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Boutique hotels are origin from the major centralized cities of United Kingdom and North America such as London and San Francisco and New York in the 1980’s. A boutique hotel may be small but it is catered with exclusive property that affluences customers or travellers with an excellent level of services at best prices. Some boutique hotels are unique, architectural or theme. However, a boutique hotel is distinguished in these few areas: designs, services and target markets. As a boutique hotel changes in other features, so does its technological facilities. While some offer the latest amenities in technology, other focuses on calm, soothing environment.
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Boutique hotels are also known to be “lifestyle hotels” or “design hotels” that are developed with the purposes for individuals. Guest suites are equipped with telephony for assistance seek, Wi-Fi-internet access to go online and surfing the internet, air-conditioning to lower room temperature, mini-bars for cocktail chill out and delighting costumer’s mood, also lastly, cable/pay TV, Guest can also choose to have none of these in there room if silence and comfort are their desires. 24-hour hotel staff’s assistance is offered to guests for helps or enquiries. Lastly, most boutique hotels offer on-site dining facilities for the convenience of dining. (www.wisegeek.com)
2.0. What are the operational challenges associated with
developing new boutique hotels.
In present years, boutique hotels have come out as the top liked traveller accommodation throughout the world. Tragically, the opposite fact here is that noone really knows the meaning of the word ’boutique’ or why is it used in link with hotel.
One point which is very clear among the hotel owner or manager is that the fact that they acknowledge exactly the qualities and characteristics to create a unique hotel .The one issue is not about the size of the hotel. It’s normally asked as to how many rooms should be there in a boutique hotel. A hotel less than 100 rooms can be called a boutique hotel.
The characteristic of a boutique hotel is the atmosphere such as the surroundings, decorations, and the designs in each unique room. The importance of atmospheres is a serious considerable factor for all boutique hotels. When it is used in the context of a boutique hotel, the term atmosphere includes of decorations in the hotel, modified services, also, most importantly is the mind-set of the hotel staffs, to practise and combine these all to create a sense of closeness among the guest and the staffs, which adds to the popularity of the respective hotel.
However, in most hotel industries, intimacies are known to be professional modifications, professional warmness, caring and services. (http://www.articlesbase.com) Everything must be handled properly, caringly like a professional. Adapt to it and practise it by calling guests their first name rather than lame old Sir or Maadams.
In addition, an excellent service needs to be provided in every hotel. An excellent service should be showed by a staff of a boutique hotel by predicting, knowing something in advance, the needs and requirements of the beloved guests rather than just responding it upon request. Knowing what they need, when they want, how they want it things to be just before time is what differentiate a good service and an excellent service.
Lastly, there is also an important factor for the hotel which is the theme. A unique theme is the important play of the game. This has already been proven by the example of the different themes in every boutique hotel. Original artwork decorated in lobbies, designer equipments designed in bathrooms, wines and champagnes, and guest’s favourable CD collection for relax and relief purposes.
In conclusion, a boutique hotel could be an alteration that makes their guests feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy and gratified while staying there makes them realize that they should return soon for such excellent service and cool facilities, also makes them to remember the experiences in the hotel and recommend it to others.
Question 3.0. What can we learn from the mass customization of tangible
goods (e.g, Land’s End or Dell) that can be applied to the mass
customization of services (e.g.. boutique hotels) ?
Mass production or known as massive production is a process of producing large amounts of standardized products on assembly lines. The method of producing massively is implied to many type of products, everything in bulk such as raw material, foods, liquid / fluid and petrol. Also, detach solid components such as household appliances.
Economies of massive productions are from a few sources. The major cause is a cut down of not producing efforts for most types. In addition, workers redo a few related tasks that use the exactly same tools to perform identical or almost-identical operations on a flow of products. The same old tools and parts are having moved downward the assembly line. The worker spends a little on time preparing the materials thus; the time taken for manufacturing products using massive production is so much shorter than other method.
