Marriott Bedding Program
Marriott International Uses Project Management to Upgrade Bedding Worldwide Headquartered in Washington, DC, Marriott International, Inc. is one of the leading hospitality companies in the world with more than 2,400 properties in 68 countries and territories.
As a management company, Marriott is responsible for
daily operations in both company-operated and franchised
properties. Marriott has an extensive portfolio of brands
including full-service hotels and resorts, limited-service hotels like Fairfield Inn by Marriott and corporate housing such as Marriott ExecuStay. In 2004, Marriott International set out to upgrade their bedding across all Marriott brands by providing new sheeted duvet covers, soft linens, down pillows and
pillow-top mattresses for their customers.
The Marriott Bedding Program set out to develop and
implement a bedding package for over 628,000 beds across
10 Marriott lodging brands in two years, giving Marriott a new look and more comfortable amenities. The US$190 million
global renovation required seamless coordination of resources from interior design, operations, finance, owner relations and public relations.
In addition to transforming the Marriott brand, the finished product gave the company an important advantage and
unique selling point over competitors. As bedding choices
became a focal point of lodging industry competition, it was imperative for Marriott to conform to a tight project timeline with strong compliance across the Marriott system in order to reap the rewards of competitive advantage.
The new bedding was part of a comprehensive initiative
to transform the look and feel of all Marriott brands to
create a more comfortable hotel experience for all guests
Thus the project team, composed of Project Management
Professional (PMP®)-certified project managers managed
by a program manager out of Marriott’s Lodging Program
Management Office (PMO), conducted extensive market,
product development and product and operational testing
research to get inside the minds of their customers and affirm that the linens products adhered to their requirements.
The program manager was strongly supported by the
Lodging Program Management Office. Her duties included
maintaining communication among all parties, conducting
regular team meetings with clear agendas covering upcoming
milestones, identifying issues or risks and recognizing major accomplishments. She facilitated communication between
the various headquarters’ teams, regional teams and
properties, identifying and employing the most appropriate
method of communications depending upon the type of
information being conveyed and the urgency of the message.
One of the most ambitious projects undertaken by Marriott
International, the Bedding Program produced several
challenges on a global scale that the company had to
overcome throughout the project lifecycle if it was going to prove successful in the end.
Marriott had an existing bedding standard prior to the
Bedding Program initiative in 2004. However, with the
differing ages of hotels and different brands came a great
deal of variation in bedding specifications. In some cases,
mattresses, especially in limited service hotels, were of
various heights. In order to comply with the new standards,
some properties had to purchase new mattresses. Other
properties had to order special linens for higher mattresses. Box springs were different heights off the floor so properties had to precisely measure bed heights from the floor to the
top of the box spring in order to purchase bed skirts of the appropriate length. King-sized beds existed in three different sizes, impacting the length and width of sheets that had to
be ordered. With so many moving parts and dependencies
and 21 internal project teams, the project scope became
a clear challenge. Project teams had to work...