Lean in the service industries is a frequent topic in this blog.
The great hotel chains -- Ritz, Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, Disney and others -- are superb Lean companies.
Marriott's Twelve Guiding Principles of Leadership and Customer Service, for example, reads like a Lean manifesto:
- Continually challenge your team to do better.
- Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.
- Celebrate your people’s success, not your own.
- Know what you’re good at and mine those competencies for all you’re worth.
- Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.
- Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.
- See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.
- Success is in the details.
- It’s more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.
- Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.
- Eliminate the cause of a mistake. Don’t just clean it up.
- View every problem as an opportunity to grow.
A few years ago, I was staying at the Sharm al Shaikh Marriott, at the bottom of the Sinai peninsula.
Being a natural pain, I decided to check Marriott's adherence to its standards, in this relatively remote hotel.
Sure enough, I found the principles were there were supposed to be.
The hotel manager smiled when I told him, and described Marriott's training & development processes.
Ritz, Hyatt, Westin, Disney & the rest all have corresponding principles & practices. Well done - and please continue!
Are there any other industries that could learn from Lean hotels?
Oh, I don't know, perhaps Health Care...?