Brief introduction of Marriott Hotel International
Marriott hotel international is one of the largest lodging companies globally. This company has maneuvered in more than 68 countries under the leadership of Mr. Marriott who is the chairperson and the chief executive officer.
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The leadership of Marriott is considered as a success of this company as it started as a family restaurant to a global lodging business. As the leader of the company, the chairperson says that, the company’s main vision is lead in offering lodging services in the world.
The vision of this company is grounded on several issues like taking good care of the guests, possession of wide operating knowledge, making use of skilled and diverse workforce, and finally offering one of the best lodging services. Under the leadership of Marriott, the company has for several years continued to enjoy a strong customer base, and an improving growth of profitability.
The origin and development of Total Quality Management
The total quality management is a theory applied in most of organizations in efforts of improving quality and performance to meet or exceed customers’ needs. The only way through which the company can achieve this, is through application of quality functions and services in the entire company (Mukherjee, 2006).
The total quality management incorporates the general quality actions taken by a company such as quality development, quality control, and above all ensuring there is quality assurance in the services offered by the company.
The total quality management involves all levels of management as well as all the company employees. The origin of total quality management is believed to be quality assurance methods that existed during the First World War. The development of total quality management was made possible by the large-scale production that emerged after the war.
This large production was associated with poor quality of the products services. To minimize the chances of producing poor quality services and products, some quality officers were appointed to ensure the entire production was of quality.
After the First World War, it was a common exercise in almost all manufacturing companies to inspect the quality of goods and services produced. The emergence of statistical quality control, gave an assurance of testing the quality of sample pieces, as it was not possible to inspect every commodity.
By mid 1950s, the quality control exercise was crucial especially in Japanese industries, whereby all the employees could adopt the system within the company .
By the late 1970s, the total quality exercise was widely used mostly by the large companies, and was used by all employees starting from the top management to casual laborers. When other nations discovered how products manufactured in Japan were of good quality, they also started adopting the exercise of quality control.
Application of TQM techniques in improving efficiency and effectiveness of business
When companies make use of total quality management, there is a high probability of improving efficiency and effectiveness of the entire organization. For instance, Marriott hotel international have applied several techniques of TQM to ensure a positive outcome (Mukherjee, 2006). Through the assistance of the executive management, employees are trained on the concepts of offering good quality services to the customers.
The main techniques that the management team of Marriott hotel international is employing qualified staffs, who gives a positive approach to those sensitive areas like the check in point, serving customers within the shortest time possible, offering a friendly approach, and solving customers problems.
Cleanliness of the rooms and wonderful housekeeping services may make all other wrongs to be forgiven by any guest. One aspect that constitutes to the good reputation of this company is the cleanliness especially the admirable housekeeping services that are offered.
Moreover, to make their total quality management systems more effective, Marriott is providing an extensive training to all area managers as soon as they are hired. The major reason of doing this is to ensure that the leaders of the company are enlightened on how to offer quality services . Without a good leadership, it can be very challenging for any organization to offer best services and to attain its overall objectives.
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Once a manager is employed in this company, before offering services, they are booked into a one-week training program, where they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them serve the customers well. After undergoing this training, they are responsible of teaching other members of staff on how to offer quality services to customers.
According to various researches done by several analysts, the outcomes of poor quality services in any business are very costly. Most of the time, the experience of poor quality services in an organization occur due to having employees who are not empowered fully to solve quality shortcomings, or presence of employees who are not willing to give adequate results.
In our day-to-day lives, we have also experienced inadequate services in various organizations whereby, once served you feel like never coming back for more services. These negative experiences occur especially because of having a team of staff who never care about what they deliver, as they are never held responsible for their mistakes (Mukherjee, 2006).
To some extent, the management of the company is the source of this poor service delivery, because of failure to acknowledge employees that every person would be held responsible for his or her deeds. Once a company start trending in such manner, the likely consequence is loosing customers and creation of a good opportunity for the competitors to take over and serve the customers.
Approaches towards improving customer care
Currently the company has managed to come up with 18 different lodging brands that include limited service and full service that have a variety of services to serve the needs of any traveler. The company is currently managing and contracting various hotels and resorts under the Marriott.
The work coverage of the company has widened with time due to expansion of its services. This expansion on the other hand has resulted to increment of the customers globally. Starting from the financial base of the company to its customer network, the company has a good record of expansion for the period it has existed in the market.
It is an obligation of every company whether a non-profit or profit making to ensure that its customers are served satisfactorily with the best products or services. For the company to succeed in its operations, be it manufacturing or any other kind of business, the customer should be treated well through provision of quality services.
Marriott being one of the biggest hotels internationally, with good reputation of its quality services, it has adapted a holistic system of formal Total Quality Management. This system is meant to ensure that the increasing customer coverage is offered with the best services of high quality.
The hotel has made some extra efforts to ensure that every section of the hotel is equipped with quality services that are customer driven. The Marriott hotel international is under the category of service industry, and so its mandate to achieve its goals and objectives is to ensure its customers are happy. It is the nature of customers to share their experiences with others whether they are satisfied or not satisfied.
For the company to ensure that their customers share a positive experience, the company should concentrate in making customers happy through admirable services. The reputation of the hotel and that of the brand depends mainly by the reactions of the customers. Customer satisfaction is achieved easily through the application of Total Quality Management.
Due to the wide acquired experience by the management of Marriott hotel international for the long period they have been in the market, they have pointed out the two main areas that are likely to be criticized by guests.
The rooms and the check-ins are the most sensitive areas that require high quality services especially the front office. In Marriott hotel international these areas are well catered for by highly qualified staffs. Both the first contact and impression that guests receive in a service industry is very crucial, as he may keep coming back or may never desire such an experience again.
