Hotel industries are faced with a unique challenge in providing a constant level of service throughout many diverse countries. The time companies spend in creating a solid business plan will help them anticipate the tough spots, modify their approach and climb to the peak of success in the international marketplace (Brown & Gutterman, 2009). One particular hotel chain is The Ritz Carlton, owned by Marriott. The Ritz Carlton operates more than 80 hotels in 26 countries, driven by their motto, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” (“Gold Standards,” 2012).
They have created a business plan that has enabled them to achieve superior service throughout the world. When developing a plan for companies that operate internationally there are five factors managers must assess: demographic, economic, political, regulatory and cultural (Brown & Gutterman, 2009). Economic and cultural factors can take up the majority of an analysis for a region; however, in service based businesses demographics will play an equally important role.
The Ritz Carlton’s target demographics are the wealthy elite members of society. Throughout the world this audience has a vast range of views, beliefs and expectations that the hotel needs to provide. As a result, all employees take a two-day cultural orientation followed by yearly certification to ensure their customers’ wants and needs are understood and met. This will guarantee the staff will provide customers with the best service. Understanding the type of environment a company is operating in will allow itself to develop a business plan that will achieve their desired results. Every company has different elements that make up their business plan.
However, every business plan provides a company with direction, and markets itself to potential investors and partners. According to Robinson (2008), the Ritz Carlton focuses on a specific set of key success factors (mystique, employee engagement, customer engagement, product service excellence, community involvement, and financial performance). The corporate leaders then develop a set of priorities for each business unit to focus on. It’s important to remember for a plan to be successful it must be measurable and monitored. To meet this, each employee provides a set of data points which is filtered into one of the key success factors. In addition, companies can perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to evaluate its current status.
This allows the company to maintain a set of real-time information that is used to continuously monitor and update its focus. As a result, the company is able to provide the best support to their customers’ changing preferences. In order for this information to be understood and communicated, businesses need to have a solid organizational structure. As noted above, The Ritz Carlton leadership collects a series of information from its employees, and develops new goals. These goals can only be achieved if the managers and employees are able to understand the direction of their leadership. To achieve this every employee in every location participates in pre-shift meetings in which actions, events, issues and company philosophy are discussed (Robinson, 2008). This creates a complete cycle where everyone in the company is engaged, and helping the business to grow and adapt to a changing market.
The Ritz Carlton hotel chain consists of a wide variety of employees operating all over the world. They are first able to develop a plan by understanding the demographics of a culture, but also provide a universal ambiance throughout each of its locations. Next, it develops a set of key factors to determine the direction of the company. Last but not least, a continuous circle of communication between all members of the company creates a clear focus that enables them to adapt to the changing needs of the customer, no matter where they are in the world. References
Brown, R.l., & Gutterman, A.S. (2009) A short course in international business plans: Charting a strategy for success in global commerce. (3rd ed.). Petaluma, CA: World Trade Press. Gold Standards, (2012). Retrieved Sept 15, 2013 from http://corporate.ritzcarlton.com/en/ About/GoldStandards.htm Robinson, J. (2008). How the ritz-carlton manages the mystique. Gallup business journal, Retrieved from http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/112906/How-RitzCarlton-Manages-Myst