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WORLDWIDE
                                                             LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS y Vol. 1 y Issue 1 y October 1999
y Quality Assurance
y Performance
  Measurement                      An Introduction to LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS
y Guest Satisfaction                                                                                                              In    addi-
                                   LRAWorldwide is pleased to pre-               ucts and services to many of the                 tion, LRA
y Information Services             sent the inaugural issue of                   hospitality and travel industry's               provides
                                   LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS, a peri-                    leading global brands.                          services to
  For the Hospitality and          odic newsletter designed to present                                                           a l l i e d
                                   topical information regarding quali-          As a result of our company's growth             industry
     Travel Industries             ty assurance, performance measure-            and increased client distribution in            sectors
                                   ment, guest satisfaction and brand            the lodging industry, LRA has                   including
                                   loyalty issues impacting the global           developed a comprehensive data-                 timeshare,
                                   hospitality and travel industries. In         base of lodging industry quality per-           gaming,
LRAWorldwide is the lead-          this issue, we feature an in-depth            formance data. On a strictly non-               transporta-
                                   interview with Allison Barber, Vice           identifying basis, this QualTrac data-          tion, senior
ing provider of quality assur-     President of Quality for the                                                                  housing, assisted living, corporate
                                                                                 base offers LRA the unique oppor-
ance, performance measure-         European Division of Starwood                 tunity to provide clients with hotel            housing, convention and visitor's
ment, customer-guest satis-        Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.              quality benchmarking data, sorted               bureaus (CVB's) and food service
faction data and information       and learn more from Starwood                  by peer group (competitive set),                management. Our company's mis-
                                   regarding this Division's innovative          and reported by product category,               sion is to help our clients better
services to the global hospital-   quality enhancement and guest sat-            price tier and geographic location.             define, build, enhance and protect
ity and travel industries.         isfaction initiatives.                                                                        their brands. If you have colleagues
Based outside of Philadelphia,                                                   LRAWorldwide has also created a                 that would like to be added to our
USA, the company provides          In addition, each issue of                    new lodging industry database                   mailing list in order to receive
                                   LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS will                        product, which we call the LRA                  future issues of this newsletter or
products and services to           highlight the activities and continu-                                                         other company information, please
                                                                                 Lodging Industry GuestSat Report.
clients on every continent.        ing growth of LRAWorldwide as                 This is an innovative initiative that           send me an email at rmrush@lra-
Targeted industries include        well as the accomplishments of our            provides lodging brands with the                worldwide.com.
lodging, gaming, timeshare,        people. Over the past two decades,            methodology to compare their
                                   LRA has established itself as the             hotel's guest satisfaction survey               Best regards,
corporate housing, military
                                   leading provider of quality assur-            responses versus their competitors
housing, senior housing,           ance, performance measurement,                guest survey responses for a variety
assisted living, transportation,   guest satisfaction/loyalty data and           of critical guest satisfaction and loy-
travel services, convention        information services to the global            alty attributes. A more in-depth
                                   hospitality and travel industries.            review of the GuestSat Report is                Robert M. Rush
and visitor's bureaus (CVB's)                                                                                                    President & CEO
                                   Today, our Company provides prod-             included in this newsletter.
and food service management.

LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS is a
periodic newsletter published
by LRAWorldwide, designed
                                   Spotlight on Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide - Europe
to update clients and contacts
on various activities and
                                   P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. Through People -
events occurring at the com-
pany as well as the various        An Innovative Quality Initiative for the Lodging Industry
industy sectors the company        An interview with Allison Barber
services.
                                   Editors    In this issue of LRAWORLDWIDE NEWS, LRA spoke with Allison Barber, Vice President &
                                   Note:      Director of Quality for the European Division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
                                              Ms. Barber, based in Brussels, Belgium, has responsibility for over eighty full-service hotels of
                                              varying brands throughout Europe. Ms. Barber is leading one of the lodging industries most             ALLISON BARBER
In This Issue                                 innovative and productive quality and continuous improvement initiatives.

