Hilton hotels’ chain is an international corporation that has been established by Conrad Hilton in 1919. Currently, Hilton hotels constitute a considerable share in the world hospitality industry with more than 3,000 hotels, offering more than 50,000 rooms and employing over 100,000 workers all over the world.
Similar to other hotels in the hospitality industry, Hilton hotels provide a set of hospitality services to its customers. Services that are offered by Hilton hotels are developed to satisfy diverse needs and wishes of different groups of customers, including individuals, groups of people, as well as corporate clients. Hilton hotels offer four major groups of services, such as accommodation (for example, availability of different types of rooms, 24 hour help desk, housekeeping, etc.), serving food and beverages (for example, delivery of groceries, room service, etc.), leisure services (for example, swimming pool, gardens, television with satellite channels, gymnasium and spa, etc.), and, finally business services (for example, 24 hour business center, courier and mail services, etc.).
Major groups of customers of Hilton hotel include individual travelers, groups of travelers and tourists, and corporate clients.
Order qualifiers of the Hilton hotels include high brand recognition, constant technical innovations that substantially improve customers’ experiences, and exceptionally good reputation on the market. However, what persuades customers to choose Hilton hotels over other similar hotels on the market are their order winners, such as diversified portfolio and exceptional loyalty program that is well recognized in the hospitality industry.
Three Main Operational Processes of the Hilton Hotels
In order to deliver services that Hilton hotels offer to its clients, a number of operational processes need to be performed, managed and controlled. Following three major operational processes of the Hilton hotels will be analyzed in the framework of the operational management: front desk operations, room maintenance and housekeeping, and sales and marketing operations.
Front desk operations comprise essential part of the Hilton hotels operations. Schematically, they can be represented in the following way.
Front desk operational processes (output services) are provided to the customers by applying transforming activities to the input resources (both transformed and transforming input resources). Clerks and receptionists at the front desk use necessary equipment and facilities (such as telephones, computers, knowledge about the hotel and telephone department extension codes, etc.). With the help of these input resources, front desk staff is answering incoming and out coming calls from the customers, answers questions about the hotel, prepares room packages, encodes room keys, opens telephone lines etc. (transforming activities). As a result, customers receive all set of front desk services at the hotel.
Room maintenance and housekeeping operations set up background operational processes of the Hilton hotels. Schematically, they can be represented in the following way.
Room maintenance and housekeeping operational processes (output services) are carried out in the Hilton hotels on a daily basis by applying transforming activities to the input resources (both transformed and transforming input resources). In particular, maids and other housekeeping staff in the hotels are using different kinds of supplies, cleaning devices and equipment in order to provide clean rooms and hotel facilities to the customers. Transforming activities in the Hilton Hotels (with respect to the housekeeping and room maintenance) include cleaning of the room, changing bed sheets, washing of towels, and changing bathroom supplies. Therefore, customers that are staying at the Hilton hotels receive full range of room maintenance and housekeeping services.
Sales and marketing operations secure successful performance of the Hilton Hotels in the market by ensuring sustainable inflow of customers.
Sales and marketing process in the Hilton hotels operational processes (output services) are provided to the customers by applying transforming activities to the following input resources (both transformed and transforming input resources). First, input transforming resources include equipment (predominantly computers, telephones and other relevant office equipment), facilities of the hotel and market analysts, sales managers, marketing department specialists and others personnel of the sales and marketing department. Employees of the sales and marketing department with the help of equipment are collecting information about different tourist agencies, travelling tours in the places where the hotels are located, largest competitors on the hospitality market, etc. Using this information datasets, they are developing marketing strategies that would be the most effective in attracting more customers and improving performance of the Hilton hotels on the market. As a result, information about the hotel is communicated to the customers in the most effective way. Sales managers of the Hilton hotels develop exclusive services for the travel agencies, which in turn would set their preferences to the Hilton hotels.
Total quality management is a managerial approach, according to which quality is considered to be a determining factor of the organization’s success. Three major characteristics of the total quality management are the following: importance of teamwork in the course of goals’ unification, focus on consumers in the course of defining quality, and a requirement for adoption of the scientific approach that should be based on the data.
