A Case Study On Operations Management
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Introduction to Room Division
Room division management is an aspect of operations management that deals with the creation of a pleasant and enjoyable environment. Mainly applied in the hospitality industry, this concept aims at ensuring comfort to the guests (Gayar and et.al., 2011). An important role is played by the rooms division in the working process of a hotel. This is because it being the first point of contact that the staff of the hotel has with the guest. Significant contribution is made by this aspect towards the profit and revenue. The following report provides information on room division management of Four Seasons Hotel.
Being a Canadian based international luxury five star hotel management company, Four Seasons Hotel Inc. has top luxury hotels worldwide. Four Seasons Hotel at Canary Wharf is a modern luxury Hotel which is situated in the dynamic and historic city and collects all that is best about the past, present and future of London (Four Seasons, 2014). The hotel is a ten story structure that is designed for both business as well as pleasure. It offers 142 spacious and renovated guest rooms and suites. Apart from that, the hotel also has convertible bedroom suites.
There are several legislative and regulatory requirements that can be analyzed with relevance to room division operations of Four Seasons Hotel. For all the organizations in the hospitality industry including hotels are essentially required to follow the legal and statutory requirements which can be defined with respect to health and safety of guests, norms for cleanliness, quality standards (Gorman, 2007). Apart from that, there are other requirements which are to be fulfilled by Four Seasons hotel concerned with the governmental and legal laws of hospitality industry. Legislation and regulatory requirements that are relevant to room division operation of the concerned hotel are the following:
Health and Safety Law- Laws and considerations that relate to the health and safety have to be followed by the hotel. These are related to the pollution, quality of food, theft, emergency arrangements, fire extinguishers, first aid and other services that are to be maintained and followed as a part of their service (Hassanain, 2009).
Immigration records- As a part of the regulations, Four Seasons Hotel is mandatorily required to maintain the details and records of both domestic as well as international tourists. There has to be a record of all the information about the arrival and departure of the guest.
Reservation contract- As per this contract, Four Seasons Hotel is required to follow Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, Trades Description Act 1968 and Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (Kim, Ham and Moon, 2012). The hotel is legally bound to provide the guests with accommodation, food and drink if required as well as other services as per the reservation contract.
Hazardous substance- The concerned hotel has to ensure that it highlights and provides warning regarding all those substances and equipments that are in the hotel premises and can cause injury or harm to the guests.
Consumer law- The staff and the employees of the rooms division operation of the hotel are entailed to the provision of appropriate services to the consumers in the best possible manner (Armistead, Johnston and Voss, 2006). This is in lieu of the rights of the consumers to get all the products and services that are agreed by the hotel. The consumers have the right to get the services and the room arrangements in the desirable way that was agreed upon by the hotel.
Pricing and tariff details- Four Seasons hotel has to provide the guests with all the details of the pricing and tariffs related to the suites, rooms, foods and beverages. Displaying the prices of all the extra amenities and services that the concerned hotel offers to its customers is also a part of the regulatory requirements to be followed (Law and Hsu, 2005).
Roles and Responsibilities
Each and every member of the accommodation and reception staff has certain roles and responsibilities that are to be fulfilled by him. Being a full service luxury hotel, the staff of Four Seasons Hotel provides 24 hours service to the guests and tourists. Providing services for all day and night are the primary roles and responsibilities of the staff which includes services related to the food and beverages, entertainment, on-site full service restaurant and other amenities (Sirirak, Islam and Khang, 2011). The accommodation staff is responsible for the provision of housekeeping and engineering services. The accommodation staff has the duty of endowing the guests with clean, comfortable, attractive and welcoming surroundings. They are responsible to the maintenance of cleanliness in the organization. The receptions staff is in charge of making available the information related to the services of Four Seasons Hotel. As a part of their duty, they issue room keys, take messages, confirm airline passages and arrange the hire of hotel cars. The staff attends to the queries of the tourists related to the hotel and its recreation facilities (Key roles and functions in hospitality enterprises, 2011). Accommodation staff performs the function of providing utility services to the hotel for its smooth operation. These consist of electricity, hot water, steam, air conditioning and other services. They also repair and maintain furniture, equipment and fixtures in the hotel.
