As a management student I am reviewing the case of Waterlander Hotel. Apparently the management system of Waterlander Hotel is not a quality system. The success of any business lies in the customers satisfaction and as in any case if it has been not achieved in the case of Waterland Hotel, it requires thorough review of the entire system, operations at all the levels and their management. Acknowledgement and approval from the customers for the services or products is inevitable for the existence and growth of any organization. In the case of Waterlander Hotel, however it has been not achieved. There was a sizeable gap in the customer's expectation and the performance of Hotel for the referred sales conference. According to the Vice president (Global Marketing) of the Plastix International Plc., it was total chaos in all the proceedings of the conference due to the unprofessional services of the hotel and for his organization he was responsible person as he was the person who had assign Waterlander Hotel for such an important event of the company. The management of Plastix International Plc. had anticipated better performance from the Waterlander than they had it last year which was considerably satisfactory. After reviewing the whole case I found the flaws in the system which I have described as under.
GAP; CUSTOMER'S SATISFACTION AND MANAGEMENT:
The customer had lots of regrets in regards of the poor services for different courses, nastiest arrangements, ill-suited decoration, horrible food quality, lack or additional but unavoidable services like photography, failure of microphones, failure in the obeying the prior instructions for specific choices for particular decoration and extremely poor level of hygiene standards. For the top management of Waterlander Hotel, this case should be an alarm. Hospitality is the main area of the activities for hotel industries, in which the exact timing and the following of exact schedule is inevitable. Failure of any one of them could cause a failure of the following one, two or each of them. This is the main reason why the staff working at bottom level should be well- trained and higher level should be well experienced and efficient enough to avoid being in critical situation and if it turns up they should have the abilities to handle any critical situation. In this instance the hotel management was totally fail to cut the distance between hotel's performance and customer's anticipation and made them disappointed. It was a considerable gap between both and requires so much reassessment and the necessary actions should be taken in accordance to the evaluation. According to me it is the Conference Manager who is the main culprit and so much disorder occurred due to his or her inefficiency. He or she is the person who is responsible for the performance of various operations to meet the customer's requirements. His or her inefficiency to communicate with different heads and synchronize the activities of various departments, failure to provide preorganized efforts to follow the schedules according to main schedule of the program had made the customer to dissatisfactory level instead of satisfactory level.
GAP; CUSTOMER'S SATISFACTION AND SERVICE PERFORMANCE:
It is necessary for any organization to touch the customer's satisfaction to sustain. In addition to that I would say it should be not the benchmark as for to be successful organization growth or progress is also essential particularly in this present aggressive market. To achieve the growth to maintain and update the standards and perform accordingly is also vital. In this case there is a vast gap between the performed services and the standard services. The customer had expected progress in their services and found themselves in the worst services they ever offered. Due to the lack of progressive attitude of the management there hasn't been any updating in their management or services, while outside the organization there has been lots of progress in the hotel industry. As a result of this, one or two kinds of these cases will damage the credibility of the Waterland Hotel and put them into the defensive position in which they may have to meet the various challenges ranging from the remarkable decrease in customers to shortage of finance to take progressive steps. The steps should be taken immediately to improve drastically in terms of performance.
GAP; SERVICE PERFORMANCE AND STANDARD:
To obtain standard performance for the organization selection and recruitment of the skilled employees is crucial step towards the destination. In this case the chaotic situation occurred due to the inabilities of the staff from top level to bottom. The person working at managerial level should possess all the qualities of leader and manager. In this competitive era any successful manager needs to have and develop lots of skills, as he or she has to deal with varied undertakings. As the manager has to organize and synchronizes all the activities In other words the manager has to play a role of planner, organizer, leader, director, facilitator and controller for the group of the people and activities. The conference manager has to adopt all these abilities in the hospitality context. The waiting staff also lacks the abilities of professionals in the hospitality field. Inexperience comes on surface when such situation occurs. Therefore the management should select and recruit the employees having the potentials and delegate them the task accordingly. In his statement, the head chef had cited that the waiting staff was upset due to the insulting approach of some of the guests. I would opine that this is not the right approach of the staff because anguish of the guest was justifiable as their entire program had turned into the chaos and it is their modest approach which could reduce their anger and complaints. The chef of cutlet sauce also refused to start his work until the fish course gets finished while he should have prepared and maintained it to retain its taste. This entire employee's approach to their works shows that they lack professionalism of hospitality industry.
