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Total Quality Management (TQM) in Hospitality Industry: A study of the application of TQM in a hotel's engineering department and its

effects on hotel performance

By Mark Chan


Submitted to

The University of Liverpool

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF Project Management



A Dissertation entitled

Total Quality Management (TQM) in Hospitality Industry: A study of the application of TQM in a hotel's engineering department and its effects on hotel performance By Mark Chan

We hereby certify that this Dissertation submitted by Mark Chan conforms to acceptable standards, and as such is fully adequate in scope and quality. It is therefore approved as the fulfillment of the Dissertation requirements for the degree of Master of Project Management.


Dissertation Advisor


The University of Liverpool 2011



I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my own product, that where the language of others is set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the language, ideas, expressions or writings of another.

Signed Mark Chan



Total Quality Management (TQM) in Hospitality Industry: A study of the application of TQM in a hotel's engineering department and its effects on hotel performance


Mark Chan

Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology can help organizations to achieve business excellence. This methodology is also useful for the hospitality industry; almost all hotels focus on quality management to improve their business by enhancing customer satisfaction, competitive advantage and retaining guest loyalty. TQM is teamwork; every functional department must work cohesively together and support each other in order to achieve business excellence. Different departments in a hotel have different roles in delivering the service to hotel guests. This dissertation is aimed to find out how the Engineering Department, a back-of-house department in a hotel, supports the hotel goal of quality management together with the factors and practices that could impact the department both positively and negatively to achieve the quality.


In addition to the literary review. were interviewed. In conclusion. the engineering department is one of the major internal service providers in a hotel. with at least 5 years working experience in 5-star chain hotels. whereas the top three barriers are: inadequate support from senior management. This research revealed that the major role of the engineering department is to ensure the efficient operation of all physical plants including electrical. Quality tools are essential for the control. which reviewed existing knowledge. Comfort and safety are the essential factors in the decision making when people select hotels. leadership and management skills. an effective team. The top five critical success factors include: support from senior management. communication. unfair work environment and bureaucratic policy – traditional financial practice. management. Fourteen hotel engineers. mechanical. 5 . and clear quality requirements. it plays a key role in providing a comfortable and safe environment for occupants including guests and staff. it supports other departments to complete the final product delivered to hotel guests. hygiene and safety systems as well as production equipment. measurement and analysis of engineering tasks. fire. structured interviews were conducted in Hong Kong and Beijing in China. a qualitative approach was adopted for this research to collect primary data. therefore. they are important in maintaining the efficiency and improving the performance of the department. the effectiveness of engineering department will affect the overall performance of the hotel.

Sun Mr.Y. James Gao Mr.M. Jack Li Mr. Rathin Basu. X. C. I would also like to thank the following fellow engineers for their participation in the interviews and the contribution of their knowledge and experiences               Mr.Z. Wong Mr. Dimitris Folinas. Dr. Ma Mr. Choi Mr. M. Li Mr. Dr. Tom Zhang Mr.Acknowledgements I would like to express my appreciation for my dissertation advisor. and my general dissertation advisor. W. Winston Suen Mr. Ivan Cheung Mr.P. Mark Li Mr. for their support and guidance. Raymond Ng Mr. Adam Jin 6 . Desmond Lau Mr.

................... 13 Structure of the Dissertation ......................... 11 Research Questions ... 31 Critical success factors ...........3 4............................. 28 Performance measurement ........................................................2 4............................................................................................................................. 67 Chapter 2: Literature Review ...1 4............................................................. 39 Chapter 4: Results and Analysis ........................................................................................3 1........................................................................6 3..... 39 Research Design and Approach ...................... 34 Negative factors .......................................................8 3.................................................................................................4 1................................................................................ 44 Key concepts of the study ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2 2.................................................. 16 Chapter 3: Methodology ............................................................................................................................................ 44 Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation ............1 2...............................4 3.....................................................................3 3...... 39 Objectives of the Research........................................4 Background ...................... 11 1.7 2.......................................................................................................................................................................... 44 Interviewees .........................Table of Contents Table of Tables .......... 16 Role of the Engineering Department ......................... 22 Quality methodology and tools ..................... 9 Table of Figures .............3 2............. 17 The link between Engineering and the hotel quality performance ................6 2.................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Conclusion .................................................................................................4 2..... 15 Introduction ......................................................................... 40 Justification for using Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches ................... 42 Conclusion ..................... 40 Data Collection Methods .....................................................................................5 2................................5 2..................1 3................................................................................................................................2 3................ 12 Aims and Objective.............................................................2 1...................... 44 Key findings ........................................... 41 Interview design .........................................................5 3.............................................................................................................................................1 1.......................................................................................................................................... 10 Chapter 1: Introduction ................................7 4....................................... 36 Summary ..................................... 43 Introduction ............................................................ 38 Introduction ... 70 7 ......................................................................................

.................................. 85 8 .......................................................... 81 Appendix A : Declaration of interviewee .......................................4 Introduction ................................................................................................ 70 Recommendations for future research ........................................................................................................................... 81 Appendix B : Interview Questions ...............................................................................................1 5........................................... 75 Summary and Concluding Remarks ......................................................................................................... 77 Appendices .............................................................3 5....5...............2 5............. 70 Recommendations for hotel engineers and general managers ....................... 82 Appendix C: Interviewee information ............................ 76 References: .......................................................................................................

Table 4..2 – Common quality tools used by engineering department of hotels……………..6 – Common barriers………………………………………………………………. 17 33 52 54 55 58 60 63 9 . Table 4.. Table 4.3 – Computer software for hotel engineering department…………………………. Table 2. Table 4.4 – Performance Measurement……………………………………………………..2 – Performance measurement framework………………………………………… Table 4.1 – Types of asset management…………………………………………………….Table of Tables Table 2.5 – Critical success factor……………………………………………………...1 – Links of engineering roles to TQM performance……………………………… Table 4.

Figure 4.………………… 15 26 58 68 10 .1 – Electricity consumption per room-night……………………………………… Figure 4.……………………………………………..Table of Figures Figure 2..1 – Hotel accommodation package.2 – Typical hotel organization chart..……………………………………………… Figure 2.2 – Required competency of hotel engineer…………………….

The hospitality industry has strong market competition. People have different preferences and requirements which makes it more difficult to control quality in a hotel. any quality problem will induce guest complaints. Customers within the market are price-sensitive.) supports that customer satisfaction is essential in a free market due to the following reasons:   The products or services from the service providers are similar. 2011).d. cost effectiveness and competitive advantage (SME Toolkit. a hotel serves human beings and no two people are alike. Also. Customers have stronger bargaining power as the cost to switch to another service is considered as low. customer satisfaction and retaining loyalty will be crucial for a hotel‘s success. therefore. In a hotel. a company‘s capability to sustain its competitive advantage is crucial for the continuity of the business (Calingo. The Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology can help organizations to achieve business excellence by improving customer satisfaction (both internal and external).Chapter 1: Introduction 1. 2003). Quality is the most important factor for sustaining the competitive advantage. the impact is direct and immediate without any time delay. Mitchell (n. This methodology is useful for the hospitality industry. 11 . It is the measurement of how well a company can meet or exceed its customers‘ requirements and expectations (Oakland.1 Background In today‘s highly competitive business environment. 1996). Competition is extremely high in a free market.

there are departments – front office. lighting and air quality.For successful TQM practice. this is why some hotels have better performance than others. Nowadays. sales and marketing. Oakland (2003) emphasizes that TQM is about teamwork. almost all hotels focus on quality management to improve their business. there are three vertical levels . accounting. its role appears to be crucial in providing a comfortable and safe environment for guests such as temperature control. it does not mean they are excluded from providing quality service. 1. The engineering department. engineering and culinary. the focus of the most recent research on TQM in the hospitality industry is only on the service from front-line departments such as front office and F&B (Saunders et al. In a typical hotel. food and beverage (F&B). and monitoring fire prevention. every functional department must work cohesively together and support each other in order to achieve business excellence. The effectiveness of teamwork determines the success of TQM in each hotel. the business level (middle management) and the functional level (shop floor).2 Research Questions Although technicians and engineers in a hotel seldom contact hotel guests directly. However. a back-ofhouse department. Horizontally. they ignore the efforts from back-of-house departments. housekeeping. 1992. human resources.2006). organizations have to integrate the quality management into the business strategy and to align the goals both horizontally and vertically throughout the various levels within the organization. ensures the efficient operation of all physical plants and all fire and safety systems. Harrington & Keating . 12 .the senior management level.

it also 13 .3 Aims and Objective Different departments in a hotel have different roles in delivering the service to hotel guests. Also. hygiene and safety systems. TQM can improve the performance of the Engineering Department in a hotel. In this regard. plays a key role in ensuring the efficient operations of all physical plants including fire. The engineering department. engineering department supports the front-line staff by ensuring the proper operations of hotel production equipment. so that front line department can provide its services to hotel guests on time. The main objective of this research is to discover the factors that affect the engineering department in hotels to achieve the quality goals. Oakland (2003) points out that teamwork is one of the important success factors. and the department contributes its improvements to the overall hotel performance. a back-of-house department.Also. the dissertation intends to find answers to the following questions   How does the engineering department in hotels support the goals of quality management? What are the most critical factors that will impact the engineering department both positively and negatively to achieve the quality?  What kind of quality tools and techniques can be used to improve the efficiency of engineering departments in hotels?  How do hotels measure the performance of the engineering department? 1. front-of–house and back-of-house departments play different roles in the quality chain. a smooth work process will require multiple departments working together and supporting each other.

The purpose is to define the ‗gap‘ of knowledge. Chapter one is the introductory chapter. Chapter two deals with the review of related literature. and how the department supports the overall hotel quality performance. objective and the design for the data collection.4 Structure of the Dissertation This dissertation consists of five chapters. it provides the general information of TQM and TQM in the hospitality industry. Chapters are arranged so that readers can understand the objective of the research and how the research is developed. it is to study the published work that other researchers have done in order to find the knowledge related to the research questions. it outlines the research questions as well as the aims and objectives of this dissertation. its effectiveness will affect the overall performance of the hotel. This chapter presents the research design of this dissertation which includes the justification of the research methods. The findings will provide useful information for hotel technical professionals and hotel general managers to further improve their efficiency and effectiveness in quality management. Therefore. 1. laundry machinery. and cooler and freezers.maintains normal operation of production equipment such as kitchen food production equipment. Also. This dissertation intends to find out the roles and responsibilities of the engineering department in hotels. Chapter three describes the research method. 14 . It also explains why the author is interested in the research topic. this knowledge can be shared within other hotel engineers as best practices reference and for benchmarking performance. They are important in maintaining the service standards. therefore.

