Holiday inn is one of the best known family of hotel brands in the world. The experience, the quality, the service, the spirit etc, etc… it’s all begins here. With over 2000 hotels on six continents of the world, Holiday Inn has spent the last seventy years welcoming people to a world of comfort, excellence service, quality accommodation and memorable experiences in the best locations on the planet.
WHAT EXACTLY IS HOTEL INDUSTRY?
Like other industries, the Hotel Industry also needs to explore the opportunities for innovation in order to achieve peripheral service and customer satisfaction. This industry is alone a multi-billion dollar and one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy of recent age. The hotel industry is diverse for people to work in different areas of interest and offer unlimited opportunities.
According to the latest statistics of The Time Newspaper, there are approximately 120000 businesses within the commercial sector in Great Britain including hotels, restaurants, cafes, holiday camps, public houses, snack bars, and catering contractors.
Hotels are service industries. They provide a service to the customer rather than a product. The service consists of looking after people when they are away from home, by providing food, shelter, drink, sleeping accommodation, entertainment and leisure facilities.
The Holiday Inn has more than 2,000 hotels in 56 countries worldwide. (Source: http://www.hoteldesigns.net/review/review_412_1.html)
The first Holiday Inn Hotel was founded in 1952 by Wilson in USA, for inexpensive family accommodation travelers. The brand name Holiday Inn is now owned by IHG who in turn license it out to franchisees and third parties who operate hotels under management agreements. (Source: http://www.hoteldesigns.net/review/review_412_1.html)
Holiday Inn has a history of standards, part of Wilson’s original idea. Not meeting these standards may mean a lost franchise. Many of the older Holiday Inn hotels, especially the two-story ones with exterior corridors, have been removed from the Holiday Inn system as franchises expired and rebranded. Some old Holidomes have been rebranded as Best Westerns, Days Inns, and Quality Inns.
Holiday Inns boasted air-conditioned rooms, restaurants, meeting rooms, pools, television, direct dial telephone service, piped music and radio, wall to wall carpeting, cocktail lounges, and the Holidex – the computerized reservation system that put many Mom and Pop outfits out of business. Millions of road weary business travelers and harried families learned to organize their trips around the ritual of Holidex reservations, knowing that the same room, food, and night-lit pool awaited them down the road. (Source: http://www.hoteldesigns.net/review/review_412_1.html)
IN WHAT AREAS THE ORGANISATION HAVE STRATEGIC PLANS AND WHAT ARE THE PLANS?
Businesses are often worried about instantaneous issues and lose sight of their ultimate objectives and goals. That’s why a strategic plan is a virtual necessity for organisations. This may not be a recipe for success, but without it a business is much more likely to fail. A sound plan should:
- Explain the business to others in order to motivate, inform & involve other people.
- Serve as a framework for decisions.
- Support performance monitoring and benchmarking.
- Motivate change, bring innovation and become a vital part for next plan.
Strategic planning activities have become a significant source of competitiveness for hotel industry. Decision-makers must be able to integrate strategic initiatives to gain competitive advantage in the face of increasingly volatile technological innovation, customer expectations, and global competition. Strategy maker professionals must learn to integrate strategic and planning as well. While others (Walker, 1992; Schuler, 1990; and Ulrich, 1987) have detailed the models for changing strategies, less work has been done to identify the specific steps of linking strategic practices.
Strategic Planning of Holiday Inn
Strategic planning determines the major goals of the organization. It provides the foundation for the policies, procedures and strategies for obtaining and using resources to achieve those goals. Policies are broad guides to action and strategies determine the best way to use resources. At the strategic planning stage, the company decides which customers to serve, what products or services to sell and the geographic areas in which the firm will compete.
There are more than 220,000 employees in Holiday Inn Corporation worldwide.
While every hotelier is branding beds, redecorating and adding amenities, Holiday Inn and Hilton are onto the next hospitality marketing frontier: solicitous employees.
Holiday Inn is trying to brand the guest experience by standardizing service with a program called People Notice. As part of the plan, the chain is implementing the new service culture by conducting a three-month hands-on training program that emphasizes going the extra mile for hotel guests.
For example, if a housekeeper learns that a guest is missing a wedding anniversary while on the road, that employee can send flowers to the guest’s room with an anniversary card signed by the staff. If a guest requires medication to be refrigerated, a staffer can follow up by delivering the medicine at the appropriate time with a bottle of water and crackers. Incentives include recognition programs allowing guests and co-workers to laud an employee.
Holiday Inn is also participating with internal branding gurus from Northwestern University’s Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement in a multi-company study seeking to identify employee behaviors that result in customer loyalty. The Forum project intends to put a value on these actions so a company can develop a budget and invest in the behaviors that matter. An external branding campaign is also in the works.
“Anybody can knock off anybody else’s bed, do it better, cheaper and easier when it comes to products today,” said Bruce Bolger, the Forum’s executive director. “The difficult thing is changing employee behavior, and that is what separates the women from the girls.”
