Operations management is a field in business that focuses on the goods and services production and is concerned with the responsibility of making sure that the operations in the business are carried out more efficiently in regard to utilizing the available resources as effectively as possible in order to meet the needs of the customers. Operations management is basically concerned with the management of the process that makes the conversion of such inputs as raw materials, energy as well as labor into outputs which are in the form of goods and services (McNamara. 1). This paper is going to look at the hotel operations management in general and then narrow down by considering the case of operations management in Hotel Grand Palace on a broader level and then will consider a specific problem in regard to operations management facing this hotel and later recommend for possible solutions.
Hotel operations management
The business success of a hotel depends on several factors and among these factors; there are those that can only be identified by professionals in the field of hotel management. The revenues of a hotel, putting in to consideration the seasonal factors as well as the economic factors in general, are to a higher level determined by sufficient positioning, the degree of the services offered to the customers, and the competence of the staff among other factors.
The vibrant development of business in tourism and global partnership calls for the need in the bring about a high level system of hotel management with its features that are specific in nature.
Hotel operations management in its broader perspective gives an implication of an existing business control. The first function is food production. This involves control of supply and consumption, technology of the purchase of the products, planning of the menu cards, and occupational hygiene. The second function is food and beverage service which involves offering services to the customers, meeting with the visitors and purchasing of beverages as well as wines and fulfilling the orders. The third function is housekeeping and the last one is front office operations which involve visitor accommodation and reception and offering other services (Perrot, 3).
Just in the same manner as in any other business operation, organization of the existing work in the hotel operation moves hand in hand with the process of making decisions. In the first place, the activity of organizing hotel operations is on the basis of the technology in communication. The skill of listening and convincing, being able to offer solutions to conflicts within particular situations, ability to pursue moral standards of behavior, and to offer conducive environment among the people is the main concern of hospitality management as well as personnel management and this is part and parcel of hotel management (Jones and Lockwood, 175).
The need for the professionals to carry out management of the hotels brings about the emergence of the consultant companies whose field of specialization is to carry out the management of the hotel operations. In some circumstances where there is tough competition, among the hotel owners, there are those who turn out to be unable to carry out operation management of their hotels by themselves because hotel operations management is very much complex to be under one person’s manipulation. In such situations the hotel management companies take the responsibility of managing the hotels.
In order to manage the hotel so as the owner can benefit, the management company utilizes the hotel network advantages to offer the loading of the accommodation fund, comes up with new standards in the system for service quality control to select and train the potential staff, and to undertake the vital movement in marketing. In a situation like this one, a consulting company works together with the owner either on the ground of leasing of hotel objects or trust management. It can as well be on the basis of any other mechanism that is legal and acceptable.
However, these companies are not in abundance and there is often a shortage. There are not many that are available. While the hospitality industry goes on to expand at a very high rate, the demand for the professionals in the hotel management field keeps on going up. Following this result, the educational institutions for tourism as well as hospitality management turn out to be very much well-liked by particular groups of people who have plans to develop their profession in this business field.
The field of hotel operations management is a field of study that is multidisciplinary and its purpose is mainly to produce people with know-how, commitment, and management skills. In addition, the purpose of the hotel operations management discipline is to produce people with the knowledge and skills in marketing and able to carry out operations in the growing industry that offers services such as tourism and accommodation to people who are visitors as well as offering to them food. The institutions that offer training in this field have the curricula that give a comprehensive coverage of all the necessary areas in regard to hotel management.
The areas of study in hotel management include; hospitality operations, personnel development, hotel business project, hospitality management, tourism impacts, IT applications, and professional excursions.
It is important to note that hotel operations management as a distinct portion of economic science and practice is to be enhanced and be developed. This must be carried out since the hotel industry is developing. Every nation is a distinct economic space, requiring particular adjustments for its market and techniques of management (Anonymous: Features of hotel operations management, 6).
Hotel Grand Palace (Operations management)
This is one of the biggest hotels in Tokyo, Japan. The guests of this hotel are the international businessmen, the tourists coming from all over the world, the international airline crew members, the Japanese professional baseball player and the domestic guests (Anonymous: Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo, 1).
There has been attempts by this hotel to implement some kind of guest tracking in order to make the identification of the valuable clients so as they can be rewarded. The level to which such initiative by this hotel of guest tracking moves from its keeping notes that are hand written in files about the high-volume guests to large numbers of the allied hotels taking part in a formal recurrent program. Those guests who undergo registration for the frequent or recurrent guest program are given a special number that is used for identification together with and linked account of the customer (Gengarella and Pawloski, 3).
