La Badira: Total Quality Management

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Introduction

The hospitality industry ranks customer loyalty, service quality, and offer differentiation as crucial success factors. La Badira is a 5-star hotel in the resort town of Hammamet, Tunisia. Despite the high-quality service and the attributes of a place for relaxation and recreation, the company is partially focused on business clients. Such hotels’ primary needs are a reliable team, timely response to external changes, and qualified office staff to analyze customer loyalty. A general manager (GM) is responsible for guiding these processes and delegating authority to meet guests’ growing needs. Thus, La Badira has significant success in the region and its class but needs further optimization of services due to the increasing value of technology in the industry.

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La Badira Hotel Profile

La Badira is a luxury hotel complex in Hammamet, Tunisia. It is located by the Mediterranean Sea, which makes focusing on the comfort of guests the business goal of the enterprise. The closest international airport is Enfidha – Hammamet, but it is not in demand among air carriers. Consequently, potential guests of La Badira use Monastir and Carthage airports. The complex location allows tourists not to spend a lot of time on trips to the historical, cultural, and natural attractions of Tunisia. The hotel is categorized as Adult Only, which means it only accepts clients over 16 years old. La Badira combines the charm of Arabian culture and minimalism with a focus on natural resources. It has 130 rooms of different types, a fitness center, a spa complex, a golf course, conference rooms, and a wine cellar (La Badira, n.d.). Guests can enjoy local and international cuisines at the on-site restaurants. Thus, La Badira is an upscale hotel complex that supports the concept of a relaxing and peaceful beach holiday with the first-class service.

The 8 TQM Principles

Customer Focus

The service industry defines the adaptation of a product or service to meet the target audience’s needs. La Badira is a luxury beachfront hotel with a customer focus on stylish design, recreational facilities, and relaxation by the sea. This TQM concept means creating an ecosystem approach to operating in which the service provider delivers high-quality service at all levels of customer interaction. Moreover, the quality of a product is assessed not only by the impression it receives but also by the consistency of the production process. For example, if the massage therapist were impolite during the procedure, then even the buyer’s pleasant physical sensations would be overshadowed by the quality of interpersonal contact. The process of creating value correlates with the constant growth of the needs and expectations of the audience. It has been noted that success in the hospitality industry depends on analyzing the target customer and optimizing the services so that consumers want to come back (Sharabi et al., 2015). Thus, hotel management that delivers a luxury product in line with the psychographic audience is the most likely to be prosperous.

The current La Badira customer focus is satisfactory as the hotel is introducing service diversification. As previously stated, buyers receive stylish rooms and interiors, sports facilities, conference rooms, and recreational areas. All this is necessary for people who come to the resort town for a vacation or a change of prospect. Such an audience has a taste, understands the concept of luxury, and values ​​convenience with high-quality service. One of the leading customer focus elements is the 16+ age category, as it makes it impossible to stay in the hotel with children. Consequently, La Badira successfully implements this TQM strategy and does not need to be optimized in the short term.

Leadership Driven

The hospitality industry is especially sensitive to HR activities, as skilled and motivated employees can provide a more reliable service. Enterprise management should create a vertical hierarchical model in which employees can delegate authority and transfer information in both directions of the axis. The hotel was opened in 2015 and faced the challenge of recruiting staff, namely their adaptation and the desire to provide quality service following the corporate philosophy. Mouna Ben Halima, the director of La Badira, decided to seek help from the Business Reform and Competitiveness Project (BRCP) in organizing HR processes. The US supplier provided updated strategies to adapt, educate, and embrace luxury hotels’ culture, leading to the recruitment of 43 qualified employees (U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, 2017). Thus, management drives the hotel to improve service quality by optimizing internal corporate well-being.

The role of management in the enterprise is not only to delegate authority and tasks but also to promote a healthy atmosphere within the team. It has been noted that emotional intelligence, customer service, relationships with employees, and politeness in communication are some of the main criteria for successful leaders (José Sousa et al., 2019). Based on its recruiting and staffing strategy, La Badira’s management is aware of the values ​​of corporate well-being and its impact on business performance. Thus, the hotel administration is the strength of the enterprise, which ensures a timely response to changes in the labor market or the audience’s preferences.

