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Critically evaluate the function and services provided by the Rooms Division, facilities, and security departments in a range of hospitality businesses.
Determine the key operational issues affecting the performance of the front office and housekeeping areas of any hospitality business.
Critically examine the role of revenue, yield and cost management strategies within hospitality operations.
The given case study of the two hotels, namely The Ambassador Hotel and the Berkley hotel, throws some light over the managerial and hospitality management approach to the establishment of this scale of operation. As per Aragon-Correa et al, to begin with, it is crucial to mention that the two hotels have almost similar and comparable managerial infrastructure that aims at achieving smooth running of the hospitality business on a day-to-day basis. Since housekeeping and other allied services are a hospitality enterprise like a hotel etc. is absolutely indispensable; this case has taken up one of the core competencies of the domain (Aragon-Correa et al., 2015).
There are various aspects and factors that go into the smooth running of an entire hospitality business. It must be understood that the final quality of the services being provided by the enterprise is the sum total of the effort being put forward by the staff members of multiple departments like the front office, back office, housekeeping, and room maintenance staff, facilities and amenities and the security personnel involved. As per Al Kaabi et al., a balance must be struck when hiring and deploying the staff in the various departments (Al Kaabi et al., 2015). It must be cost and value driven and necessary changes must be made every now and then on the cost vs effectiveness front so as to minimize wastefulness and enhance the quality of service delivered to the customers.
As per the given case, The Ambassador houses 250 rooms and has a housekeeping staff that is available on a full-time basis. According to DiPietro, Cao & Partlow, the housekeeping staff is headed by the head housekeeper who has been working in the same department in the hotel for the last 10 years. Needless to say, but it can be articulated that the core competency of the head housekeeper lies with the housekeeping skills that are needed in that particular job (DiPietro, Cao & Partlow, 2013).
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The lack of vocational qualifications in this regard, even though, is admissible due to the long years of experience that the individual has gained over the course of his employment in the same job profile but the presence of the same may have proved to be beneficial when assuming a managerial position with the hotel.
There must always be a leaning towards constant learning when on a job. It becomes even more vital when heading an as important as the housekeeping department at a hotel and hospitality enterprise. As per DiPietro, Cao & Partlow, the individual heading the housekeeping department of the Berkley Hotel is rather young to be holding such important position in the organization (DiPietro, Cao & Partlow, 2013). The head housekeeper at the Berkley hotel has a vocational qualification in this line of work, which comes in handy to manage her day to day operations at the work that involves a multitude of personnel working under her supervision and people in other related departments as well.
The management style between the two head housekeepers is significantly different from each other. The head housekeeper of The Ambassador has a well-defined, inflexible style of management. As per Cetin & Dincer, even though the staff keeping is more about what the management decides and less about the person who heads and manages them, but it is worth noting that the overall style of management of the staff influences the overall productivity of the entire department in the long run (Cetin & Dincer, 2014).
As mentioned in the case, the housekeeping department in the four-star The Ambassador hotel has a full-time employment provision; it can be recommended that the policy-making and the hiring authorities should be paying attention to this particular detail. The head housekeeper of
As per Cetin & Dincer, the Ambassador has the inherent quality and inclination towards employee welfare and engaging himself with the day-to-day upkeep of the staff as well as lending a helping hand towards issues like conflict management and dealing with the problems faced by the staff whereas the head housekeeper at the Berkley is more output-oriented (Cetin & Dincer, 2014). The performance of the job and getting things done in the day end takes precedence over all the other aspects. She ensures that the staff remains busy and keeps learning newer skills on a day to day basis in other vital departments of the hotel. The amount of flexibility given to the housekeeping staff at the Berkley hotel is certainly more that of the Ambassador hotel, as the entire staff is not on a full-time employee workforce. The human resource allocation, in this case, is certainly more efficient than that in the Ambassador
According to Huang et al. it is evident that the management style being applied at the Berkley hotel is more efficient than that of the ambassador when it comes to the optimal usage of the housekeeping personnel. So much that the entire ground level processes involving personnel like chamber staff, linen room supervisor etc. is virtually un-managed and not mismanaged (Huang et al., 2014).
The efficiency is reflected in the fact that the inspection that is undertaken on a surprise sample basis, have so far ensured that the quality is never compromised even when the housekeeping staff is not full-time staff.
For the internal conference, where the head housekeeper of the Berkley hotel has been asked to deliver a talk on “housekeeping good practices at the Berkley”, the following points can be used and should be taken up so as to give a holistic and useful insight to the housekeeping personnel at the Ambassador :
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There are various principles followed by the housekeeping staff. They are cleaning and hygiene principles, safety and security principles, comfort and privacy principles, and finally, the decor.
It can be observed that the first four days of the next week i.e. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the occupancy at the hotel hovers around the average of 90 percent. This is the time when the productivity of the staff is to be maximized. Since cleaning task can be exhausting for the same set of staff around the clock, it is suggested that the work gets divided in batches and slots. Meaning, if there are 20 members in the housekeeping staff, some people should be allocated cleaning task only. On alternate days, while the remaining staff manages the other vital operations of housekeeping on those days (Gu, 2014).
For the alternate days, they can switch role. This way on the first four days, the productivity will be maximized as the fatigue and the monotony of having to perform the same job every day doesn’t set in. there is a substantial dip in the occupancy level on Friday (Park & Kim, 2014). This can be employed as an opportunity for a part of the staff to volunteer for working in other departments of the hotel and hence, gain some vital on-the-job experience.