Throughout the five chapters. this dissertation is to find out the relationship between the engineering department in a hotel and Total Quality Management (TQM). This chapter concludes the new knowledge and its benefits. 1.5 Conclusion In summary. This chapter analyzes the data and provides the summary of the research result. For the shortages in the research. The main objective is to combine the existing knowledge with new findings to form new knowledge. Chapter five is the conclusion and recommendations. This chapter also recommends the benefits to hotel engineers and general managers. these questions are investigated as conclusions and recommendations are drawn. Four research questions were developed to better understand this relationship. recommendations are included for future investigations.Chapter four is the result and analysis. 15 .

air conditioners. However. This chapter is to review the existing knowledge about the engineering department of hotels. their job is to repair the furniture and ensure the supply of water. the study includes:      The role of an engineering department in a hotel. Negative factors impacting performance. people believe that hotel engineers‘ roles are just to keep the machinery running. To identify the ‗gap‘ of the knowledge for this topic. Success critical factors supporting performance. 2002). Quality tools for hotel engineers. Traditionally.Chapter 2: Literature Review 2. 1987). The link between the engineering department and the hotel quality performance.1 Introduction Quality management is an approach that enables a company to gain market share and price advantage. Their effort to support the organizational strategy and achieve hotel TQM goals is also essential. air-conditioning and lighting for hotel guests (Rutherford. such as boilers. 2003). This is a company-wide effort. elevators…etc. Rutherford (1987) points out that the role of hotel engineers has been changed from traditional technical tasks to more embracement of management oriented functions. Performance measurement for the engineering department. 16 . it is necessary to conduct a literature review (White. this impression is not realistically true in today‘s hospitality industry. teamwork and commitment from all staff cannot be under-emphasized (Oakland.

‗property management‘.2 Role of the Engineering Department Quality management starts with the realization of the requirements from the customers (Oakland. 2001). tenant selection and property portfolio management (Nwankwo in Durodola & Oloyede. it also aims on the financial return on focusing on leasing. Table 2. 2011).1 shows the definition of these four asset management types. ‗facilities bench marking‘ and ‗facilities management. it is necessary to learn the role of the department and its responsibilities. improving and adopting the buildings and Property management Facilities benchmarking Facility management 17 . To study how the Engineering department in a hotel supports the overall quality performance. Lee & Burnett. 2003).The purpose of this chapter is to review different sources that provide the functionality of hotel engineers to support the quality performance of a hotel and identify factors that could affect the performance of engineering department. Table 2. 2. 2011) It is more than maintenance management. Durodola & Oloyede (2011) advise that there are four styles of asset management – ‗maintenance management‘. 2011) This is the application of benchmarking which identifies best practices to the building operation and management (Milohnic and Cerovic in Durodola & Oloyede.1 – Types of asset management Asset Management type Maintenance management Definition This is to upkeep a facility so that the facility can support the core business of the building (Arditi and Nawakorawit in Durodola & Oloyede. maintaining. Hotel engineers are responsible for the operations and management of facilities and assets in the hotel (Chan. This is defined as ―an integrated approach to operating.

Building physical assets include:       Heating. Durodola & Oloyede (2011). Promotion of community social responsibility (CSR). Safety and surveillance systems. Energy conservation. In addition to the physical assets. Electrical distribution. Enforcement of fire and life safety policies. found out that all five-star hotels adopt facility management which they believe is the most effective and the latest style of hotel assets management. hotels also consist of the following production equipment:- 18 . Building structure. Facilities management includes the following responsibilities (Lewis. in their research of hotels in Nigeria. ventilation and air-conditioning plants. Cotts. Vertical transportation. 1999 .infrastructure of an organization in order to create an environment that strongly supports the primary objectives of that organization‖ (Barett. Project management. Furniture and fixtures. Plumbing and drainage. 2000). Control of maintenance expenses. 1998):        Preventive maintenance for building physical plants. Work requests handling.

Laundry equipment. requests for temperature adjustments due to personal preferences. Lee & Burnett. The objective is to minimize the deterioration and prevent unscheduled machinery breakdown. Chan. minor repair. 2001). lubrication. The study by Kuo. proper maintenance can extend the life span of the assets (Cotts. there are still some minor problems. For example. Proper maintenance for the air-conditioning plant ensures the normal provision of cooling in summer and heating in winter. inadequate maintenance would affect the air quality. Work request handling – No matter how well a hotel can perform its regular maintenance. The study indicated that poor indoor air quality would affect the health of tourists. This includes regular inspection. proper maintenance is required to ensure the efficient operation of these assets. insufficient circulation of fresh air could cause air-bone diseases. For example. Preventive maintenance – Physical assets are subject to wear and tear. clean water supply and sound vertical transportation for the building occupants. Chan. (2001) also confirmed that efficient maintenance of building systems is essential in order to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for hotel guests. for example. noise from fan coil units. adjustment. Lewis (1999) points out that preventive maintenance is to provide proper lighting. good air quality.   Kitchen equipment. Coolers and freezers. 19 . 1998. calibration. . Lee & Burnett. Chiang & Chiang (2008) for the air quality of hotels in Taiwan proved that proper operation of air-conditioning system provides a comfortable air temperature and air quality for hotel guests. unexpected water pipe leakage…etc. replacement and cleaning. This service requires professional and technical knowledge from the hotel engineer.

Lee & Burnett. 2001).Hotels have high occupancy loads. but also the training of all staff in fire drill and evacuation practice. C. Knowledge in maintaining an effective emergency plan is essential. Guests would assume that staff in the hotel is well trained and prepared to assist guests in case of emergencies. Fire Safety Engineering (2006) points out that even with comprehensive safety codes. Crowell. this includes not only the normal maintenance of firefighting equipment. a quick response to these work requests is an effective recovery action for these deficiencies (Chan. 20 . How quickly the organization could improve determines its success in meeting the customers satisfaction. fires still cause death and injuries in hotels. ensuring the safety of these people becomes very difficult. (2009) further elaborates the importance that ―having a well thought out emergency action plan and a staff that knows how to execute it is just as important as all of the building codes‖. Therefore. most occupants –hotel guests.These guest requests or complaints would impact the customer satisfaction negatively. Hotel engineers are the key people to ensure the effectiveness of this plan. conducting fire drills and emergency evacuations is one of the important safety practices in hotels. The objective is to avoid fatal injuries during the outbreak of incidents and accidents. Calingo (1996) advises that guest complaints are a useful source for analyzing the quality deficiency. are not familiar with the building. all the staff in the building is expected to be well trained and capable of guiding guests to leave the hotel building in the case of an emergency. During an emergency situation such as a fire or blackout. this is mainly due to unprofessional crisis management. Life and safety policies .

it can also save on utility expenses (Chan. 1998). e. Hotel engineers need to be sensitive in controlling the spending of expenses in order to meet the financial budgets (Cotts. Engineers play a significant role in a hotel to drive for participation. and the outsource expenses by selecting competent contractors. such as ISO14001 accreditation. Samuel (2008) also urges hotel engineers to go ‗green‘ as this is the new way of doing business.Chan & Ho (2006) advise that Green practice. Rutherford (1987). promotes the brand image. while the utility cost is as high as 5-12% of the total hotel expenses. it is a world-wide ‗green‘ effort.Another function of the engineering department is the control of maintenance expenses. pointed out that energy conservation and management came in second in the list of his study results. use of energy efficient products. fuel oil and water requires technical knowledge. Control of expenses . Engineering is to support the profit margin by controlling the expenses of utilities by implementing energy conservation programs. 2007). steam. Planned maintenance allows for the minimization of emergency repair and the loss of production capacity. Hawkins (2009) emphasizes 21 . elimination of contaminated substances and education for staff for the awareness. Community social responsibility (CSR) . in his study of the responsibilities of hotel chief engineers. Chan (2007) also suggested that an effectively planned maintenance framework could minimize the cost. as it prevents the breakdown of equipment which could cause an interruption in business. Most CSR activities involve technical knowledge. Controlling the utilities in a building such as electricity. environmental protection.g.Energy conservation – Promoting energy conservation is not only inclusive in the hospitality industry. gas. Reducing the energy consumption or minimizing the wastage could reduce environmental pollution. Chan (2007) points out that maintenance cost is as high as 8-12 %. reducing of CO2 emission. hotel engineers are the experts to promote this awareness.

They need to align the departmental goals with the hotel business goals. facility management is part of the business function. engineers need to meet the stakeholders‘ needs. 2007). 22 . redecoration and some minor modifications (Langdon. D & Everest. In other words. Wysocki (2009) advises that the goal of project management is to complete the project within the budgeted timeframe and cost as per the determined quality requirements. For example.‖ Project management – Hotel areas need to be refurbished at regular interval in order to maintain the contemporary (Sohail et al.Cotts (1998) suggests that effective maintenance of facilities is important in supporting the business. it does not mean that they are excluded from contributing to the overall hotel quality performance. 2002).that ―hospitality operators must be able to prove that their sustainable business practices make a difference in order to win consumers for whom CSR matters. Hotel engineers need to plan and coordinate these projects.3 The link between Engineering and the hotel quality performance Although hotel technicians and engineers are seldom in contact with hotel guests directly. internal departments. guest rooms are renovated once every five to seven years. controlling the expenses to meet the financial budget and to promote the hotel image. Engineers‘ role and responsibilities are important to maintain a comfortable and safe environment for hotel guests. Stakeholders include hotel guests. hotel engineers/facility managers are also business managers. Hotel guests . 2. Each business has a philosophy about the facility. Therefore. typical score of work includes replacement of furniture and fixtures. and property owners.

in their research for the determinants of service quality in Malaysian hotels. Quality in services and facilities are equally important for sustainable competitive advantage. cleanliness and safety in selecting hotels. Chan. Effective preventive maintenance enables the physical plants to provide a comfortable and safe environment. Durodola & Oloyede (2011) have conducted a research on 57 hotels in Nigeria regarding the importance of asset management. They concluded that proper maintenance of physical assets is important to provide a healthy and comfortable atmosphere for hotel guests. its effectiveness would affect the overall performance of the hotel. Engineering department is responsible for the facility management. Their study showed that experience and knowledge could 23 . they pointed out that outdated and worn out furnishings could de-value the appearance of the hotel. for example.& Smith. Gruman.Sohail at el (2007). hotels should be well prepared for possible crisis and emergencies. an effectively planned maintenance program to upkeep the assets is one of the important ways for improving hotel business. Therefore. (2011) support that handling disasters in the hospitality industry is difficult due to the high volume of occupants in the building. For example. They concluded that the goal of facility management is to support the core business. proper upkeep of fixtures and furniture provides a cozy and warm atmosphere. point out that people consider factors like comfort. The working condition of the building service systems have a direct and significant effect on the customers‘ impression of the hotel. leaking from ceiling water pipes and disturbance from improper control of construction noise could disturb guests and cause guest dissatisfaction. Lee & Burnett (2001) have conducted a study of maintenance performance for hotels in Hong Kong. Chhinzer. improper air temperature from air-conditioning.

