The Portman Hotel – Case Study

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Portman Hotel was built with the intent of being a 5 star hotel that provided superior service to its guests. This superior service centered around a business plan that was based on Asian standards of hospitality.

The Portman Hotel executives were committed to keeping both their guest and employees happy. The vision that would separate The Portman from the competition was “personal valets” (PVs). These PVs were responsible to every need of a guest. This included everything from cleaning and restocking the rooms, to more personalized services like pressing the guest’s clothes, preparing the guest’s drinks, or drawing a guest’s bath. As long the requests from the guests were legal and moral it was the PVs obligation to meet the request.

The first year of operations at The Portman was difficult. The hotel had committed to hiring top quality people by utilizing SRI, a recruiting and development firm. However, there was only a two week orientation and training period for new employees. The staff was originally designed to be very flat structurally, thereby eliminating many levels of hierarchical management and overhead costs. The hotel also did not have a solid plan at the operating (PV) level for all of the day to day functions. Due to the lack of training and no standard operating procedures, many employees were confused and frustrated daily. Over the course of ten months the hotel had attempted several different ways to eliminate chaos, confusion, and distrust among the PVs.

Toward the end of the year the hotel occupancy began to rapidly increase causing management to rapidly hire more PVs. The rapid hiring resulted in compromising on hiring the best personnel for the positions and a further reduced capability to adequately train the new employees.

As the Portman Hotel experiences higher than expected occupancy it must find a system to engage the personal valets in order to provide to the hotel guests the level of...
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