                                   LRA        Please describe your responsibilities for the various Starwood lodging brands that are the focus of your
y Spotlight on Starwood:                      quality improvement efforts in Europe.
  Interview with Allison
  Barber                           Barber     My responsibilities are to oversee the quality initiatives in all of our hotels in Europe across the various
                                              brands - currently Four Points, Sheraton, Westin & The Luxury Collection/St. Regis brands; to ensure that
y Update - The GuestSat
                                              we deliver consistently on each brand; and to maintain a laser focus on our customers. Our strategic areas of
  Report                                      focus include:
y New Client                                  · Operating core standards for each brand
  Relationships                               · Core competencies and leadership development for our supervisors and managers
                                              · Performance measurement and tracking
y LRAWorldwide                                · The HotSpot - our intranet communication and learning tool
  Databases                                                                                                                                        continued on page 2
continued from page 1
LRA What are your "Quality                  · Provide structure for process improve-     ed in a common language and culture in
Principles" and how have they been            ment                                       our division. This has been amazing to
adapted to the European Foundation for      · Define future direction                    see!
Quality (EFQM) model?                       · Measure value created
                                                                                         LRA What is the role of the Change
Barber A little history…In 1998,            Every initiative must tie (and does!)        Agent and the Process Improvement
Starwood's European Quality Board           into either one or several of these prin-    Team?
clearly defined the mission and strategy    ciples.
for Quality in Europe through the devel-                                                 Barber The Change Agent plays an
opment of the Ten Quality Principles.       LRA Please discuss P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S.          extremely important role within the
Ten principles may sound pretty basic,      Through People, your Division's innova-      process. The Change Agent is the facil-
but there's a lot that supports each one.   tive and structured process improve-         itator, internal consultant, guide, coach,
· Create strategic customer driven focus    ment methodology.                            and trainer. Our CA's range from key
· Assure alignment                                                                       line employees, to supervisors, and
· Guarantee field funding and resources     Barber In 1996, we teamed up with            department heads. They assist in the
· Lead by example                           the Forum Corporation, and launched          running of the planning meeting held
· Encourage innovation, sharing and         the biggest change initiative in any hotel   annually at each hotel, the formation
  implementation of skills, tools and       company in Europe - P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S.         and facilitation of the teams, and the
  best practices                            Through People. Our goal was to better       training of the eight-step methodology.
· Communicate success and create            deliver customer service (and to exceed      There is a minimum of one CA per
  recognition                               our guest expectations) by using a con-      hotel, and currently 192 CA's are active-
· Create a learning culture                 sistent process and methodology              ly involved. Teams are another essential
                                            throughout all of our hotels in Europe.      element to the process. They are usual-
                                            P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. is an eight-step cus-       ly formed as a result of planning meet-
Customer Satisfaction                       tomer focused methodology which helps        ings, and are focused on resolving a spe-
with U.S. Lodging                           to identify key gaps between our guest's     cific customer focused objective and/or
                                            expectations and our current perfor-         to find ways to exceed customer expec-
Industry Improving                          mance, and then close those gaps             tations. Over 355 teams are currently in
                                            though "Quick Hits" or through process       place.
According to the 1999 American
                                            improvement teams.
Customer Satisfaction Index, cus-
                                                                                         LRA To track hotel performance for
tomer satisfaction scores for the
                                            LRA To date, how many Starwood               your European portfolio, what are your
lodging industry increased for the
                                            managers and staff members have par-         key quality measures?
first time since 1994 to 72%. The
                                            ticipated in the P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. pro-
ACSI national index for all ser-
                                            gram and in how many languages?              Barber It is difficult if not impossible
vice industries is 71%; for 1999
                                                                                         to improve our processes and to improve
the airline industry scored 63%,
                                            Barber To date, 10,000 associates have       customer satisfaction and loyalty with-
an all time low.
                                            gone through a 2-day process improve-        out any form of measurement! We track
                                            ment training program, and 4,000 man-        employee       satisfaction,   employee
                                            agers (from department head level to         turnover, guest satisfaction and loyalty,
                                            the senior management team) have             property condition/cleanliness/stan-
                                            been trained in an extended 3.5 day pro-     dards, impressions, as well as the tradi-
                                            gram. The program is currently deliv-        tional financial measures.
                                            ered in 13 different languages in over 19
                                            countries. Additionally, 192 Change          LRA What role does LRAWorldwide
                                            Agent were developed and we've run           play in your European quality initiative?
                                            P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. workshops for our con-
                                            trollers and our key pan-European sup-       Barber LRA is an integral component
                                            pliers. In 1997, Starwood's Africa, India    of our quality and continuous improve-
                                            & Middle East division rolled-out            ment process in Europe. LRA performs
Source: American Customer
        Satisfaction Index
                                            P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. This training and our       periodic quality evaluations for our
                                            process improvement teams have result-       hotels with a specific focus on important
                                                                                                                     continued on page 4
Update -
The LRAWorldwide GuestSat Report
(the National Hotel Guest Satisfaction Database)

