TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Abstract Total quality management (TQM) has achieved notable success as a philosophy of management in manufacturing industry. This paper examines the differences between the manufacturing situation and that of service industry in general and the hospitality industry in particular to identify the similarities and differences and highlight the likely difficulties in implementing TQM in the hospitality industry. We conclude that the primary area of difficulty is in identifying appropriate quality measures. Some approaches to overcoming the problems are suggested and a case study of the application of measurement techniques in a hotel is described. 1. Introduction
Visualize the lobby of a hotel that is renowned for its quality service. The General Manager is discretely observing the activity in the foyer. Nearby is the front desk and guests are being checked in, and from his vantage point the Manager can hear what is being said. The front desk clerk is confirming the arrangements of the booking with the guest and the following discussion occurs: "Sir, you will be charging your accommodation to the company and paying your other expenses." "No, all expenses will be paid by the company."
"I am sorry sir, but according to this we have only authorized charge of the accommodation." "Last time I stayed here I had the same problem and last week I personally rang to sort this out. All expenses are to be charged." The clerk goes to get authorization on the account and the now disgruntled guest turns to his companion and says in exasperation: ". . . you see it's exactly as I said it would happen. I stay here every month and yet every time I have this same problem." The General Manager considers the exchange with concern. That guest had not received the quality service the hotel was aiming to provide and if the guest continually had this experience it would simply be a matter of time before he decided to try one of the competitors. Not only could that one guest's custom be lost, but he could be the manager of a company who frequently stay at the hotel and hold functions there. The difficulty for the Hotel Manager is to determine how to react to this situation. Is it a problem that only this particular guest faces or is it a common problem experienced by many? Whose fault is it that the problem arises initially? What is the appropriate action to be taken? 2. TQM and service quality
Total quality management (TQM) is an approach to management that focuses on quality as the key to success. The 'Quality Triangle' summarizes the components of Quality Manager (see Fig. 1): The focus on the customer in defining Quality.
The importance of teamwork in unifying goals.
The need for a scientific approach and decisions based on data. Following the publication of the 'Foley Report' (Report of the Committee of Review of Standards, Accreditation and Quality Control and Assurance, Australian Government Printing Service, 1987), which concluded that "Few, if any issues are more important than quality in meeting the need to improve the competitiveness of Australian Industry". (Foley Report, p.43) there has been heightened interest in Australia in the implementation and effective use of Quality Management. The acceptance of W. Edwards Deming's ideas in Japan, followed by the rapid success of Japanese industry, goes some way to explaining the current interest in TQM in Western countries. Japan has to a great extent replaced the USA in providing models of good management practice. In the immediate post-war period, Japanese management practices were often characterized by Western writers as irrational hangovers from a feudal past (e.g. Abegglen, 1958). Japanese management practices now...