How Total Quality Management contributes to Improving Quality, Efficiency & Effectiveness
Successful businesses like Marriott hotel international have a management system that understands the likely effect of offering quality services to the customers. Due to such realization, the most competitive businesses, keeps on regularly improving their quality standards.
Regularly, through the business News we hear of most famous companies declaring that their priority is to make the dreams of their customers come true through offering quality services that would satisfy the customers and keep them coming back for more products and services.
For instance, we heard of Ford Motor Company and Honda Motor Company announcing their first priority of satisfying their customers through wonderful and long lasting products that are friendly to the customer’s finances and to the environment (Clarke, 2007). Despite the fact that these companies are among the leaders globally, they still insist in improving the quality of their products to keep their customers happy.
Even if the company have been in the market for a long duration of time, and have acquired many customers, the journey should not end there, as the customers’ needs are as dynamic as the products or the services in the market. The tastes and preferences of the customers keep on changing with the advancement of the technology and the whole globalization.
This calls for the companies to keep working harder to be in a position to handle the dynamic changes in the market especially the customer’s needs (Clarke, 2007). Although Marriott has been in the market for quite a long period, they have continually embraced the current total quality management systems to be in a position to handle the challenges during the tough economic periods.
Just like other successful companies, Marriott hotel international has for several years tried to apply the total quality management system to handle and ensure a long-term survival and success through customer satisfaction . Several policies have been put in place to ensure this holistic system they adopted works out well.
Due to their improved customer coverage, the productivity of the company also increased, and this is achieved by making all the employees in the company to participate and feel as part of the entire company. The employees are encouraged by this system to assist in improving the various processes found in the company, services, and making the culture of the company a long lasting one.
Quality leaders such as Joseph Juran have contributed much in interpreting what such a system should entail to ensure a productivity results. The total quality management system comes up with practices that when utilized well the company benefits much from offering good quality services and an increased productivity.
Some of the practices that Marriott hotel international has incorporated in their operations include putting every employee busy to work to accomplish the transformation (Mukherjee, 2006). During the working hours, employees are ever busy with everyone taking a close inspection to his or her duties. Idleness of the employees is something unheard of in Marriott hotel international.
During the time of relaxing, the employees are engaged in some talks meant to improve the services of the company. Another practice that has made this holistic system a success is through the provision of education programs to improve the efficiency of every employee.
As technology advances, the demands of customers in the business also keep on changing and that is why these education programs are so important to the employees to keep them updated. Another aspect is by all means breaking barriers among staff working areas, if an employee discovers that there is something not attended to, if the person responsible is not available, he or she should attend to that duty first.
Incase of any problem or a challenge employees are given a break through of reporting such issues as quick as possible to the right people for the problem to be fixed on time (Clarke, 2007). For a long duration of time, the Marriott and other successful companies they have been able to utilize the practices of total quality management for positive impacts in their companies.
The application of this complex system requires committed leaders and other team of staffs to work together through supporting one another to ensure the company improves its productivity.
However, not in all cases that the application of total quality management ends up successful. Severally, some companies have reported failure of total quality management approach (Mukherjee, 2006). For instance, if a company had a weak culture from the beginning it would always be hard for this system to change that culture within a short time.
A bad company culture remains in the minds of the company’s stakeholders, for a very long period. Even if the company may change, the stakeholders do not admit the change as they believe in what they experienced in the past. Another aspect that may result to a failure is lack of support and commitment from the leaders.
It would be hard for the employees to bring change through this system without the help of the top management. The practices of total quality management require the contribution of every individual in the company.
When a company is offering poor quality services, there is a great cost of customer dissatisfaction and loss of business . When on the other hand is fighting to achieve good quality services there is a cost to be incurred like prevention costs.
These are the costs that Marriott and other companies have incurred in the process of preventing the occurrence of poor quality services in the company. These processes include maintaining records and data, as well as the cost of training the employees when setting them ready to handle the challenges.
Another type of cost is appraisal costs that are incurred by the company in its efforts of uncovering defects. Another type of cost is internal failure cost, a cost that incurs within the premises, and is realized before the service or the product reaches the customer . All these costs are associated with the efforts of the company to avoid offering poor quality services or products.
These costs are considered less expensive than the cost of offering poor quality services or products. Marriott hotel international has made efforts to incur such costs, than to allow poor quality services that would limit its continuity in the market. Through this, this company has continued pleasing its customers through quality services.
Criticism of Total Quality Management approaches to tourism
As much as total quality management is useful to various organizations, it faces several criticisms. To begin with, the total quality system is not directly related to the general organizational strategy. The decisions that are made by the organization concerning total quality management are not connected to finances or other marketing approaches (Mukherjee, 2006).
It is argued that quality issues should be part of functional side, and should not be treated as a separate entity. Another important factor that total quality management lacks is a clear planning for its implementation, which should indicate the goals and objectives, and how they should be achieved.
Moreover, the TQM consists of unrealistic goals due to lack of managerial skills because of failure to train employees about the total quality management philosophy. The employees should be fully equipped with knowledge of TQM philosophy.
In conclusion, the Marriott hotel international has benefitted much from the application of total quality management. Just like any other hospitality industry, total quality management is important due to the competition of the customers . There is an increased number of hotels offering hospitality services globally, thus for a hotel to retain its customers and attract more should offer quality services.
The shortcomings of this system are outweighed by its advantages, and so its application to any organization is of benefit. The teamwork of the management team and all levels of employers can work best for this system. For the employees to adhere to the system, they require much support from the top management.
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Clarke, A, (2007), International hospitality management: concepts and cases, London, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Hakes, C, (2004), Total quality management: the key to business improvement, Michigan, Springer.
Mukherjee, PN, (2006), Total Quality Management, New York, PHI Learning Pvt, Ltd.