Discuss About The Geography Strategic Operations Management.
Marriott International Inc. is a multinational leading lodging company worldwide. With more 6,500 properties in more than 127 countries territories, organization’s revenues were $22 billion for the year ended 2017. Main reasons for organization’s success are their core values, objectives and vision towards customers. They have adopted customer centric approach and with their services always seek for providing unique and satisfactory experience to its guests. Marriott International Inc. has adopted unique and distinct strategies from its competitors to stay on the leading position. Company has been awarded many times in respect to their innovative practices and adaptation of appropriate strategies so that precisely consumer’s needs could be fulfilled. In terms of franchise preference, ownership and customer satisfaction, organization has always been on the leading positon (Marriott International Inc., 2018).
Marriott International has various brands under its name and these are also known for luxurious amenities, customer satisfaction and attentive guest care. These brands are established with the objective of enhancing organizational performance, enhancing market share in the global marketing along with making a distinct leading position in the worldwide lodging industry. Marriott’s major brands are ST Regis Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Edition, BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts, etc. There are numerous other brands which are working under Marriott International in various countries across the globe and in relation to this, all these centres are segregated on the basis of luxury, upper middle scale, upper upscale, upscale, etc. ((Marriott International Inc., 2016).
Ritz-Carlton and Courtyard are two international hotel brands which are operating as subsidiary company of Marriott International across the globe. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is an American Hotel Company which mainly operates as the luxury hotels. It has established its image in more than 30 countries and territories with approximately 130 hotels. Apart from this, Courtyard by Marriott is another international brand of hotels owned and operated by Marriott International. This hotel is included in the mid-scale level and especially designed for providing luxurious amenities for business travellers and families. Both these hotels are operating in various parts of the globe and the major success of these two brands has been determined in Dubai, UAE by their unique offerings (Marriott International Inc., 2018).
Dubai is the most populated and largest in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is mainly known as business hub especially for Middle East. Being a global city, there are numerous attractions for the city and it is also known as transport hub for passengers and cargo. Dubai is always being the highlight of UAE as well as of the world because to attain world attention, various constructions have been made such as world’s tallest building exists in Dubai i.e. Burj Khalifa. Country’s major revenues are dependent over tourism activities, aviation, real estate, and financial services. With regards to the increasing tourism activities, Marriott International’s subsidiary companies have adopted relevant strategies in order to satisfy target and potential customer’s needs (Manzini & Di Serio, 2017). Both the brands are operating in different segments because Ritz-Carlton is known for rendering luxurious services whereas Courtyard is being established with the objective of providing relished experience of luxurious amenities for midscale people (Jacobs, Chase & Lummus, 2014).
As the primary objective, goal and mission of Marriott International is customer satisfaction, thus, both these brands have also prioritised customer satisfaction and for the same, benchmarks, standards and various other parameters have been adopted to analyse the effectiveness of the quality of service which is rendered to the guests. Customer service and service quality are two primary tools through which a hotel could enhance its brand image amongst the target market along with acquiring brand loyalty from customers (Hitt, Xu & Carnes, 2016). Following are operation performance objectives of Ritz-Carlton and Courtyard by Marriott International in order to make its image as the leading hotel in their segments:
- Target Audience:As Dubai is a famous for tourism, tallest building on earth and for various other purposes. Ritz-Carlton and Courtyard, both have specific target audience, thus, their positioning strategies also differs from each other. In order to establishing a unique and different brand image in the competitive lodging market, both the hotel brands have developed their effective image in the target market by providing effective services to the customers (Phadnis, et. al., 2017).
- Measuring and managing service quality: Service quality is the most appropriate attribute for fulfilling customer’s needs and wants to the optimum level. People visit Dubai mainly for business people and for experiencing the luxury and beauty. Ritz-Carlton hotel targets those tourists who visit Dubai for travelling purpose. Their main motive is to experience luxury and effective amenities. In this regard, hotel has adopted measures for comparing service quality expected by the guests than actual delivered. While Courtyard is one of the budgeted category hotels and its main target audience are budgeted tourists and all mid-scale people. Courtyard has also adopted the same measures so that the guests could feel like they have spent on worthwhile services (Cavallar, 2017).
