Room divisions Operations Management

8 August 2016

This case study explores the importance of Room Division service in hospitality industry. The task 1 discusses the different services provided by the rooms division in different circumstances. The impact of different operational issues in managing the front of house area is evaluated in the second task. The third task discusses the different features that add the effectiveness of accommodation service function. Lastly the importance of using statistical and forecasting techniques to maximize and measure the number of room occupancy and revenue generation is described.

Introduction The study of hospitality industry is known as hospitality management. The term hospitality generally refers to the generosity and affable behavior towards to guests and visitors. There is a business across the globe which welcomes visitors with food and accommodation and this business is known as hospitality business. It is a service industry and the most essential part of this industry is ensuring high customer satisfaction and providing best facilitations for them.

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Room division management is an important division of hospitality management where it is guaranteed good housekeeping along with managing front office and other operational services. To perform these duties it requires responsible managers and staffs with relevant knowledge and skills. Effective management of room division is an underlying activity of a successful hospitality business. Task A Research report into rooms division operation A. 1 Analysis of the key aspects of legislation and regulations to rooms division There are many rules are regulations set by the government for the business practice in their countries.

The European legislation has laid laws pertaining to guests, right to employees, environment food and beverages etc. As per some these guidelines are same for the room division services as well (Yu, 2012). The main laws in practice are as follows. Environmental law – It is essential for the room division services to follow the environmental law which suggests protecting environment by using less contaminant substances which is harmful to the environment.

As for example the when the rooms are being cleaned it is necessary to check the amount of detergent used and the waste water should be treated so that it does not pollute the environment Food safety–Providing variety food and healthy food to the customers is very important. The food and beverages should meet the standard set by the government so that the customers are fully satisfied and stays healthy. The hospitality service sector needs to monitor the food quality served to the customers.

Employee rights and protection – The minimum remuneration and working hours of a particular job should be mentioned in the agreement papers and should be same for all the employees in the post irrespective of class, gender, ethnicity and race. Employees should be protected when they complain against the employer regarding misconduct and others. Data protection – In most of the countries the Intellectual Property Law is established against the theft of data and information.

This is very important because in company secrets regarding the personal details of the customers are recorded and it is the duties of the room division staffs to abide by the guidelines and protect this information. Price and tariff regulation – according to the laws set by the government there are defined price of services for different types of hotels and tourism industries. The room division staffs need to maintain their quality level and charge the customers accordingly. They cannot charge more for not providing a particular benefit. For avoiding future discrepancies it is the duty of these staffs to display their price chart accurately.

Any specified privileges to the corporate customers and others need to follow rules and regulations for proper functioning of the system. There are other rules and regulations regarding record keeping for immigrants and laundry services affect the room division service of the hospitality organizations. These guidelines support better functioning of the service. A. 2 Roles and Responsibilities of Accommodation and Reception Staff The accommodation and the reception staffs of a hospitality industry perform multiple roles and responsibilities (Mok, et al. , 2013).

They are the backbone of any hospitality industries like hotel, restaurants, tourism, hospital and many more. Roles and responsibilities of accommodations services staffs are various some of the important function are mentioned below. 1. They ensure accommodation area is well maintained, clean and presentable. 2. They control budget for stocks and maintaining the inventory for food and other supplies to the customers 3. They manage in maintaining repairs and the room decors and furnishings. 4. They inspect and ensure the accommodation is in compliance with proper hygiene and safety regulations.

5. It is the responsibility of the accommodation managers to recruit and train room attendant staffs and to coordinate with other departments for better standard of performance. 6. They take care and arrange the laundry services and the room’s linens so that neat and clean environment is maintained. 7. The precise duty and responsibilities vary for different positions and size of the organization. The front office staffs are the face of the company. They must have an excellent communication skill and a pleasant personality when they greet the customers.

The reception service staffs play an important role in various service organizations (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2008). Some of the vital responsibilities are as follows 1. They help in processing the visitors’ booking reservation requests in hotel industry and keeping a record of the guests in other companies. 2. They allocating the rooms and staying facilities for the guests and managing their cycle from checking in to checking out. 3. Managing the guests complaint and directing them a suitable solutions is done by the front office staffs 4.

The front desk cashiers supporting the visitors with billing details and performing others sales and promotional activities. 5. The cashiers at the front desk take care of point of sales and checks whether the complete transaction is done correctly. 6. By keeping a check in the incoming visitors and guests the front office staffs also maintain a record book for the purpose of security. 7. They effectively communicate the concerned people during emergency and for informing the housekeeping special requests and checks out details.

