Case study of an hotel, the Golden Fleece Hotel

Module: Managing Information [7BSP0431] Summative Assignment 2: 50% of Total Assessment
Golden Fleece Hotel Introduction
This assignment is based around a case study of an hotel, the Golden Fleece Hotel, which is seeking to use information systems to improve its efficiency and competitiveness. You have been appointed as an IS consultancy (IM Consultancy) providing guidance to the Owner and the Manager on the benefits, design & acquisition of information systems. You are required to produce a business report to guide the Owner and the Manager (see overleaf) on how Information Systems and Internet applications could improve their current business operations.
The business report should be a reasonable mix of pragmatic and academic content that demonstrates academic/ theoretical underpinning.
Assignments should be approx. 2500 words in length, excluding references and appendices,
MARKING GUIDELINES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT
Performance in this summative assessment is judged against the following criteria:
a? Relevance to Case Study 65% [This is sub-divided as follows: Strategic / problem analysis 15%; Use of analytical tools a 10%; Benefits / Limitations of IS & internet a 15%; Proposed Solution a 15%; Acquisition and development & implementation 10%]
a? Structure/presentation & clarity of writing 5%
a? Scope & relevance of literature sources (including research, journals, etc) 10%
a? Rigour of argument / Synthesis 10%
a? Conclusions / Recommendations 10%







Module: Managing Information [7BSP0431]
Summative Assignment 2: 50% of Total Assessment
Golden Fleece Hotel Introduction

COMPANY BACKGROUND

The Golden Fleece is a 100-A¬room resort hotel located in South Yorkshire catering to consumers in two basic groups: business people and pleasure travellers who wanted a more personal hotel experience. Hugh Jackson, the hotelas owner, wished to provide a unique hotel experience & founded the hotel in April 1999. During its first years of operation, the Golden Fleece maintained an occupancy rate of 80 per cent, owing to the newness of the facilities and a number of favourable promotional campaigns that had been aimed at national businesses.

As the Golden Fleece entered its eighth year of operation, however, the occupancy rate had begun to fall. Jackson felt there were several possible reasons for this. First of all, the promotional campaigns which gave favourable rates to travellers affiliated with certain organisations had finally come to a close. While Jackson knew that some of the drop in occupancy was due to this change, he was not convinced that the promotions had been very successful. No formal data were maintained as to which clients were part of the promotional programs but Jackson did not feel that more than five per cent to 10 per cent of the Golden Fleeces customers came from this group.

A second reason for the drop in occupancy revolved around the economic changes that influenced the business and pleasure traveller. The economy had been struggling in recent years and Jackson felt this would have had a negative impact on occupancy. Moreover, economic hardships, combined with increased organisational use of technology, meant that fewer business people were travelling in general, which also affected occupancy rates.
Finally, Jackson knew that the Golden Fleeces use of information technology was insufficient. Reservations for space at the Golden Fleece were handled using a paper system, and over time, a number of errors in bookings had occurred. Jackson knew this would also have put off some travellers.

In May 2007, Jackson hired Chris Hughes, a 2002 business school graduate, to manage the Golden Fleece. In the five years since her graduation, Chris had worked in the hospitality industry in a variety of capacities, most recently as the manager of a highly successful bed and breakfast in Cornwall. Jackson hoped that Chris would take over the day-to-day operation of the Golden Fleece so that he could pursue his other business interests

During the summer of 2007, Chris Hughes spent considerable amount of time trying to understand the operations of the Golden Fleece and of the Yorkshire hospitality industry. She worked in each of the business areas of the hotel (housekeeping, reservations, restaurant, and client service which included room services, access to movies for hotel guests, as well as in the general personnel office). During this time, she gained a solid appreciation for the operations of the hotel and she also started to understand some of its operating problems.

By October, Chris had produced a report for Jackson that outlined some problems she had identified with respect to staffing, scheduling and operations in the restaurant/catering department. The report also noted the potential for using technology to address (or at least help to understand) the problems in terms of occupancy. In later discussions, she and Jackson agreed to hire a team of consultants to analyse the issues and recommend an IS solution.

Operations

On opening the hotel, Jackson had designed a simple system for making reservations at the Golden Fleece. When a prospective hotel guest called the reservations department, the clerk on duty first obtained the persons name and either pulled the existing client card or started to fill out a new client card (see Exhibit 1). The availability on the day in question was checked in a master list, which was kept in a binder on the reservations desk. Rooms were recorded in the book by floor, with notations for single versus double room versus suite, smoking versus non-smoking floor. If rooms were available, the clerk entered the customers name into the reservations binder and completed or updated the client card. The customers address and place of employment were verified, any special requests were noted and finally, a confirmation number was given to the customer.

Room rates in the hotel followed fairly traditional industry standards. Monday-toA¬-Thursday rates were the most expensive, and a seven per cent discount was offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Single rooms operated at a base price of A?80 per night while double rooms were charged at A?100, and suites were charged at A?150 per night. A few of the rooms had en-suite Jacuzzis or fireplaces; these rooms carried a 10 per cent price premium. For conferences arranged three months in advance, the Golden Fleece offered a special rate of 80 per cent of the standard rate.
Guest Services

Guests at the Golden Fleece could access a number of hotel services. The hotel had a fully staffed and up-to-date exercise room, which guests of the hotel could use free of charge. A registered fitness trainer was on duty five days a week to provide training by appointment. The charge for this service was added to a customeras bill.

Each room had a television, which could be used to order a broad selection of movies. A commercial system had been purchased to allow hotel guests to select their movie choice from a menu listed on their TV screen. A record of this charge (A?8 per film) was added to each client account.

In-room phone calls, restaurant and room service charges were also added to each guest account as applicable. Phone calls were tracked by the hotels PBX system and would eventually be updated in real time into the client reservation system. The operator who took the guests order entered restaurant and room service charges.

Guest services are offered by most hotels, and are thus considered to be a Competitive necessity. However, maintaining each service did entail costs, and Jackson wondered whether the usage of the services justified the costs. As a result, he hoped the new system would provide data about which services were being used by guests and how often. He also wondered what revenues were being generated by these ancillary services.

Hotel Staff
The staff of the Golden Fleece consisted of 40 employees (including Jackson and Hughes). This figure was higher th