GAP; SKILL AND MANAGEMENT:
Management is an aspect which can play most significant part and has a major role to play in any organization. The management should have clear strategic objectives and develop efficient operation management. For achieving this state, management should be skilled and enough efficient to cope with all the stages of business successfully. Along with that, management should be enough visionary, to select and recruit the proper workforce as they are the aspect who has to conduct operations and operations is the backbone of any business. Apart from that, management should delegate the tasks deliberately knowing the skill and experience of the employees. In case of the Waterland Hotel this skill was totally missing right from the top level management to bottom level service staff. It was the management's fault that they have not appointed right people at different level of operations. The management was also lacking communication skill or they have not given the due importance to passing the instructions specifying the requirements and the demands of the client to the operation departments as in many instances this fact came on surface. In service industry like Hotel industry this could considered as worst illustration of the performance as at many places there wasn't synchronization due to the lack of efficiency or experience while synchronization between the each course and all the members of the staff is the most essential part for the hotel industry. In the case of Waterlander Hotel the gap between skill and the management was too wide.
GAP; STNADARD AND SKILL:
Standard performance means the recognized model against which the measurements are compared. According to that measurement, the quality and quantity of work to be produced should be in particular time limit. The measurements of standard performance for every industry are different. Every organization should strive to meet that standards and train their staff accordingly. Even if the employees are skilled, they should perform up to the standards as it is very crucial for an organization to earn and retain its credibility. In the case of Waterlander Hotel the gap between the standard and skill is vast. The performance of the staff did not even match the average level. They have been almost failed in every field of referred function of the Plastix International.
Failure to stick with timelines:
For hotel industries timeline is the most crucial aspect for achieving standard performance. A quality performance achieved in set timelines only can bring satisfaction on the face of the client. When servicing for the functions like the one Plastix Plc had arranged for their annual sales conference, hotel must have to look after each aspect related to that function like decoration, video shooting, timely quality service for each course, and timely accomplishment of the main course in their due time limits. The main reason of the failure of the Waterlander hotel is their failure to stick with timelines. For conducting the function like this, failure in sticking with timelines even of one operation whether it could be the electric fittings or decoration, preparation of the each food course or the service preparation for each course can cost the failure of the whole performance and dissatisfy the clients. In the case of Waterlander hotel the problem began with the first operation. The hotel management or the service manager had not take care to check whether the electrical work has been completed before the time decoration starts or not. This was the first blunder which turned into the string of them. Due to the electricians and the decorators' scheduled clashed many of the undesirable consequences happened. On the top of the all, all the necessary checks should have been timely done by the conference manager which was not done and as a result, hotel has to bare a loss of part of the payment and credibility. With reply to the complaint of the conference that he did not get back the conference checklist from the client, I will say that it's also a part of his responsibility to get it back on correct time so that all the arrangements can be done accordingly on time. According to the head chef just because the prepared food did not served on time, it lost its taste and a result of that, another chef refused to start his work until the other course finishes and consequently the situation deteriorated. A photographer who had tight schedules was only needed at the time of speeches and booked accordingly and when he reached to the hotel according to his schedule, the speeches did not commence. Hence after waiting for some time, he left as he had to justify with his another booking. There is a particular timelines for conducting functions like this which is as under.
All these procedures should be followed according to their timelines and supervised accordingly while the timelines related to the food course should be followed as per their schedule.
Application of Expectation theory:
Every relationship whether it is one on one or multi personal, has certain positive or negative influence of certain kinds of the expectations. Plastix International had shared very pleasant and memorable experiences with Waterlander Hotel. Hence they expected that it would be better experience than the previous one. Apart from that, they desired the adequate level of services according to their expectations. If all the expectations have met, the relationship has been stronger. However unfortunately it couldn't happen. In fact in this case, the expectations left negative impacts on the relationship between Plastix Internationals and the Waterlander hotel. If they would not have expected a lot, the level of disappointment must have remained lower. But the level of their expectations was too high which lowered their tolerance level. The management must perceive that the zone of the tolerance and the level of expectations vary from customer to customers. The management must recognize that and deal with them accordingly. One fact is that for service industries, hotel industries in particular the customer's expectations used to be high and another fact is that the old clients are considered as the assets for the organization. The management of Waterlander Hotel failed to perceive this and lost the customer's trust. For Hotel industry the gain of one client means gain of gain of more than one and the loss of one client also means the loss of many.
