Process Performance at Starwood Resorts
The Six Sigma model is a helpful tool for assessing an organization’s performance and improving its current processes, goods, and services by pinpointing the issues and solving them. A variety of implementation points have been addressed by Starwoods with its Sheraton Service Promise program redesign. In terms of top-down commitment, it concerns the importance of the management’s commitment to have the satisfaction of their customers as the top priority (Gardiner & Reefke, 2019). At Starwood, quality assessment processes and programs are carried out by the Black Belts.
Six Sigma program
The measurement system at Starwood used the five-step DMAIC process: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Starwood collected data using its Guest Satisfaction Index survey. In addition, the Six Sigma team started to carry out surveying through the National Family Opinion survey organization. Goal setting was seen as the goal of achieving the 15-minute standard, a task that was a part of a bigger aim of improving overall rates of problem-solving. The 15-minute window was desired for the needs of the customers to be met. The goal was emphasized to employees as a means to achieve customer satisfaction.
The Sheraton Service Promise process
When it came to education, the data on improvements was logged into the company’s intranet. Other departments followed the example and used the experience to improve their level of operations (Piekarz, 2020). Communication was carried out by managers who were provided monthly feedback on their performance. Sutherland (2017) argued that it was important for managers to communicate feedback to employees (p.12). Using this program, Starwood improved the satisfaction of its customers. Customer needs were prioritized: all efforts of the Starwood hotel — from surveys to feedback — helped the property achieve a high standard of service.
Understanding the customers became a top priority for the Starwood Hotel. When the company refers to poor performance and quality costs, it will look at four variables – service delivery, time, quality, and products. Experts have developed its program to avoid unnecessary losses and simplify the hotel’s work. The Sheraton program automated these operations and eliminated problems with coordinating the delivery of certain products, speed, and possible communication issues. Secondly, with the help of the Sheraton program, the company also saved time. Customers using mobile phones could remotely declare their desires through a special service catalog. Guests did not waste time looking for what they needed and where, in turn, without distracting the staff. Lewis (2019) claimed that after a couple of months of using the Sheraton, the Starwood Hotel reported an improvement in the quality of service and a noticeable influx of customers (p.52). Employees knew what was required of them and performed their duties flawlessly.
The use of Six Sigma and its implementation in the hospitality industry has proven to be complicated. This program tracked employee performance and used a “top-down” model that required strict teamwork from everyone. While this also paid off, the staff were limited in their capacity as they were heavily dependent on each other. For example, due to the illness of one of the employees, the work slowed down several times. Stevenson (2020) writes that the prevention of poor process performance is a crucial aspect of all organizations (p. 4). After the introduction of the “Customer Survey” system, the hotel management set high goals for all workers. Within the method, customers could give their assessment of the quality of work and wishes. Six Sigma posed complex challenges for staff that required unrealistic performance to maintain Starwood’s ideal image (Krajewski et al., 2019). This “increase” in the employee’s productivity became ineffective, as the management demanded more knowledge and skills from them.
Although the results of the Six Sigma model did show overall improvement for Starwood, they put significant stress on tasks that would be quite unrealistic for the employees to deliver. Thus, the new Sheraton Service Promise process helped employees predict possible failure in service and inform the managers promptly. Early avoidance of issues helps organizations solve the issues before they escalate.
Gardiner, D., & Reefke, H. (2019). Operations Management for Business Excellence: Building Sustainable Supply Chains. Routledge.
Krajewski, L. J., Malhotra, M. K., & Ritzman, L. P. (2019). Operations Management: Processes and Supply Chains. Pearson.
Lewis, M. A. (2019). Operations Management: A Research Overview. Routledge.
Piekarz, M. (2020). Operations Management and Development: An Applied Approach. Routledge.
Stevenson, W. J. (2020). Operations Management. McGraw-Hill Education.
Sutherland, J. (2017). Key Concepts in Operations Management. Bloomsbury Publishing.