Jones and llozor. 2003) in his study of facility management and hotel renovation in Hong Kong suggested that effective facility management strategies could be applied in renovation projects in order to minimize the disturbances to hotel guests. suggested a model of hotel accommodation package to satisfy customer needs. Middle and night shift technicians are mainly for emergency repair. in their study of the benefits of facilities management in the hospitality industry. cleanliness. This arrangement is mainly to minimize the disturbances to hotel guests. Jones and llozor (2003). Hofmann (2005) pointed out that a comprehensive crisis management policy could promote the brand image of the hotel. 24 . appropriate lighting and air quality. a feeling of well being…etc. Figure 2. so that most repair work could be arranged in the day time when most guests are out of the hotel. food service. health and safety. hot food and beverage and cozy fixtures and furniture. Chan (2007) also suggests that engineering staff are required to work in shift. Wai (in Okoroh. hoteliers should also realize that customer satisfaction must be balanced with intangible services such as security. It suggests that while hotels focus on tangible service such as room check-in.enhance crisis readiness. high standard of hygiene. The model indicates that hotel guests look for feeling of well-being. protection from environmental hazards. Okoroh.1 shows the details of the model.

A proper maintenance program maintains a good physical condition of the property. Jones and llozor. it can extend the life span of the assets. and a quiet and warm environment with a wellprepared safety policy. Therefore. 2003) In view of above. Property Owners – Property owners focus on investment returns. good air quality. the engineering department plays a key role in maintaining a comfortable.1 – Hotel accommodation package (Okoroh. 25 . 2011). this includes sufficient lighting. healthy and safe environment for hotel external guests through effective facility management. The property owner is one of the important customers. His satisfaction could ensure the employment of the hotel management team.Figure 2. proper maintenance will increase the investment return for the property owner (Durodola & Oloyede. These factors contribute directly to the customer satisfaction.

accountant.the senior management level.Most processes in a hotel involve multiple departments.2 shows a typical hotel organization chart. In a typical hotel. Horizontally. there are three levels vertically . Bradley & Huyton in Fleseriu & Fleseriu. engineering and culinary. Figure 2. accounting. the business level (middle management) and the functional level (shop floor). The middle management is the department head such as front office manager. chief engineer…etc.2 – Typical hotel organization chart (Baker. 2003). 2010) 26 . housekeeping. human resources.Internal customers . waiters and technicians…etc. The senior management level includes owner and his representations and the hotel general manager. there are departments – front office. Figure 2. To be successful in practicing TQM. food and beverage (F&B). and the shop floor staff is rank and file employees such as receptionists. sales and marketing. organizations have to integrate the quality management into the business strategy and to align the goals horizontally and vertically throughout the various levels within the organization (Oakland.

at all steps in the quality chain (Oakland. this can be achieved successfully by executing every process and activity carefully from the first supplier to the last customer.TQM is to satisfy the customers‘ needs. Hotel engineers need to support the hotel accountants in achieving the financial goal. internally. replacing old equipment with new energy efficient equipment and machinery. Input from engineering staff for proper spending of expenses will increase the effectiveness of engineering operations. e. Planning of cost control is a bottom-up process which requires front line operator involvement (Campbell. For hotel engineers. Chan. 2003). this is the ‗quality chain‘. 2003). Managing quality requires effort at all levels of the organization and. 1995). Lee & Burnett (2001) points out that in estimating the energy cost. Chan (2007) also advises that energy consumption can be reduced by implementing energy conservation programs. controlling energy and maintenance costs needs proper planning. guestroom occupancy rate and food covers should be taken into consideration as they will affect the energy consumption. Meeting the requirement of the internal customers in the ‗quality chain‘ is critical in delivering the final product to the final external customer in a hotel. energy consumption and guest expectation have been the major influential factors for maintenance decision making in hotels in Hong Kong. Achieving the financial goals is one of the important tasks for managers as a balanced scorecard is still a popular performance measurement (Oakland.g. 27 . the outdoor weather condition. Research by Chan (2007) confirmed that health and safety. importantly. educating staff to minimize energy wastage such as turning off the lighting and airconditioning when the office is not occupied.

customer results. improved the efficiency of the workforce and increased the business revenue and profit by 20% (Oakland. The first five aspects are called enablers. people. The successful deployment of the framework changed the culture of the company. while culture. society results and key performance results. and result.2.A quality framework can provide a high-level guideline to assist a company to manage quality. they are: leadership. 2003). Home and Personal Care-Europe (HPCE) has adopted EFQM quality framework for quality improvement. partnership and resources. people. competent people. Quality framework . Therefore. EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) is a popular quality framework for business excellence in Europe.4 Quality methodology and tools To drive quality improvement. policy and strategy. The main advantage of the framework is that it drives for the continuous improvement (EFQM. people and process are the key factors in the quality framework to deliver performance (4 Ps). Another four areas are referred as result. 28 . He suggests that planning. communication and commitment (3Cs) support and link the 4Ps to produce the result. process and performance) and 3Cs (culture. comprehensive plans. it guides organizations to self assess nine key areas of the business. clear processes. 2003). use of proper methodologies such as quality frameworks and tools is necessary as they can assist the organization to effectively manage quality (Oakland. communication and commitment). they are: people results. p21) suggested a TQM framework with four Ps (planning. 2003). Oakland (2003. It works as a road-map to guide the employees (Oakland 2003). and effective tools are essential for managing quality.

which allows better understanding of business processes and enables easy identification of inefficiencies and problem solving.International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (2011) indicates that ISO is a standard which is recognized internationally. however. They found out that only 28. Their research indicated that 77. the research did not provide the reasons for this phenomenon. although most Irish hoteliers indicated that they were familiar with quality certification. Harrington & Keating (2006) have studied hotels in Ireland.Reding. in their research about the environment management systems in hotels. Chan & Ho (2006) advised. ISO18001 (workplace safety management system) and ISO 9001(quality management system). they are ISO 14001(environmental management system). However. Process mapping and flow charting allow a proper documentation of work processes and provide a clear picture of business process. that most hotels have had some sort of in-house environment conservation programs with different degrees of intensity. This accredited certification needs to be certified by external auditor. The organization claims that these certifications can increase the brand image of the company. proper tools such as ISO 14001 would provide a more effective guideline. Quality Tools Flowchart . Interestingly. Ratiiff & Fullmer (1998) believe that flow charting is one of the useful quality tools.2 percent of Irish hotels had adopted a formal quality management system. Currently three types of framework are available.7% of hotels in Ireland had documented operation policy and 29 . Standardised operating procedures – Harrington & Keating (2006) state that standardised operating procedures is one of the important tools to maintain product consistency. This framework provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system.

there are internal and external audits. SPC also make use of the seven tools of quality – check sheet.d. For example. it can be used to monitor the consistency of processes. supports that the hotel‘s standard operating procedures should be constantly reviewed to maintain the consistency of quality and efficiency of service. enterprise resource planning (ERP) system enables integration of core business processes. Pareto chart. for example. control chart and graph. Ptak & Schragenheim (2004) support that the rapid development of technology has enabled management information systems to become powerful aids for improving business performance. reports can be generated for top incidents. Sohail et al (2007). Effective supervision is the answer to ensure that employees are following the procedures.procedures. e. The system also provides data for management to make decisions for performance improvement. recurring problems and trend analysis.g. This is suitable for electrical and mechanical system performance monitoring in a hotel. DACS (n.DACS (n. 2003).d. histogram.) introduces that SPC is popular in managing the process performance. cause and effect diagram. Technology – IT technology is important in today‘s business. Audit is one of the effective tools to evaluate the effectiveness of quality management. scatter diagram.) recommends that STC is effective for industrial application. Statistical process control (SPC) . The assessment allows organizations to view their strengths and to identify areas for improvement (Oakland. upper and lower limits can be set. 30 . It can help reshape businesses and align organizational structures and processes with industry best-practices. in their research of Malaysian hotels. Griswold (2003) points out that an effective automated work order response system can assist hotels to quickly respond to work request and track the completion status. so that inconsistency can be monitored if the process result exceeds the limits.

5 Performance measurement Performance measurement is important to be able to indicate the effectiveness of the quality strategy implemented. shop floor staff are the owners of each work processes (Campbell. This allows remote control and monitoring of cooling equipment. Bottom. This is a reiterate process. this technology facilitates the monitoring and analysis in order to control and reduce the energy consumption.up process requires motivation so that operations staff will suggest creative and innovative solutions for the implementation of processes.Karatasou. Geros & Santamouris (2008) suggested that integrating the existing building system with emerging IT technology could develop a new internet based energy and environment services. Strategy deployment – Turing strategy into action is a bottom-up process which requires front line operator involvement. Energy for cooling is the biggest energy consumption for buildings. 2003) 31 . This is in line with the suggestion from Oakland (2003) that bottom-up approach is effective in executing strategies while a top-down approach is more effective in the policy deployment as instructions are always from the top. continuous monitoring allows organization to check if the standards of quality are being met and identify problems for rectification (Oakland. 1995). Since hotel engineers have to operate electrical and mechanical systems in the hotel to ensure the guest comfort and safety. it will be useful to find out how the quality tools can assist hotel engineers in their operation and work processes. 2.

This makes the measurement criteria difficult to define (Saunders et al. However. this is to encourage employee employment. by focusing on the processes and identifying appropriate quality measures. Integrity refers to the completeness of the service. and customer satisfaction refers to the appreciation of the service from the customer. This information is a good learning opportunity for employees to perform continuous improvement with the application of benchmarking. 1992).People have been arguing that performance is difficult to measure in the service industry. service is delivered at the time it is produced. Timeliness refers to the response time for the guest request. any performance measurement taken will be too late to avoid an error when in contact with the customer. Also. Predictability refers to the consistency of the service. Van Schalkwyk (1998) suggests that organizations should develop their own unique set of key indicators for measuring their products. customer satisfaction. the internal audit measures the effectiveness of facility management. It is possible. integrity. The measurement result should be available freely at all levels for the process owners who need to maintain and improve the quality. personal preference is different from person to person. hotels have to tailor the service for different individuals. The performance measurement should strongly focus on the customer satisfaction. predictability. The major 32 . 1992) suggested four categories to measure service performance: timeliness. a study from Saunders et al (1992) pointed out that service quality is the balance between the expectations that the customer had and their perception of the service received. to obtain data to measure the performance in the hospitality industry. 1992). Furthermore. This is due to the fact that people are not aware that service is also a product (Deming in Saunders et al. Engineering department is responsible for maintaining a comfortable and safe environment for hotel guests. Zimmerman & Enell (in Saunders et al.

to be effective. 2003) Level Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Description Strategy development and goal deployment. The research by Chan. Table 2. surveys. The second priority of the engineering department is to control the utility cost. it is common to measure the energy efficiency index. Lee & Burnett (2001) shows that the average energy efficiency index for hotels in Hong Kong is 457kWh/M2. and GR is the number of normal request for repair of building facilities. Process management Individual performance measurement Review performance Measurement Key performance outcomes and targets Process performance measures Performance appraisal Self Assessment. This indicates high preventive maintenance efficiency. Chan. (2003) also proposed a performance measurement framework.2 – Performance measurement framework (Oakland. 33 . URI = UR/ (UR + GR) where UR is the number of urgent repair requests arising from guests and in-house staff. He believes that performance measurement. to measure the machine breakdown. urgent repair request index (URI). For facility management. should focus on 4 levels as shown in table 2.objective of preventive maintenance is to minimize machinery breakdown. The equation states that the fewer the urgent requests from guests. benchmarking etc. Oakland. This is the annual equivalent energy consumption normalized over the gloss floor areas.2. Lee & Burnett (2001) introduce a method. the lower the URI.