Depending upon the wide range of hospitality business, a variety of services are offered by rooms division operations management. A five star hotel is defined by luxurious setting with rooms having linens of highest quality. A two star hotel on the other hand offer steadfast quality and a few amenities. While outstanding customer services are offered by five star hotels, two star hotels offer limited services. There are a variety of services offered by the rooms division of Four Seasons Hotel that can be evaluated as follows. The rooms division of Four Seasons Hotel provides services related to front office, reservations, housekeeping, concierge, guest services, security and communications. Room division provides services at the time of arrival such as the luggage service, welcome drinks, and valet parking. As a luxury hotel, Four Seasons offers facility to the guests of keeping their valuables in safe deposits. Rooms division provides housekeeping services in the form of managing the guest rooms and cleanliness of all the public areas of the hotel (Xie and Peng, 2012). The information about the hotel services is provided by the concierge. Among other services are included provision of assistance to the guests in organizing and booking tours and transport.
The front office department of Four Seasons Hotel is the most visible department. Reception desk is the focal point of the activity of this department of rooms division. It offers services that aid in the communication related to them operations of the hotel. Cashiering, mailing and information, registration and room assignment are the services that are presented by the front office department to the guests. The staff receives cash payments and verifies checks. Charges and payments are posted to the guest accounts by them. They are responsible for handling guest folios. They satisfy the queries of the visitors related to the city, surrounding areas and other activities of the hotel (Burns, 2010). Accommodation staff offers services that are related to the maintenance of hygiene of the hotel rooms and suites. They provide luxury services that match the best international standards of quality. The accommodations department is responsible for endowing the guests with services related to the maintenance of equipments and furniture in the rooms. The problems that the guests experience within the suites are solved by the staff. Apart from the regular services that the accommodation staff has to provide, they also fulfill the other requirements of the guests. These are related to the ironing, shoo polishing and food and beverage services in the rooms. They deliver food items that have been ordered by the customers directly to their rooms. They design their service as per the business and leisure guests and provide them accordingly (Guilding, 2012). Designing the accommodation as per the tastes of the guests is also a part of their duty. The accommodations staff at the Four Seasons Hotel is determined to present the quests with their services for 24 hours.
Front of house is the physical area of Four Seasons Hotel where the customers are served. It consists of the front desk, lounge, lobby and the breakfast area. It is basically every area that is accessible to the guests. Front of house area is extremely important for effective management at Four Seasons Hotel (Hassanain, 2009). This is because it is the first point of contact for the guests when they arrive at the hotel. A professional and efficient front of house team is the key to effectively managing the actions that start form the first few moments of interaction of the guests with the team members of the hotel. having a brilliant knowledge of the surrounding area, the front of house team provides extreme assistance by being able to offer the best options to the guests whether it be in terms of places to be visited or food (Front-of-House: Local Knowledge, 2013). They are crucial to effective management of the hotel as they direct the visitors to the specific locations and offering them assistance by providing option of public transport. In this way, proper management of the front of house area helps in providing the customers satisfaction in terms of the design, ambience and interiors of the hotel. Effective cleaning and housekeeping practices in this area are significant factors that influence the decisions of the guests to stay in the hotel.
For effective management, property interiors and design play a significant role. This is because they help in providing the guests with unforgettable experience and satisfaction. The interiors of the suites of Four Seasons Hotel are enriched with black-walnut furnishings with modern design. The suites and rooms have amenities like private bar, in-room movies and international TV channels. These comforts and furnishings go a long way in satisfying the guests beyond their imagination (Jayawardena and et. al., 2013). This is essential for effective management as the design of the rooms and suites not only suit the requirements of the guest but also aid in timely actions taken by the other staff with the help of modernized services such as room calling etc. with the help of the facilitating design of the hotel, delivery of services to the rooms and suites can be done on time and in the best possible manner. In this way, the guests are pleased as they are able to get excellent services from all the sides of the hotel owing to its smooth design. It helps the staff to effectively plan their actions so that the guests could be provided with the desired service on time.