Action Plan for structuring Quality System:
In case of the Waterlander Hotel, apparently they must review their strategic objectives. At the time of deciding the strategic objectives, the management should keep in mind that they should be achievable and measurable. Once the proper strategic objectives are formed, the appropriate strategies should be planned. At the time of the strategic planning the management must consider the size of the organization and the environment to which they belong to. For instance in this case the management should consider the aspects such as present trends, the competitors approach and their condition in the market, customers' demands and their expectations, possible issues in applying strategies must be considered. For the achievement of predefined goals and objectives Waterlander Hotel should form Quality Management System. Quality Management System means a system which enables the organization to achieve stability and fulfillment in terms of methods and resources and effectively synchronize all the activities of the hotel. In hotel, there should be a development of the quality culture, in which all the employees understand and respect the requirements of the customers and satisfaction. A system should be structured in a way that activities act together and are affected by being in the system. The management of the Waterlander Hotel should build such a quality system that defines the processes; those eventually produce quality products and services. A system developed in this way will ensure that two significant requirements are fulfilled:
The customer's requirements - The system boost the confidence of the customers in the ability of the organization to provide them their preferred products and services consistently meeting their needs and expectations.
The organization's requirements - For the sake of organization, at most possible price with efficient use of the available resources and new technology both internally and externally.
The management of hotel should concentrate on developing a quality system which must:
Human Resources Development: Since hotel industries is service based industries human resources are the most significant factor of the performance of the organization and hence the recruitment process should be done efficiently which can draw the organization the efficient and enthusiastic employees. After the adequate selection of the employees the other aspect should be taken in consideration is the training as for working in the context like Waterlander it is must. Untrained staff could repeat the case like Plastix Internationals. Selection and training apart, involvement of the employees at every level right from the decision making to the execution is necessary. The manager needs to play the role of the leader and the manager both as both these are the necessary attributes for him or her.
Sensibly delegate the work: The manager should delegate the work and responsibilities appropriately. Each and every employee must be provided a task in which he or she is the best whether due to his or her inherent qualities or their experience.
Set direction and meet customer's expectations: The management or the manager of Waterlander Hotel must have set proper direction for the operations of the organization which eventually meet to the customer's expectations as customer's expectations is the way by which the organization reach to the customer's satisfaction. Customer's satisfaction used to be the primary goal of all the industries engaged in services and hotel industries is not an exception hence all the operations must have one direction and must be synchronized. For instance pre arrangements like electric fittings, photography, video shooting, decoration, table arrangements for any party or function should be well managed in prior. All the service and cooking staff must be aware of the schedules of the function and must stick with their quality performance.
Improve Process Control: The manager of Waterlander hotel must have process control which was totally lacking in the function of Plastix International and was one of the reasons of the disorders. There was not existence of process control or any other optional plan to control the situation if the main plan fails. The manager and the employees working at all the level must be prepared to control the adverse situation.
Reduce Wastage: The manager must have control over reducing wastage also. There is a quite higher chance of the wastage in hotels, but the manager should try to reduce it as this step would increase the profitability of the company.
Lower Cost: The manager should develop a system which is able to produce quality food and services with lesser cost. This cost reduction is also helpful to the organization to enhance the profit and the clientele. One way of reducing the cost is to avoid the wastage and better use of the resources.
Enhance Market Share: The manager should develop a system which is enough efficient to enhance market share. Apart from lower cost, quality services and customers satisfaction there are some other aspects like the competitor's approach and their strategies, new trends in the market, involvement of the technologies are the points which should be considered to enhance the market share for Waterlander Hotel. Even after producing orders customer has to suffer with long delay in servicing the coffee and other items.
For studying Quality Systems Management I have selected another organization which is well-known in its type of industry and unique by the idea. I have chosen the organization to scrutinize the standards of their services and the prevailing system of the organization particularly in U.K. A Coffee house named Starbucks is the world's largest coffee serving company having 16,635 outlets in 49 nations. Initially Starbucks was serving only the coffee, but with the passing of time they started to serve the snacks, other hot and cold drinks and other items like coffee mugs and beans etc.
