CASE STUDIES

F&B Department of Hotel A Keeps Its Personnel Expense Ratio Unchanged Versus Previous Year Despite Lower Sales

PDCA of Our Proprietary Attendance System to Analyze Productivity

Background

Compared to most kinds of businesses, hotels experience wide variances between busy and slack periods, and there are a great number of occupational categories. These factors make control of working hours difficult. In 2009, Abilitas Hospitality ascertained working hours in real time, and for the purpose of analyzing productivity introduced into all group hotels a new proprietary attendance system.

Features

The system’s main feature is an Abilitas Hospitality-developed working time analysis tool. This enables immediate comparisons with the previous year’s results as well as the current year’s budget, forecast and actual, on a daily basis or at optional time intervals, allowing productivity to be checked in real time.

The system performs not only historical analyses but also everything from shift formulation to working hours and personnel expense forecasts. It has a forecasting tool enabling the heads of each department to freely devise appropriate shifts for the section, even when working arrangements are different for each hotel.

Aggregated data (Table 1) created by these tools are distributed weekly to the general manager and the principal managers, enabling understanding of the situations of the hotel as a whole and by segment. Issues can be detected and countermeasures devised.

Best Practice of Hotel A

As a result of steady implementation of this flow chain, City Hotel A successfully controlled its personnel costs. (Hotel A introduced the system in November 2009.)

Many hotel staffers were not used to using PCs and there was strong resistance, but as a result of honest explanations and ongoing persuasion the PDCA cycle began in 2010 and produced rapid results.

Chart 1 shows trends in the ratio of personnel expenses to revenue in Hotel A’s rooms department. The ratio in the current period is clearly lower than the previous year’s. The monthly average came down from around 14% to about 11%.

Although 2010 at last showed some signs of recovery from worldwide recession, the hotel industry remained sluggish. As shown in Chart 2, monthly average revenue within the food and beverage segment declined by about 10%. Yet the ratio to personnel expenses was unchanged year-on-year as cost reductions came into effect.

A Word from the Person in Charge

A system itself is no more than a tool. The simple and essential concepts that underlie the tool, and whether it disseminates throughout the hotel’s management, determine the success or failure of the attendance management system. At Abilitas Hospitality, we are always conscious of providing services for such forecasting.

April 2011