Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scheduling and Seinfield

My mornings are all the same:

I wake up at about 7:15, get ready, grab my stuff and head out to breakfast at around 7:30 while my roommate sleeps.

I eat, and I begin walking to class at 7:50. I arrive to class early but there are many more students who arrive much earlier than I. After taking my seat, I patiently wait for the lecture to begin. This morning, our lecture was about overbooking in hotels. We learned that it can actually benefit you to overbook by a small amount because they can cancel out no-shows, giving you a higher occupancy percentage. But you need to determine how you can use this to your advantage by forecasting the amount of no-shows and arrivals you are expecting. But this is one side of the story.

To illustrate the different customer reactions when hotels or other hospitality venues overbook, they showed us a clip from Seinfeld. In the clip, Jerry is very upset that the rental car company ran out of the type of cars he had reserved, meaning he did not receive what he had been promised. This is very negative because it discourages repeat customers and the word of mouth travels fast when things like this happen.

Our next lecture was all about housekeeping. We watched a few disturbing videos about housekeeping practices that are sure to disgust and upset many people. Following the lecture, we did a worksheet to help us understand how to schedule housekeepers. It was very interesting because of the many restrictions that we had to abide by, such as determining who gets the weekend off, how many days in a row the housekeepers are working and who gets the least amount of hours to work.

During our afternoon lecture, we discussed various leadership styles and how managers of hotels must have certain traits and qualities in order to communicate with their staff. They began with role play where the students had the roles of general manager, director of rooms, etc. The presentations were very interesting and very funny.

The last hour of class was dedicated to CHESS. It was our last time setting our hotel’s expenses and the yield management strategy that we wished to implement. In my group, we each played it twice yesterday and another two times each today. We really wanted to see if we could make our target profit so we played it multiple times with minor changes to our variable cost expenses but unfortunately after all the modifying of our strategy, we still came short about $1,000! However, we will have plenty to discuss in our cumulative group final report.

At office hours, my group and I began to gather all the data we need for our report. Tomorrow is our last day of lecture because Thursday has been dedicated to our reports and Friday is the day they are due.
Beautiful Cornell...
On our daily walk to class we....
....cross a bridge...
...pass construction...
....and walk past the Statler Hotel...

1 comment:

  1. Beilul,

    Did they give you any insights into how to determine that balance about the number of rooms to overbook so that it matches the number of rooms that will be no-shows?

    Considering how easy it is these days to send out a world wide message alerting potential customers about poor service, would it be worth the gamble for a hotel to bump customers who arrive thinking they have a room at the Metropolis Grande Plaza Hotel only to be given the address for the local Motel 6 as an alternative?

    What kinds of disgusting things did they show you in that video about hotel housekeepers. It'd be nice to know what kinds of things to watch out for.

    As you're already seeing for yourself, on time is actually late. You have to arrive early if you want a good seat. I always advise our kids to show up early enough to get a front row seat so they can look the instructors right in the eye. Likewise, the instructors are also looking you in the eye. They're going to remember the students who cared enough to arrive early enough to get those front row seats. They also remember those who show them the disrespect of showing up so late that the only seats left are in the back row.

    Did anyone ever consider that during the lecture about overbooking that maybe they might have fewer chairs than they had students. Wouldn't this demonstrate the point they were trying to make in the lecture?