Service Operations Management Level 5


Service operation management is considered as critical process which allow businesses to have effective management of work activities so that better services can be offered to customers. It has been noticed that success of every operational activity is greatly linked with the quality management. By having a continuous improvement in the quality standards the services can be promoted effectively among customers (Burke, 2013). In order to have better understanding about the IHG Hotel is being considered as an organization. In this report the information about different quality theories and models is being considered as critical aspect. Along with this, it will also focus on ways that can facilitate the IHG in improving the quality processes so that issues can be overcome in desired manner.

InterContinental Hotel Group PLC is considered as British multinational hotel chain which operates its business from Denham, UK. It has been noticed that company was founded in year 2003. IHG has over 742,000 rooms and 5,028 hotels across nearly 100 countries. Company is holding high brand image in the market which attract more and more customers. Along with this, company is also enhancing its business opportunities under the trade name like Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, etc. Business firm is also well focused towards improvement in quality standards so that services provided under its sub brands can be advanced in order to meet customer needs.

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1. Terminology And Concept Of Quality Processes In Context To Sector

In addition to this, it can be said that there are number of concept and terminology which need to be referred effectively in order to maintain the quality standards. Quality assurance is one of most critical aspect which need to be referred effectively so that goals and objectives can be accomplished in desired manner (Leach, 2014). It is significant for IHG Hotel to make sure that accommodation and other services are being provided to customers in order to meet the objectives. It is necessary to focus on the quality control, improvement, service audit and development because it assists in ensure that sustainable opportunities can be accomplished.

EFQM model:It has been noticed that hospitality sector firms are more focused towards non-prescriptive business excellence framework so that overall work conditions can be advanced effectively. Along with this, organisational management system can be promoted effectively with an assistance of EFQM (Loehlin, 2004). In this, standards set out by the European Foundation For Quality Management need to be evaluated effectively from the IHG Hotel so that goals and objectives can be accomplished. It indicates that people, strategy and resources plays a critical role in quality management. If such aspects are properly maintained then issues can be discussed effectively in order to improve the results and lead business to better opportunities (Luenberger, 2013).

Balance Score Card:It is a strategic planning and management system which also assist businesses to measure the quality aspects so that goals and objectives can be accomplished in desired manner. Along with this, the issues can easily be identified by the management because it helps in analysing the performance and quality standards on the basis of specific scorecard (Mahadevan, 2010). In this, IHG Hotel need to measure the quality of services on the basis of four key categories such as finance, customer, internal process and capacity. Once the current state is being measured then new standards need to be set out by the management so that performance and quality can be advanced in critical manner.

Kaizen's Quality model:It is a process that allows business firm to ensure about key diverse factors so that goals and objectives can be accomplished in desired manner. It has been noticed that management of IHG Hotel need to focus on diverse factors which can indirectly relates with the quality of services. Classification can be as teamwork, personal discipline, improved morale, quality circle and suggestion for improvement. By having improvement in such aspects the business firm need to make sure that goals and objectives are being accomplished effectively (Rothe, 2012). In addition to this, it can be stated that there are different S which also being referred effectively in this model to have improvement in performance and quality standards. Seiri, seition, seiso, seiketsu and self discipline are essential elements which set out new standards for continuous improvement in the quality. It is also necessary for management to make sure that employees are having enhanced level of focus on the organisation policies change according to standards of six sigma concepts so that goals and objectives can be accomplished in desired manner (Davis, 2006).

TQM Model: It has been noticed that Total Quality Management is a combined effort of both top level management and employees so that overall working of organisation can be advanced effectively. In addition to this, it can be said that IHG Hotel can have development of quality standards in context to operational activities on the basis of mutual understanding of all parties (Dubey, 2015). It will allow to have effective formation of strategies and policies so that company can deliver the high quality of products and services. With an assistance of this, the customer satisfaction can also be improved because in this customer feedback also helps in designing of standards.

2. Description of The Characteristics of The Various Areas of Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc

For a smooth running of the business operations, some functional areas play an important role. These are the part of the business growth because they are structure as per the business requirements. In the case of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, there are various areas that make its business more effective and successful. Descriptions of the characteristics of these functional elements for the hotel are as follows:

