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«. FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS UNIVERSITY OF PANNONIA Pannon Management Review EDITOR ZOLTÁN VERES This journal is produced the ...»

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The level of standardisation is calculated according to the previously mentioned procedures. Determining the level of customisation had to follow the logic created for standardisation to be able to compare them. That is the reason why a similar excel table was applied to define the level of customisation. The 44 standard groups or processes were listed in this table as well, since they include all the processes which can exist in a hotel, so it is able to provide a comprehensive result. The difference between the calculation of the level of standardisation and customisation is the weights. Standardisation is proved to be used by hotel chain member hotels and known by their general managers, customisation is less ‘tangible’ and it cannot be definitely determined in which processes customisation is needed and that is why weights were not assigned to the 44 processes. Since the approach of the subject was altered, the question which is asked had to be changed as well. As it has been mentioned before it was important to distinguish if a hotel does not standardise a service or the process does not exist in the establishment. This issue also has a crucial role in case of customisation, so the answer option remained. The aim of the question was to find out if the hotel allows customisation and if they do only partially or the whole process can be changed according to the customer needs. So the other response opportunities in case of each process (44) were ‘it is not possible to change the process at all’, ‘the process can only partially be customised to the guests’ needs’ and ‘the process can entirely be altered if the guest wants to change them’.

Analysing the responses, numbers were assigned to the 44 processes similar to the standardisation section. If the hotel does not have the process/service a 1 is given to the listed indicator. If the hotel policy or the hotel general manager or any other regulation or customs

PANNON MANAGEMENT REVIEW

VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015) do not allow customising the process according to the guests’ needs at all, it got 2. If the customisation of the process is possible but only partially, it got a 3 and if the service/process could be fully customised to whatever need the customer has, a 4 was assigned. After coding the answers, the result was summarised, which determined the whole sum of customisation at the hotel. After that those processes and their value were excluded from the calculation, which do not exist in the hotel and the ratio of customisation could be identified. Then the whole product was divided by the maximum reachable value for defining the percentage/level of customisation in the hotel. The previous products can be used to compare the data, although the percentages are much easier to understand, deal with and compare.

Assumption 1

This assumption aimed to find the relationship between the two important concepts, standardisation and customisation; using an existing list of processes and the weights given by the experts and with these data determined the level of standardisation and customisation.

For reaching this goal a relationship analysis was needed to find out the type and the strength of the correlation. This purpose needed a cross tabulation analysis. The result of the examination can be seen on Table 7.

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Table 7 shows that the standardisation and customisation of processes in a hotel is related and they are significantly not independent. This finding suggests that theory of the relationship between standardisation and customisation stands and contradicts a lot of theories.

Another test was also executed, which aimed to prove the correlation and the effect of the variables on each other; it is able to give information if one of the concepts (standardisation and customisation) has a stronger influence on the other one.

PETRA GYURÁCZ-NÉMETH 97

THE ROLE OF PROCESS STANDARDISATION AND CUSTOMISATION IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT

–  –  –

The results of the Lambda test are illustrated on Table 8. The numbers show that the correlation between standardisation and customisation is very high, they have very strong relationship with each other since Lambda is measured in a 0-1 scale and the result is 0.907. The other aim of testing Lambda was to determine which variable has stronger influence on the other. The value of Lambda makes it clear that both of the variables have the same influence on each other which means that they both can be independent and dependent variables.

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Table 9 shows that the principal component analysis can be carried out and a good result can be expected.

In the analysis only those variables were considered which eigenvalue was more than 1.0 (Kaiser’s criterion). At first the analysis revealed 3 components but since the third one only contained one variable and the total variance explained was almost 55% after the second factor, the decision was made that only two factors are needed. These factors explain the 35.5% and the 19.6% of the variance. The two components together explain 55.1% of the total variance.

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–  –  –

Although the indicators cannot entirely be put into the previously determined groups, but it is important to note that the operational performance indicators (RevPar, ADR, Stars, Occupancy rate) have been classified into the same factor. Although there is another variable which belongs to them and this is the Tripadvisor evaluations. According to the results the Tripadvisor guest evaluations have a positive relationship with the important operational performance indicators. The consequence of this fact should make hotel general managers think about their operation and guest relation activities. According to this logic Booking evaluation should also have a relationship with the operational performance indicators but it was put into a different component alone (no other indicators were grouped into that factor) and it had a very weak relationship with the other two components. This result would suggest that the Tripadvisor evaluations are more useful for the hotels because of their relationship with the operational performance indicators than booking.com. The second component contains two variables the foreign guest percentage of the hotels and loyal guest percentage. This result suggests that there is a correlation between the percentages of foreign and loyal guests in the hotels and one variable influence the other. Due to these facts the results of principle component analysis should raise attention to the role of foreign guests in the hotels.





Assumption 3

The assumption aims to find out if a hotel has a higher level of customisation and standardisation, it has better performance indicators as well. This statement can be a persuasive tool to motivate hotel general managers to standardise and customise their processes.

