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A systemic approach to achieve operational excellence in hotel services

A systemic approach to achieve operational excellence in hotel services Purpose – The purpose of the framework here proposed is to introduce an industrial culture within the service organizations. Concepts such as employees empowerment, ownership, continuous improvement, together with the systematic implementation of quantitative methods builds the organizational basis for achieving operational excellence in services, reducing costs and increasing service quality. This has been deployed in two phases: a “hard” phase to support the design of the service and the construction of tangible and intangible elements of the service, and a “soft” phase to support the management, maintenance and improvement of the service delivery. All this has been applied to the hotel service sector where the interaction between tangible and intangible elements of the service are particularly evident. Design/methodology/approach – The framework uses and integrates several methodologies. Quality function deployment (QFD) is largely used in order to support the “hard” phase of the framework. Kano's model of customer requirements has been integrated in the QFD structure by means of an original method developed by the authors, introducing a so‐called non‐quality priority number (similar to the failure modes and effects analysis' risk priority number) that in combination with a so‐called quality priority number drives the decisions for improvement towards operational excellence. Moreover, the “soft” phase of the framework introduces methods such as failure mode and effect analysis and total productive maintenance in order to improve the service organization's operational competence and culture, increasing at the same time the sense of ownership and the commitment for improvement of front line workers. Findings – Through this paper, it has been shown that industrial methods for operational excellence can be adapted and transferred to the service sector with a potential for significant improvements in particular for those services with a high degree of tangible factors. Allowing in this way to achieve outstanding results also without significant investments. Research limitations/implications – This paper does not have the intention of describing the state‐of‐the‐art of service design and management, but rather it focuses on the transfer of industrial methods and techniques to the service sector. Originality/value – The value of this paper is related to proposal of a global systemic approach to operational excellence in services, by means of which industrial methods for operational excellence are transferred to the service sector. Only few works in literature have tried to transfer industrial methods for operational excellence to services, however the main value of this paper is not – or not only – in the specific methods proposed, but in their integration in the systemic approach. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

A systemic approach to achieve operational excellence in hotel services

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/17566690910945868
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the framework here proposed is to introduce an industrial culture within the service organizations. Concepts such as employees empowerment, ownership, continuous improvement, together with the systematic implementation of quantitative methods builds the organizational basis for achieving operational excellence in services, reducing costs and increasing service quality. This has been deployed in two phases: a “hard” phase to support the design of the service and the construction of tangible and intangible elements of the service, and a “soft” phase to support the management, maintenance and improvement of the service delivery. All this has been applied to the hotel service sector where the interaction between tangible and intangible elements of the service are particularly evident. Design/methodology/approach – The framework uses and integrates several methodologies. Quality function deployment (QFD) is largely used in order to support the “hard” phase of the framework. Kano's model of customer requirements has been integrated in the QFD structure by means of an original method developed by the authors, introducing a so‐called non‐quality priority number (similar to the failure modes and effects analysis' risk priority number) that in combination with a so‐called quality priority number drives the decisions for improvement towards operational excellence. Moreover, the “soft” phase of the framework introduces methods such as failure mode and effect analysis and total productive maintenance in order to improve the service organization's operational competence and culture, increasing at the same time the sense of ownership and the commitment for improvement of front line workers. Findings – Through this paper, it has been shown that industrial methods for operational excellence can be adapted and transferred to the service sector with a potential for significant improvements in particular for those services with a high degree of tangible factors. Allowing in this way to achieve outstanding results also without significant investments. Research limitations/implications – This paper does not have the intention of describing the state‐of‐the‐art of service design and management, but rather it focuses on the transfer of industrial methods and techniques to the service sector. Originality/value – The value of this paper is related to proposal of a global systemic approach to operational excellence in services, by means of which industrial methods for operational excellence are transferred to the service sector. Only few works in literature have tried to transfer industrial methods for operational excellence to services, however the main value of this paper is not – or not only – in the specific methods proposed, but in their integration in the systemic approach.

Journal

International Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 20, 2009

Keywords: Business excellence; Customer services quality; Quality function deployment; Productive maintenance; Failure modes and effects analysis; Hotels

References