Marriott International Inc. is one of the leading companies in hospitality. It mainly deals with vacation resorts hotels. It was founded in 1927 by J.Willard and Alice S. Marriott. The company boasts of about 3500 lodging properties in the USA and 70 other countries. The company’s properties are under various lodging and vacation resort brands. Marriott hotels employ over 137,000 people with impressive profits in the millions of dollars. Very notable is the fact that the company is recognized by the FORTUNE organization as one of the best companies to work for (Parker & Craig, 2008). Given the company’s dedication to providing exceptional services to its customers, growing opportunities for its associates and good returns for its owners, quality control has become a significant pillar in the company’s operations (Parker & Craig, 2008).
Quality of Organization
Customer expectations drive quality organization to help ensure satisfaction. The quality department is in charge of defining and ensuring the effective implementation of quality standards across the different facets of the organization. Quality of organization in the Marriot hotels comprises of the division of quality management division in each department of the company. Quality organization in the company is led by the head of the quality control. Quality is focused on flawlessness of service because the company’s key activity is the provision of quality services. Certain departments are also focused on quality control of the products used in the delivery of those services. This includes food and consumer products, furniture, cloth items such as towels and beddings as well as the quality management of the building properties.
Performance of Quality Control Activities
Quality systems and procedures set up to ensure compliance with the company’s standards are used to carry out the quality control measures. Quality control generally entails the inspection of products and services to make sure that they meet the quality standards that have been set and predetermined by a particularly organization or quality standards to which an organization aspires (Jones & Lockwood, 2004, p.149). The processes of quality control takes place during and after the completion of the process being assessed (Jones & Lockwood, 2004). First and foremost, quality control within the entire company is separated into Countries, States, individual hotels and resorts and finally to individual departments each of which has a delegated individual responsible for quality.
It is then the work of the responsible overseer in each division or department to ensure that products and services are up to the expected standards. Quality in different sections is determined or measured by being assessed according to preset methods and by the use of tools and tests. The frequency of checks varies with different departments or the variables beings assessed. The quality of food in the resorts, for instance, undergoes more frequent quality inspections as compared to the quality of other items such as furniture. Understandings and agreements are also established with suppliers so as to ensure delivery of quality items in each department.
Measures of Effectiveness
Among the elements measured for quality is the quality of customer service. This includes elements such as the pleasantness of employees to guests, the speed and efficiency of service delivery, attention to detail on the part of the employees, punctuality and the general level of commitment to the clients and their needs. Levels of customer satisfaction are also assessed as a part of this quality control. Personal presentation of employees may affect customers’ satisfaction. Other measures that are assessed for quality include the quality of food and the quality of its preparation and delivery to clients, the neatness and present ability of accommodation suites as well as the general appearance of the hotels. The efficiency and optimal levels of operation for all hotel-provided appliances, from electronics such as television to other facilities such as pools are also assessed. The proper running of web sites related to all hotels and resorts under the company is also assessed and their effectiveness as facilities is measured. The level at which all the employees are doing their job as well as their qualification to do the same are thoroughly assessed as a part of the quality control mandate.
Cost of Quality for the Company
The cost of Quality control of the company is quite considerable, although, the end is said to justify the means. The financial resource injected into the business to pay quality control employees as well as other quality control bodies is considerable. The amounts of resources that are deployed to ensure that the hotels remain in top quality shape are quite significant, as the hotel does employ many measures to ensure quality standards are maintained.
Marriott hotels have a lot of opportunities to vertically integrate owing to the fact they are already a very well established with many vacation resort sand hotel represented in many different places. This means that their reach is wide. The hospitality industry in which they function also exposes them to a lot of different requirements to run the business in terms of supplies. The company would, for instance, do well to establish a food production business which in addition to selling food would also act as a permanent provider for all the company’s requirements in terms of all food products.
The company would also do well to establish a business which offers cleaning services. They would then be able to create demand for this business by recruiting most of their cleaning and maintenance staff from such a business. They would also be able to make extra money by supplying other hotels and businesses with the same services. In this way the company would have been successful establishing backward vertical integration because it would be in control of subsidiaries that produce some of the inputs used in the production of its products (Cunill, 2006). Another opportunity to vertically integrate would be in the form of the establishment of special, collector and tourist items stores, that they
would position right next to their resorts. These would benefit from the ready market of the guests of the hotels and resorts and would therefore provide an extra stream of cash to the company. The level of vertical integration however should be watched as an over aggressive indulgence and in the same would affect the profitability of the company.
Forward vertical integration however involves the control of distribution centers and retailers, where company product is sold (Cunill, 2006). Marriot could establish such integration by purchasing retail shops which are strategically placed near potential clients. They could then use these retail shops to advertise their hotels. This could be done by the use of fliers and banners in the retails outlets. However, the limit to which this can be done is controlled by profitability of the stores. If the company invests too much in the setting up of the stores, but does not make significant returns out of them despite the opportunity to market their hotels, then this would interfere with the ultimate goal of a business which is profitability. Integration should therefore be very carefully monitored so as to make sure that financial resources injected into the business fro purposes of integration do not go undermine the ultimate profitability of the business as a whole.
‘Make or Buy’ Considerations
In the hospitality industry the decision to make or buy products that are essential in the business is always a difficult thing to weigh. It is important that prodigality should be kept in focus as such a move is considered. Certain departments within the hotel business would benefit from a ‘make’ approach, such as the catering department so as to ensure constant supply of food. The control of supply of perishable food is also better if production is controlled by the same company. However larger items such as furniture may be easier to buy as these are purchased once when the hotels are being set up and after long durations to replace faulty ones. To establish a company that makes furniture in order to act as a supplier for the business would therefore be disadvantageous and would compromise profitability of the company.
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