For example.6 Critical success factors Oakland (2003). design service process.2. training. 34 . human resource management. internal customer measure. comprehensive plans. process control. He believes that these factors are the components forming the TQM framework. The study revealed that hotels devoted stronger attention on the following practices: top management support. and empowerment were insufficient in the hospitality industry. emphasizes the importance of competent people. customer focus. hotels. banks. social responsibility. 2011). continuous improvement. Sila and Ebrahipour (2003) identified 76 validated TQM success factors and their impacts. and employee satisfaction. management. quality assurance. training. shareholders and business partners (Shangri-La. performance audit and continuous information and analysis. input control. clear processes. product and service design. market segment and positioning. This is why most hotel groups provide a clear mission statement as a business direction. Yang (2006) studied and compared the practices for quality management for different service industries in Taiwan. employee empowerment. process. These factors could be considered as the most universally applied factors. leadership. standardize policy and procedures. employee involvement. teamwork. and effective tools. strategic planning. the top twenty factors are: top management commitment. Shangri-La Hotel‘s mission is ‗To be the first choice for guests and colleagues. leadership. insurance companies. department stores and airlines. The study also pointed out that employee motivation. Most international chain hotels believe that top management commitment is important. customer satisfaction and measure. benchmarking. supplier management. in his TQM model. customer focus. namely hospitals.

This opinion is supported by Wheeler and Sillanpaa (in Tantawy & Tanner. However. engineering staff should poses the required competence and commitment together with passion for the work (Trkman. technicians are of mono-skill. EFQM. carpenters with woodwork knowledge…etc. The factors are proper leadership style in the different stage of the implementation. and the approach for managing the change. Another recommendation is hiring specialized contractors for equipment with high 35 .Oakland (2003. Instead of following common quality norms. e. Calingo (1996) points out that continuous improvement is a ‗must‘ in TQM. 2001) that top-down control and command should be balanced with bottom-up spirit for promoting continuous improvement. clear objective of change leading to ‗comfortable‘ change. Traditionally.g. electrician with electrical trade qualifications. Promotion of having technicians with multiple skills in the hotel engineering department could improve the overall quality and reduce labor costs. do. proper method of prioritization. check and amend) is an effective model for continuous improvement. i. use of system thinking for diagnosis. Therefore. 2010) Tantawy & Tanner (2001) recommends factors for implementing business excellence model. organizations should consider matching or exceeding competitors‘ quality. Oakland (2003) recommends that the E-P-D-C-A (evaluate. bottom-up approach is more effective as ideas for how to implement the policy should be encouraged in the departmental and shop-floor level. favorable company culture. Since engineering is a technical department. Chan (2007) also suggests another two factors for increasing the efficiency of the engineering department. plan.e. knowledge of building systems is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the facility. p58) suggests that the top-down approach is more effective for new policy deployment as instructions are always from the top.

technological needs as the technicians in the hotel may not have the proper knowledge to maintain these pieces of equipment. For example. e. it will negatively impact the performance of an organization rather than positively. chillers. 2003).7 Negative factors Recent research emphasizes the importance of critical factors for practicing TQM. there are always barriers affecting the change. 36 . The priority of these factors still need further investigation even though it is still the same when applied to an engineering department. and contractors are needed to sustain the quality requirements. Any financial limit may limit the performance of the department. making use of technology to improve efficiency and eliminate waste (Kerzner. Scholars believe that there are also factors affecting the performance negatively. 2010). This has a direct impact on a hotel engineering department as the engineering department is considered to be a money spending department. and fire detection systems. Van Schalkwyk (1998) pointed out that use of a traditional financial policy to set goals may affect the output level negatively. focusing heavily on financial data for monitoring and controlling may reduce the focus on the customers‘ needs. Calingo (1996) also advises that trying to maximize profit and ignoring the value on customer loyalty would not help to improve the profitability. conversely. Some of these machines may include generators.g. 2. boilers. TQM is to change the culture of an organization (Oakland. The proper way to reduce the cost is by improving the process such as re-engineering. The factors mentioned above could be considered as the most universally applied factors.

Harrington & Keating (2006) also carried out a study on quality management initiatives in Irish Hotels. They found out that one of the barriers for the success of quality management has been the ingrained attitude of staff. They reported that over 25.5 % of respondents stated that staff did not pay attention to quality requirements; and 23 % respondents reflected the staffs‘ lack of enthusiasm. Wong (2007) believes that staff behavior is influenced by both internal and external factors; for example, Abraham Maslow‘s ‗Hierarchy of human needs‘ model suggests that behavior is affected by factors within an individual. Herzberg‘s ‗dual factor‘ suggests that employment factors could also influences staff behavior; this is further supported by Maroudas, Kyriakidou & Vacharis (2008), in their study of employees‘ motivation in hotel industry, that human resources polices, practices and provision of incentives are important for the creation of a workplace environment which ultimately affects staff behaviors. Carbone (in Harrington & Keating, 2006) points out another reason of TQM failures is that organization have focused on the production improvement, they have neglected the importance of empowerment in the service industry. In addition, Andy Helmore, director of engineering at the Four Seasons Hampshire, pointed out that one of the difficulties in the hotel is that ―Everyone who stays here wants to experience a quality product, but no one wants to be bothered by maintenance work". For the proper preventive maintenance, machines have to be scheduled and suspended for service and overhaul. For example, elevators have to be put out of service during the oiling or change of cables. Sometime, even the general manager does not like to see the suspension of the service. Looking for a suitable time for the suspension of different systems for overhaul has been one of the challenges for hotel engineers. This kind of problem may not happen in other types of buildings such as office towers (Janet, 2010).


Finding out of these barriers could help the engineering department to pay close attention to these barriers; so that the department can improve its quality management performance. 2.8 Summary

Chapter 2 presented a literature review on the role and responsibilities of hotel engineers in supporting the hotel to achieve customer satisfaction. It also reviews the existing knowledge in measuring the performance of a hotel engineering department and the factors affecting the performance of the department both positively and negatively. The engineering department is the key department in a hotel to maintain the physical plants, safety systems and production equipment; in return, it provides a comfortable and safe environment for guests in a hotel. Engineering department also need to support other departments (internal customers), so that these departments can achieve their business goals. Except few fragmented research studying the performance of maintenance such as research by Chan, Lee & Burnett (2001); no study was prevalent on how the hotel engineering department links its effort to the hotel TQM. This study focus on how engineering department, a back-ofhouse department, contributes its effort to support the overall hotel performance. The next section - Chapter 3, presents the methodology employed in this study for the research.


Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1 Introduction This chapter presents steps of how the research was carried out. This chapter includes the following sections: the research design and approach, objectives of the research, justification for the use of qualitative and quantitative approaches, data collection method, interview design and conclusion.

3.2 Research Design and Approach A qualitative approach was adopted for this research; structured interviews were conducted to collect data in response to the research questions. The result of the analysis is presented by inductive (descriptive) method; knowledge from the interviewer, interviewees and previously researched results was incorporated into the report. The author selected two qualified hotel engineers to pilot test the questionnaire, the purpose was to:

Check if each question could measure the desired objective; Check for any misunderstanding of the questions; Check if interviewees felt comfortable answering the questions; Measure the time that was required for the interview.


3.3 Objectives of the Research The main objective of this research was to study how a hotel engineering department, a back-ofhouse department, supported the hotel TQM and the factors that affected its performance. To achieve the objective, the dissertation intended to find answers to the following questions:

How does the engineering department in hotels support the goals of quality management? What are the most critical factors that will impact the engineering department both positively and negatively to achieve the quality?

What kind of quality tools and techniques can improve the efficiency of engineering departments in hotels?

How do hotels measure the performance of the engineering department?

3.4 Justification for using Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches Quantitative research – this approach is considered to be systematic scientific research as it makes use of mathematic calculation and statistics; the process is termed inferential statics (White, 2002). It is believed that this approach is more objective in supporting or rejecting a hypothesis or a theory with minimum bias. Therefore, quantitative research is for testing hypotheses and ideals for scientific research; this technique is suitable for collecting data including questionnaires and experiments (McGuigan, 2011). Qualitative research – Qualitative research is a ―descriptive, non-numerical way to collect and interpret information‖. The data collecting techniques include interview, observation, use of diaries, case study, and action research. In this type of research, research questions or arguments are proposed; data is collected and interpreted to support the research questions (White, 2002).

the 41 . and the interviewing time was approximately two hours. therefore. This allowed the interviewer to ensure that answers from the interviewees were related to the research questions. Engineers were selected from international brand 5star chain hotels in China. exploring behavior and business practices (McGuigan. individually.Therefore. 3. McGuigan (2011) warns that this approach is more subjective as it could have been influenced by the personal opinions of the interviewer and the interviewees.5 Data Collection Methods Fourteen (14) hotel engineers were interviewed either in groups. e. However.g. Participants offered primary data from their own experiences. or by telephone/email in Beijing and Hong Kong of China. the qualitative approach was a suitable choice for this dissertation. The advantage of using interviews was to minimize and clear any misunderstandings of the research questions immediately during the face-to-face discussion. the form is shown in Appendix A. this approach is suitable for business management subjects. The interviewer has to properly plan the interview and ensure that the feedback from interviewees were justifiable. 2011). and their opinions could have been biased. no consent from any organizations was required. they all had worked / have been working as a hotel chief engineer/director of engineering for at least 5 years and have worked in different cities in China. Interviewees were asked to sign a declaration form. they were not representing any particular hotel. Also. this arrangement was to encourage interviewees to express their opinions freely without concern for specific organizational restrictions regarding the release of organization information. Participation was on a voluntary basis. In consideration of the nature of this dissertation and the analysis of both research approaches.

 A subjective opinion on the most important critical factors affecting the performance of the department negatively.6 Interview design During the interview. a question list was prepared as shown in appendix B. Since a structured interview approach was used in this research.  A description of the quality methodologies. discussion questions were consistent for all interviewees. 3. The advantage of preparing the questions is that these questions could have been sent to the interviewees in advance together with the introduction of this dissertation so that interviewees could prepare for the information before the interview. They were expected to offer the following information:   A description of functions that the department supports the hotel service quality. tools and techniques used to improve the efficiency/quality of engineering departments. Also. 2002). 42 . interviewees were encouraged to contribute their experiences with TQM practices in hotels. The correlation between departmental performance and overall hotel TQM performance.interviewer could have made use of the opportunity to discuss in-depth for particular issues if the interviewee showed interest (White. A description of this research together with the objectives and questions was sent to participants two weeks in advance. this was to allow the participant to prepare for the interview. A subjective opinion on the most important critical success factors supporting the engineering department to achieve the quality goals.

3.7 Conclusion In summary. Structured interviews were conducted in Hong Kong and Beijing. a qualitative approach was adopted for this research. China to collect primary data from experienced hotel engineers. 43 .