The main purpose of the accommodation and reception staffs is to maximize customers’ satisfaction level. They need to perform variety of roles and responsibilities for an effective functioning of the services. A. 3 Evaluating services offered by the rooms division for different hospitality business A. 3. 1 Services offered by Accommodation & front office department The room division for any hospitality business performs various functions and the two main sectors of room division are the accommodation and front office department (O’Fallon & Rutherford, 2010).

Their functions are as follows Accommodation service department – The main function of this department is to maintain and repair and the accommodation area or property. This is the overall management of the office space, hotels, restaurants, campuses etc. It is necessary service for all the businesses with a building facility but for the hospitality industry it is of utmost importance. Accommodation services include housekeeping, interior decoration, laundry and linen, safety and security provision, maintenance and many more.

Front office service department – They are the face of the service provider and visitors and customers come to them for any information (Bardi, 2011). It is important for the front desk staffs to do different activities like making reservation, allocating rooms, facilitating billing process, and providing relevant information. They need to have excellent communication skills, coordinating behavior and good body language so that the customers feel comfortable. For a better customer satisfaction and overall functioning of the business it is important for both the departments to work coordinative way and towards achieving organizations’ goal.

A. 3. 2 Evaluation of various services offered by Rooms Division Rooms Division services play an essential role in the hospitality industry. There are many services offered by the room division managers (Clarke & Chen, 2012). The main function is planning and evaluating operations for the entire business. The hospitality business have diverse environment like hotels, restaurants that provide room service and educational campuses. Therefore the Room Division department is required in these organizations for better services to their customers.

The services offered by the room division to the hotel industries are maintaining the accommodation area and allocating rooms to visitors (O’Fallon & Rutherford, 2010). They control the inventory for supplies to the customers. They coordinate working with other department sin the organization for catering and other services. They plan, recruit and train the staff members for better performance. The restaurants that have room facilities provide food and resting amenities to their customers. The reception and front desk office manages the billing related activities and provide information

regarding tariff and other promotional offers. Services offered by the room division in university campus are almost same in the hotel industries. They are required plan accommodation for students and other delegates visiting the university. They manage and maintain the accommodation facilities by ensuring timely repairs and refurbishment. Thus it can be said that the room division offers variety of services in the hospitality business and the outstanding services providers create a brand value for the organization. A. 4 Importance of front-of-house area and the accommodation service. A. 4.

1 Importance of the front of house area to effective management The building premises of any hospitality business should be well maintained. The front of house area is the place where the visitors and guests first enter and it gives them the first impression of the service provider. The interior decoration, layouts and designs should be attractive. The welcome area should be properly lighted with perfect ventilation so that many guests can be accommodated and served at the same time (Abbott & Lewry, 2013). Flower arrangement, colorful pattern on walls and overall ambience should be pleasant and charming.

The front of house area must have affront office department where the customers are necessary to make all types of communication throughout their stay (Andrews, 2013). The guest cycle is maintained by the front office staffs and for the customers they make the necessary booking reservations by coordinating with them over phone and mails. They maintain the details and guest records. On arrival of guests necessary details are updated into the organization’s Property Management System (PMS), charges are added in the POS (Point of Sale) when guests avail services like entertainment or sports and are then reorganized in the PMS.

This is useful at the time of checking out helps the management in maintaining bookkeeping. The front office staffs maintain various records which are later evaluated by the board members for an effective management of the organization. A. 4. 2 Importance of property interiors and design to effective management For an attractive and warm welcome the layout and the property’s interior design is an important factor and can increase customer fulfillment. A well decorated office can have a positive impact on the customer’s mind and shabby space can have a negative impact on the customer’s thought process

(Piotrowski, et al. , 2013). For an office space, rooms should be durable and there should be enough area for the employees to be mobile inside the office. It should be well lit and ventilated so that many people working together do not feel suffocated. The furnishings and fittings should be comfortable and easily accessible for example when an employees is at his desk he should be able to operate the computers, make a call and write a note easily without stretching or feeling uncomfortable. Thus overall interior decoration should emphasis on a good work environment.

The hospitality service organizations like hotels focus greatly on the interior decoration of the reception area, lobby and rooms. The reception space must have flower pots and decorative plants that can set a pleasant tone (Enz, 2009). The rooms should have well designed fabrics matching linens and a sweet odor so that the customers or guests relive their senses, feel relaxed and enjoy their stay. Effective interior design requires balancing between the purpose of operations and other beautifying elements to create the ambience for the visitors.

