Reducing Costs by 8% at a Popular Historical Attraction
Family-Owned Resort & Attraction
A private, family-owned estate has transitioned over several decades into the popular historical attraction, wine company, and hotel it is today. Throughout its evolution and growth, different business units were launched in silos: retail operations, food and beverage outlets, guest activities, and hotel operations. The executive management team engaged Carpedia Hospitality to identify opportunities for operational improvement, synergy, and cohesion across the various business units. There was also a desire to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement within the expansive, family-run business.
The individual business units of the estate operated independently with different management systems and styles. This resulted in limited cross-business visibility for the executive leadership team. The family-leadership group experienced challenges in making both high-level strategic and day-to-day operational decisions due to the inconsistency in tools and reporting.
To host over one million visitors per year, the estate employed thousands of staff but did not have a formal labor management system. Opportunities for staffing synergies across the business units were not obvious due to lack of reporting cohesion. Additionally, the estate was spread over 8,000 acres, and as such, the daily pattern of how tourists’ flowed through the estate impacted daily staffing levels by time of day and location. Seasonal demand patterns added to the challenge of staffing optimally throughout the year.
There were also complex logistical challenges due to limited road accessibility throughout the estate. This often resulted in interruptions and traffic congestion for guests, deliveries, and operational vehicles. Service breakdowns were common; consequently, guest satisfaction also suffered.
Carpedia Hospitality’s consultants conducted extensive direct, point of execution observations and historical data analyses to accurately model the business processes and baseline performance. Through analysis, opportunities for performance improvement were identified and solutions were developed in partnership with the business leaders. The following were some of the most impactful solutions designed during the engagement:
- Defined optimal hours of operation for each area throughout the year by analyzing guest demand and seasonality patterns
- Developed more accurate forecasting of key area performance metrics that allowed for increased visibility to guest demand
- Implemented a labor management system with improved scheduling parameters for over 150 key operational positions
- Established standardized steps of service throughout each functional area to reduce service inconsistencies
- Optimized ticketing experience by promoting lighter touch options to reduce staffing requirements and increase throughput throughout the estate during peak season
- Defined optimal stocking levels for retail and food & beverage outlets that resulted in reduced waste and supported the customer experience
- Augmented the procurement and processing of goods to enhance the logistics planning process
- Amended travel routes and frequency to facilitate movement throughout the estate
Leaders were selected for each business unit to serve as champions for change and sustainability. They trained alongside the Carpedia Hospitality team to analyze the processes and effectively deploy the identified solutions. These leaders served as key subject matter experts for the complex once the on-property phase of the engagement concluded and the sustainability phase began.
Overall, the estate attained an 8% cost reduction within the first year. The enhanced tools and consistent structure in operational processes and decision-making implemented across the estate, gave the executive management and family-leadership the visibility and confidence to make timely, objective decisions based on data, but also enabled fluidity and cohesion across business units. The management tools that were developed during the project further embedded a culture of continuous improvement, enabling the financial improvements to be sustained over time and revised performance levels to be achieved at varying business volumes.