Understanding Business Challenges on a Global Scale

European City Property

The Challenge:

In our work across the globe, we’ve always been fascinated by how the approach to hotel operations differs depending on the territory. Cultural nuances, legalities and differing philosophical perspectives all converge to create the distinctive environments our clients operate within. For us, the focus becomes equally technical and tactical when we work in international markets – technical in understanding the business challenges facing our clients and tactical in implementing solutions that fit within their unique operating environments.

One of our clients in Europe found that many of its daily routines had evolved over time as new managers and new initiatives came and went. However, many of the hotel’s processes and systems had failed to evolve in tandem with these changes. The result was a misalignment between the hotel’s current operating model and its ability to execute its offering consistently. For us, there was obviously the technical challenge of understanding the client’s processes and systems, but we also had to understand how local labor considerations, attitudes towards change and views on productivity would affect the program from a tactical standpoint.

The Changes:

After 13 weeks of analysis and development, the following changes were installed to help realign the hotel’s processes and systems with its operational requirements:

  • Designed an assignment model for Room Attendants to better match daily staffing levels to the unique cleaning activities of each room type; resulted in a 9% productivity improvement
  • Created a room-blocking tool to “compress the house” at low occupancy and prevent unnecessary travel between floors
  • Standardized the communication of guest requests across the hotel to shorten response times by 9%
  • Aligned the Banquet call times and staffing ratios with specific event type requirements; resulted in a 14% productivity improvement
  • Created dynamic culinary par levels to flex food production with actual volume
  • Developed more accurate forecasting models in the Food & Beverage Front of House to better match staffing with guest demand; resulted in a 13% productivity improvement
  • Coupling existing labor rules with extensive front line observation, we created accurate labor standards for each position in order to flex and cross utilize staff more effectively; resulted in an overall 11% productivity improvement

The Results:

Through observation and data analysis, we pinpointed specific process and system breakdowns causing the misalignment. However, it was only in leveraging the expertise of the hotel’s leadership that we tailored the strategy to fit within the hotel’s cultural milieu. The program ultimately generated an overall 11% productivity improvement in the first year and provided a lasting framework for the hotel to maintain alignment through future changes.


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