The Case: Quality at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
By: Romulo N. Ulibas,
Ritz Carlton. The name alone evokes images of luxury and quality. As the first hotel company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Ritz treats quality as if it is the heartbeat of the company. This means a daily commitment to meeting customer expectations and making sure that each hotel is free of any deficiency.
In the hotel industry, quality can be hard to quantify. Guests do not purchase a product when they stay at the Ritz: They buy an experience. Thus, creating the right combination of elements to make the experience stand out is the challenge and goal of every employee, from maintenance to management.
Before applying for the Baldrige Award, company management undertook a rigorous self-examination of its operations in an attempt to measure and quantify quality. Nineteen processes were studied including room service delivery, quest reservation and registration, message delivery, and breakfast service. This period of self-study included statistical measurement of process work flows and cycle times for areas ranging from room service delivery times and reservations to valet parking and housekeeping efficiency. The results were used to develop performance benchmarks against which future activity could be measured.
With specific, quantifiable targets in place, Ritz-Carlton managers and employees now focus on continuous improvement. The goal is 100% customer satisfaction: If a guest’s experience does not meet expectations, the Ritz-Carlton risks losing that guest to competition.
One way the company has put more meaning behind its quality efforts is to organize its employees into “self-directed” work teams. Employee teams determine work scheduling, what work needs to be done, and what to do about quality problems in their own areas. In order that they can see the relationship of their specific area to the overall goals, employees are also given the opportunity to take additional training in hotel operations. Ritz-Carlton
believes that a more educated and informed employee is in a better position to make decisions in the best interest of the organization.
CASE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
My Research aboutThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton is one of the global leading companies in the hospitality industry. It originated from Boston in 1927, which considered as the pioneer to revolutionize hospitality in America by creating luxury in a hotel setting. As such, The Ritz-Carlton, Boston was regarded as a private club for the very wealthyand became a sign of prestige of high society. In 1983, after two ownership transitions, the expansion of the Boston operation into a worldwide chain of Ritz-Carlton hotels began. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International. Today, The Ritz-Carlton is well-known as a brand of five-star luxury hotels and resorts in 26 countries worldwide.
Ritz-Carlton has been recognized for being the gold standard and benchmark in the hospitality industry. With this, in 2000, the launching of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center has welcomed thousands of senior executives, managers and line staff from a variety of industries. The Leadership Center has flourished as a resource center for leading organizations interested in benchmarking many of the business practices that led to The Ritz-Carlton becoming the only company to date as a two-time recipient of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.The Ritz-Carlton is the only company to date to win two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards (1992 and 1999) from the United States Department of Commerce.
Personally, when I worked as a consultant in a premium liquor company, I had experienced staying at Ritz-Carlton Singapore just last April 2012. I remember, upon mentioning the hotel’s name to the taxi driver, he immediately told me that it’s one of...
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