  • Front office: It can be considered as a nerve or hub centre of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. This functional area of the organization makes a first and good impression over the guest. This department communicates important information to the guest such as availability of rooms, prices, stay information etc. Characteristics of front office of cited organization are to sell and up-sell rooms, to maintain balanced guest accounts and to offer service such as handling faxes, mails, messages and hotel information (7 Departments of a Hotel, 2011).
  • Housekeeping: As per the priority, housekeeping consider as an important functional area of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. It performs several functions so that hotel can able to offer or deliver the good customer services to their guests all the time. In this context, the following functional department has some essential characteristics such as cleanliness and servicing the guest rooms and other areas of hotel, keeping records of equipment and supplies to keep control over the inventories, operating department as per the giving guidelines by the general manager etc (A LOOK INTO HOTEL DEPARTMENTS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS, 2017).
  • Human resource department: The role of HR manager in the organization promotes transparency and openness at the workplace. It can be considered as a common strives and system of all other departments to make sure growth of the business and managing the existing human resource. In this regards, some key characteristics of the following functional area in the context of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC are organize training and development for the employees, maintain their records, payrolls, hiring and firing of staffs etc (Hotel departments and their functions in room division, 2012).
  • Accounting: This section of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC handles variety of work activities. It includes invoicing customers, payables processing, account reconciliations, monitoring and collections of receivable accounts, developing periodic financial reporting, budgeting etc. Along with this, this functional area of cited organization helps in keep internal controls for all business processes, organizing internal and external audits, submit the taxes etc (Anderson and Xie, 2010).
  • Concierge department: It is a separate section from cashiers and front office department. They work as a raise the image of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC and value of its services in the marketplace. They provide additional touch to hotel services that can able to meet the customer needs in effective way. Some key characteristics of concierge functional area in the cited organization is providing the detailed information about the hotel along with its services to the service users, help the guests to know about the city and its nearby areas etc, informing them about the current local activities and events, give advice to the customers on selection of place to eat food etc (Heo and Lee, 2011).
  • Reservations: It is the main section of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC where the guests first and direct contact regarding taking their room reservation details. With the application of central reservation system, it becomes easy to manage to visitors’ reservation information in a right way. The whole process divides into two sections: confirmed reservation and guaranteed reservation. Key characteristics of reservation functional areas of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC are confirm the booking of the guests, manage the fax and mail of the customers while they are staying in hotel, verify the bookings of service users etc (Guadix, Cortés, Onieva and Muñuzuri, 2010).

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3. Strength And Difference Between The Quality Theories And Models

Ultimate aim of any organization is to gain maximum profit. This is possible when firm is able to understand the need and requirements of customers (Goetsch and Davis, 2014). There are different factors that are considered by customers when they make use of products or services. With this respect, one of the factor includes quality. In hospitality sector, there are many organizations which deliver similar products are services. Service users mainly focus on the quality that is being provided by the firm. In this modern world, people are highly health conscious and they prefer to make use of services which are delivered to them of high quality.

There are many models and theories which fall under quality management. These are helpful to organization to make sure that quality of services are maintained. Below given are the two theories that fall under quality management:

Deming's Theory:According to this theory, there are about 14 points that has to be considered. It focuses on reducing the cost and making use of that money for better services (Wang, Chen and Chen, 2012). Further, it includes Plan-Do-Check-Act in which the management need to make sure that all the points are satisfied and fulfilled. When cost increases, then it raises while quality deteriorates. Moreover, there are about four points that are helpful for the organization to make proper evaluation and raise the quality of performance and services. These four points are as follows:

  • System appreciation:As per this point, it is important that management understand all the processes and system of work.
  • Variation knowledge:It is to evaluate the changes that take place in the organization. In other words, the variation and causes of these variations.
  • Knowledge Theory:This is the understanding of what can be known.
  • Psychology knowledge:It is the understanding to human nature (Oakland, 2014).


Crosby's Theory:This theory is similar to Deming. As per this theory, the money that is spent over quality is highly beneficial. There are about four different type of points that are included in this which are as follows:

  • Adherence the requirement:It is important that the management identify the needs and requirement and the areas in which improvement has to be made.
  • Identifying the best way:There are different set of ways that can be identified which will be helpful in improving the quality (Zehir, Ertosun and Müceldilli, 2012).
  • Zero defects:All the barriers should be identified and implementation plan should be made.
  • Measuring quality:Proper evaluation is made in order to know the improvement that has taken place.


This theory is highly beneficial as it enables to identify the main cause due to which the quality of services gets affected. More specifically, there are about 14 point and when managers implemented these points in the organization, then it helps to make sure that high quality services are provided to customers.

Both the above given theories are different from each other but they focus on improving the quality of services and performance. In Deming's theory, there are about 14 points that are focused on developing the quality (Talib, Rahman and Qureshi, 2013). It consists of check list that has to be ensure to implement by the manager of the organization. As per the case, cited firm that is IHG hotel needs to follow these point that are given by Deming's and they will be able to improve the quality. On the other hand, Crosby's Theory also make use of 14 points that enable to improve the quality of services. This theory is similar to Deming's and is equally beneficial in improving the quality.