They all had worked / have been working as hotel engineers for more than five years. one interviewee is the regional facility manager for China region. Interviews were conducted either in groups or individually. 4. Two of the interviewees are regional engineers for China region.1 Introduction This chapter provides a summary of the results of the interview.3.1 Roles and responsibilities of the hotel engineering department 44 . The others are either chief engineers or directors of engineering of 5-star chain hotels. One group interview was conducted in Beijing with 3 engineers. the test revealed that the interviewees showed interest to the discussion topic and the questions can measure the desired objective within the targeted timeframe of 2 hours.3 Key findings 4.Chapter 4: Results and Analysis 4. The interviewees‘ information and location of hotels are summarized and shown in appendix C. it also analyzes the interviewees‘ opinions with key concepts and relates the findings with the research questions. Four individual interviews were conducted in Beijing;another 3 engineers were interviewed by telephone or e-mail in Beijing. Two individual interviews were conducted to pilot test the questionnaire.2 Interviewees A total of 14 hotel engineers were interviewed. 4. another group interview was conducted in Hong Kong with 4 engineers.

all interviewees advised that using the traditional way. Engineers have to lead and manage their subordinates professionally and ethically. Work requests handling. management skills enable engineers to properly plan the tasks while leadership skills assist them to influence the emotion and intellect of staff (Wong. Control of maintenance expenses. hotel engineers interviewed also pointed out that a hotel engineer is also a department head. effective management and leadership skills are important for hotel engineers. They are facing these challenges on a daily basis. creating a fair working environment. much like a businessman. Energy conservation. Promotion of community social responsibility (CSR). they are: Preventive maintenance for building physical plants.All interviewees confirmed that their major roles in the hotel are same as those listed in section 2.Roles and responsibilities . to carrying out the above duties is not enough to meet today‘s customer expectation. 2007). Hotel engineers have to be service-oriented as well as customer-oriented. Engineers are business managers – However. handling complaints…etc. motivation. Therefore. he needs to build and maintain a high performance and effective working team to carry out the daily routines and projects. Enforcement of fire and life safety policies. Project management       Leadership – In addition to the above roles and responsibilities. such as a production-oriented approach. effective use of resources. this includes the training of staff. 45 . planning and supervision of work.

additional demand of electricity for their display of new products. nowadays. For example. Saunders et al (1992) advised that service quality is the balance between the expectations that the customers had and their perception of the service received.Interviewees pointed out that all senior management members in a hotel including hotel engineers are business persons and they needed to closely participate in the sales and marketing activities due to the high market competition in the hospitality market. live time broadcasting of meetings…etc. engineers have to attend sales meetings with clients for their technical needs. they need to be customer-oriented and service-oriented. Customers always have special needs. therefore the more information the hotel could get from the customer. This can greatly enhance the customer satisfaction. the smaller the gap between the expectation and the perception of the service provided. A late response would increase the threat of losing the business. Renovation sometimes calls for the closing of some areas for 46 . The traditional production-oriented practice is no longer applicable to hotel engineers. This business-oriented attitude also has to be applied to project management in hotels. this includes. Response time for making the decision to these customer requests is also essential for the success in today‘s competitive market. 2003) that renovation projects should be arranged so that the disturbance to guests should be kept to minimum. Engineers have to work at the same pace as the sales and marketing personnel. interviewees also emphasized that the impact to the hotel financial revenue should also be kept to a minimum. Engineers are one of the key members in the hotel sales team. careful time selection for construction projects to audible disturbances to the guests. but is not limited to: special lighting effect in a banquet event. customers expect a reply as quickly as possible. In addition to the opinion of Wai (in Okoroh. Jones and llozor . for instance.

One of the major objectives of preventive maintenance is to provide a comfortable environment such as right air temperature and lighting (Durodola & Oloyede. However. During the shift. Therefore. Elderly people may prefer warmer room temperature than younger people. Different indoor activities also require 47 . he/she has to take over the executive-on-duty manager position on a shift basis. these kinds of arrangements usually would increase construction costs due to the time restriction. a hotel engineer is one of the executive committee members in a hotel. Each guest‘s expectation is different. different guests may prefer different room temperatures. Proactive Vs reactive . Executive-on-duty manager is the duty manager during the absence of the hotel general manager. the engineer has to make business decisions on behalf of the general manager. scheduling the construction work during the low season when there are fewer guests could reduce the loss of revenue income. In view of above. the high expectation of service from hotel guests has caused hotel engineers to pay more-than-required attention to react to and predict guest needs. Also. hotel engineers have to operate the building facilities to support the hotel business and to align the departmental goals with the hotel goals. People from western counties would prefer 20 -22 deg. he/she is in-charge of the hotel operations on behalf of the hotel general manager. C. C. Cotts (1998)‘s opinion that facility managers are business managers is also applied to hotel engineers. For example. Therefore. However. guests with illnesses may ask for a warmer room temperature. 2011). interviewees pointed out that just treating all guests the same and providing an environment with universal concept is not sufficient to meet the guests‘ requirements. engineers should apply a commercial mind set and service attitude to balance the construction cost and the loss due to guest dissatisfaction. while Asian people may prefer 23-25 deg. This could achieve the maximum profit for the hotel.refurbishment.

Therefore. for banquet events. Interviewees advised that the rapid advancement of technology has been one of the major challenges for them. the better the position of competitive advantage. so that they could plan and advance the building facilities. This change makes hardwire for internet access becoming obsolete now. For example. organizations need to align the technology with their business process to sustain the competitive advantage. Hotel guests expect‗3G‘ and ‗Wifi‘ as their cell phones and hand-held internet access devices are not equipped with a hardwired connection. engineers not only review the written instructions in the event orders. Lee & Burnett (2001) suggested that a quick response to work request is an effective recovery action for rectifying deficiencies. This is support by Ptak & Schragenheim (2004) that change of technology affects how organizations carry out their business. one interviewee points out that this practice can be further improved by taking proactive action to look for deficiencies before 48 . Another example for being proactive is the catching up of technology to meet the guest needs. The quicker the response to the technology change. This is to reduce the complaint for an uncomfortable temperature at the arrival of guests. for example team building plays will need cooler room temperature than a board meeting. Engineers need to update their knowledge and pay close attention to the change in technology in order to know what and how the customers‘ needs are changing.different room temperatures. Although Chan. they also need to consider the background of participants and the nature of the activity to predict the guest needs and pre-adjust the ballroom room temperature. Hotel engineers pointed out that customers‘ expectation has been changing due to the change of technology. traditional desk phone and hardwired internet connection could not satisfy customers‘ needs today.

engineering department responds to problems when they received a work order. comfortable and safe environment for people inside the building. This is one of the major factors for customer satisfaction as Sohail at el (2007). could reduce 80% of work orders. 49 . large firms. This practice could reduce substantially the complaints from customers (internal and external) and inconveniences caused to them.3. This practice is more effective in today‘s engineering practice. fire and life safety is the fundamental to the hotel business. before they sign a business agreement with the hotel.All hotel engineers interviewed agreed that hotel engineers play an important role in providing a healthy. would send safety officers to check the hotel building and review the fire and safety policy and procedures. pointed out that people consider factors like comfort. in their research for the determinants of service quality in Malaysian hotels. the objective is to look for and rectify defects in advance before it causes complaints. by inspecting the key operation areas which is about 20% of the hotel areas. That means the problem has already caused some inconvenience to customers (either internal or external). this is why the customer issued the work order. This is to ensure that the hotel will be safe for their staff to stay.2 Support to the hotel TQM Comfortable. laundry and restaurants. This is one of the effective ways to apply the 20/80 Pareto principle. healthy and safe environment . Also. The engineer pointed out that one of the practices in his department is ‗management by walking‘. They inspect essential areas including public areas and main production plants such as kitchen. Traditionally. cleanliness and safety in selecting hotels.someone comes across the problem. he himself and the duty engineer used to walk around the building at least twice a day. 4.

Most interviewees agreed that international brand chain hotels have higher safety standards in comparison than local hotels. Also. These insurance companies have high demand of safety requirements. Gruman. while security department patrols the building on a regular basis. Interviewees confirmed that no matter how good the preventive maintenance is in a hotel. Chhinzer & Smith (2011) advise that experience and knowledge could enhance crisis readiness. they also inspect the property regularly for the compliance. Therefore. Life safety systems include the fire detection system. This is in line with the findings by Sohail et al (2007) that the quality of local hotels in Malaysia is not as good as chain hotels. not all work orders are complaints. response time is crucial to provide guest 50 . It is important that hotel staff is well prepared for possible crisis and emergencies so that they know how to assist hotel guests. This system receives work requests from customers. building access control and panic alarm system. This is to enhance knowledge and readiness. both internal and external. close circuit television system (CCTV). some of them are additional requests from guests due to personal preferences. The engineering department ensures the normal functionality of life safety systems by providing repair and maintenance. there will be still some unforeseen problems that customers may come cross. This is one of the reasons that international brand chain hotels have higher quality requirements. this is why engineering and security department conduct regular training and evacuation drills in the hotel.Crisis Readiness – Engineering department and security department play a significant role in ensuring the safety of the hotel. Work Orders – a work order system is an important mean of communication between the engineering department and customers. One interviewee explained that the main reason is that international hotel groups have proper insurance by reputable international insurance companies.

integrity. 1992) that measurement of hotel performance should include timeliness. predictability and customer satisfaction. If this time constrain cannot be met. Engineering plays an important role in different processes in a hotel. an explanation should be communicated to the guest. Biggest internal supplier . for example. this is to solve the guest problem and regain the customer satisfaction before the guest leave the hotel. All hotels have a requirement for the response time. work order system allows recovery for deficiencies.1. provided by interviewees. ‗Quality chain‘ is defined as a series of internal suppliers and customers carrying out activities to meet the external customer satisfaction (Oakland. This is in line with the suggestion by Zimmerman & Enell (in Saunders et al.satisfaction. Supporting other departments to achieve their goals is a major responsibility of the department. so that the guest would not experience the same problem or would receive the same preference during the next visit. The contribution of the engineering department in respect to the hotel TQM performance. It also provides an opportunity for the hotel to learn the guests‘ personal preference.a key service provider. For example. inside a hotel. 2003). 51 . one chain hotel group specified that technicians are expected arriving the guestroom within 10 minutes and complete the guest request within 15 minutes. is summarized and listed in table 4. it is crucial to maintain an effective ‗quality chain‘ so that process of different activities can be smoothly carried out. ensuring the normal operation of kitchen equipment allows culinary experts to provide hot food to is considered as the biggest internal supplier . maintaining the laundry equipment so that the housekeeping department can provide on-time laundry service to hotel guests. Also.