For any industry time to time delivery of products and the services is truly essential aspect which is more significant particularly for service industry. Failure in providing timely services will produce the dissatisfaction in customer's mind which eventually leads the organization to setback.
STATE OF AFFAIRS AT STARBUCKS:
In many of the Starbucks Outlets it has been seen a considerable delay in services. In those outlets customer has to wait quite long as the queue used to be too long even for producing orders. For the executions of the orders they have to wait even longer. The customers have to suffer with long delay to get the items of their orders. This is surely unpleasant environment for any customer and in a long run it will harm the reputation of the company. The other major issue with some of the Starbucks outlets is the employees working in them are not English and belong to other country. Apparently their accents are different and not understandable for English or the people belong to other country. Due to this situation many times problems occur in many of the Starbucks outlets. The customers don't understand the pronunciations of the employees and the employees don't understand the pronunciations of the employees and awkward situation occurs. Some time the employee say the customer that his or her order is ready even with a loud call, the customer don't understands and keeps waiting and after some times he or she turns angry and behaves rudely with the employees. Sometimes the customers get the items instead of those they have ordered. This misunderstanding occurs due to the lack of communication skill of the employees. Miscommunication occurs not only between the customers and the employees; sometime they take place between the employees also. Some time the orders are executed by two employees and some time it does not executed by any of them. One another issue is inability of the staff to maintain the stock as per the demands. Items in demand run out many times and the employees working at different level used to be unaware of that. Employees working on the counters used to be having no knowledge of the situation of the stock and they take orders. After passing some time they find that the ordered items have ran out. These types of incidences leave bad image of the organization on customers mind and if the same customers face the same issues with the organization the organization will definitely lose its credibility. A system lacking the stock maintenance draws the organization to the wastage also as many items which used to be not in demand or in less demand are purchased or produced in larger quantity instead of the required. Apart from that the employees even don't bother to apologize to the customers for the misunderstanding or the mistakes they have made. Lack of cleanliness and proper arrangements of the tables are another issue at Starbucks Outlets. For the customers who enter in the outlets, the look of the outlet creates bad impression and they find it difficult to adjust with it as they find the rubbish of empty boxes and cans here and there. Many time whether the staff is not able to clean the tables on time or they do not care of that.
Issues in dealing with Timelines:
Being a part of the service industry which is more bound to be stick with timelines, Starbucks should have to stick with the timelines. In the case of Starbucks this is the major flaw in their operations. Long queues and delay in taking and executing orders are major issues at many of the Starbucks Outlets. This is nevertheless desirable situation for any organization specifically an organization which is engaged in directly dealing with people. The organization must consider this issue seriously and should take the steps to solve it even if this issue might is relating to some of the outlets only. It takes several years for the organization to build good reputation but takes only short time to destroy it. Considering this fact, the organization must understand the magnitude of the issue, even if it might be a on its' initial stage. For any kind of items or any hotels or any service outlets customers never prefer waiting too long. Fulfillment of the customers' requirements on time is very significant aspect for the service industry as for customer's satisfaction it is much essential part of the business. Satisfied customers can be considered an asset for the business dealing in servicing people directly. This is the type of asset which increases the profit for an organization by mouth publicity. Customers must be treated on time with warm and desirable approach. For an organization like Starbucks the timelines starts even much more before that the execution of the orders as customers should be treated with warm and elegant style of welcoming them from the very first moment they have entered into the outlets. Afterwards they should be approached timely and delivered their orders on time. They should be treated in a way that they lured by the environment of the outlets and forced to produce more orders.
As per the prevailing situation at many of the Starbucks outlets there has been wide gap between customers' satisfaction and the service performance as much time situation at these outlets become worst and it is totally unhealthy atmosphere for any organization. The gap between the standard performance and the current performance of the company is extremely wide because the organization's current performance is too far away from the standard and desirable performance. These gaps are formed due to the gap between skill and the management. The management is not enough able to construct the quality system, quality culture and have lost the control over the processes. Hence the gap between these too is extremely wide and more significant so must be bridged at earliest. The organization is lacking the skilled workforce which is the reason behind their poor performance. The standard performance is only possible with the help of skilled people, which is not true in case of Starbucks as the gap between these two is also wide. The utmost significant gap is the customers' satisfaction and the management. The management is not enough keen or able to work for customer's satisfaction which has widened the bridge between these two.