Meanwhile, Hilton Hotelslast month took its internal “Be hospitable” campaign to TV, print and outdoor, via FCB, San Francisco.
One objective of the umbrella effort is to communicate to the public that assurances of Hilton quality also apply to sister brands such as Embassy Suites.
The effort’s random kindness theme was augmented with DVDs, brochures, seminars and other materials provided to employees. Even company orientation packets, health benefit folders and recruiting booths are stamped with the “Be hospitable” look.
“A lot of hotel advertising today is about the bed but frankly, I don’t think people are surprised to find a bed when they check in to their room,” said Jeffrey Diskin, svp-Hilton Brand Performance. “We want to help you with why you went on a trip, and to do that, we need to focus on what the guest needs. A critical part of that is using our own people.”
Kathy Sheehan, travel analyst and svp for Roper Reports, New York, said the idea has merit. “To differentiate, you have to establish a relationship with the consumer and that means using your people.” That practice, dubbed “internal branding” or “leveraging human capital,” is figuring more prominently in marketing plans, said Bolger.
Indeed, agencies like Golin/Harris, Chicago; OgilvyOne, New York and human resources consultants like Hewitt and Mercer are establishing disciplines in people performance management for their clients. Draft, Chicago, has also long incorporated internal branding as part of its integrated marketing approach. “Companies are realizing it not all push-and-tell marketing,” said Tony Weisman, Draft’s CMO. “Co-creation by inviting in the customers and the employees is part of the process.”
WHAT DOES THE ORGANISATION DO TO IMPLEMENT THESE PLANS
Implementation means more than simply exercising the plan. It means acting on recommendations made during the vulnerability analysis, integrating the plan into company operations, training employees and evaluating the plan.
Where Do They Stand Right Now?
Review Internal Plans and Policies
Documents to look for include:
- Evacuation plan
- Fire protection plan
- Safety and health program
- Environmental policies
- Security procedures
- Insurance programs
- Finance and purchasing procedures
- Plant closing policy
- Employee manuals
- Hazardous materials plan
- Process safety assessment
- Risk management plan
- Capital improvement program
- Mutual aid agreements
Identify Critical Products, Services and Operations
You’ll need this information to assess the impact of potential emergencies and to determine the need for backup systems. Areas to review include: Identify Internal Resources and Capabilities
Resources and capabilities that could be needed in an emergency include:
- Personnel — fire brigade, hazardous materials response team, emergency medical services, security, emergency management group, evacuation team, public information officer
- Equipment — fire protection and suppression equipment, communications equipment, first aid supplies, emergency supplies, warning systems, emergency power equipment, decontamination equipment
- Facilities — emergency operating center, media briefing area, shelter areas, first-aid stations, sanitation facilities
- Organizational capabilities — training, evacuation plan, employee support system
Identify External Resources
There are many external resources that could be needed in an emergency. In some cases, formal agreements may be necessary to define the facility’s relationship with the following:
- Local emergency management office
- Fire Department
- Hazardous materials response organization
- Emergency medical services
- Local and State police
- Community service organizations
- Suppliers of emergency equipment
- Insurance carriers
WHAT FACTORS DO THEY APPEAR TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN DEVELOPING STRATEGY
Physical– What types of emergencies could result from the design or construction of the facility? Does the physical facility enhance safety? Consider:
- The physical construction of the facility
- Hazardous processes or byproducts
- Facilities for storing combustibles
- Layout of equipment
- Evacuation routes and exits
- Proximity of shelter areas
Human Error– What emergencies can be caused by employee error? Are employees trained to work safely? Do they know what to do in an emergency? Human error is the single largest cause of workplace emergencies and can result from:
- Poor training
- Poor maintenance
- Substance abuse
Regulatory– What emergencies or hazards are you regulated to deal with?
Analyze each potential emergency from beginning to end. Consider what could happen as a result of:
- Prohibited access to the facility
- Loss of electric power
- Communication lines down
- Ruptured gas mains
- Water damage
- Smoke damage
- Structural damage
- Air or water contamination
- Building collapse
- Trapped persons
- Chemical release
Good salary: The employees expect a good salary from the hotel in return of the work they do. Good salary is the most important need of the internal customer and if this need is fulfilled they are satisfied.
Good treatment from the management: Money is not the only need of the internal customer; they also need good treatment from the management.
Trust from the management: The management should have faith in their employees; this will increase the confidence level of the employees and will have a positive effect on their work.
Promotional opportunities: Most of the employees are ambitious, especially young employees. So they look for promotional opportunities. Promotional opportunities are also one of the essential needs of the internal customer.
Various perks: Perks or fringe benefits in other words have an immense effect on the attitude of the staff. By providing special perks to the staff the hotel in a way provokes them to work with their heart, which proves beneficial for the hotel.
Job security: Employees need a kind of job security for their future. If the job of the employees is secured then they can work tension free.