First attempts of adopting total quality management have been carried out at the Japanese organizations. Soon after that, in the early 1980s total quality management has been adopted as a tool in the programs of the productivity improvement in the European organizations. As a result, total quality management became the most commonly used approach in the 1990s in the majority of enterprises. It has been implemented by numerous organizations as an attempt not only to improve productivity, but also to enhance quality and competitiveness in the market. Currently, a lot of organizations either adopted total quality management approach already, or are expecting to implement it in the nearest future.
Implementation of the total quality management in the organizations requires understanding of “hard factors” and “soft factors”, which have been widely investigated in the literature. There is a big body of the empirical studies, findings of which suggest systematic organization and classification of the vital and critical factors of the quality management practices. Initially, a lot of researchers identify eight major categories (determining factors) of the total quality management implementation. In particular, these categories include the role of the quality department, role of the top management leadership, role of product and service design, training, quality management of the supplier, quality data and reporting, process management, and finally relations among employees. A lot of empirical studies are assessing the impact of these factors on the quality management implementation either jointly, separately, or in groups.
Originally, total quality management has been developed and adopted in the manufacturing environment. As a result, techniques and terminology of the quality management bear peculiarities of this environment. Therefore, total quality management approach has been adjusted to the service environmental conditions.
Intangible character of the service as a product on the market complicates quantification of the terms and features that are associated with the product’s quality. Hence, evaluation of the product’s quality is problematic for total quality management in case of the service.
Being limited by the perishable nature of services, they cannot be stocked. Therefore, services are typically produced “on demand”. As a result, the process of service delivery to the customers is rather complicated, and involves coordination of the primary system as well as coordination of the support system. Unlike enterprises in the manufacturing sector, time in for the service delivery is a vital determining factor of the service’s quality.
In the hotel industry, total quality management approach has been applied for the first time in the 1980s when quality assurance became a widely accepted managerial method within the hospitality industry. However, still a lot of hotels at that time have been experiencing difficulties with understanding of the real meaning of the total quality management. The number of hospitality organizations, which became interested in the application of the total quality management approach, has considerably increased during the last ten years. Recent changes and developments of the “soft” features of the total quality management have motivated implementation of the total quality management by numerous organizations that operate in the service sector. This shift is largely explained by the fact that soft aspects of the total quality management are more applicable to the organizations in the service industries, compared to its “harder” characteristics. As a result, total quality management has become an indispensable managerial approach which is widely used by organizations in order to improve quality of their products, productivity, organizational efficiency, and organizational performance.
Introduction of the total quality management in the organization is associated with numerous operational advantages, including improved productivity, increased innovations, changes in the attitude and behavior of employees, creativity among employees, etc.
Quality is considered to be a vital compound of the productivity in the organization. Productivity and quality are two characteristics of the work process that coexist together and cannot be separated. Therefore, improvements in the quality are directly causing improvements in the productivity in the organization. Both productivity and quality can be incorporated into a systematic approach. It is the total quality management that has the capacity to make available compulsory integration of productivity and quality. Hence, total quality management maintains innovative practices in the organization that deliver numerous benefits for both productivity and quality in the organization. Manufacturing products and services of high quality that attain satisfaction of customers leads to the improvements in the productivity. Therefore, total quality management is an influential managerial technique of the constant improvements in the customers’ satisfaction and organization’s productivity. Successful implementation of the total quality management in the organizations brings shifts in the productivity and quality in the organization. As a result, total quality management is an indispensable management approach that can substantially improve productivity and quality of the organization’s operational processes.
There is evidence in the literature that implementation of the total quality management in the organizations is associated with changes in the attitude of employees to the work, as well as with changes in their behavior. However, there is no consistency in the findings with respect to the issue whether changes in the attitudes and behavior are positive or negative. It is believed that introduction of the total quality management in the organization is associated with the establishment of the work environment in which employees find themselves more motivated and empowered to take part in the process of the product and services’ quality improvement. At the same time, total quality management is not only focused on the quality of products; it is also concerned about the quality of employees. Therefore, successful implementation of the total quality management stimulates employees to perform well and stay in the organization. As a result, when employees in the organization are highly committed then they contribute more effectively to the growth and effectiveness of the organization they are working in.
