It is the ability of an organization to produce goods and services more effectively than competitors do, thereby outperforming them. This means they must stay ahead in four areas: being responsive to customers, innovation, quality, and efficiency.
INTRODUCTION OF MARRIOTT/SLOUGH HOTEL
Marriott/Slough is a four star hotel which is located in Ditton Road, Langley.Slough, SL3 8PT UK. Marriott/Slough sources its revenues from a diverse customer base, but mainly travellers, airplane crew members and business are the main customers. The hotel has 5 floors with 376 rooms and 6 suites.
1)Â The hotel is located near to Heathrow Airport, Windsor castle. Ascot race course and it is just 30 minutes to London by train.
2) Very fast Internet facilities in every part of the hotel. Wireless internet in the Public area, wired and wireless internet in the guest rooms and meeting rooms
3) Executive Lounge for the guests of executive rooms where snacks, fruits, soft drinks are available 24 hours which is for free.
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4) Brasserie Centrale is the French restaurant which provides French food with English influence. Live cooking pizza by Italian chef is the speciality of the restaurant.
6) The onsite car parking is free for 15 days with the booking of double room for one night.
7) Marriott is the world leading brand in hospitality industry.
8) Multi cultural working environment: Employees from managerial level to associate level are from different countries and the hotel is giving salary of £6/hr.
9) The hotel always tries to maintain its level of giving quality service and product to the customers and the employees are well experienced and educated professionally.
10) Marriott's hotel brands are one of the respected and known brands in the lodging industry. The awards and recognition, like the Fortune's“Most admired Brand”as mentioned above, signifies the company's brand value. The brand value combined with presence in all segments helps the company in generating revenues from diverse customer base.
1) Since the hotel is situated near to Heathrow Airport, there is problem with the traffic during pick hours, which is time taking to travel by road.
2) Parking area is not very spacious which creates problem sometimes for the big wedding groups and conference customers.
3) There is only one kitchen which operates for restaurant, bar and room service which delays on the delivery of food for the room service as the chefs give first priority to the restaurant order.
4) The hotel is not able to do more revenue that is why it is doing cost cutting in manpower and food, thus more guest complaints are there regarding quality of service and food.
5) The GSS (Guest satisfaction survey) is still very low, which is 68% for the month of March and the target of the hotel is 84%, because of ineffective management in the restaurant as well as in the bar.
6) Since Marriott has its own benchmarking in the market so it is much pressure on the managers to maintain the brand standard always where there is less staffs.
7)Since the hotel is near to the airport, it is sometimes noisy to the customers as the airplanes make noise and can cause disturbance to the business customers who come to the hotel to relax and get ready for the next day work.
- This is the time when Recession is coming to the end .thus there will be more opportunities for the hotel to make more revenue which it was not able to do for the last few years.
- Olympic in 2012 will be very beneficial to the company as to target more customers at that time where its location will be very productive.
- Being a hotel near to Heathrow Airport is a great opportunity to grow and make good money in all the season of the year because lots of tourists come to visit London, and the hotel is just 30 minutes far from London by train and 20 minutes by car. And big conferencing hall is suitable for business people for conference meeting, all the time of the year.
- During Olympic time the hotel would be centre for the tourists to stay since the hotel is very near to different attractions like Windsor Castle just 10 minutes by car, Legoland, Ascot race course, The great park, The river Thames and just 30 minutes to London by train. The hotel is just 20 minutes to the Stratford stadium. And the hotel will be providing shuttle buses to the customer, who stays in the hotel.
- New buffet system is implemented in the restaurant in the morning breakfast which will help in fast delivery of food to the guests.
- Cross training will be given to the staffs which will help to make the staff efficient in the entire departments; this will make the staff to help other department when required.
Strategies to establish a Competitive Edge
1. Lack of training and development of staff
2. Improper Guest Profile systems
1. London Olympics
1. Global Recession
Cost Leadership :
With reference to Porters Generic Strategy ,This strategy mainly deals with minimizing costs in order gain lead over the competitors . In case whereÂ the selling price equals the average of the market , the lowest cost producer would gain the maximum profits .
For example, Companies which produce huge number of products have the abilityÂ gainÂ advantage through specialized equipment. Ensuring more products is produced with less finance . A suitable example is the Harley Davidson Automobile Company based at US. Originally, the Company was started as a small shop at the pioneer's backyard. Cost of production was very high as many automated equipments required a huge numbers of cars. The Company could not manage to pay for this and experienced lower profits. But after identifying the cost leadership strategy , the Company was able to obtain more sources of funding and increased its volume of production andÂ took advantage of specialized equipment. The Company has been persistent with this strategy and today, it is America's most successful motorbike manufacturer.
Consumer centric promotion strategy:
As the consumer today is well aware of a range of products and services and also their values it becomes essential to introduce a consumer centric strategy wherein the consumer is dealt with personally by relationship managers who look into consumer requirements on a personal level develop various tools such as electronic word of mouth and information gathering strategies .Such information based services help achieve loyal clientele as ‘the most successful competitors will collect andSynthesize information about their customers' buying patterns and convert this knowledge to a highly personalised service.
Due to recession, the impact of household expenditure has become more apparent in 2010, as spending in other areas, such as travel and leisure, has reduced. When, the hospitality industry felt their pockets shallow they proceeded with cutting down costs as room occupancies were at an all time low and travelers downgraded to less expensive alternatives. As per the article by Kris “Positioning & Branding Strategies - Hospitality Industry in Recession,
The hotel would have to reposition itself as a brand to ensure that the traveler is aware of as to what the brand stands for .This can be achieved by establishing the target market and catering to its needs accordingly. In regards to communicate the brand position with clarity, Loyalty Programs could be launched for existing customers who had perhaps changed hotels complementing it with a proactive service delivery approach which can be introduced through training and development of staff in regards to guest profiles and its importance.