In September/October 1999, LRAWorldwide is expected          users to compare their brand's local and national guest sat-
to complete the Manhattan beta test of the LRA               isfaction performance, which has been compiled through
GuestSat Report, also referred to as the National Hotel      each brand's guest surveys, versus an appropriate peer
Guest Satisfaction Database. As previously reported dur-     group for a specific trade area. Currently, this information
ing 1999 in various lodging industry trade publications,     is available only within a particular hotel or brand. The
LRA has invested two years research in developing the        database will allow comparisons between brands for such
required methodology and first-ever report, which will       critical guest satisfaction drivers as "Likelihood to
allow lodging brands to compare their brand's guest satis-   Return", "Value for Price Paid", "Staff Responsiveness",
faction responses for a variety of attributes versus their   "Problem        Resolution",       "Satisfaction       with
direct competitors. LRA is beta testing the methodology      Arrival/Departure Processes", "Satisfaction with the Guest
using upscale, full-service hotel brands currently operat-   Room" and more.
ing in Midtown Manhattan (New York City). Almost
every major lodging brand within this product/price tier     We believe that information of this type will help hotel
has agreed to participate in the test.                       brands ultimately elevate their levels of guest satisfaction
                                                             and help brands better target and validate expenditures
Today, any hotel or chain can easily obtain industry data    for capital investment, marketing and staff training.
regarding RevPAR, average daily rate, occupancy, market      LRAWorldwide has built-in stringent protection mea-
share and new development. However, no such industry         sures and firewalls necessary to protect the confidentiali-
database exists for guest (customer) satisfaction data.      ty and disclosure of the participants and data. y
The objective of the LRA GuestSat Report is to allow



LRAWorldwide Client Relationships

                                            We are pleased to announce

                                            Hilton Hotels Corporation

                              that these companies have selected LRAWorldwide

                                The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

                              as their partner to provide various quality assurance,

                                           Radisson Hotels Worldwide

                     performance measurement and customer-guest satisfaction services.

