Question 1: Critically read the following case study and answer the questions that follow.
The Steve Handson Conference chain comprises of a number of conference venues throughout Africa. These facilities are equipped with high quality conference facilities and high quality dining facilities. Steve Handson has marketed this chain of facilities as the best in the industry and differentiates itself with excellent services. The slogan used as part of the vision is “you will always come back”
Many of Steve Handson’s clients are corporate organizations who are leaders in their respective industries and always willing to pay a premium for the high quality services and facilities.
Despite a high rating from the Hospitality Certification Board management want to still comply with ISO Standards to attract international delegates. The previous evening’s conference and gala dinner for “International Society of Engineers” had been a complete disaster, and Mr Zwane the general manager of the hotel was perturbed at the series of telephone conversations of that morning.
First it was a call from the President of the society: “I had hoped that by having our annual conference at your renowned hotel in Pretoria, we would have enjoyed an even higher level of service than last year, when we were in Cape Town; but we were deeply disappointed. After all the problems you have caused us over the last two days, from faulty video projectors to shortage of cups at tea breaks, I had hoped that the gala dinner will run smoothly, but you let us down badly.
The cocktail reception was a farce: the choice of non-alcoholic drinks that we specially ordered did not arrive until the last minute, and as our major sorcerer’s wife is teetotal, you can imagine the embarrassment that was caused!
A split tray of snacks was not cleared up quickly and several guests got food all over their shoes and clothing. The reception also dragged on too long!” “When we were finally asked into the dining room, it was distinctly seen that it was not totally prepared. Some of the tables, including mine were without flowers, which upset my administrator who was deeply involved with the selection of the arrangements. Even the flowers that were on the other tables were of the wrong variety and appeared to be from yesterday’s function.”
“The food was the worst that I have ever seen! The correct word to use is ‘awful.’ The starter was dried up and chewy, and the sweet desserts were flat and rubbery. We were first served with cutlets and potatoes, but the sauces, vegetables, salads and pickles did not appear until I finished mine.”
“And what happed to the microphone on the main table? The photographer did not turn up either, which is a blessing in disguise, as the tables were not completely cleaned up after the main meal and I am sure everyone would have looked in a bad mood after all the frustrations and the mess-ups.
I can tell you straight – we will not be paying all your exorbitant charges for this dinner and I expect a written apology which will be placed on our website for all the frustrations and anger we were caused. Our sponsors must be thinking that I am a complete idiot to have chosen this hotel, and I think they have a point….”
Next with the manager of Zipozoe’s electronics: “… I was told that the public address system had to be set up by 7.00 pm. We often do jobs of this type which require a 2-hour set up time. We were present from 4:30 pm but your staff will not let us in due to the venue been used for another function which was completed at 6:00 pm. As a result we were still setting up at 7:00 pm……”
Then with Mrs. Shell Buthelezi, the hotel services manager: “…it has been the practice to lay out the cutlery before we set out the flowers, and yesterday we simply were not given enough time to see to all the tables. As for the flowers, we were never told that the client wants pink and white arrangements. I would have suggested other colors anyway, as reds will look good against the décor of the dining room. Unfortunately, the electricians moved the floral arrangements against a heating outlet, so by the time we got them, the flowers looked a bit beyond their best condition. I suppose that’s what you get if contractors are allowed to interfere with our operations”
And with Joe Soap, the conference manager: “We were never told that the client wanted to use the video equipment, which was scheduled for repairs. Had I known, we could have hired in another projector, but never got the conference check-list back from the client. If we got that, it would have also indicated that there were an extra ten delegates here for the morning session and this would have required some extra preparation. These problems are also down to the client: if they do not follow our system, it is their fault if things go wrong.”
From the head chef:
“… I always got a detailed scheduled from the head waiter. I get the sauces, vegetables, salads and pickles ready according to that schedule-if things run organisation as last night, then obviously you could expect some problems. Cooking is an art. All the chefs know how to prepare meals to perfection every time, and if we cannot serve the food when ready, it will be messed up. I can tell you that if you think the customer was angry, you should have come into the kitchen. Some of the conference delegates were rude to the waiters, who came into the kitchen and swore the chefs. All the staff was upset and refused to give further service.
From the head waiter: “…. We were not told that the electricians and sound technicians will have to first set their equipment before the tables could be arranged. We were in the midst of setting up the tables when the foreman told us that we have to clear the tables and wait for them to complete. I think we did very well to have the tables arranged within thirty minutes”
Finally, Mr. Squeaky Moodley, the photographer. “…. We were booked for 10:00pm and the conference manager informed us that we will only be needed for thirty minutes during the speeches. When we arrived at 10:00 pm, the delegates were still, engaged in the main meal. I waited for a while and had to rush off for another engagement set at 11:00 pm. If we had known about delays earlier, I would have organised my partner to assist…”
1.1 Describe the culture of this organization?
1.2 Identify the various quality related problems?
1.3 Draw up a quality plan to improve the quality of this service?
1.4 Prepare a statement on the cost of quality related to this incident
1.5 How would you use the various quality tools to provide a “ZERO DEFECT” Service?
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