Planning And Management
The key aspects of planning and management of front of house area of Four Seasons Hotel are related to the planning and operational procedures. It is concerned with exercising control over the services provided by this area (Ramanathan and Ramanathan, 2013). The services are updated as per the rules and regulations of the management of the front of house area. This proves to be a useful step towards bringing i8mprovemnets in the services provided by the concerned area. Another key aspect of planning and management of front of house area is related to the point of sales (POS) management system. POS software is used for recording and processing the information related to the sales of the hotel. The software also creates print for the cheques of the guests. Assistance is o0rovided by the software in the procedures of ordering of foods by the guests. Advanced technology is used for managing front of house area at Four Seasons Hotel (Guilding, 2012). Effective and timely communication forms one of the most important aspect of planning and management of front of house area. This is required for sharing of information with others during the busy hours of check out period.
Accommodation services in Four Seasons Hotel consist of all those services that are related to cleaning, room service, laundry, health and safety, environmental and operational services. Critical aspects of planning and management of accommodations service function of Four Seasons Hotel consist of designing procedures for ensuring efficient functioning of this department (Yamashita and Uenoyama, 2006). The accommodation managers set norms that are to be followed for maintaining the standards of cleanliness and quality. Critical aspects of planning include controlling the budgets and providing training to the teams. Staff is trained to make them competent of maintaining the high standards of the hotel. Strict supervision is the key to planning and management of accommodation service at Four Seasons Hotel. Regular inspection of the suites and rooms for ensuring that the hygiene, health and safety regulations are met is a crucial aspect of planning at the hotel. For effective management, liaising with other departments within the hotel is also considered important. This helps in ensuring that the accommodations are well maintained, clean and attractively presented. People management constitutes a significant proportion of planning and management activities of accommodation service (Wood and Brotherton, 2008). This includes formulating and supervising teams of room attendants. Staff rotations are planned. The department maintains contact with the reception services in order to coordinate the allocation of rooms.
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The effective management and business performance of front office area of Four Seasons Hotel is affected by operational issues of varied nature. The front office faces financial issues when adequate funds are not available with the hotel for controlling and managing the services and activities (O'Fallon and Rutherford, 2010). It can be critically evaluated that this has effect on the quality of services that are delivered by the staff. However, issues related to human resource also occur. Four Seasons being a luxury hotel faces problems regarding the management of its workforce. These are related to the extended working hours of the staff for which they have to provide services. It has been seen that their performance is directly influenced by continuous work. This in turn has impact on the performance of hotel. Issues related to the mismanagement of shifts of various teams of staff also affect the performance of the hotel. It can be seen that quality is another area that presents several issues for Four Seasons Hotel (Gayar and et.al., 2011). If training is not proper, the employees are not able to maintain the standards of the hotel in terms of quality. It can be critically evaluated that this leads to delivery of inefficient services to the guests. In service industry, quality is one of the most important aspects that are considered for effective performance.
However, the accommodation service at Four Seasons Hotel is also affected by several issues. Managing the accommodations in their best condition sometimes becomes difficult for the hotel if enough funds are not available. In such circumstances, the furnishings and equipments cannot be maintained (Gorman, 2007). As such, the management of accommodations service is affected. At times when there is rush of guests into the hotel, the staff is not able to perform all the activities related to the maintenance of rooms. If the communication is poor, this issue is further aggravated. Teams of various staff are not able to coordinate and hence services cannot be delivered on time. As such, effective management of accommodation service is affected.
Room division with front office and accommodation service forms an important part of Four Seasons Hotel. In this respect, its effective management is essential for improving the performance of the hotel. It has to follow the legislative and regulatory requirements relevant to rooms division. Various departments of rooms division are affected by several operational issues that need to be properly managed by the hotel.
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- Burns, J. B., 2010. Career Opportunities in Travel and Hospitality. Infobase Publishing.
- Gayar, E. F. N. and et.al., 2011. An integrated framework for advanced hotel revenue management. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.23(1).pp.84 – 98.
- Gorman, D. K., 2007. The hospitality phenomenon: philosophical enlightenment?. International Journal of Culture. Tourism and Hospitality Research. 1(3). pp.189 – 202.
- Guilding, C., 2012. Financial Management for Hospitality Decision Makers. Routledge.