News for the Hospitality Executive
Hospitality Conversations � Understanding the Developing
Perspectives in Quality Assurance
(Part 1 of 2)
Quality is one of those words that seem to be often defined as, �I�ll know it when I see it�, and yet less than stellar real world experiences in hospitality demonstrate that excellence does need additional definition.
� goods of the highest qualityAssurance
� a declaration that inspires or is intended to inspire confidenceIn this series on Quality, I reached out to a well-known, international company that works with many different types of hotels, as well as other hospitality and service businesses. LRA Worldwide, Inc. has worked with companies and brands for more than 20 years. The company, through research and consulting, works to assist their clients to better understand existing customer experiences and to identify unmet customer needs and wants.
For this Hospitality Conversation, I spoke at some length with John Roberto, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Quality Assurance at LRA Worldwide, Inc.
Question 1: What is your organization seeing in different approaches in maintaining and improving the delivery of excellence today? Are there trends?
Answer: We see that there are three phases or trends in quality assurance today and they are all rather distinct, but build on each other.Question 2: With the Traditional Quality Assurance Inspection, what is the focus and who directs what is evaluated?
Answer: The focus is on the fundamentals, which is usually cleanliness and facility condition. Certain life safety related items such as validating approved electronic door locks and brand-approved products are usually addressed. Items such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers may or may not be included.Question 3: How are these traditional programs scored? Are they more focused on product or service issues?
Answer: These programs are objective, scoring is well defined, fairly rigid, and there are penalty points for repeat violations. Depending on the brand, some portions of the inspections scores may be weighted and they are designed to �trigger� a failure for serious issues, which could lead to a default to the franchisee.Question 4: Are traditional programs still the main thrust of the industry efforts or are you seeing an evolution in some areas?
Answer: Traditional programs continue to be used by a good number of brands and hotels, but we are finding it more of a �past� practice. Many companies in the past 3 to 5 years have moved to the second trend we see, which is more of a Focus on Operations.Question 5: With this shift, which areas at the brand headquarters are evaluating these Operational Focused QA efforts?
Answer: With a nod to learning and training, these QA efforts are jointly evaluated and �owned� by both �operations� and �brand marketing� for the first time. The focus on �brand influence� is addressing segments of the audit for each brand within a portfolio and brands are now requesting more specifics to support their marketing message and promises.
John Roberto, Senior Vice President & Managing Director,
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES. If readers would like to contribute to the site, please submit your material for consideration to [email protected]. We are interested in expanding our global networks and resources as we support our membership.
|Also See:||Hospitality Conversations: Examining the Learning Options Available in the Hospitality Field / Dr John Hogan / July 2010|