- Feedback and review: Marriott and it’s all subsidiaries have adopted feedback and review system so that the service quality could be enhanced along with making as per the target audience’s requirements. Reviews are taken by guests after their check-out with regards to their experience with the hotel. Apart from this, it also includes a section where guest could rate the services rendered by hotel, ambience of hotel and overall satisfaction rate. With the help of review and feedback system, both the hotel groups have increased the effectiveness of their services and as per the guest’s requirements. These feedbacks and reviews are posted over social media sites and company’s own website and it is a major source of retaining existing guests and attaining new customers (Tsang, Lee & Qu, 2015).
- Methods for measuring service quality:Ritz-Carlton and Courtyard, both hotel groups have adopted unique methods for measuring their service quality such as:
- Mystery Shopping
- Post Service Rating
- Follow-up Surveys
- In-app Surveys
- Customer effort score
- Monitoring through social media
With the help of these methods, Ritz-Carlton and Courtyard both have developed their brand image in Dubai and all these measures are linked with customer service and the quality of the service. Both the elements carry big weightage in terms of improving organizational performance. Thus, it could be said that both the hotels have developed their unique and distinct image in the Dubai market along with gaining competitive and leading position in their own segment (Dedeo?lu & Demirer, 2015).
Information processing technology
Marriott International is known for its proven systems, various support services to improve traditional attentive guest care as well as to serve exceptional amenities. Apart from this, Marriott’s in-depth knowledge and preeminent loyalty programs have helped the Marriott to compete with various international brands. Majorly information processing technology is being used by the Marriott International for setting the standards for the services across the globe. Information processing technology is a tool which is mainly used for manipulating digital information obtained from computers, and through various other digital electronic equipment and combination of all these tools is known as information technology. Information processing technologies used by Marriott International to improvise their operations are business software, mainframes and networks. Information processing tool is used for data transfer and for operations in some way by the organization so that operations could be supported in relevance with attaining appropriate goals and objectives (Marriott International Inc., 2018).
The role of computer information processor is significant in processing understandable results. This processing includes acquisition, assembly, recording and dissemination of information so that better results could be obtained. In this scenario, Marriott International uses this technology to translate and format the digital information into an appropriate form through which the relevant data could be attained. With the help of this data, organization could easily focus over the appropriate customer segments. Marriott International has received the award of coveted Digital 50 from IDG Enterprise. It is the leading technological and Media Company composed of CIO, CSO, Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, and IT World. The Digital EDGE 50 award was given to Marriott’s “Win the Stay” digital strategy. This strategy was enabling the organization to communicate and stay connected with the next gen travellers on digital platforms during their travel journey. This develops a unique level of reliability amongst the travellers along with developing a certain level of trust through which organization becomes capable enough to enhance effectiveness of their operations (Techopedia Inc., 2018)
Due to changing consumer behaviour and with the effect of digital mediums in business environment, Marriott International has utilised these strategies to the optimum level. These strategies have enabled organization to offer portfolio in relevance with services for guests by dynamic app. This app includes customised content for Marriott Rewards members. This feature helps the guests to plan their journey, travel routes, hotels for stay and appropriate information and knowledge for during stays. This technology is sufficient enough to notify organization about the mobile check-ins, room-ready alerts as well as mobile check-outs (Kitapci, Akdogan & Dortyol, 2014). Apart from this, mobile features of the application provides guests to use their smartphones as room access keys and access Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and various other things such as television, air conditions at hotels. Apart from this, Marriott has decided to add various other unique and advanced features in their mobile application for more than 500 hotels. This will ultimately, help the organization to improvise its customer experience. Marriott International operates various award-winning loyalty programs such as Marriott Rewards® and it includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and Starwood Preferred Guest®.