Good working atmosphere: The working atmosphere of the organisation should be cool. There should be no pressure from anywhere so that the employees feel free to work.
External customers are those who are the guests of the hotel. The pay the hotel for the services that are provided to them by the hotel. External customers should be provided with good and efficient service so that they become repeat customers of the hotel.
NEEDS OF THE EXTERNAL CUSTOMERS
Warm welcome from the hotel: First and foremost what external customer need is a warm welcome from the hotel. They should be greeted properly when they arrive in the hotel.
Efficient service: Service is the most influential factor for the customers of the hotel. If the service provided by the hotel is efficient and effective it affects the reputation of the hotel in a positive way. The external customers can also recommend the hotel to other people.
Friendly environment: The environment of the hotel should be friendly so that the customers feel like home.
Some extra benefits if they are repeat customers: If the customers are repeat customers then they should be given some benefits like discounts or special rates, so they feel happy and remain the customers of the hotel for long time.
Good facilities: The hotel should provide all the essential and also luxurious facilities for which they are paid for.
Reasonable and affordable rates: The customers always expect affordable rates for their stay or meal in the hotel. This can result in making them repeat customers for the hotel.
WHAT COULD BE THE POSSIBLE PROCESS
Companies obviously need to improve strategy implementation activities, but the pace of these activities and the implementation itself have many problems. Primary objectives are somehow forgotten as the strategy moves into implementation, and the initial momentum is lost before the company realizes the expected benefits. The cause isn’t easy to explain, but it can be attributed to a variety of problems.
WAYS OF ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS:
- Advertising: It is a paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identifiable sponsor. Advertising is a purposive communication to external customers.
- Pricing: Reasonable pricing of the product and services can attract external customers to a certain extent.
- Channels of distribution: Like transport, stock holding and storage, local knowledge, promotion, display can attract external customers.
- Sales Promotions: These are marketing activities that stimulate consumer purchasing, and dealer effectiveness, such as displays, shows and exhibitions, demonstrations and various non-recurrent selling efforts not in the ordinary routine.
- Branding: A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design intended to identify the product of a seller and to differentiate it from those of competitors. Brand names like Hilton, Marriott can often attract external customers to a wide extent.
- Personal selling: The sales force is an important part of the communication mix. Personal selling is concerned with an individual selling his own ideas of the typical personal sales.
- Customer loyalty schemes: Customer loyalty schemes can also attract external customers. Customer loyalty schemes like offering a discount cards, offering extra facilities during parties etc are effective attracting the external customers to the hotel.
- Public relations: Public relations are important to attract external customers. Public relations are all about getting publicity for the product through skilful manipulation of the media.
- Direct marketing: It is the planned recording, analysis and tracking of customer behaviour to develop relational marketing strategies.
CAN THE ORGANISATION PLAN BE IMPROVED OR DEVELOPED
Simply put, strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more, how it’s going to get there and how it’ll know if it got there or not. The focus of a strategic plan is usually on the entire organization, while the focus of a business plan is usually on a particular product, service or program.
There are a variety of perspectives, models and approaches used in strategic planning. The way that a strategic plan is developed depends on the nature of the organization’s leadership, culture of the organization, complexity of the organization’s environment, size of the organization, expertise of planners, etc. For example, there are a variety of strategic planning models, including goals-based, issues-based, organic, scenario (some would assert that scenario planning is more a technique than model), etc. Goals-based planning is probably the most common and starts with focus on the organization’s mission (and vision and/or values), goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve the goals, and action planning (who will do what and by when). Issues-based strategic planning often starts by examining issues facing the organization, strategies to address those issues, and action plans. Organic strategic planning might start by articulating the organization’s vision and values and then action plans to achieve the vision while adhering to those values. Some planners prefer a particular approach to planning, eg, appreciative inquiry. Some plans are scoped to one year, many to three years, and some to five to ten years into the future. Some plans include only top-level information and no action plans. Some plans are five to eight pages long, while others can be considerably longer.
Quite often, an organization’s strategic planners already know much of what will go into a strategic plan (this is true for business planning, too). However, development of the strategic plan greatly helps to clarify the organization’s plans and ensure that key leaders are all “on the same script”. Far more important than the strategic plan document, is the strategic planning process itself.
REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY
Airey, D. and Johnson, S. (1999), “The content of tourism degree courses in the UK”, Tourism Management, Vol. 20, pp. 229-35.
Higher Education Funding Council for England (2001), Getting Ahead: Graduate Careers in Hospitality Management (HEFCE 01/30 May Report), Council for Hospitality Management Education/HEFCE, Bristol.
Impact Skills Network (2002), “An assessment of skills needs in tourism and cultural industries: Skills dialogues”, July, available at www.impactskillbase.org.uk
Jameson, S.M. and Holden, R. (2000), “‘Graduateness’ who cares? Graduate identity in small hospitality firms”, Education and Training, Vol. 42 No. 4/5, pp. 264-71.