                                           Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
                                                                                    continued from page 2
                                                                                    guest satisfaction drivers which include
Other LRAWorldwide Database Products in addition to the                             cleanliness, maintenance, condition and
GuestSat Report:                                                                    investment in FF&E and softgoods as well
                                                                                    as compliance with Starwood's brand stan-
                                                                                    dards. Every six months, in conjunction
The LRA Lodging Industry QualTrac Database                                          with Starwood, LRA re-directs a portion of
                                                                                    their evaluation to focus on critical guest
A comprehensive, proprietary database that tracks lodging industry quality          service delivery issues. These hotel func-
assurance attributes and guest satisfaction drivers. Components archived            tion areas have included sales and catering,
and reported on include 1) cleanliness issues, 2) maintenance issues, 3) the        reservation      calls,    handling       of
                                                                                    messages/mail, guest requests and in-room
condition of FF&E and softgoods, 4) brand standards compliance and 5)
                                                                                    dining.
guest services and guest service delivery. On a strictly non-identifying
basis, the LRA QualTrac database provides lodging companies with the                LRA On an ongoing basis, how do you
opportunity to compare their brands' quality performance for these impor-           communicate and share Best Practices and
tant brand components versus their competitors. The database includes               other quality improvement initiatives
in-depth, up-to-date quality information collected from over 1,500 hotels           throughout your portfolio?
worldwide and in excess of 15,000 guestrooms. This information offers
hotel brands a wonderful opportunity to track hotel performance, continu-           Barber In May of 1999, we launched "The
ous improvement efforts as well as establish new performance benchmarks.            HotSpot" (our European Intranet) to over
                                                                                    2,000 associates and managers. This is
                                                                                    becoming our internal communications tool
The LRA Lodging Industry "State of the Room" Report                                 - organizational charts, HR guidelines and
                                                                                    tools, marketing programs, supplier infor-
Based upon information compiled through quality assurance inspections,              mation, exchange rates, presentations,
interactions with hotel General Managers/Owners as well as market                   standards, and of course, a section dedicat-
                                                                                    ed entirely to Quality. Each of our Change
research, LRAWorldwide tracks a variety of issues that influence guest sat-
                                                                                    Agents registers his/her teams on-line, and
isfaction with hotel rooms. LRA focuses on guestrooms because a prepon-             documents each of the P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S.
derance of industry data and research indicates that satisfaction with the          steps via "The HotSpot". All the teams,
guestroom is, by far, the most important element in determining a guest's           best practices, and quick hits are easily and
overall satisfaction with a particular hotel or hotel brand.                        immediately accessible to all on line.
                                                                                    Other communication methods include
The State of the Room Report tracks and reports on 1) guestroom and                 conference calls, area meetings, annual
bathroom amenities including the variety and type of offerings, 2) house-           workshops, and a quarterly newsletter.
keeping issues including the major challenges with cleaning, staffing and
training, 3) communication offerings including telephone/fax/internet               LRA Finally, what are your goals for the
                                                                                    year 2000 and describe how you link quali-
type, cost, features, usability and access, 4) refurbishment/replacement
                                                                                    ty improvement initiatives with value and
schedules for carpeting, bedset, FF&E and softgoods, 5) TV (type, size,             shareholder returns?
available free and premium channels, in-room entertainment provider), 6)
HVAC type, usability, operation, 7) guest services available, 8) adequacy of        Barber We have a busy year planned for
guestroom work environment including desk size, chair comfort/type, light-          2000! We will continue to grow "The
ing, access to telephone, outlet, computer jack, etc. and 9) renovation             HotSpot", making it virtually impossible for
schedules for rooms and bathrooms.                                                  us to work without logging in modules for
                                                                                    our department heads and managers, as
                                                                                    well as an on-line 360-degree performance
                                                                                    appraisal system. A second phase of
                                                                                    P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. is currently under design,
                                                                                    which we plan to launch the first quarter in
This publication is provided for information only. Permission to reprint these      2000. Shortly we will be launching STAR
articles is granted, provided that LRA Worldwide is referenced and notified prior   Teams for the purpose of transferring best
to use. If you have any questions regarding LRA WORLDWIDE News or need              practices across the Starwood Europe
                                                                                    Division. I truly believe that when you have
additional information regarding LRA Worldwide, please contact:
                                                                                    strong leadership, performance improve-
Robert M. Rush                                                                      ment systems, standards, training, effec-
President & CEO                  Tel:       +1.215.957.1999 ext. 16                 tive communications, and reliable measure-
LRA Worldwide                    Fax:       +1.215.957.6570                         ment systems, customer loyalty increases
300 Welsh Road, Suite 250        Email:     rmrush@lraworldwide.com                 resulting in much higher shareholder value.
Horsham, PA 19044.2263, USA      Website:   www.lraworldwide.com                    Quality improvement initiatives are a vital
                                                                                    part in creating shareholder value. y

				
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