Task B Understanding the key aspects of management of rooms division at Hilton hotel and resorts Hilton hotels are an international chain of hotels and resorts services (Anon. , 2013). This was founded in 1919 and over 540 hotels across globe. Mr. Rob Palleschi is the room division head of the company. The key aspects of managing room division at Hilton Hotels are evaluated below. B. 1 The key aspects of planning and management of the front of house area and the accommodation service. B. 1. 1 Discussing key aspects of planning and management of the front of house area.

Planning and management of the front of house area is vital for a successful functioning of any hospitality organization because it is the main point of contact with the potential customers. The Hilton group of hotels and resorts has a strong planned, organized and managed front of house area. The key aspects of planning and managing front of house area at the Hilton Group of hotels and resorts are as follows Departmental planning – At the Hilton Group work is assigned to each departments and the employees have distinct roles and responsibilities.

There are full service departments for catering, housekeeping, finance, marketing, human resource and many more. The front office at Hilton effectively communicates with every department along with the customers, guests and employees for a smooth running of the hotel Use of latest technologies – The Hiltons group encourages the use of latest technologies for an effortless operation of the customers billing and sales. The front office have introduced POS (point of sales) designed by HSI for its 150 chains of hotels located at different countries (Panettieri, Joseph C.

;, 2010). They have a long term partnership for providing hospitality solutions of hotel technologies. Security measures – The front of house area at Hilton hotels have very developed security measurements. They have closed circuit of television at different locations inside their property which continuously captures images of the visitors, guests, and employees and records them accordingly (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). Information of the location is also stored with the help of key cards and other modern technologies.

Data protection of the customers – At the front office when a potential customers arrive they are required to enter their personal contact details and other important details regarding their purpose of stay and others. The front office staffs at the Hilton hotels and resorts takes an extra care to protect this consumer’s information and keep it as a secret (Hilton, 2013). For hospitality industry customer information protection is vital as it contains many of personal data which cannot be accessed by others. Evaluation process – The front of office department at Hiltons regularly evaluate the customer’s needs and demands.

They collect feedback from the customers regarding their service and the scope of improvements (Hilton, 2013). As for example if a customer complains of the reservation procedure they make necessary changes to the system after taking approval from the higher management members. At the Hilton Group the hospitality service is extremely appreciated and customers experience is high level of satisfaction. The front office area is not only equipped with the modern technologies, staffs have pleasant personality and is well planned and managed. B. 1. 2 Analyzing key aspects of planning and management of the accommodation service.

Accommodation service includes mainly the housekeeping, maintenance of the facility, hygiene factors, safety measures, security services and many more. Housekeeping involves managing and cleaning of all public and private areas in a hotel. Engineering and maintenance takes care of equipments and maintenance any break down of the restrooms and other leisure rooms in the hotels. Safety and security services are responsible for safety of the building, customers and employees. Planning and management at the Hilton group went through a strategic change after identifying their market position.

They introduced a concept known as business scorecards which aimed at implementing all aspects of the business and change the company’s culture for achieving the organization’s objectives (Enz, 2010). The management operations were reoriented towards the business scorecard. The employees were given proper training related to their work and the overview of the organizations culture. The planning of staffs allocated to different departments play a key role for effective and proper handling of work responsibilities which ensures efficient department planning.

The size and structure of the accommodation service determines the number of employees and in Hilton Hotels it is stated that more than 135,000 employees are working (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). The capability of multitasking is very important for managing different responsibilities regarding housekeeping. The business operations at Hilton Hotel adopted a new model after conducting customer surveys. This system focuses on the delivery of value or utility to the customers by adopting action oriented tactics and redesigning their organizational and support construction (Enz, 2010).

They applied the theory of value chain which associates long term strategic objectives to short term business plans. As for example the accommodation services focused more on cleaning of bathrooms, quick responsiveness towards the guests complains, maintaining a pleasant room odor, cutting off the external disturbances inside the rooms like noise and maintaining quietness all around the premises. The main purpose of adopting this value chain process for their accommodation service at Hotel Hilton was to enhance Hilton’s stakeholders and customers’ level of satisfaction.

They applied continuous improvement procedure to guarantee increased performance level as the customer’s expectation and demand changes. B. 2 Evaluating the main operational issues affecting management and business performance. B. 2. 1 Analyzing the key operational issues affecting business performance of the front office area. Front office is the heart of any hotel business and all types of transactions passes through this department. Managing front office procedure has a lot of barriers that needs to be addressed for a successful business operation (O’Fallon & Rutherford, 2010 ).