The possible chances of human mistake and variation is also reduced, as tasks are mainly doneby machinery. A cut down in workforce costs, as well as increasing in production, making able of a company at a large quantity production of one product at the lowest cost.
However, the inflexibility of mass production is tough to change the designs and production in the process when after a production line is implied. Besides, every products produced on a product line will be similar, and introduce choices to match individual is never easy. However, a lot of variety can be obtained by putting difference finishes at the end of production line if there is need.
Ford Model produces amazing affordable additional products but the company wasn’t good at giving response to change and designs customization. Thus, Ford finally lost its share in the market to General Motors.
3.1 History and examples of Massive Production
The idea of producing products in massive numbers were first introduced by FORD in the recent times, it was developed in Venice, a city in northern Italy. Ships were produced massively using pre-manufactured parts, and assembly lines.
Books were also produced massively since Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible was published in the middle of 1400s.
During the American Civil War, a weapon factory call the Springfield Armoury, produced a massive quantity of guns, using interchangeable parts on a large scale.
Ships pulley blocks were manufactured for the British Navy during Napoleonic Wars using simple mass production technique at the Portsmouth Block Mills. It was also used in the manufacturing of watches, clocks, and small arms.
Mass customization is a process when once managers recognize the world as the marketplace, the cultural and individual differences become quite obvious. In a world where consumers are increasingly aware of innovation and options, substantial pressure is placed on firms to respond and operations managers are responding with creative product designs and flexible production processes that cater to the individual whims of consumers. The goal is to product customized products, whenever and wherever needed. (Operations Management, Tenth Edition, Jay Heizer & Barry Render)
3.2 Mass Customization for Land’s End
Lands’ End offers mass customization as the first company, it is known as the Holy Grail
in the apparel industries, and it sells at affordable prices. It is also an unique online innovation that New York Times, one of the biggest journal company names Lands’ End Custom as one of the” Top 100 Ideas in year 2002.”
Lands’ End adds men’s Custom dressing apparel to its stream of
customized clothing and it started introducing it in year 2001. 3 months after debuting,
customized dress clothing’s became the most known Lands’ End Custom products and 1 of the most known men’s apprel sold on their website, which is land’send.com. Introducing
customized dress clothing’s are aiding in consumer’s favourite for the direct trade,
eversince 19% of shoppers are new to the company. Besides, Lands’
End Custom revenue sales increases by 60 %.
Before launching its Customized dress shirts, Lands’ End Customized focuses mainly on
the fit of customized products. Customers started to ask customized dress
shirts, Lands’ End expanded this focus to include both fit and options. For the first time in customizing history, Lands’ End made it easy and comes to live for
shoppers to shop online, filling the online sizing profile and then create their own
dress clothes by choosing it themselves with the material, collar type, and buttons also back pleats and pckets. So, in extra to a customized fittings, shoppers
purchased Custom dress clothes get to design several features on the clothes they desire.
Lands’ End has an unique approach in mass customizing and it has differentiated it in within all industries, thus enabling its company to sell the customized clothes. By combining technlogy with the access of the Lands’ End online Web site, shoppers can now get clothing to be designed to fit on themselves by filling up a 5 to 10 minute questionnaire which asks for all personal information of their bodies such as shoe sizes, their heights and their weights information. Additionally, re-ordering is so easy because after a customer order, the measurements of them are kept in the computer system. In conclusion, shoppers are not happy with their orders; Lands’ End’s guaranteed policy allows them to
return their clothes at any time for just any kind of reasons, a policy nearly
unheard customizing industries.
Customer feedbacks and the sales
results have set new standards for the company and the
onlinee customizing industry.
3.3 Mass Customization of Dell
The mass customization process begins with the customer orders from the Dell server and customizing their own individuals components, there are more than 50 percents of orders on the Dell web site that has been created for customers. This informations are put in a production method that breaks off the components that are assembled in to the server. The required inventory is then entered to the assemblies system to make sure that it is properly queued. Dell partners with retailers to provide them with the production line, so they can make inventory ready on the loading bay. This allows Dell to maintain only 2 hours of inventories in the factory floor.
