Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lean Hotels

By Pascal Dennis

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:
  1. Continually challenge your team to do better.

  2. Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.

  3. Celebrate your people’s success, not your own.

  4. Know what you’re good at and mine those competencies for all you’re worth.

  5. Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.

  6. Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.

  7. See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.

  8. Success is in the details.

  9. It’s more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.

  10. Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.

  11. Eliminate the cause of a mistake. Don’t just clean it up.

  12. View every problem as an opportunity to grow.

Marriott's standard - our principles will be in the nightstand drawer of every Marriott room.

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...?

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