With reference to London Olympics 2012 Conference, On Sunday 24th August the Beijing Olympics came to an end handing the Olympic flag over to the London 2012. The eyes of the world are now gazing on London. The commercial potential found in a city hosting an Olympic games is undoubtedly huge but taking advantage of this is not any easy .It is complicated by both strict legal restrictions and a market crowded with organizations clamoring to get their message heard.
Thus, to ensure and gain a competitive edge over the competitors, a good promotional strategy with the help of various tools must be introduced. The promotional strategy would comprise betterment in core product and developing extended products which may be suitable such as leisure facilities, also promotions through web as it is the fastest spreading media today.
Implication of the recommended strategies on Marriott hotel
Creation of brand image
Creation of a brand image not only assists in developing a corporate identity but also ensures command over the competition. As it explains philosophy and vision of the business and helps in standing away from competitors making you look unique and different in comparison with the competition .
Duration for implementation : 8-12 months
The loyalty of the customers in turn comes with much more advantages for the organisation , a few of them as stated below :
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* An increase in the market shareÂ .
* Increase in frequency of visits of customers
* Improving the ROI ( Return on investment )of marketing investment.
* Providing marketing opportunities in order to build greater visibility and increase in sales
* Developing a productive and proactive relationship with loyal customers.
* Reducing customer deflections to competitors by increasing the organizations customer retention rate .
Duration for implementation : 1 month
As per the article on Industry News , “The research found UK shoppers have the lowest level of consumer loyalty in Europe, with almost two thirds switching retailers in a bid to save money.
Most of the consumers use the internetto cut costs, 41 per cent go on to complete their transactions online for the same .”
Duration for implementation : 2-3 months
As of today , the customer is well aware of happening in and around the world . This generates a need or an urge to receive personalized services for their specific needs . Also assists in brand loyalty and establishing a brand image through word of mouth .
Duration for implementation : 1 month
Potential outcomes of the recommended strategies
1. Established Brand Image
The following diagram illustrates the impact of a brand image on a customer and finally on the market share .
Taken fromÂ Â http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNABY214.pdf
Brand Positioning during London Olympics
During London Olympics 2012 , brand positioning will help set up a base for the business to offer services to the specific target market . Also , it is an opportunity to create an impact on a global level as tourists from all over the world would be coming over to london on this occasion .
Brand loyalty leads to repeat business which is ideal for a business so as to earn profits and have higher level of revenue earning .
2. Increase in sales and revenue
An increase in sales and revenue through cost efficiency and promotion strategies would increase the productivity of the business .
3. Repeat business generationÂ
Repeat business will lead to an increase in market share and generation of more business through “Word of mouth”
Key Performance indicators
Vision of the Organisation : “Our aim is to be an international deluxe brand, driven by quality and the highest standards of individual service. To achieve this, we need to be passionate, to believe in our vision, and to be excited about the journey we've started.” As per www.marriott
Target clientele / Target Market : Business clientele
Service Delivery Model
Plan: To create brand image
Do:Establish Brand, Increase sales revenue
Check:Repeat sales and Performance
Act:Launch key performance indicators
“Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization”
Quantitative indicators are numerical (number or percentage of dollar value, tonnage, for example).
Qualitative indicators are descriptive observations (an expert opinion of institutional strength, or a description of behavior).
While quantitative indicators are not necessarily more objective, their numerical precision lends them to more agreement on interpretation of results data, and are thus usually preferable.
However, even when effective quantitative indicators are being used,
Qualitative indicators can supplement the numbers and percentages with a richness of information that brings a program's results to life.
Quantitative Performance Indicators
- The rate of sales in promotion period and before the promotion: The difference in sales before and after the launch of a promotional compaign would justify the success of a promotion .
- The total promotional costs incurred : The amount invested on a promotion so that the return on investment can be calculated after revenue generation .
- Conversion rate of sales compaigns: The conversion rate is a metric to evaluate the effectiveness of a conversion effort (accepting a free gift, setting an appointment) as a percentage .
- Attrition: The frequency at which customers terminate the relationship by opting out, stop purchasing or choose a competitor. Loss of customers per year as a percentage .
Human Resource KPI
- Employee satisfaction with training: A written feedback of employees Â Â regarding the training they have undergone
- Guest Satisfaction Index ( GSI): This is a process wherein the feedback of guests for various departments at the hotel such as front office , housekeeping and room service are recorded and are given scores accordingly . The staff is then trained in order to help increase GSI scores for each department thus improving guest service
- Consumer surveys on the web : The surveys conducted on web to help analyse areas of improvement and progress accordingly .
This report is approached from a view point wherein the position of the organization is considered and a competitive analysis is performed . With help of the same , a few strategies are recommended in order to gain a competitive edge over the competitors . The interesting part of the assignment being , the proposed strategies have evolved considering the current scenario of recession and London Olympics due in 2012 . These strategies have then been evaluated to analyze their effectiveness with the help of Vision of the Organisation , Service Delivery Process and the Key Performance Indicators .
This project has provided me with a chance to understand some key facts about the UK Hospitality Industry and concept of customer service so as to come up with innovative ideas to be competitive and successful amongst the competitors coming up with the same core products .