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The more detailed specs and lists of components are then printed on a “travellers” form, which adds the assigned services tagged for the servers. The actual production begins with the chassis, motherboard, memory assembled, then moved to the areas where the choices of internal components are added to the tray. These tools are then moved to the assemblies area where they are automatically move to the next available assembling the server facilities. The travellers form lists all the items in order list to be implied and the assembler scans the pasted bar code to check it in the finished list, there isn’t any part that can be leftout. Besides, as the assembler has builded the current server, they are continually performing first test up to 4 additional servers that are built. Dell originally had 2 individuals that is assembled to each computer, but they found it could be an increase in production for up to 30 to 40 percents by having it certified and individuals are responsible for the whole build up. Most assemblers only builds their servers that are are certified on up to 15 different models.
During the pre-testing, if a problem is found and cannot be fixed within 5 minutes, a technician will be called over. If the technician cannot solve the issue at the assembly station within 5 minutes, it will then be brought to a special made section where expert technicians diagnose the problem and forward a solution. If they cannot fix the issue, a new production order is placed and unit is sent to special laboratory for diagnostics.
The servers will then move downward to the assembly line and are stacked into carts holding 4 units each, which will be transferred to the burning area then be tested for 6 to 18 hours all depending on the specifications. If there is specific customers softwares, it will be installed. Once a server has finished testing, it will be placed mechanically at shipping containers to cut down the risks of damage. At one same time, the materials that will be shipped together with the server will also be assembled bye an automated picking system. The box is then conveyer-ed to a shipping area and then to be delivered to the customers ordering it. Though the production occurs in very quickly, each server will be customized on the mass scale making Dell as one of the top leaders in the market server.
4.0 How can boutique hotels maintain a consistent / standard level of service without compromising their unique / personalized service mission?
A boutique hotel can maintain its level of service consistently by providing good service to the customers continuously such as earning excellence reputation.
Firstly, obtaining reputation by giving excellent service to the customers, the type of services delivered to customers to be discussed by the staffs at a brain storming session. To discuss examples of helping the organization to deliver superior quality service to customers. Also, contribute positive recognition to staffs makes the business spirit boosted. Secondly,
To make hired employees approach customers on a daily basis, for such as have the first contact at the reception desk. Hotel staffs must have a friendly and helpful characteristics. Also, to cheer staffs up all the time and not upset them because satisfied staffs with high self-esteem feels valued about it and very naturally will provide a good service to customer. Besides, giving incentives and bonus to staffs will also cheer them up. To provide the right customer service training to the staffs or employees, with ongoing customer service trainings, no matter what the selection is, the people that works for one company or thoroughly, it is best to prepare them with knowledge training on the services, there will not be substitution for re-enforcement for customer service in communication skills. They key points to provide customers with the most outstanding service is to keep the employees really focused on effective communication with the customers all the time. It is also an excellent idea to incorporate on-going customers into a communication trainings at an employees meetings or trainings. Clarify the message so noone would get bored with listening to the same old information that they’ve heard before. The examples of good customer services are as well as stories about poor customer service, always in employee development, keeps the contents new and fresh. Approach working customer service into the emplyee training sessions. (http://business.lovetoknow.com)
Reward employees with the best efforts can be a great way to motivate them when at work. Using positive examples that can be seen in respective workplace helps to motivate staffs practically to learn tips for providing outstanding services to customers. Point of observing employees on a tip regular basis. When employees are exhibiting the types of behavioural actions that is encouraged, it is advised to make a note on it. Also, to set a side timing at each staff meeting session for recognition those employees that demonstrate outstanding service excellently. Present rewards to employees with best performance with plague, logo T-Shirt, certificate as a mean of rewarding them on their good performances. Furthermore, disccuss actions under the observation that leads to recognition, this will reinforce the desired behaviour in these staffs, as well as set a goal for the members of the team.