Computerworld which is a part of Digital Edge 50 award is a media brand helps the business organizations in terms of decision-making and influences business organizations to navigate changes in their operations when required and to enhance efficiency of business strategies. This organization also focuses over strategies marketing services, focus on events and research (Kandampully, Zhang & Bilgihan, 2015).
After acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International became the world’s largest hotel company. Company operated more than 400 international purchasing agreements with suppliers and each of them contains terms of two to three years. Due to this acquisition, Marriott needs to renegotiate their programs with several vendors so that single agreement could be made. With this acquisition, Marriott International has become the largest hotel company along with operations of 5700 franchisee properties and represents more than 30 leading brands in more than 110 countries. The level of success is majorly dependent over the effective supply chain management. The supply chain management program adopted by Marriott International contains all procedures which ensure the consistency in managing service across thousands of properties in relation with seamless acquisition and delivery of appropriate services and products (BizClik Media Ltd., 2017).
In 2001, company decided to launch Avendra to support multiple companies including Marriott’s procurement and hospitality supplies business in Central and North American markets. Apart from this, organization has adopted global approach for significantly managing its operations and all the centres in efficient manner. Major operation for Marriott International includes management of operations, properties along with managing accommodation, food, etc. in order to reduce costs for making the operations efficient and effective. With an effective supply chain management, organization could attain sustainable business objectives. The practices of supply chain and logistics management for reducing cost. In terms of hotel industry, major purpose of logistics and supply chain management is inventory management, procurement, information technology and distribution. Apart from this, green practices should also be adopted to enhance organizational performance. With the application of these concepts, organization could easily attain its desired goals and objectives. Marriott’s supply chain management is effective enough to manage all the functionalities in an appropriate manner so that cost could be reduced and consumers could be served with effective and efficient services (Dhar, 2015).
Quality improvement programme
If I would have been responsible for the introduction and implementation of programs and methods for improving quality for service in the Courtyard Dubai, I should have combined the contemporary and traditional mediums of quality improvement. Traditional sources for improving quality are market research and analysing market trends so that appropriate strategies could be adopted to make organizational operations and functionalities as per the requirements. Apart from this, target market’s requirements are also considered in relation with obtaining better and effective outcomes. Along with this technique, contemporary method for improving service is usage of information technology to analyse the consumer behaviour, attitude and their needs so that the services could be designed as per the consumer’s requirements. Both the techniques are essential as well as effective. Thus, I will surely have introduced these strategies at the workplace of Courtyard by Marriott in Dubai in relevance with enhancing organizational functionalities so as to attain the desired goals and objectives (Jones, Hillier & Comfort, 2016).
Apart from this, organization could also focus over the latest techniques which are meant for improving service quality in the hospitality industry. SERVQUAL is the most appropriate technique which I will definitely have been implemented along with the consumer feedback and big data analysis. SERVQUAL method includes various aspects through which service quality could easily be enhanced with the objective of fulfilment of target customer segment’s needs and wants. Elements such as reliability, tangibles, assurance, responsiveness and empathy are crucial elements of this technique. Along with this technique, the most crucial, effective and efficient system will be adopted so that the service quality for the hotel could be enhanced along with the development of an effective brand loyalty amongst the target customers (Su, Swanson & Chen, 2016). This system is consumer feedback and under this method, consumers could rate services attained from hotel on the basis of their experience. Negative feedbacks will help the organization to understand and analyse the gap amongst the services offered and the expectations of consumers. Apart from this, there are numerous reasons for negative feedbacks such as communication gap amongst the communication and the person who is serving guests. Apart from this, hygiene, cleanliness and other factors which could be reason for negative feedbacks from consumer. These feedbacks will be taken seriously and appropriate measures will be taken to resolve consumer’s issues so that in future, consumers could not face same challenges with organizational services. The positive feedbacks will be the key factors of organization highlighting those, organization could attract other customer segments which are not yet targeted (Kim, Vogt & Knutson, 2015).