Below given are the models that are helpful to develop quality management:

Deming Application Prize: As per this model, the manager will evaluate the performance of each member and they will provide reward to them. This is helpful to boost up the moral of workers. It encourages them to work with their full efficiency (Jurow and Barnard, 2013). In hospitality sector there are different departments in which quality need to be evaluated and for each of the department it requires skilful and knowledgable workers who will be able to support the firm. The main strength of this model is that it makes worker make proper support that they contribute effectively towards the growth and development. With employees are motivated, then they understand the part of work they have to perform and it also enables them to understand their customers and to provide them services accordingly.

ISO quality management standards:As per this model, there are minimum standards that are maintained. All the areas are divided into different parts and each of the quality in terms of performance, cleanliness, etc. are measured and evaluated. Rating is given for each of the departments. Main strength is that it enables the organization to make use of resources with full efficiency. Further, it enables to improve risk management. Lastly, it helps to increase the customers satisfaction and also make sure that proper services are provided to customers. This models can be divided to two type which are auditing and certification (Talib, Rahman and Qureshi, 2012). Auditing includes proper evaluation of performance and standards that are maintained. Further, as per the evaluation made, firm is provided with certificate that enables to know the quality and standard that is maintained by the firm.

Both these models are highly beneficial as both make sure that quality is maintained in their own respective ways. Deming Application Prize focuses on the performance of employees and the way that is used by them to make sure that proper services are provided. Further it also motivates them as it includes reward system (Wang, Chen and Chen, 2012). On the other hand, ISO quality management standards covers all the areas in which firm can make improvement and raise their quality. In this context, it includes proper utilization of resources, performance of employees and ways to reduce risk.

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4. Recommendations To Improve Quality And Overcome The Issues

As per the detailed study, it can be recommended that improvement in quality is one of most critical aspect for the business firm so that goals and objectives can be accomplished in desired manner. It has been noticed that there are various issues such as employees are not aware about the quality standards and process. It impacts the overall outcome in negative manner. In order to overcome such kind of issue the management of IHG Hotel can focus on training and development program. In this, quality management awareness need to be consider as critical aspect so that skills in context to quality improvement can be advanced. It will improve the work quality and standards.

In addition to this, it can be said that application of Gap model can be consider as critical aspect. By having an improved focus on the application process the key gap between the current state and measures can be evaluated in appropriate manner. On the basis of gap the issue can be addressed because it helps in development of strategies for sustainable development. It is a quality measurement method which can be employed by manager for sustainable development. Along with this, the gap can also be analysed between current state and expectations of customers so that key issue can be identified in appropriate manner. It helps in overcome the issues and lead business firm to impressive level of success.

Another recommendation regarding how InterContinental Hotels Group PLC should proceed in developing their quality processes to meet the evolving trends and issues in the sector is creating a quality chart. With the help of this, it becomes easy to meet all quality standards and improve the overall quality of different services of hotel. Along with this, it will help in resolve the issues related to quality that frequently occur at the time of performing the operations (Haliva, 2016).

Apart from this, by giving training to the staff members, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC should take a one more effective step in developing own quality processes. By organizing training for the employees related to new quality ensuring technologies, the issues related to quality may be easily resolved over the time. Further, by creating quality circle groups and giving them some authorities to take decisions in the direction of improving the quality services, the cited firm can able to resolve all quality related problems (Greenblatt, 2017).

On the other hand, there are some processes and functions in the hotel that are valueless and most of the time, hamper the quality of services. In this direction, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC should determine those valueless activities and eliminate from the processes. In addition, by minimize the number of repetitive works all the time; the issues related to quality of service can be easily overcome.


As per detailed study, it can be concluded that IHG Hotel must ensure that accommodation and other services are being provided to customers in order to meet the objectives. In addition to this, it can be stated that quality control, improvement, service audit and development is essential so that goals and can be accomplished effectively. By having an improved focus on TQM, Six Sigma and other methods the issues can be resolved effectively so that IHG Hotel can have improvement in quality services. It is necessary to employ the standards in diverse areas of hospitality sector so that overall outcome can be attained in positive manner.


Books and Journals

  • Anderson, C.K. and Xie, X., 2010. Improving hospitality industry sales twenty-five years of revenue management. Cornell Hospitali0,, Quarterly. 51(1). pp.53-67.
  • Burke, R., 2013. Project management: planning and control techniques.
  • Davis, E. M., 2006. Continuous Improvement and Return on Investment: A Case Study to Determine the Value of Continuous Improvement in a Manufacturing Facility. Sage.
  • Dubey, R., 2015. Exploring soft TQM dimensions and their impact on firm performance: some exploratory empirical results. International Journal of Production Research. 2(3). pp. pp. 17-72.
  • English, L. P., 2009. Information quality applied: best practices for improving business information, processes and systems. Wiley Publishing.
  • Goetsch, D. L. and Davis, S. B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Pearson.
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