1. 2. Save expenses by reducing energy consumption.1 – Links of engineering roles to TQM performance Roles and responsibilities Preventive maintenance Links to hotel TQM performance 1. Serve local community. Enhance the property value. fire drill. Effective use of resources. 7. guests feel good to stay with a good CSR hotel. and. Reduce cost by value engineering. 1. Provide proper lighting. vertical transportation. 3. Build corporate identity. 8. Promote brand image by going green. Ensure swimming pool water hygiene. 4. and. 1. 9. Ensure occupant safety. 4. Provide a source for problem analysis. and.Table 4. Set guest history/preference to tailor service. Promote ‗green‘ awareness. clean water supply. 7. 5. 2. Promote safety awareness by conducting training. water flooding…etc 3. 1. 1. 3. Provide a channel for guests to express dissatisfaction. 6. 2. evacuation and precautionary measures. 3. and. 2. Work order handling Life and safety policies Energy conservation ‗Going green‘ Control of expenses CSR Project management 52 . Promote brand image. Support other departments‘ productivity. 2. comfortable air-conditioning. Promote a health environment by reducing pollution. 8. Increase the return on investment for the building owner. Enhance safety. Control utility expenses. 1. Minimize disturbance by arranging proper construction time. power outage. Assist in food safety and hygiene. and. 5. 3. Budget and meet financial target. Allow recovery for guest complaints. Maintain a cozy and warm atmosphere for hotel guests with contemporary decoration. Maintain ‗contemporary‘ for hotel hardware. 2. 3. guests feel safe to stay. Maintain timeliness response. 2. Minimize interruption to guest comfort due to the suspension of building facilities. Sustain customer satisfaction and value for money. 5. 4. 6. 4. 4. Enhance readiness for crisis management such as earthquake. Eliminate air-borne disease. Suggest and select energy efficient products. and. Avoid fatal injuries. Minimize damages to the property. 5. Reduce staff accidents and injuries.

Management and leadership 3. 2. Support career development. hotels focus on the performance of similar aspects. They have studied hotels in Ireland and found out that only 28. quality frameworks for specialized purposes are popular. This phenomenon is in line with the findings of Harrington & Keating (2006). 3. 4. Generally speaking. the customer perspective. they setup their own quality requirements for their own business directions. Meet budgeted cost and time. business process perspective and Community service perspective. financial perspective. For example.3 Methodology and tools All interviewed hotel engineers agreed that the goal of quality management is to meet the customers‘ needs and sustain competitive advantage. Interviewees pointed out that all hotels do have their own quality control system. 4. Reduce turn-over rate. Human resources perspective. Control quality. Ensure construction site safety. Different hotel groups have different policies and requirements for each perspective areas. Quality framework – Response from all interviewees revealed that none of the engineers have used any high level ‗common‘ quality frameworks such as EFQM or ISO 9001. 1. Since these 53 . 5.2 percent of Irish hotels had adopted a formal quality management system. and. Achieve hotel and departmental goals Achieve staff satisfaction. even though most Irish hoteliers indicated that they were familiar with quality certification. 4. Since hotel engineers are responsible for the operation of building facilities. and. almost all engineers indicated that they use HACCP for food safety control. However. i.e.3. use of proper tools to manage and control the quality could enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. Some engineers also use ISO14001 for environmental control and ISO18001 for workplace safety.

54 . so that commitment could be gained from employees. management. the workplace accidents have greatly reduced from 35 cases in 2010 to 8 cases from Jan-July in 2011. Quality tools – interviewees pointed out that quality tools are important for a technical department such as engineering department. but they also promote the hotel brand image as well. measurement and analysis. One engineer advised that his hotel adopted the ISO18001 in 2009 and completed the implementation in 2010. The use of quality framework can improve the efficiency. 2006). so that staff knows the expectation of the result. hotel engineers believe that not only do these frameworks offer an effective guideline (Chan & Ho. The common quality tools used by hotel engineers are listed in table 4. Wong (2007) supports that dedication and passions are important factors in a dynamic and effective working team. it takes time to create the culture.Interviewees advised that TQM is a culture. Hotel management has to provide clear requirements. it is known to rely on these tools for control. The right attitude could generate the proper behavior. This is in line with the suggestion from Oakland (2003) that cultural change is necessary to implement TQM.2 – Common quality tools used by engineering department of hotels Quality Tools for Hotel Engineering Description Purpose Guest questionnaire/survey Measure guest satisfaction. It is necessary to allow the staff to see the advantages of TQM. Also. Cultural change .specialized frameworks are internationally recognized. different tools are for different applications and different purposes. Using the right tools enhance the efficiency and improve the performance of the department.2 Table 4.

3 – Computer software for the hotel engineering department Computer Software for Hotel Engineering Application Purpose Building automation systems Monitoring and control of electrical and mechanical systems.) IT Technology – Since the engineering department is handling technical systems. Utility metering system Recording of energy consumption. Boilers. Ensure functionality of equipment.g. Compare performance and identify best practices (See table 4.3. checklist Cost/benefit analysis.3 for detailed description of applications. management system) Call accounting system Telephone call charges accounting system. ROI Policy and procedures. Control temperature range. The applications are summarized in table 4. IT technology has widely been used for all kinds of control and management. Investment analysis.Mysterious guest survey Regular meetings with stakeholders Regular check /inspection. Table 4. Problem analysis. Pareto chart Control chart Brain storming Benchmarking IT technology – computer software Ensure sufficient and effective communications. All hotel engineers interviewed agreed that computer software is essential for both system control and management application. Procurement system Issuing of purchasing orders to vendors. scatter diagram. Identify causes of problems. 55 . HVAC. Provide description of work process. Store room inventory Control of spare parts. e. IT technology plays an important role in quality assurance. flowcharts Cause-effect chart. log sheets. chemical level…etc Encourage suggestions and new ideas. Work order and preventive Management of work orders and preventive maintenance maintenance system (facility schedules and records. Plumbing. Electrical distribution…etc.

using technology will enable an enhancement in business performance. The new building automation system integrated and streamlined the processes of these systems. this could allow the engineers to take rectification actions at the early stage of any occurred problems. water tank level…etc. In addition. such as air-conditioning. Another example is that the work order system is intergraded with inventory and purchasing software. hotels had different software developed by different manufacturers for their own systems. Carbon footprint management. reduce waste. fire alarm…etc. This integration reduces labor and increase productivity. 56 . so that all building systems. which in turn improves customer satisfaction. and improve inter-department communication and interactions with suppliers and customers. lighting. For example. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) – Interviewees pointed out that IT technology plays a significant role in the building systems‘ control and monitoring. As a result. can be controlled and monitored in one software。 Also. traditionally.. water supply. lighting status. The software can automatically generate purchasing orders once the inventory drops below the pre-set minimum par level.E-mail Earthcheck P/L report Communication. the rapid development of ERP technology improved the performance of engineering department. The purpose of the integration is to standardize work process. engineers can get the real-time information from their computers such as room temperature. Repair and maintenance expenses summary. increase production speed. minimize human error. This further enhances the response time for handling problems. Ptak & Schragenheim (2004) support that ERP technology could enable the integration of business processes. any system alarms will be re-directed to engineers‘ cell phones or remote monitoring stations. any spare parts used in each work order will be recorded and inventory updated.

1 shows a typical internal benchmarking commonly used by engineers for tracking electricity consumption per occupied room-night in hotels. any variation could be criticized against the affecting factors such as occupancy. Outdoor temperature will affect energy consumption for air conditioning and heating (Chan. There are two reasons. Being able to measure the result is important for continuous improvement (Oakland. one way to analyze utility consumption is through benchmarking. they do not benchmark with other hotels. no two hotels have the same design. for example. This kind of tracking can also be used for evaluating the performance of improvement projects.Benchmarking – controlling utility expenses is one of the major responsibilities for the engineering department. engineers only compare the consumption with their own history data such as the data of last month or same month of previous years. Therefore. Engineers compare the current month‘s consumption with the last month and same month of previously years. 57 . hotels with more restaurants will have more kitchen equipment and require more gas consumption for cooking. This is supported by Cotts (1998) that measurement of benchmarks may not be consistent unless the two properties being benchmarked are as similar as possible. However. internal benchmarking could help engineers to identify areas for improvement and measure the performance. outdoor temperature and humidity…etc. internal benchmarking is an effective tool to track the change over time. 2003). However. 2003). hotels in mild weather areas will use less energy than those hotels in the tropical area or northern zone. Also. Figure 4. Different designs will have different energy demand. different geographic areas have different weather conditions.

Apr.Kwh 25. Compliance of workplace safety practice.4 – Performance Measurement Performance Measurement for Hotel Engineering Department Measurement Frequency Criteria Process management measures Departmental audit. Electricity consumption /Occupied Room Year 2011 2010 2009 May.3. Dec.00 Jan. Nov. Yearly Compliance of company requirements. integrity.00 15. HACCP audit. Yearly Yearly Fire and Life safety audit. ISO 14001 audit.00 10. Month Figure 4.00 0.4 Performance measurement The performance measurements for the engineering department are summarized in table 4. Mar. Oct.1 – Electricity consumption per room-night 4. Jul. Sep. Aug. ISO 18001 audit.00 5. Compliance of food safety. Jun. Table 4. Timeliness.4. Measurement of safety readiness.00 20. Work request Yearly Daily 58 . Feb. Yearly Compliance of environment conservation. predictability.

Strategy development and goal deployment. Meeting maintenance expenses and utilities budget. Since engineering department is in operations level. Individual performance measurement Individual Yearly Individual performance performance appraisal. Identify problems and guest preferences. Financial critique and review. Ensuring normal operation of electrical and mechanical plants. Oakland (2003) supports that this reiterated process allows organization to check if the standards of quality are being met and identify problems for continuous improvement. this continuous monitoring allows for opportunities to identity problems and to propose areas for improvement. customer satisfaction. the performance measurement focuses on the lower three levels (the first level should be conducted in the senior management level). Process management. 59 . Monthly Customer satisfaction (working order of facilities). Customer survey. Weekly Daily The finding is in line with Oakland (2003) that performance measurement should focus on four levels . Work requests review. Engineering log books and checklist review. review. Review performance.response time. Performance review Utility critique and Monthly Analysis of energy consumption. Identifying safety hazards. Employee satisfaction. Yearly Monthly Daily Fire and Life safety inspection. Individual performance measurement. Associate survey. All interviewees agreed that performance measurement is essential to assure quality.