As per Sloan, Legrand & Chen, this would ensure that the employee turnover is never lagging and also they utilize their time to learn new skills. This can be repeated every week for different set of staff members of the housekeeping (Sloan, Legrand & Chen, 2013).
On Saturday and Sunday, the occupancy level is moderate, the duties can be split up on an ad hoc basis. With more number of personnel performing the cleaning and other labor-intensive activities, the rest can lend them a hand so that the job gets done quickly and more efficiently as well.
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As per Van & Goonetilleke, in simple terms, yield management can be construed as a pricing strategy in a number of industries like hospitality and allied services, airlines etc. that involves the variable pricing of the services being offered that are subject to various factors like availability, consumer behavior and time constraints on the services (Van & Goonetilleke, 2015). It ensures generating maximum profits from such limited resources and thus pushing the profit margins.
Revenue management, on the other hand, involves the use of disciplined analytics to predict consumer behavior at the very ground level that delivers and converts to revenue at the macro level (Sloan, Legrand & Chen, 2013).
Businesses and enterprises dealing with hospitality service face vital decisions on a regular basis as to what to sell, when to sell, to whom to sell, and how to sell. According to (Lashley & Morrison, revenue Management uses data-driven tactics and strategy to answer these questions in order to bump up the revenue and hence further adding to the point (Lashley & Morrison, 2013). The discipline of revenue management combines data mining and operations research with strategy, understanding of customer behavior, and partnering with the sales force. Today, the revenue management practitioner must be analytical and detail oriented, yet capable of thinking strategically and managing the relationship with the sale (Law, Leung & Au, 2013).
As per Law, Leung & Au, in the given case of the ambassador and the Berkley, it is given that the demand for the services remains erratic round the year to some extent. This is true especially in the case of ambassador where it is almost at the verge of being an issue (Law, Leung & Au, 2013). In the case of the Ambassador, the yield management approach would suit more as it would minimize the cost for up keeping full-time staff. But in the long run, a revenue management system for both the ambassador and the Berkley should be implemented; as it is a more fine-tuned and targeted approach that ensures a good buffer to cash on the profitability year round.
In conclusion to this report for the case study involving the qualitative and quantitative comparison of the hospitality services being provided by two very competitive and comparable business enterprise. Thus, both of them have their sets of advantages as well as disadvantages.
The Ambassador has a fixed management hierarchy in the department that ensures more reliability of services in case of spike in demand. On the other hand, it suffers from what one may call and characterize as management fatigue. Due to lack of exposure of the personnel to other relevant departments operational under the same roof and within the same organizations, the relevance, and productivity, as well as the flexibility of the housekeeping staff, have certainly tanked over time. This can be revived and rejuvenated by a proper policy for hiring and a competitive plan for resource and personnel allocation to perform various services under different conditions.
The Berkley hotel has its own set of merit and demerits as well. The hotel has been toeing a very difficult terrain in case of staff keeping and retaining. It has been mentioned that the housekeeping staff at the Berkley are not hired on a full-time basis. This even though has a positive effect on the revenue front, as it implies a lower cost to the employer. But it certainly looks more lassie fair. In case of any exigencies where there could be a sudden spike in the occupancy, the housekeeping staff wouldn’t be ready or available to perform the additional duties.
Such scenarios in both the case can be avoided by the judicious allocation of both human and non-human resources to perform the tasks. An optimized, well-balanced approach should be made to ensure that there is a perfect balance to the number of staff who could be available round the clock and those who would be available on a demand basis. That having been said, it is also worthwhile to mention that the housekeeping plays a pivotal role in the smooth functioning of the hospitality establishment, hence attempt must be made by the organization, the management as well as the supervisors to keep the ground duty staff by enabling them to enhance their skill.
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Aragon-Correa, J.A., Martin-Tapia, I. and de la Torre-Ruiz, J., 2015. Sustainability issues and hospitality and tourism firms’ strategies: Analytical review and future directions. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.498-522.
Al Kaabi, A., Al Mazrouei, A., Al Hamadi, S., Al Yousuf, M. and Taylor, E., 2015. Knowing the status: Gathering baseline data on food safety management across the Abu Dhabi hospitality industry. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 7(1), pp.17-32.
Brotherton, B., 2013. Hospitality and hospitality. In Search of Hospitality.
Cetin, G. and Dincer, F.I., 2014. Influence of customer experience on loyalty and word-of-mouth in hospitality operations. Anatolia, 25(2), pp.181-194.
Feinstein, A.H., and Parks, S.J., 2014. Simulation research in the hospitality industry. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 29.
Huang, Z., Zhao, C., Miao, L. and Fu, X., 2014. Triggers and inhibitors of illegitimate customer complaining behavior: Anecdotes from frontline employees in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(4), pp.544-571.
Law, R., Leung, D., and Au, N., 2013. Progress and development of information technology in the hospitality industry evidence from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(1), pp.10-24.
Lashley, C. and Morrison, A., 2013. In search of hospitality. Routledge.
Li, L. and Li, J., 2013. Hospitality education in China: A student career-oriented perspective. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 12(1), pp.109-117.
Gu, Z., 2014. Management Science Applications in Tourism and Hospitality. Routledge.
Park, J. and Kim, H.J., 2014. Environmental proactivity of hotel operations: Antecedents and the moderating effect of ownership type. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 37, pp.1-10.
Sloan, P., Legrand, W. and Chen, J.S., 2013. Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry 2nd Ed: Principles of Sustainable Operations. Routledge.
Van der Wagen, L., and Goonetilleke, A., 2015. Hospitality Management, Strategy, and Operations. Pearson Higher Education AU.
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