However, From one time to another time, feedbacks from customers are often to be gained on their perceptions, also, the level of customer service the company has. Often to be commented on services problem, but at less times customer will also come out with their sharings of positive experiences from them with the management. While gaining these positive feedbacks will make one feels great, it may affects the staffs even more powerful. At any time when customers point out good customer service incident, it is very important to share the information with the employees. Telling them that they did a great job from over the compliments from the customers. Nevertheless, a good idea for recognition and to reward the best staff with best performance that warranted good customer feedbacks. A good hotel feedback system must be able to be studied the feedback that the guest provides and translate these into intelligent and comprehensive reports that give hotel management a summary of the overall guest satisfaction that it commands.
A good feedback system can be critical to a hotel being able to use measurement of customer satisfaction and guest satisfaction as a key tool to assess and encourage performance from its operating teams and people, should also be able to capture the exact feelings that the guest has about the experience that he or she has had with the hotel and ideally this should be just after checkout or use of the facilities. Therefore, be more than just a measure of customer satisfaction. It is an integral component of the human resources policy of a hotel. It can also be an effective parts in the marketing and brand management program.
Customer satisfaction reports can also be a good way to promote and publicize a hotel’s special care for it guests and customers.
Hotels are getting more receptive to the feelings that their guests and customers convey to them and this sensitivity is being used in a constructive way to foster better performance from the operating divisions and people in the hotel. This is also a means to build better brand loyalties through the publication of customer satisfaction induces.
For instance if feedback from the hotel’s restaurant is taken just after the meal this is likely to be more accurate than if it is taken a couple of weeks later. The reports must be able to drill down to show individual areas of satisfaction and performance and further display individuals among hotel staff who can be encouraged to give their best for the satisfaction of their guests.
Using examples from other companies about good customer service can also be beneficial for time spending in a staff training session. Discussing the kind of service that both hotelier and staffs would like to obtain. After all, it is best to experience both good and bad customer service from the dealer’s company or business partnering companies on a regular basis. Worthy and understanding lessons can be gained easily from analyzing from the experience as a customer. A few examples of excellent customer service includes a wide choices of services and actions in them. For example, a general attitude in the employee on whether the employee is friendly, blissful, and helpful with smiles on their faces, joy and cheerful expression. Besides, does the staff meet the customer’s needs? Is the staff knowledgeable about the needs and wants of the customers during the stay in the hotel, and providing useful necessary information to them, regarding to infomations they inquired. Also, the abilities to answer customer on their inquiries. In addition, the hotel staffs have to be handy when it comes to conflict and issues, with respect, a genuine intention, and courtesies to help the customer with no hesitation, rejection and holding back. Lastly, to exceed the standards in the staffs themselves by going beyond the expectancy to deliver a truly exceptional service to the customers.
Guesswork will not help in the understanding of a customer’s satisfactory levels. There will be need of proof and data validation continually and to measure and monitor customer’s satisfaction regularly. A customer’s satisfaction system is required to help on the study of customer’s satisfaction levels, it helps to realignments and it provides the best experience and services in this competitive market.
The profits that have not been made from the customers are tied directly to the customer’s and staff’s satisfaction levels. The whole method of doing it is to keep your customer’s satisfied all the time, as if the customers are happy, they tends to be loyal. Therefore, customers will be in retention to the hotel. A happy customer will visit the hotel over again in the coming future; they will also recommend it to their friends or family as well.
Research has already proven that hotels lose opportunities and the advantages over competition are due to the upset customers. A happy customer or a good feedback system helps to continue the measure of customer happiness for improvement. (http://ezinearticles.com)
In the present era today, bad experience is known to be outweigh a lot compare to good experience and a good service from the customers. A bad experience can be easily shared, broadcasting to millions of perceptions and the customers that are existed. Hotel is best to provide the best services and its leading to unhappy customers, chances of it are widely known and will affect the future orders and bookings. Imperatively, short comings are identified quickly. Customer’s satisfaction must be monitored then studied often to provide factual data at improving and change to better service at all time.
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