3.Continuous improvement . The process is to map the ‗as-is‘. & Schragenheim. 4. From the work requests. a clear process and workflow enhance ownership.All engineers believed that continuous improvement is one of the important processes to improve the quality and sustain customer loyalty. expectations from each guest are different.5. identify the problem and to propose the ‗to-be‘ model (Ptak. 2003). For example.5 – Critical success factor Critical Success Factors for Hotel Engineering Department Description Vote Ranking Align department goals with hotel goals 1 Communication and coordination 5 4 Clear quality requirements 4 5 Effective team 8 2 Employee involvement 1 Employee satisfaction 1 Empowerment 3 Fair working environment 2 Human resource management 1 IT technology 1 60 . Interviewees also pointed out that re-engineering is a popular methodology for continuous improvement. Reliability promotes customer satisfaction (Oakland. Table 4. in hospitality industrial. 2004). service for each guest need to be tailored. engineering also finds the personal preference of guests. These preferences will be logged in the guest profiles. so that a guest‘s likes and dislikes will be addressed during each visit of the guest. This is necessary for the improvement of the reliability.5 Critical success factor The critical success factor (CSF) suggested by hotel engineers interviewed are summarized in table 4. Especially when the process involves multi-departments.

electronic technicians…etc. and clear quality requirements. this includes setting the business direction and support to encourage staff to achieve the goals. effective team. gas leakage and power outage. hotel 61 . the top five critical success factors are: Support from senior. so that they can quickly response to the outbreak of incidents such as water pipe rupture.Leadership and management skills Motivation Performance measurement Positive working environment Product and service design Purchasing process Support from senior management Support from hotel owner Sufficient fund for repair and maintenance Setting the right model from managerial managers Reward package Training Quality assurance 5 1 1 1 1 1 9 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 As indicated in the table above. In additional to their trade knowledge. Senior management support– leadership has a profound effect on the success of quality management (Oakland. Effective team – the engineering team is to handle technical tasks which require competent technicians and tradesmen such as electrician. Therefore. he must have a strong passion to drive business excellence. Interviewees pointed out that the hotel general manager‘s attitude towards quality requirement is crucial for achieving the quality goals. The general manger must understand the importance of preventive maintenance of building facilities. so that he could ensure sufficient resources and support the routine maintenance. leadership and management skills. carpenter. communication. 2003). mechanic. mason. plumber. technicians and tradesmen also need to learn the facilities in the hotel.

62 . Interviewees also believed that one of the major reasons that staff resign has been that the staff do not like the behavior of his superior. One effective approach is empowerment. This could enhance guest satisfaction. guests may ask for the repair of their personal belongings. Therefore.engineers have to build a high performance and cohesive work team with required knowledge and competency. However. For example. Leadership and management skills – Interviewees revealed that the quality of the leader is also critical for the success for quality performance. empowerment should only be applied when the staff is competent to handle the job task. allowing shop floor staff to make decisions at the guest contact point is necessary. the technician has to make a decision in front of the guest for helping or not helping the guests. Leaders have to behavior professionally and appropriately to sustain credibility and gain respect from both subordinates and superiors. this could improve the efficiency of the department. Since these items are not hotel properties. Interviewees pointed out that at least 50% of operational issues and problems are due to poor communications. Communication – communication is considered as the most important factor in all kinds of activities. It is no exception in the hotel operations. Strong leadership and management skills can create an effective team which is required for achieving the departmental goals which ultimately support the hotel goals. The staff has to justify the benefits and consequence in order to satisfy the guest‘s needs. Since supervisors are not always around to make decisions. emphasizing the importance of and promoting the effective use of communication means and tools are necessary from time to time.

6. these barriers reported by interviewees are consolidated in table 4. senior management includes 63 .6 Barriers There are also factors that could affect the performance of engineering departments. unfair work environment and bureaucratic policy – traditional financial practice. For a five-star chain hotel.6 – Common barriers Common Barriers in Hotel Engineering Department Description Vote Ranking Bureaucratic policy – traditional financial practice 5 2 Cost cutting excises 1 Hard to recruit new staff 2 High turn over rate 1 Incorporation to save energy by staff of other department 2 Insufficient training 1 Incompetent staff 1 Insufficient staff 1 Inadequate support from senior management 6 1 Inadequate support from owner 2 Long approval time 1 Long working hours for engineers in hotel 1 Poor management and leadership skills 1 Poor attitude of the hotel engineer 1 Poor communication 1 Unfair reward package 5 3 Imbalance of work and personal life 1 Resources constrain 2 The top three barriers are: inadequate support from senor management. Inadequate support from senior management – this is in line with the findings of the critical success factors shown above.4. Table 4.3.

However. URI is one of the ways to look at the effectiveness of engineering department and to measure the machine breakdown. the lower the URI.the general manager of the hotel and the regional engineering head office. In another words. the breakdown of building facilities will be less. the higher the performance of preventive maintenance. the lower the UR . most general managers believe that the busy the hotel. The common phenomena as pointed out by interviewees are:- 64 . any financial constrain will limit the performance of the department. This is confirmed by the Urgent Repair Index (URI) introduced by Chan. effective preventive maintenance would minimize urgent orders. the higher the moving. and GR is the number of normal request for repair of building facilities. Their support has a profound effect on the performance of the department. this practice is still common in the hospitality industry. this is not true in the engineering operation. Lee & Burnett (2010). From the equation. URI = UR/ (UR + GR) Where UR is the number of urgent repair requests arising from guests and in-house staff. Engineers pointed out that most general managers like to see staff moving around in the hotel. Since the engineering department is considered to be a money spending department. engineers argued that technicians carry out the preventive maintenance tasks mainly inside the machine room. If preventive maintenance is effective. Therefore. unfortunately. Traditional financial policy – although Van Schalkwyk (1998) advises that use of traditional financial policy to set business goals would have negative impact on customer satisfaction. the less the technicians are moving around in the pubic area. This would minimize complaints from both internal and external customers. the work orders will be greatly be reduced and less technicians moving in the public area. Therefore.

the budget was set one year before. the higher the repair and maintenance expenses due to accumulated depreciation of the equipment. Van Schalkwyk (1998) accused that the ―use of financial data to set goals and control actions typically lead to manipulation of output levels to achieve cost targets‖. However. For example. Senior management may wrongly believe that delaying approval of procurement could defer the spending or minimize the expenses. Delay for approving purchasing orders – the engineering department needs to order spare parts from time to time. insufficient maintenance would cause breakdown of machineries. Also. it will negatively impact the performance of the hotel rather than positively 65 .  Progressive reduction of budget . the poor facility management performance would lower the customer satisfaction. This practice is against the principle of normal wear and tear – the older the machinery. As explained by the interviewees. Calingo (1996) supported that trying to maximize profit and ignoring the customer needs would not help to improve the profitability. As a consequence. the financial target does not take into consideration the change of the market and it disregards the needs of customers. this includes the repair and maintenance expenses. they have to lower the service standard in order to achieve the financial goal. conversely. focusing heavily on financial data for monitoring and controlling may reduce the focus on the customers‘ needs. engineers pointed out that delayed repair or maintenance of the hotel facilities would cause rapid deterioration.hotel management has an intention to reduce the budget for expenses every year.

Also. technical training takes time. insufficient knowledge of engineering staff causes less care for the staff.Unfair work environment . He believes that this is due to the fact that management people do not fully know the work score of engineering staff. it would increase the flexibility of allocating daily repair and maintenance routines. Therefore. especially in a multi-cultural working environment (Sanghera. Reduction of response time to work orders could enhance the customer satisfaction (Calingo. they can only take part-time upgrading courses. interviewees agreed that the promotion of multiple-skills could enhance the performance of the engineering department. there are difficulties in promoting multiple-skills. The engineer explained that back-of-house employees are considered as second level employees and their benefits are below that of front line staff. this may also be one of the causes of the discrimination. Being fair is the basic requirement for building a high performance. Also. For example. 2010). Multiple-skills – multiple-skills means that technical staff possesses more than one trade skill.most interviewees pointed out that unfair reward packages for technicians has been the biggest de-motivator in his department. Discriminating de-motivates and lowers the morale of the workplace. technicians with multiple skills could handle work orders more efficiently. However. this practice could enhance the quality performance. A part-time electrical or air-conditioning tradesmen training will take at least 3 years. First of all. they could handle different trade problems by themselves instead of calling another technician for help. Since engineering staff is full time employee. reduce cost and increase the efficiency of the engineering department which is in line with the suggestion by Chan (2007). 66 . 1996). In general. effective and cohesive working team. the grooming and appearance of technicians or engineering workers is low in comparing with front-line staff.

but also other knowledge as shown in figure 4. This also caused high turnover rate of existing hotels. they make use of the balanced scorecard and incorporate some other perspectives such as CSR and ‗Green‘. The reward package does not motivate engineering technician to acquire second trade certificate. Hotels have a fixed range of wages for all rankings.2.4. 4.4.e.4 Key concepts of the study 4. 67 . technicians will get the same wages no matter they have one or more than one trade qualifications. new hotels have been built substantially. the hospitality industry is booming in China. Different hotel groups concentrate with different degrees of strength on different perspective areas for their own business direction. 4.2 Competency – To manage the engineering department of a hotel. the engineers needs not only the engineering technical knowledge.Secondly.1 Quality framework – Hotels setup their own TQM requirements. Also. it discourages hotels to provide long-term training for employees. These hotels have caused high demand of experienced staff in the labor market. the hotel HR policy may not be supportive. i.

serving the guest directly or indirectly. they perform the most important task of the production process .Figure 4.2 – Required competency of hotel engineer 4. this is to allow them to know what needs to be improved. No matter whether they are front line or back-of-house staff. the staff needs to know the guest expectation clearly. providing requires information to the shop floor staff effectively is also a challenge for hotel management. The ability to teach the staff these skills determines the success of a hotel.delivering the products to guest. 68 . This is why Van Schalkwyk (1998) emphasized that performance measurement result should be available freely at all levels for those process owners who need to maintain and improve the quality.3 Staff Quality – the staff serve the hotel guests.4.

3. 69 . another loss is the increase of repair cost due to the breakdown of the machinery which is the result of prolonged improper maintenance.4 True cost for saving the maintenance expense . This is in line with the opinion of Durodola & Oloyede (2011).4. this will encourage the hotel manager to over. Therefore.6.Improper preventive maintenance or delay repair of physical assets would eventually cost more.cut the expenses in order to achieve maximum profit and maximum bonus. hotels should have a long term planning for facility maintenance.4. Inappropriate financial practice may be due to the political ambitions of the hotel senior management. that ―it is envisaged that the best practice of facilities management will cost money but avoiding or delaying it may be extremely expensive in the end‖. One of the losses is the recovery cost from guests‘ complaints due to the breakdown of equipment. This improper maintenance may also be caused by poor finance practice as explained in clause 4. one of the reasons for these ambitions is that organizations offer incentive or bonus which is based on the hotel profit.

analysis of feedbacks and carrying out of continuous improvement.1 Introduction From the research. it is suggested that implementation of TQM needs proper planning and allowance of sufficient time for the change of the culture. there is new knowledge that can benefit hotel engineers and general managers.2. This chapter provides the recommendations. 70 . continuous and professional system based on the commitment from all members of the hotel. TQM is an integrated.2 Recommendations for hotel engineers and general managers 5. There are also some shortages in the research which will require further investigation. The principles and objectives must be promoted in the whole organization so that each staff in the hotel must internalize the advantages of quality management. 2003). The PDCA (plan-do-check–act) cycle is an effective methodology for TQM implementation (Oakland. Therefore. 5. It must start from the top management.Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation 5. monitoring and measuring of performance. this is to create a smooth and comfortable change with a minimum impact to the operations. top management must commit to quality management and admit that quality is one of the most important strategic tools for the business.1 Cultural change Hotel engineers and managers should be aware that TQM is about the change of culture. shop floor staff should be involved in the planning of processes. Engineers are advised that policy deployment is a bottom-up process.