For the visitors who give out a frequent guest I.D number in their reservation, the hotel take the data concerning their stay (duration and amount of money paid), to the main system in order to carry out the crediting of the account of the customer with the points. These points that are credited on the account can be redeemed in order for one to be given air tickets or accommodation services or even one can be given the appropriate products and services in exchange for the points. The total points accumulated by a particular customer can be used to classify the customer in regard to the status. This classification enables the hotels to provide enhanced services as well as opportunities to the customers basing on the status (Anonymous, Guest rewards and customer relationship management (CRM), 1).
The Hotel Grand Palace, just like any other hotel encounter technical as well as operational obstacles to coordinating the guest profile data that is to be utilized in the hotel and also across the affiliated properties. The Hotel Grand Palace properties do not have standardization of the systems that are basic. The data concerning the guests that is accumulated are in most cases in varied formats and the formats might not be compatible. There is no mechanism that is always available to bring together this data or to cause it to be there any time for use.
Any hotel in the hotel industry has a desire to realize a high level of satisfaction among its guests. There is a proposal that, among the crucial elements in bringing about guest satisfaction, is offering the customers personalized service. In order to realize this, this calls for the need to keep the records about the personal information about the individual guests. Alongside the personal information, information in regard to such issues such as the preferences of the customers, the interests, the communication history of the guest and also the history of stay in the hotels that are related.
There is also need for the customers to be given access to their own individual profiles. This is quite helpful in terms of carrying out the review and modification of these profiles. There is also a great need by the authorized hotel staff to have access to the guest information in order to carry out a review and analysis and also to make the update of the guest information. More so, this information should also be made available to the related hotels, e.g. the chain hotels. It is quite essential for making it possible for the hotels to carry out communication in most consistent manner with their guests in a manner that follows a well organized pattern before the guest visits the hotel, during the guest’s stay in the hotel, and after the guest’ s visit.
More so, there is great need of an automated system that is availed the guests who have been profiled and going about reservation and the linked information about the guest that is profiled in order to come up with useful output and distribute it so as to bring about the realization of the meeting of the customer or guest preferences and offering services that are personalized. More so, it also much more desirable to offer access in an orderly manner from the individual hotels as well as corporate hotel groups to use data that is hotel-specific and the aggregate data on the guest profile. In order to carry out analysis as well as marketing efforts that will have to be done in more direct way. But then, no systems that carry out these functions are available, especially in the Hotel Grand Palace among many other big hotels.
There are those systems that store the data about the customers but then these available systems are confronted by so many problems. One of these problems is that the present technology and the approach put in place by the hotel does not succeed in coming up with an ability to recognize the guests in a reliable and extensive manner. Because there is no technology that can be used to automatically make the identification of the frequent guests, the hotel business organizations access from CRS (Central Reservation System) guest reservations that have a repeated guest number or if not this number then, it will be the airline mileage program number.
This approach confines the target audience for guest identification to program contributors who have effectively offered a precise identification number during reservation. Of much significance, because hotels access guest reservations at the central reservation system (CRS) and not from the PMS (Property Management System) at every one hotel, no ability exist of identifying the status of any particular reservation at any particular spot all through the planned stay of the guest apart from the arrival that is scheduled or at the time before the arrival. This approach has a limitation in that there is no adequate ability to recognize and offer service to a guest who is targeted all through the course of a several days stay.
The next problem associated with the present systems depended upon by this hotel is their failure to give allowance to a diversity of hotels in geographically isolated localities to jointly use the guest information. A hotel among the many hotels within a chain may have put down information in regard to the preference of the guest, his or her interest and history but then basing on the current systems, this data can not be accessible by the central reservations system as well as the affiliated property management system of the hotel.
More so, with the current systems, there is no ability of the hotel properties as well as hotel groups to bring together data concerning guests to offer a comprehensive guest outlook and to offer allowance of easy access to guest information in order for modification and manipulation to be carried out on the information. This lack of ability by the hotels as well as the corporate hotel corporations to bring together data on guests and the absence of the local access to the guest data bars the business organizations from offering services to specific guests with an up-to-date awareness about the guests. This awareness about the guest is in terms of having knowledge about the guest’s interests, preferences, spending patterns, and grievances among other personal information that might be relevant.
The next problem associated with the current systems lies in the quantity and kind of information that may be exchanged between the systems. The amount of the information and the kind of this information is limited. The CRS of a hotel group passes over reservations to particular PMS of the hotel. Since a single hotel chain may support various PMSs, the passing over of information between the PMSs and CRS is confined or limited to the fundamental reservation data.
