Monday, January 20, 2014

Redesigning for Operational Effectiveness in the Hotel Industry

Most of this week's readings focused on new product design for operational effectiveness. Herman Miller's products show us how an Eco-friendly product design works towards operational effectiveness. This inspired me to think if the same principle(s) can be applied to any service industry. For example, the hotel industry where resource consumption is not based on need but on wants - extra lights are on, air conditioners are always working, etc. to please the eye.

ECOTEL, a certification program managed by HVS (Hospitality Valuation Services) tries to achieve this. An ECOTEL is nothing but an environmentally conscious hotel. Its Five Globes criteria revolves around water management, energy management, waste management (resource management), sustainability commitment, employee education and community involvement.
The bucket of resource management helps hotels reduce their operating costs and also their carbon footprint. More about the methods in which hotels achieve this can be found here:

What's interesting is that these hotels do not look any less attractive than a non-ECOTEL hotel. I have stayed in an ECOTEL in Hyderabad, India for a week and did not realize anything different until my uncle told me that it was an ECOTEL. I believe that abstracting the consumer/customer from the intricacies of cost reductions is the key. This follows the principle - make it cheap, but not make it look cheap. As long as these ECOTELs match the service quality of non-ECOTEL hotels (if not better), they will always hold a competitive edge.

Below are links to a couple of ECOTELs' websites:

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