2 Leadership and management skills Most hotel engineers have an engineering degree from university. Jones and llozor (2003) suggested that while hotels focus on tangible service such as room check-in. a feeling of well being…etc.3 Fair working environment Although most hotels have corporate policies to maintain a fair working environment. hoteliers should understand that customer satisfaction must be balanced with intangible services such as security. This can cause dissatisfaction from the back-of-house staff.2. project management knowledge becomes one of the competencies of hotel engineers. It is suggested that both front- 71 . Okoroh. Project management is about preparing critical path. The role of the engineering department has been changing from just ‗keeping equipment running‘ to a management function unit. risk plan and quality plan. They fail to motivate back-of-house by failing to offer incentives and ignoring their needs. 5.2.5. leadership and management skills may not be one of the learning subjects covered in the engineering school. Since hotel general managers and owners always wrongly believe that front line staff is the key staff for the business and motivating only these staff is enough. communication plan. The objective of project management is to complete projects within the budgeted cost and timeframe and to achieve the predefined quality. food service…etc. It is suggested that hotel engineers have to learn this knowledge in order to meet the career needs. Hotel engineers‘ roles are embraced with more and more management functions. However. As advised by Rutherford (1987) that hotel engineers need to catch up their management knowledge to balance with their excellent technical skills. the hotel general manager and the property owner‘s bias attitude towards back-of-house departments can create an unfair working environment. In addition.

hotel engineers should encourage technicians to consider themselves as front-line staff when they approach hotel guests. 5. Any unprofessional influence may have a serious negative impact on the engineering operations. hotel engineers believe that they do not fully understand the importance of the preventive maintenance work and how engineering carrying out the tasks.2. 5. Senior management personnel should recognize that although engineering staff are seldom in direct contact with hotel guest.line and back-of-house employees are important in achieving customer satisfaction.5 Service attitude Although engineering department is a back-of-house department. it does not mean they do not contribute to the TQM efforts. hotel general managers must understand that preventive maintenance is technical and professional work. understanding this engineering routine can allow the general manger to better support the engineering department. Engineering staff are the heroes behind the scene. This could enhance customer 72 .2. Technicians should pay attention to understand the customers‘ wants so that the gap between the guest expectation and the perception of the service can be reduced. fair treatment to both kinds of staff could enhance the efficiency of the work team. In addition. It is highly suggested that senior management personnel should spend some time to learn the importance of preventive maintenance. he should respect the decisions made by engineers for the operations of the building facilities.4 Understanding the importance of Preventive maintenance work Although most hotel general managers and owner‘s representatives are business people.

Hotel management may consider applying the same concept in the ‗quality chain‘.satisfaction as Saunders et al (1992) advised that service quality is the balance between the expectations that the customers had and their perception of the service received.2. Since the engineering department is considered as a money-spending department. 5. This practice will be effective for back-of-house departments such as engineering department. 5. this may reduce the focus on the customers‘ needs.6 Financial policy Hotel management is advised to review its financial policy.2. It could help to achieve greater guest satisfaction and increase competitiveness by reshaping and improving work processes. any financial constrains will affect the performance of the department. Traditional accounting practice may focus too heavily on financial data for monitoring and controlling financial targets. as the engineering department is considered as the biggest service provider in a hotel.7 Integration of IT technology Hotel management should concentrate their effort in integrating major functional business processes by using ERP technology. 5. 73 . this is mainly to get the opinions of external customers.2. ‗Suppliers‘ will get feedback from ‗customers‘.8 Internal customer satisfaction survey All hotels have customer satisfaction surveys to solicit hotel guests‘ feedback.

Guests feel proud to stay in a hotel with outstanding CSR contribution to the community. engineers should encourage and motivate engineering technicians to acquire additional trade qualifications.  Fire and life safety is of utmost importance in a hotel.  Professional quality framework such as ISO14001. Measurement is needed to track the effectiveness and performance of the program. Exercise for fire drill and crisis response should be conducted regularly. it is suggests that hotel engineers could make use of this frameworks as a road-map to guide the staff.2. Hotel engineers should support the CSR by focusing on the energy conservation and prepare a long-team program to reduce the carbon footprint. Motivation may need support from the senior management by implementing appropriate incentive programs. These manuals should be constantly reviewed and updated as part of the continuous improvement process. this is to 74 .  Standard operation procedure (SOP) or policy and procedures (P&P) are common quality tools in hotels to maintain the consistency of quality and efficiency of service.9 Best Practices From the findings of this research.5. the following best practices are recommended: CSR is considered as a ‗must‘ in today‘s business.  Result of performance measurement should be available to all process owners. ISO18001 provide a systematic guideline to achieve the quality requirements. it could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the department.  Promotion of multiple-skills can enhance the overall quality performance. hotel management has to ensure that this policy is strictly enforced without negotiation.

3. Generally speaking. Therefore. It excluded hotels with lower star rating and non-chain hotels. hotels do have their own quality control system. this research focused on engineers working for 5-star chain hotels only. Also. i. 5. further studies for other geographic areas and hotels with lower star ratings are recommended in order to have a broader view about the effort from the engineering department and its contribution to the overall hotel TQM performance. 5.2 Quality framework Vs performance This research revealed that high level ‗common‘ quality frameworks such as EFQM or ISO 9001 are not popular in chain hotel groups. financial perspective. the customer perspective. However. the author believes that these differences will result in different business performances. This phenomenon is inline with the finding by Harrington & Keating (2006). This is 75 . Since different hotel groups may emphasizes on different perspective areas with different policies and requirements and different degrees of efforts. experiences and opinions.1 Limitations This study focused on the opinions from hotel engineers with experience in China and Hong Kong only. hotels focus on the performance of similar aspects. 3. human resources perspective.e.3 Recommendations for future research 5.enable the process owners to execute continuous improvement. engineers in other countries may have different practices. business process perspective and community service perspective.

why some hotels perform better than others. This research also confirms that TQM offers benefits such as cost saving. Since the hotel general manager is the leader of a hotel. errors reduction and profit enhancement. However.4 Summary and Concluding Remarks This research discovered the roles and responsibilities of a hotel engineering department and its contribution to the hotel overall TQM performance. This research also summarized quality tools that could aid the engineering department to enhance the performance. he/she may look at the functionality of engineering at different angle and have different suggestions. 76 . guests‘ expectation could further enhance the service direction of hotel engineering services.3 Opinion from hotel general manager and guests Since this research focuses on the opinions of hotel engineers only. Critical success factor and barriers for the TQM performance were also discussed. and as the biggest internal service provider in supporting other departments. customer satisfaction. 5. The findings also suggested factors that could aid in improving the performance of engineering departments in hotels.3. 5. Also. it would be better to have a broader view from different angles such as soliciting opinions from hotel general managers and guests. the co-relations between these factors and the performance result will need further studying. The above findings could enable hotel general managers and hotel engineers to better understand the importance of engineering efforts in providing a comfortable and safe environment for both internal and external customers. The measurement of the performance of engineering department had been revealed.

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81 . The information provided is from my own work experiences. The author of this research is Mark Chan Kam Wah. I have been working as a hotel engineer for a 5-star hotel for more than________years. The subject of the research is: Total Quality Management (TQM) in Hospitality Industry: A study of the application of TQM in a hotel's engineering department and its effects on hotel performance.) guestrooms I agree to participate in this research and provide the information on a voluntary basis. and I am not representing any hotel or organization.Appendices Appendix A : Declaration of interviewee My name is ________________________. The hotel I am currently working for/ have worked for is/was located in _______________(city) and have ___________(nos.

Control of maintenance expenses. what other roles and responsibilities do you have to perform in a hotel?        Preventive maintenance for building physical plants. 1 In addition to the following duties. Energy conservation. Work requests handling. owners expectation and internal customers‘ needs. Could you link your duties to the hotel TQM performance? 4 5 Do you agree that a proper preventive maintenance is important and why? Do you agree that quick response to guest requests is important for achieving customer satisfaction and why? 82 . Enforcement of fire and life safety policies. Project management.Appendix B : Interview Questions Roles and responsibilities of Engineering department. customer satisfaction. Promotion of community social responsibility (CSR). 2 Do you think the hotel engineer is also a business manager and how? Support to the hotel performance 3 How does the Engineering department support the overall hotel performance in terms of quality management? For example.

ISO 18001. survey. IT technology…etc 14 Does IT technology important for engineering? How can IT technologies help you in the daily operations? For example. P&P. EFQM…etc 13 Do you think process mapping is important and how does it help you? What other quality tools are you using in the Engineering department? For example. control chart. preventive maintenance management. 15 How do you deploy the strategies from the senior management? 16 Do you think continuous improvement is important for enhancing the performance? 83 . audit.6 7 8 9 Do you review guests‘ requests/complaints for continuous improvement? Do you think crisis management is important and why? Do you agree that controlling the expenses to meet the budget is important? Do you think ‗Going Green‘ is the new way of doing business and how? 10 Do you think CSR is important to promote the brand image and how? Quality methodology and tools 11 Do you think quality management is important for customer satisfaction and sustaining competitive advantage? 12 Do you use/ have you used any quality framework to guide a hotel to achieve the quality goals? For example. building automation…etc. work order process.

Critical success factors 19 What critical success factors do you think are the top 5 most important factors supporting your departmental performance and why? 20 Some researchers suggested that technicians with multiple-skills could improve the overall quality and reduce the labor costs. could you list the different types of measurements and their criteria? 18 Do you benchmark the performances? For example. over focusing on financial budget. maintenance expenses. ingrained attitude of staff. do you agree and why? Barriers 21 What factors are impacting the departmental performance negatively and how? For example.Performance measurement 17 Do you measure the performance of the engineering department? If yes. energy consumption. work orders…etc. insufficient empowerment…etc 84 .

Y. Mark Li Mr. Choi Mr. X. M. Hangzhou Beijing Beijing Shanghai. Beijing. Winston Suen Mr.P. Shenyang (Regional Engineer for China and Hong Kong) Hong Kong (Regional Facility Manager for China and Hong Kong) Beijing. Wong Mr.M. Ma Mr.Z. Jack Li Mr. Desmond Lau Mr. Raymond Ng Mr. Tianjin. Beijing Beijing Harbin. Hong Kong. Dalian.Appendix C: Interviewee information No Interviewee Experience (Years as hotel engineer) 15 1 Mr. Sun Mr. Shanghai. C. W. Chongqing. Adam Jin 6 5 19 340-450 495 430 Telephone E-mail Telephone 85 . Shenyang Hong Kong Beijing Hotel size ( No of Guestrooms) Interview arrangement Individual (Pilot) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Mr. Li Mr. James Gao Location of hotels managed (City) (Regional Engineer for China) Beijing. Ivan Cheung 20 20 5 20 5 15 15 5 7 13 450-540 285-500 745 155-1312 419 400-800 400-600 Individual (Pilot) Individual Individual Group 1 Group 1 Group 1 Group 2 Group 2 465 Group 2 Group 2 12 13 14 Mr. Tom Zhang Mr.