Then, there is evidence in the literature that implementation of the total quality management in the organization will result in the improved process of innovation. Introduction of the total quality management creates and provides necessary culture and supportive environment for innovation due to the fact that total quality management approach incorporates principles that go well together with innovation. At the same time, total quality management can establish a cultural climate in the organization, which is necessary for encouraging innovation. Therefore, total quality management promotes incremental process of innovation in the organisation with the help of continuous improvement.
Finally, according to Wang and Casimir (2007), implementation of the total quality management in the organizations improves trust among subordinates to the leaders and latter stimulates employees to be more creative in their work. Moreover, intrinsic motivation of the employees is considered to be a mediator of the relationship between willingness to take risks for creativity and certain antecedents (Dewett, 2007). Furthermore, willingness to take risks for creativity mediates the effect of inherent incentive on the creativity of employees. Findings of the study established that inherent incentive of employees is one of the fundamental bases of their creativity. Risk-taking facet of creativity is considered to be more associated with inherent motivators that are related to the job. Inherent incentives and style of innovation have a substantial positive impact on the creativity of employees (Munoz-Doyague et al., 2008). Therefore, there are differences in the creativity performance among employees, depending on their behaviors. Overall, attitudes of employees are positively associated with productivity. However, still there are certain limitations and inconsistencies in the literature with respect to this question. For example, a positive relationship has been found between employees’ retention, organizational productivity and high-involvement work practices.
In general, during the coming five years, total quality management concepts will substantially change and improve. Given current rates of technical progress, implementation and maintenance of the total quality management will require corresponding changes. In particular, tools of the total quality management will become less personalized and will be more focused on the cost reduction and quality improvement. Elimination of wastes of the production process, efficient use of resources and attainment of higher cost effectiveness would be the primary targets of the total quality management development in the coming years.
Implementation of the Quality Planning, Quality Control, and Quality Improvement in the Organization
Implementation of total quality management approach in the organization requires adoption and development of numerous managerial processes. In particular, quality planning, quality control and quality improvement are essential components of the total quality management in the organization. These processes are especially relevant in the setting of the hospitality organization due to their “soft” character.
Implementation of the quality planning in the hotel or other organization in the hospitality industry is accompanied with following processes. First, hotel should outline quality goals for their services that they offer to the customers. Then, target group of customers should be identified followed by the identification of their needs and wishes. Next step in the implementation of the quality planning in the organization is development of the services’ features, as well as features of the processes that produce these services. Finally, process controls are established before transferring to the operations stage.
Quality control is a separate component of the total quality management implementation in the hotel. First, management of the hotel needs to identify subjects of quality control, i.e. features of the services that hotel offers to its customers. Then, in order to be objective with respect to the quality control, units of measurement of the services’ quality need to be developed. Units of measurement can take different form, for example, customer’s reviews of their satisfaction with hotel services. Next, actual performance of the hotel is measured using developed measurement units. This stage of the quality control is followed by understanding and interpretation of the difference between actual performance of the hotel and desirable goals that have been set priory for the services’ quality. Finally, a set of actions for elimination of the observed difference should be developed.
Implementation of the quality improvement within the framework of the total quality management approach is carried out, based on the following criteria. First, the need for quality improvement has to be proved. After that, specific services of the hotel or operations need to be identified. Hotel management then organizes teams that would work on the diagnosis of the low quality causes and development of remedies for existent inefficiencies. If remedies turn out to be inefficient, then the team works on the resistance to change, develops new approaches until the quality is improved and maintained at the constant level.
One of the potential complications of the introduction of quality planning, control and quality improvement is resistance to change. Often implementation of changes finds resistance among employees who refuse following new rules and guidelines. Therefore, it takes a lot of time and effort to make new changes part of the corporate culture in the hotel.