To get to know and be able to explain the results a cluster analysis has been performed.

The aim of the cluster analysis was to determine groups of hotels according to the level of standardisation and customisation and observe how these two concepts exist next to each other.

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VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015)

Figure 4. The illustration of cluster analysis results

Figure 4 presents the clusters provided by the K-means clustering method. The figure shows what kind of groups can be created from the analysed sample according to the variables.

It is very clear on the picture that the level of standardisation and customisation exist together on the same level or similar level in the hotels. In case of three of the four groups the value of the two variables are the same (low-low, medium-medium, high-high) and there is one where the difference between the levels made it a mixed category (medium-high).

After that the results of cluster analysis have been examined further to find out if in case of those groups of hotels where the level of standardisation and customisation are higher, the performance indicators are better as well.

Table 11 shows the different performance indicators in the rows and the hotel clusters in the column presented not according to the cluster number but more related to their meaning. The average value of performance indicators are listed in the middle of the table highlighted the highest numbers.

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ter have the highest average revpar, although it has to be noted, that there is slight difference in the value of revpar between the low-low and the medium-high category.

The loyal guest percentage is the highest in case of hotels with high level of standardisation and high customisation. This means that those hotels belong to cluster three have the most loyal guests comparing to the number of all guests in average which is 30%. This result does not show the number of the guests only the percentage of the loyal guests to all guests.

The value of Booking.com reviews can be seen in the next row. Those hotels which got the highest booking evaluation on average belong to cluster four, where those hotels can be found where the level of customisation is medium and level of standardisation is high.

There are no big differences in the occupancy rates of the different clusters, but the highest occupancy rate belonged to cluster three, where the level of customisation and standardisation is high.

Tripadvisor evaluation is done on a 0-100 scale and the highest average reviews were given to hotels in cluster three. These hotels have high level of standardisation and customisation as well.

The difference between the average percentages of foreign guests is not great between the clusters. The highest foreign guest percentage is delivered by cluster four, where the level of customisation is medium and the level of standardisation is high.

There is a bigger difference in case of the values of average daily rate, because the highest average values have been made by the hotels belonging to cluster four (medium customisation

PANNON MANAGEMENT REVIEW

VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015) and high standardisation). This value is almost 2000 Ft higher than the number produced by group two (medium customisation and medium standardisation) In case of stars the question is what level of customisation and standardisation results more stars for the hotel. According to the results those hotels which belong to cluster four (medium customisation and high standardisation) have more ‘average stars’ than hotels in other clusters.

Conclusion

The most important goal of the research was to investigate the role of standardisation and customisation in the hotel management of Hungarian establishments.

The research questions have been formed after reviewing the literature and considering the experience of the author. The assumptions have been phrased after the research questions.

Three assumptions have been made and tested. After collecting the sample, making the interviews and having the questionnaires filled out, the analysis the following conclusions can

be made:

Assumption 1 There is a relationship between standardisation and customisation in the Hungarian hotel sector.

The relationship between the two concepts is considered to be part of a different way of thinking about process standardisation and customisation. According to the current author’s opinion, the two strategies are not independent, they are not two distinct concepts to choose from. The theoretical model made for the research claimed that customisation is based on standardisation and the two strategies can be used together, they have a positive relationship with each other. The research showed that there is a strong correlation between standardisation and customisation which supports the author’s idea and opens the discussion of rethinking the literature and the way of considering the two concepts.

Assumption 2 The performance indicators (revenue per available room, occupancy rate, average daily rate, stars, foreign guest percentage, loyal guest percentage, booking evaluations, Tripadvisor evaluations) can be grouped into two factors: operation performance, guest performance.

The most important performance indicators and their correlations are essential to fully understand hotel goals and strategies. The research contained all the useful numbers applied and analysed by hotel managers. The relationship between the variables needs to be investiPETRA GYURÁCZ-NÉMETH 103

THE ROLE OF PROCESS STANDARDISATION AND CUSTOMISATION IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT

gated since it would be essential for general managers to rethink their strategic directions and goals. The results show that Tripadvisor evaluations belong to the same factor as the operational indicators, but booking.com evaluations do not. The same kind of relationship has been found in case of loyal guest and foreign guest percentage.

Assumption 3 The average value of the performance indicators is higher in case of higher level of standardisation and customisation in Hungarian hotels.

The above mentioned performance indicators have been used for finding the connection between standardisation, customisation and the success of the hotel. With cluster analysis, four hotel groups have been identified. After analysing these groups it can be stated that in those hotels where the level of standardisation is high and the customisation is high or medium, the performance indicators are the best.

Managerial implications

As it has already been mentioned in the beginning of the paper, the Hungarian hotel sector has to face a lot of challenges lately. The escalating competition, the effects of the recent economic crisis and the changing in human resources make it important to revise their strategies. One of the aims of the current research was to make practitioners think their previous ideas over and make it possible for them to alter their goals.

The following implications are identified and detailed below:



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