Another problem is lack of a programmable fulfillment system that might be able to distribute the guest information in an automated manner on-property. In the current times, there is no possibility to carry out the programming of the PMS in order to make the identification of the arrival that will follow or an exact identification of a specific guest and basing on this identification come up the production and distribution of output of different operations teams relying on the features identified in the reservation of the guest and the linked profile of the guest and also relying on the standards of service set up by every specific hotel. And also, there is no ability in the present systems that enable the production and distribution of such output all through the whole lifecycle of the hotel experience of the guest. This experience is the whole process that follows the pattern: pre-arrival →at checking→ in the course of the stay→ at check-out→ post check-out.
More so, another problem that is the sixth one is having the guest profiles as well as the activity of making the profiles that have a scope that is limited. The business organizations in the hotel business come up with profiles that are limited of those customers that join the frequent guest program on a voluntary basis. The present description of the guest profile does not offer adequate opportunity to come up with a clear knowledge about the guests and their preferences, interest, value as well as the respective activity they engage in because this description has a scope that is limited and does not integrate with other systems that puts in record the information about guests. More, because the profiles are made just for the guests that join the frequent guest program which is on a voluntary basis, the hotels do not succeed in addressing the large portion of the guests they have and among these guests many of them might be very important contributors to the hotel under consideration or to the chain of hotels.
Recommendations and conclusion
The Hotel Grand Palace should adopt the present invention which is a system and technique for putting in place a web-architected guest relationship management system or the GRMS. This system enable the affiliated hotels to build up the guest profiles and be able to share them and also make the distribution of information in an automatic manner and be in a position to carry out the management of communications as well as marketing that are personalized between the customers or guests and the hotels.
The guest profiles are set up using the information given out by the guests as well as the information based on the hotel staff’s observation. The profiles are also built up basing on the information obtained from the hotel systems and added on as a consequence of guest activity. These profiles are stored at the central point and offer the hotels that are affiliated the access that is under control as vital to strengthen the recognition of on-property guests in the total properties under consideration. The invention makes it possible to put in to segments the profiles that are particular to each one of affiliated hotels and also enable access that is controlled to applications using the total profile data.
The central ability of the application of the invention is its capability to make the identification of the profiled guests as well as those guests that are targeted in all the affiliated hotels and all through the lifecycle of their experience of staying in the hotel and to carry out the distribution of information to the guest as well as the team of the hotel in charge of hotel service in an automatic manner so as to deliver a stay experience that is personalized. The lifecycle experience is: pre-arrival, check-in, in-house, check-out, post check-out. The identification of the guests is fulfilled by applying the GRMS through making the comparison of the guest information from the individual management system of the hotel to the central guest profile’s database. This technology (comparison technology), creates accurate matches and the prospective guest matches with the matching probability.
Since there is interfacing of the GRMS with the PMS of each hotel, there can be monitoring of the guest status by the GRMS. The changes in status like the scheduled arrival, a check-out status among other forms of status can still be monitored with the help of the GRMS. The capability to use PMS reservation data is incorporated in the guest identification. Also incorporated in guest identification is the guest profile that is corresponding as well as the rules of business described by the concerned hotel to come out and distribute it. The output is channeled towards the guest and the service teams to enhance personalized servicing each and every guest who is identified consistent with the profile and activity together with the contributions of the guest.
This guest profile accomplishment method and technology that is automatic brings about output that give a definition to the team or individual that is responsible, the appropriate measures to be undertaken and the consideration of the proper time to deliver services.
As on one hand the development of broad guest profiles is the main goal of the GRMS, on the other hand the application offers many ways by which the guest profiles that are stored can be made to be up-to-the-time, adjusted by the staff of the hotel, by the staff of the corporate hotels, by the bringing in of fresh data from the corporate system or hotel, by the customer or guest and the GRMS itself. More so, there is offering by the GRAMS of the ability to control the solicitation of those guests that are targeted. It also offers the ability to build up guest profiles by utilizing the data that is there from the corporate systems and also from local systems and staff with no actual guests’ participation.
Anonymous. “Guest rewards and customer relationship management (CRM).” Resort Data Processing Inc. 2010. Web.
Anonymous. “Features of hotel operations management.” SYL.com. 2006. Web.
Anonymous. “Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo.” Holiday City Hotels. 2010. Web.
Gengarella S. John and Pawloski R. Mark. “Guest relationship management system.” Feshpatents.com. 2009. Web.
Jones Peter and Lockwood Andrew. Hospitality Operations. Cengage Learning. 2003.
McNamara, Carter. “Operations Management.” Authenticity Consulting, LLC. 2010. Web.
Perrot, Simon. “Roles and functions of the hotel industry.” J.Lanore. 2010. Web.