The main operational issues are as follows Financial– It is very important to manage the financial issues efficiently for an effective running of hospitality service organization. One of the key functions of front office cashier is to settle, prepare and manage guest’s accounts. The front office staffs of Hilton hotels are well trained and are qualified accountants who tackle the financial problems and accounting issues (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). Sales and marketing – The changing market conditions and increased competition it is important for the hotels to market and promote their services.

Since the front office department is the face of the hotel for potential customers they have the additional responsibility to advertise their services to generate sales. Hiltons have a highly motivated sales people working as a team who create different selling platforms for their customers to enhance the market share (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). Human resource –The front office is the hub and is required to effectively communicate with all the departments like housekeeping, food and catering, room service, laundry department and many more. There are issue relates to managing employee details, recruiting assistants and trainings them.

Hilton hotel front office staffs are warm; actively cooperate with different departments and quickly handles customer’s grievance effectively (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). Quality – Maintaining high quality standard is utmost important for the customers to return and avail the service in future. The front office is required to maintain the quality by adhering to the hotel’s policies and programs. The Hilton hotels front office takes a lot of care to enhance the service quality and regularly collect feedback from their customers regarding the service provided (Hilton Worldwide, 2013).

Customers – The main source of revenue of any hospitality industry is their customers. The changing consumer behavior and their expectations are the main operational problem faced by the front office department. Hilton hotels front office staffs are trained individual who understand their customers well and responds to their queries efficiently (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). They are also trained to handle customer grievance with patience and calm nature. Thus it can be said that there are many operational issues associated in managing front office department.

Hilton group of hotels recruit individuals who are skilled with pleasant personality and highly motivated to overcome these problems and making the hotel a successful brand. B. 2. 2 Analysis of the key operational issues affecting business performance of the accommodation service. Managing accommodation services involves in scheduling of staffs, maintaining and repairing the premises, analysing budget, controlling expenses and working in compliance with the organizations’ rules and regulation.

For any hotel operation a well run accommodation service is a vital part for its overall success. During the course of working there are several operational issues that hinder the business performance (Jones, 2008 ). Some of the key problems are as follows Marketing – One of the main functions of the accommodation department is to market the brand with promotional activities and advertisements. Hotel Hilton has a team of highly motivated sales, marketing and communication team which aims to represent the hotels services in both internet and offline media.

There are more than 700 sales managers who communicate with the potential customers regarding their assortment of properties and brands (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). This is very difficult as people from one country to another have different needs and wants and meeting these expectations pose a complicated situation. Financial – The overall maintenance of the hotels, employee retention process, technology and other departments’ incur huge expenses on the management and the only source of income are the customers.

With increased completion and overall expenses Hotel Hilton is facing problems related to the growing debt trouble (Mark Reutter , 2013). The company needs to pay the staffs in form of salaries; the government in form of service taxes and because of the economic slowdown and recession the operating expenses has increased tremendously. Human resource management – Recruiting the right candidate for the right job is a great challenge for the accommodation service department. The next part is training and motivating the staffs to work abiding the company rules and regulations.

At Hilton Hotel the management faces extensive problems in retention the staffs (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). Different leadership styles and reward programs have been implemented to keep the employees. Customers – Due to increased competition in hotels sectors the customers look the best service providers and are less of brand loyal. It is difficult to identify the changing tastes and expectations of the customers. Hilton group of hotels have come up with customer loyalty programs like the Hilton HHonors which allows a customer for a free stay at more than 10 brands of Hilton Groups (Hilton Worldwide, 2013).

These loyalty programs are expensive for the organisations but it is necessary to have implemented for a competitive advantage. There are different operational issues in the effective functioning of the accommodation services but working as a team and cooperation from different department’s can overcome these hurdles and move ahead. Task C Research into occupancy, room revenue and key aspects of techniques to measure C. 1 Explanation of revenue or yield management. Yield management or revenue management is a process of forecasting, indulging and influencing the customers’ behavior in order to earn optimum profit from

operations (Hayes & Miller, 2011). There are three important aspect of application of yield management. First, the resource should be recurring or cyclical, secondly it should be perishable in nature and thirdly there should be demand for the service. Demand is managed through promotion and distribution channels and there are mainly two types of distribution channels in use Controlled – These channels directly interface customers to the hotels and their brands. As for example use of advertisement through internet and television media.

Intermediary – Where an agent or middleman is involved in promoting the hotels to the customer intermediary channel is in use. To maximize the revenue it is important to have a fixed pricing approach and the tariffs should be on the basis of standard, quality of service, day and night logging etc. rates may vary if the customers come for a longer duration, on the peak seasons or slump seasons so that maximum numbers of rooms are occupied. Price fencing or discounting is applicable when the customer pays the full payment at the time of reservation, in advance booking.

