Facilities Management in the Service Industry

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This essay revolves around the critical evaluation of theories relating to management of accommodations and facilities that can be utilised to help hotels design efficient and effective processes. The key concepts such as process, efficiency, and effectiveness will be discussed while justifying the methods of process analysis or design which will be highlighted in this essay. All these topics will be critically evaluated in order to incorporate the operations management concepts of quality, in the application of accommodation and facilities to add value and deliver efficient and effective quality customer-centric services. Accommodation and facilities management is a complex social system which cannot be explained in terms of a simple cause and effect relationship. In a relatively unique position, hospitality organisations attempt to bridge the gap between the domestic and commercial worlds which according to Lashley (2001) is an attempt to “square circles” as employees while delivering some level of hospitality must balance it with the requirement to be efficient and profitable. Components associated with accommodation management - the type of building, the human resources, the organisational structure, the customer, and the local environment - all influence and are influenced by one another (Crick & Spencer, 2010). Facilities play an important role in meeting guests’ needs. They are the manufacturing plant in which services and products that the guest purchases are created delivered and generally consumed (Facilities Society, 2012). Travellers quickly identify various hospitality services by the appearance of their facilities for e.g. Children who cannot yet read have no trouble identifying a McDonald’s restaurant at 300 yards from a speeding car. Whether by signage, a distinctive colour selection, or a particular feature, facilities create identity for hospitality products (Stipanuk, 2002). Another example of modern day facility is, Disney Land Paris introduced a new ‘Fast pass’ system in 2000, which allowed guests to use their entry passes to gain a ticket at certain attractions and return at the stated time and gain direct entry to the attraction without queuing (Slack, 2006). Moreover, hospitality accommodation and facilities are associated with several types of cost which must be developed and constructed. Once occupied, they must be operated and eventually renovated and modernized. Each of these steps involves its own kind of expenses (Stipanuk, 2002). Hotel work has certain unique aspects which make it challenging to handle and even though it has been agreed that classification of service business activity and the fact that hotels cannot be termed as “pure service”, they nevertheless do display many of the general characteristics of other services (Crick & Spencer, 2010). However it can be argued that hospitality services have a particular challenge in controlling quality due to their multidimensional nature (Reisenger, 2001) and should be treated as a separate part of the service sector. First, the fact that the services are created and consumed simultaneously and, therefore, cannot be stored is a critical feature in the management of services (quality, design, queuing, and capacity) (lecture notes). Secondly, services are perishable, for e.g. a hotel room which is unsold on one day cannot be “stored” until a later date like manufacturing goods. Therefore, strategies relating to capacity management are crucial (Lecture Notes). Thirdly services are intangible. They cannot be touched or sampled so customers cannot tell in advance exactly what they will get (design, quality) (Lecture notes). In these circumstances identifying, gaining and prompting a competitive advantage is a difficult and complex task. Fourthly, services are also heterogeneous. Personal differences in individuals (customer and staff) result in variations in service delivery and its interpretation (Lecture notes). It is therefore more difficult to...
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