Involvement of People

Employees are the main asset of the company, regardless of the area of ​​operation. The service industry requires a timely response, knowledge of standards, and compliance with corporate regulations to provide high-quality services. It has been noted that people’s involvement occurs when fear of professional responsibilities is a thing of the past (Del Carmen et al., 2015). Consequently, the hotel business’s progress lies in the successful integration of employees into the corporate philosophy and ensuring their professional support.

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La Badira does not disclose enough information about the HR process or working conditions, which significantly hinders fundamental research. However, the analysis of the leadership-driven concept showed that the enterprise responsibly initiates its employees’ adaptation. In particular, cooperation with a foreign supplier HR solution helped La Badira develop a methodology for introducing people into an internal team working on a common cause. It is no secret that holding joint events outside of working hours could be the most reliable way to improve interpersonal contact in the team, develop corporate values, and integrate culture into a daily routine. Consequently, the general manager could initiate regular informal meetings to achieve the optimal involvement of people for La Badira.

Process Approach

Every business has a specific supply chain for their product or service. For example, the sale of a car results from a complex arrangement of parts, solutions, electronics, and design services to assemble the final product. A similar system is the backbone of the hotel business, in which the company sells customers positive emotions from the use of services, safe living, and additional benefits based on the company’s concept. La Badira is a luxury beachfront hotel for adults, which means an innovation-driven business traveler looking for comfort and style. The process approach means optimizing actions that ultimately lead to the creation of the desired product or service. Consequently, this concept has been adopted at La Badira as a set of efforts to create comfortable and luxurious environments for successful adults.

The GM is responsible for the enterprise’s innovative development and has the authority to introduce new decision-making tactics. In particular, the paradigm of process execution can be changed based on dynamic purchasing interests. Business travelers accustomed to luxury and high-quality service also value innovation and technological progress in their holidays. It has been noted that design thinking (DT) is one of the promising directions in smart tourism, which increases the level of guest engagement in corporate philosophy (Wan et al., 2020). La Badira combines minimalism, Arabic design, and functionality and, accordingly, should move towards smart tourism. Thus, GM must optimize innovation development to adapt services to improved manufacturability in both comfort and service.

System Approach to Management

Luxury hotel management consists of staff engagement, physical space optimization, and work to improve customer loyalty. These factors are elements of quality improvement, which is the primary long-term goal of the hospitality industry. La Badira has adopted a strategic development course that is characterized by responsibility for the quality of each institutional department of the company. The previously described approach to recruiting and involving staff demonstrates a systematic method of fostering team motivation and professionalism. In turn, it characterizes efforts to achieve optimal quality of services and their gradual improvement within the framework of a strategic approach to management.

The systematic course of development goes hand in hand with the increasing role of digital networks in hotel operations. La Badira is represented by The Leading Hotels of the World, which is dedicated to web-based quality improvement and corporate culture integration. It has been noted that online communication and marketing has a significant impact on audience loyalty due to convenience, constant access, and the ability to process orders and reviews (Semerádová & Vávrová, 2016). This approach is essential for the innovative development of La Badira to integrate a systems approach to management through the introduction of adapted information technologies. Thus, the movement towards improving the hotel’s technological equipment is a priority for GM in terms of managerial progress.

Continual Improvement

La Badira has significant advantages, but it is still in a competitive environment. Beach and nature tourism are among the key sectors of Tunisia’s economy. Consequently, more and more hotels in various classes are offering customers an improved vacation experience. In particular, enterprises promote a strategy of continual improvement, which is characterized by multifactorial exploration of current problem areas and further transformations. It was noted that collecting quantitative data on various aspects of service quality helps identify problem areas of activity and take timely measures to eliminate them (Caccamo et al., 2018). Similar to this example, La Badira can analyze food products, room comfort, quality of sports equipment, availability of water activities, and many more areas of potential improvement. Thus, GM’s critical task in continual improvement is the collection of primary data to implement point and necessary transformations.