Application of Expectation Theory:
Customer's expectation towards the organization plays the major role for being satisfied or dissatisfied with it. Being a well reputed and famous chain of coffee house obviously the customers visit to the Starbucks have more expectations than that who are not such a big name. Starbucks enjoy the fruits of such big name since long while. It had taken years and lots of efforts of lots of people for reaching to such high position. Now they don't need to endeavor that much as they already have established their name. They just need to fulfill customers' expectations which definitely would be high for them.
Plan of Action:
In case of Starbucks, what they need to do at first is to change their management body in U.K. and appoint an efficient and progress oriented instead. The person appointed as a manager at head quarter must be well productive and advance in thinking and working and visionary. He must be aware of the present trends of the market and the competitor's approaches to that. He or she must be aware of environment of all the Starbucks outlets. He or she must have the control on all the processes and must be able to synchronize all the processes. The Human Resources Development process must be done sensibly cautiously. As for such industries human resources are as significant as the products are. They should be selected and recruited efficiently. The people who are supposed to work at counters must possess communication skill, easily understandable English accents along with other abilities. After the recruitment they should be delegated the appropriate works matching their ability. They should be provided initial and time to time training to give them knowledge about their work and the prevailing trends of the market related to their work. With all these matters dealt correctly, the major services related issues will be sorted out.
To deal with the issue of lack of cleanliness, the staff should be instructed strictly to maintain clean and hygienic environment at all the outlets. There should be surprise regular checks to all the outlets for checking hygienic and service standards. The system must inspire all the employees to stick with the hygiene criteria by hook or crook.
For solving the problem of stock, the manager must check the sale of each item for last six months. This will give him an exact idea of the demand of all the items and enables him to decide the stock levels and the range. There should be the networking system which connects both the counters and the stock departments to avoid any discrepancies in system. Staff working at all the level must have idea of that. If some items are near to expiry date there should be some discount scheme to sale them quickly to avoid wastage.
Starbucks should be more realistic in the present scenario and have the ideas of the customers regarding the services and products, the environment over the outlets, changes they want and take their suggestions with the help of feedback forms.
With the help of the feedback forms, they can work on customer's suggestions and get the benefit of the advertisements done by the satisfied customers. The management should take some steps to reestablish the system.
Set up the Standards: Starbucks must set up their standards according to international standards with the choice and taste of local people keeping in mind. The system should be set up in a way that it works on the basis of international standards with the local flavor.
Maintenance of Quality:
One of the most significant aspects for any service industry is quality assurance and Starbucks must deliver quality services to the customers in accordance to their requirements. Extreme competitive nature of today's market is the fact which could not be over looked. Though maintaining and delivering the quality services is not easy because the expectations and the requirements of the customers keep changing and vary from person to person, Starbucks should come up with quality services and a wide range of quality products.
In order to maintain quality standards, Starbucks has to reach the minds of the customers with the help of the feedback forms, market surveys, secret shoppers etc. These tools can be used effectively to increase productivity of the system and set performance standards.
Measure and compare performance:
The current performance should then be measured. This current performance can be also compared with target quality standards to find the gap. Quality audit should be done on regular intervals.
The manager should endeavor to find the causes of the gaps between standard performance and the current performance of the company. Employees working at different level should be inspired to participate in all the process of the system and they can be involved with the type of quality culture which is enough efficient to solve the complaints of the customers and make them happy.
Depending upon the gap and the problems, the organization should plan to achieve its set quality goals. Various teams can be formed in order to address different areas identified in the gap. These teams should be given a time target to bridge that gap.
As the organization is set to perform as per set performance, the very next target for the company should be to retain it consistently. To achieve such desirable state, the organization must have the control over the system and review the policies and the performances time to time. For acquiring such quality system the organization should adopt DMAIC approach. According to D means define, M means measure, A means analyze, I means improve and C means control. The manager must possess the ability to establish such system. As a result of such system, the company will be advantaged by the enhanced profit margins, customer satisfaction, and customer's loyalty, more diversified expansion and trained contented employees.