Make a list of hotel attributes that are important to you as a customer.

A central theme of contemporary operations management is focus on the customer. This is commonly understood to mean that if a company does focus on its customers and it if is able to consistently deliver what the customer wants in a cost-effective manner, then the company should be successful. The hard part is to be able to truly understand what the customer wants. Translating what the customer wants into a deliverable product (meaning some combination of goods and services) and designing a set of processes that will consistently deliver the product in a cost-effective manner are every bit as difficult. Finally, connecting the management of these products and processes to obtain desired business outcomes of the organization is a further challenge.
The Setting: Quality at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Ritz-Carlton. The name alone evokes images of luxury and quality. As the first hotel company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Ritz treats quality as if it is the heartbeat of the company. This means a daily commitment to meeting customer expectations and making sure that each hotel is free of any deficiency.
In the hotel industry, quality can be hard to quantify. Guests do not purchase a product when they stay at the Ritz: They buy an experience. Thus, creating the right combination of elements to make the experience stand out is the challenge and goal of every employee, from maintenance to management.
Before applying for the Baldrige Award, company management undertook a rigorous self-examination of its operations in an attempt to measure and quantify quality. Nineteen processes were studied, including room service delivery, guest reservation and registration, message delivery, and breakfast service. This period of self-study included statistical measurement of process work flows and cycle times for areas ranging from room service delivery times and reservations to valet parking and housekeeping efficiency. The results were used to develop performance benchmarks against which future activity could be measured.
With specific, quantifiable targets in place, Ritz-Carlton managers and employees now focus on continuous improvement. In this case study, you will deliver a presentation that addresses the following questions.
Make a list of hotel attributes that are important to you as a customer. Think like a customer and brainstorm a list of attributes that are important when it comes to selecting a hotel in which to stay. Briefly discuss each attribute.
Now, think like the operations manager and translate those attributes into a measurable process. Associate with each attribute/customer requirement a measure that would ensure that the process meets the requirement just as Ritz-Carlton did. Refer back to the House of Quality example on page 51. You do not need to create a house of quality, but you need specific, quantitative measures such as the target values in the house of quality example. See the Critical to Quality (CTQ) tree attachment for examples of quantitative measures.
Create a service blueprint for a process that meets your requirements. Describe it by using a flowchart similar to that show in Exhibit 9.6. Your flowchart can be any part of your process you select (a process of a customer’s stay from start to finish, a process for hiring employees, a process for dining services, a process for housekeeping, etc.).

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