Factual Approach to Decision Making

Managing an enterprise in the hospitality industry requires transforming decision-making strategies following the dynamics of customer preferences. The initiation of action based on factual empirical information correlates with the quantitative data collection from a continual improvement concept. Consequently, decision making is based on data obtained about the success or lack of demand for certain services. La Badira is renowned for its comfort for business travelers due to the quality of its conference rooms and meeting facilities. As a result, the hotel won the “Best Business Hotel in Africa” ​​nomination by journalists and mass media (Prix Villegiature Awards, 2018). It is the actual confirmation of the target orientation of the company to customers who, even on vacation, are engaged in business.

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Moving towards more digital technology in La Badira’s operations will increase the comfort and engagement of a wider audience. Online marketing is essential for promoting a brand to its target audience, and it is based on factual data about customers and their preferences. It can be concluded that the primary vector of hotel development in terms of the transformation of decision-making paths is further progress in the business segment and the growth of digital services.

Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationship

Communication in internal systems plays a crucial role in a timely response to external factors. The mutually beneficial relationship model creates a beneficial ecosystem in which management, employees, and customers have established relationships with the ability to assess quality. The connection between them is essential to identify and suppress communication difficulties, namely, a decrease in guest loyalty. It has been noted that employee behavior and potential deviations directly affect customer engagement in ordering and returning to a given supplier (Kim & Byon, 2018). This argument shows that La Badira should regulate the audience’s sensitivity by promoting the corporate culture in its internal structures.

The mutually beneficial model allows one to understand the mission of the enterprise and the vision of employees aimed at improving communication with the guest. La Badira is positioned as a high-quality service hotel with a high rate of service diversification. Consequently, the company’s challenge is to simultaneously achieve optimal customer-employee interpersonal contact through standardization and regular monitoring. In turn, GM is responsible for streamlining this process and integrating it into the day-to-day audit model. For example, an analysis of the reviews and public perception of La Badira is necessary to identify systematic errors resulting from communication difficulties. Therefore, La Badira must continue to focus on improving quality and achieving the tripartite mutually beneficial model by monitoring interpersonal contact quality.

Conclusion

La Badira is a luxury hotel in the resort town of Hammamet, Tunisia. It provides guests with a minimalist interior with Arabian charm, swimming pools, business services, sports activities, and beach relaxation. The hotel had problem recruiting and turned to a US-based HR solutions provider. Consequently, the team-building process is smooth and high-quality, which directly affects customer loyalty and satisfaction. The company’s management must adopt a clear vertical hierarchical structure to establish internal communication and respond promptly to crises. A unique feature of La Badira is its focus on business clients who are busy solving professional problems even on vacation. The hotel has received a prestigious award in this segment and should develop as a high-tech provider of diversified services. Thus, La Badira has a solid foundation from a material base and a reliable team but needs to integrate information solutions further and improve the quality of services.

Reference List

Del Carmen , A.V.M.A., Alcudia, C.M.M. & Alcudia, M.C.M. (2015) ‘Employee involvement in hotel total quality management’, Journal of Intercultural Management, 7(4), pp. 55–67.

Prix Villegiature Awards (2018). Web.

La Badira – Hammamet, Tunisia (n.d.) Web.

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Caccamo, A. et al. (2018) ‘Measuring and improving food safety culture in a five-star hotel: a case study’, Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 10(5), pp. 345–357.

José Sousa, M. et al. (2019) ‘4.0 leadership skills in hospitality sector’, Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, 8, pp. 105–117.

Kim, K.A. & Byon, K.K. (2018) ‘A mechanism of mutually beneficial relationships between employees and consumers: A dyadic analysis of employee–consumer interaction’, Sport Management Review, 21(5), pp. 582–595.

Semerádová, T. & Vávrová, J.N. (2016) ‘Using a systemic approach to assess Internet marketing communication within hospitality industry’, Tourism Management Perspectives, 20, pp. 276–289.

Sharabi, M. (2015) Customer Focus. In S. M. Dahlgaard-Park, ed. Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy. Sage, pp. 114–118.

U.S. Embassy in Tunisia (2017) BRCP helping La Badira Hotel training and hiring 43 new employees. U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. Web.

Wan, B. et al. (2020) ‘Using design thinking as an educational tool for conceptualizing future smart hotel guest experiences’, e-Review of Tourism Research, 17(3), pp. 349–367.

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