Implementation of programme
Courtyard is a midscale hotel and majorly, its target audience are budgeted tourists, business purpose tourists and others. Along with these segments, organization could also focus over other segments by promoting the key performance indicators along with the USPs of the organization and its services. This will help the organization to enhance its customer base along with enhancing quality of service so that customer satisfaction could be enhanced. This is the most effective element for hospitality industry and with this factor; organization could easily attain its desired goals and objectives (Kandampully, Zhang & Bilgihan, 2015).
Implementation of selected service quality measures will be done in adequate supervision so that the desired outcomes could be attained. The main motive of implementation of these techniques is to enhance organizational service quality and with the implementation of service quality measures, quality of service as well as the customer satisfaction will be enhanced (Pizam, Shapoval & Ellis, 2016). Following steps are included in the implementation of policies and procedures in an appropriate manner:
- Consultation: in this step, the selected policies and procedures will be consulted with every stakeholder who will be affected after implementation of the policies with the objective of taking consent from all stakeholders in relevance with gaining better outcomes.
- Tailoring: changes will be made in the policies so that it could be made as per the stakeholder’s requirements as well as on the basis of business environmental conditions.
- Define obligations: the motive of policies should be explained to every member of the organization in an effective manner along with the objective of making clear understanding amongst all members in an effective manner (Han & Hyun, 2015).
- Realistic policy: it needs to ensure that the adopted policy requires all those material and resources which are available with the organisation. In terms of Courtyard Dubai, this will be ensured that all resources required for successful implementation of policies are available at workplace.
- Publican procedures and policies
- Training will be provided to all employees in relevance with the adopted policy
- Consistent implementation of policy will be done
- Reviewing policies and procedures
- Enforcing policies and procedures (Meli?n-Gonz?lez & Bulchand-Gidumal, 2016).
Demand for hotel rooms
It has been observed that demand for hotel rooms vary on the basis of season. Season is mainly dependent on vacation and holidays. Demand for rooms varies on the basis of vacation, holidays and certain events. Demand for hotel rooms will fall short when there is no scope of holidays. In this time period, people are not able to gather appropriate time for travelling.
Seasonal demand is for 2-3 months when most of educational institute remain closed after a long continuous year. In this period, most of tourists are families and Courtyard’s major target segment is families, thus, demand for their hotel and rooms increases (Law, Buhalis & Cobanoglu, 2014).
Long term demand is the situation where average number of tourists visits for average number of days. In this period almost 60-70% rooms are occupied with a pilferage of 10%. Mainly, business tourists visit in this period because business tourism stays continuous for whole year.
In relevance with the fluctuation in demand for the hotel rooms, management of Courtyard will take appropriate actions as per the situation. When the circumstances will show that demand will be fall short then suppliers will be notified so that resources and other materials could not get wasted. Courtyard and all other franchises of Marriott International have adopted waste management policies so that available resources could be utilised in an optimum manner along with decreasing the waste. Apart from this, in seasonal time period, suppliers will be notified that due to high demand, supply should be smooth so that the consumer’s requirements could be fulfilled. In the period where average number of rooms is occupied with the hotel, appropriate actions will be taken along with informing suppliers to manage the supply of the required materials in relevance with fulfilling their guest’s requirements. In all the actions, +/- 10% pilferage will be taken because demand has been set on the basis of assumption and reviewing the previous data (Laudon & Laudon, 2016).
From the aforesaid information, it can be concluded that Marriott International is the largest lodging company in the world. With large number of subsidiaries and brands, Marriott International have adopted an effective supply chain management programme along with the implementation of appropriate Reward programmes for improving customer satisfaction and interaction with the organization. Apart from this, main motive behind launching loyalty programmes is to attain higher returns as well as to generate curiosity amongst the target and potential customers in relevance with the organizational services. Marriott International has services for every class i.e. upper scale, upper-midscale, midscale, etc. Company targets luxurious travellers as well as budgeted tourists and the business travellers. These are crucial element for the organization because in off-seasons, main source of income is generated through visit of business travellers.
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