Balancing Service and Efficiency
Dubai Resort & Waterpark
Hotel General Managers (GMs) tend to move around and Carpedia Hospitality has helped several top performing GMs make their mark globally. One of our previous clients moved to Dubai to manage a luxury resort that contained more than 1,500 rooms, extensive F&B facilities and tourist attractions. The client was eager to implement similar workforce management initiatives to balance service and efficiency that had helped to successfully manage his previous property.
Given the property had been in operation for several years, the management identified that the operation could benefit from new baseline productivity standards. Carpedia Hospitality’s challenge was to measure the level of improvement that could be achieved and uncover the areas within the operation that could be made more productive. We observed that there were inconsistencies in the labor management system throughout the resort and the management team could not objectively assess the resort’s labor productivity. Given the resort’s luxury positioning and culture of providing an exceptionally high level of service in Dubai, the management team had never been asked to examine its labor productivity. This added to the challenge to align behaviors to the labor management initiatives that would drive productivity.
Given the wide scope of the engagement, the project spanned across a six-month period. Carpedia Hospitality conducted hundreds of hours of observations to examine the productivity of the rooms department, food & beverage outlets, shipping & receiving, security, the waterpark and the spa. This resulted in the creation of new operating baseline productivity metrics for each department. We then implemented a world-class labor management system alongside the management team of the hotel. Some of the solutions that made a big impact were as follows:
- The introduction of continuous improvement tools that enabled the management team to drive productivity
- A consistent time and attendance system throughout the resort that led to stronger internal organization and stronger financial performance
- The alignment of staffing levels and vacation planning to seasonality patterns that resulted in an enhanced guest experience during peak seasons
- A reduction in the hours of some salaried employees that contributed favorably to work-life balance and employee satisfaction
- A revision of the waterpark operating hours to mirror seasonal demand patterns
- An amendment to the shift structure within the housekeeping department that recovered excess capacity
The labor management system that Carpedia Hospitality implemented provided the resort with an advantage on its competition and drove financial results. Post project completion, the resort realized the goals set at the beginning of the project by 100%. Additionally, a 3.4% improvement in payroll expense versus budget was achieved.
Initial feedback from the GM confirmed that the introduction of the enhanced labor management system has greatly improved the performance of the hotel. The management team now has the autonomy to make small changes that make for a large cumulative financial impact.