Prices are also lowered when he customers’ lead time or waiting time is increased so that the potential customer’s do not walk away. To maximize the revenue the inventory or stock needs to be managed by evaluating the current and estimated bookings made by the customers. To capitalize maximum customers and increase the market share it is important to make promotional activities using internet and encouraging viral advertisement. This means making a buzz in the internet so that any customer who searches for any associated article on the internet comes across the word and brand awareness is created.

To some extent the yield management may have ethics related issues. According to many observations it is revealed that in hotel business this practice may not be justified (Kotler, 2008). As for example the hotels may not inform the customers regarding the price changes when there are discounts available or not offering enough benefits as per pricing. The main advantage of revenue or yield management system in hotel industry is to enhance productivity, ensuring optimum utilization of resources and increase profitability in terms of sales and market share.

Although it has a number of disadvantages like practicing price differentiation which is sometimes perceived as unethical by customers, luring customers, focusing highly on revenue generation and failing in customer expectations. C. 2 Analyzing sales techniques to maximize revenue. There are different marketing techniques adopted by hotel industry to increase the number of room’s occupancy and maximize the revenue. They are as follows Rates structures – It is important to structure the rates of different services before the customers arrive so that there are no discrepancies during room charges (Dix & Baird, 2006).

There are various tariff structures in the hotel industry and the selection depends particularly on the market where the hotel wants to operate. Pricing on market-basis – Many customer at hotels want to avail some extra services like restaurants and pool without paying high prices (Reid & Bojanic, 2009). In such cases the hotels allows their customers to use these charging lower amounts. This is mainly done to attract new customers. Negotiation of tariffs – The room rates needs to be bargained with the customers before making the final settlement.

During peak season when most of the rooms are occupied the room rates increase, for special delegates the rooms should be charged high with greater personal attention. Customers with corporate packages should be charged differently from the individual or family customers. Hotels should utilize overbooking policy that is during full occupancy if a customer’s fails to come on time or does not come at all the cancellation charges may not be refunded Referrals and sale leads – Satisfied customer often spread the word of mouth and also give referrals to the hotels in their feedback forms.

It is important for the hotel management to evaluate the feedback and target the referrals who are the potential customers to increase their sales (Ingram, 2013). Performing market research and emphasis on repeat business needs to be given. Up selling – An existing customer can be induced to upgrade the services by the hotel sales managers. As for example a customer can be persuaded to take a room with a better view and bigger space by just paying a little extra (Hayes & Miller, 2011). This helps the hotels to earn revenue from their existing customers.

Customer loyalty programs – For the satisfied customers it is required to make schemes like loyalty cards, incentives and providing discounts (Ingram, 2013). This makes the customers more attached to the brand and wants to return to the same hotel time and again. Managing the sources of booking – it is essential for the management to properly assess the booking details and their sources. Such as the website of the hotel should be updated regularly and good professional relationship needs to be maintained with the travel agents, airlines and the potential customers (Hayes & Miller, 2011).

Thus effective implementation of sales techniques helps a hotel to maximize their revenue. C. 3 Evaluating the use of forecasting and statistical data in the room division. One of main purpose of hotels is to achieve greater customer satisfaction and increase in room occupancy which in turn enhances revenue generation. Forecasting availability of rooms is estimating the number of rooms that will be available for future sale. Forecasting is done by analysing on the basis of statistical data available with the hotels by collecting survey forms from the satisfied customers.

It is comparison process of the projected presentation to the actual performance. Some of the important usage of forecasting and statistical data in hotels is as follows 1. It helps in creating a target of room booking that needs to be achieved in a day or week or month basis to optimize growth. 2. This projection helps the front office staffs in reservation and booking processes. By forecasting the room occupancy the management can also plan the number of employees required for the task. 3.

This helps the accommodation department to plan and store the required supplies for the number of customers so that there is no surplus or wastage. 4. Forecasting helps the management to select the future pricing strategy. For example if there is off season and according to forecast less number of customers visit then the hotels can lower their base prices. 5. The catering and food department can store the food items according to the number of customers estimated. 6. The hotel management can formulate their future marketing strategies and expansion plan on the basis of their forecasts and statistical data 7.

These techniques also acts as a benchmark for their services and the management can focus on their improvement areas. 8. By using making the analysis on day to day basis the managers can take successful operating decisions. The most commonly used performance indicators by the front office department are room occupancy percentage, double room occupancy percentage and average room rate. Room division operation can be well managed and controlled by using different performance indicators. C. 4 Calculation of performance indicators to measure

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