business can become unorganised and dysfunctional as highlighted in the case study. Situations such as the hotel manager being unaware of the arrival time of Wendy and David and the miscommunication between housekeeping and management in regards to the waiting time of their room are clear examples of dysfunctional or unclear value chain.? 3. Processes A process according to Collier & Evans is a ‘sequence of activities that is intended to create a certain result. ‘Typically that result is derived from means of work and therefore creates value to the product or service’ (AT & T Corporate Quality Office, 1992). To gain maximum benefits a process must be carefully designed and constantly reassessed. 3. 1 Issue Through examination of the case study it is evident that The Creek Hotel have little to no work processes. The issues started with the shuttle bus. Although Wendy and David were appreciative of the airport pickup service it was uncomfortable and hot.
Linking back to the previously discussed value chain, if The Creek Hotel’s management had always kept in direct contact with the shuttle company, another temporary bus could have been arranged. This situation reinforces the importance of the value chain and how it affects processes, in particular their value. Other issues such as the lengthy check in time, miscommunication between cleaners and management and the lengthy check-out time created a snowball effect of problems, where if in fact processes were set in place from the beginning the problems would have never occurred. 3. 2 Solution
Although each different problem has its own unique method of solution, to fix the work processes within The Creek Hotel a process map needs to be created. A process map clearly documents what the business is actually required to do and who is responsible for the task in a logical and distinct path of steps. Each step can be evaluated in terms of time, value and effectiveness. Many process maps are laid out in the form of flow charts. Such processes which could be modified include making the check-in and check-out documents available online in order to reduce the time it takes to enter and leave the hotel. 4. 0 Quality Quality management “refers to systematic policies, methods, and procedures used to ensure that goods and services are produced with appropriate levels of quality to meet the needs of customers” (Collier & Evans, OM, 2008). Quality principles are becoming more and more prevalent in business today as customer expectations rise. 4. 1 Issues There are a number of clear quality issues which can be found within The Creek Hotel. The most prevalent and detrimental to its success is the quality of its service.
Firstly, the reception recorded the wrong information of Wendy and David’s arrival, cleaners made them wait for ten minutes in the hotel corridor for their room and staff were not able to answer basic tourist questions nor recommend a suitable place to eat from a range of restaurants which were located nearby. From this it can be assumed that the staff of The Creek Hotel have little to no knowledge about their surroundings and have yet to be effectively trained. This can be attributed to poor quality control systems.
Drawing evidence from David’s conversation with the hotel manager, head office have absolutely no form of quality control. 4. 2 Solution Poor staff knowledge can be solved in one of two ways, either current staff are fired and more suitable candidates are found or the current staff are retrained and regular performance tests are taken. As defined by Collier and Evans (2008), service quality is ‘consistently meeting or exceeding customer expectations’. In order to achieve a high and consistent service quality, performance measurements need to be implemented such as the one which can be seen in figure 3.
Regular check ups ensure staff perform to customers expectations.? 5. 0 Technology Technology, in particular the internet is forever improving the speed and efficiency of the value chain. More specifically e-service technology can be utilised to improve many different operations within The Creek Hotel. E-service refers to ‘utilising the internet in ways such as to provide services which can create and deliver information, time and exchange value to customers as well as supporting the sale of goods’ (Collier & Evans, OM, 2008). 5. 1 Issue
The first and foremost issue which also became the catalyst for a number of other major problems at The Creek Hotel lays with their IT service. If the information of Wendy and David’s check-in had been stored correctly in The Creek Hotel’s information database there would not have been any confusion as to the time they arrived at the hotel. It raises questions the competency of the staff with technology as it is completely inefficient for the hotel reception to record check-in information manually. Another issue which appeared during Wendy and David’s stay was the length of time needed to heck-in and out of the hotel. The cause of this stems back to the hotel’s website. If The Creek Hotel had made better use of their e-service technology, Wendy and David could have paid and filled out the relevant forms online at home before they travelled hence saving them all the time they lost in the hotel lobby. 5. 2 Solution The Creek Hotel needs a complete overhaul of its IT system and the processes it conforms to. An Integrated Operating System (IOS) can not only structure the check in and check out process it can also address key decisions that need to be made to serve the customer in the best possible way.
Such as system would provide a simpler process for reception staff to follow and would limit the amount of human error in the booking system. ? 6. 0 Conclusion In conclusion a number of issues relating to the technological, quality and work processes have been highlighted, with a number of solutions provided for each. Such recommendations are: 1. The implementation of process maps 2. Performance measurement test 3. The investment of an Integrated Operating System 7. 0 References AT & T Corporate Quality Office. (1992). AT & T’s Total Quality Approach. Blanchard, B. (2008).
System Engineering and Management. Singapore: Wiley-Interscience. Collier, D. A. (1987). Service Management: Operating Decisions. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Collier, D. A. , & Evans, J. R. (2008). OM. Mason: South Western. Kaplinsky, R. , & Morris, M. (2000). A Handbook for Value Chain Research. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education: http://www. catie. ac. cr/econegociosagricolas/bancomedios/documentos%20pdf/rde_cv_%20kaplinsky. pdf Kess, P. , Law, K. , Kanchana, R. , & Phusavat, K. (2009). Critical factors for an effective business value chain. Industrial