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    The role of Information Systems in managing operations: Marriott International Inc. Essay

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    The function of Information Systems in pull offing operations: Marriott International Inc.

    Executive sum-up

    Marriott International is a planetary cordial reception operator, with belongingss in the US and 60 nine other states and districts. Its operations include the franchising operation Marriott Lodging, which operates or franchises about 3,000 hotels and resorts under trade names such as JW Marriott Hotels, Renaissance and Courtyard. In entire, Marriott operates hotels under 14 different trade names, with four trade names in full-service housing, three in select-service housing, three in extended-stay housing and four in timeshare. This extended adjustment portfolio is combined with a man-made fuel production installation, which Marriott operates as a joint venture. ( Global Market Information Database, 2005 ) Given the broad size and range of Marriott’s operations around the Earth, information systems are critical to the smooth running of Marriott’s hotel operations, therefore this piece will analyze how they have fit into such a diverse portfolio.


    1. Introduction
    2. Procedure / Research
    3. Findingss / Analysis
    4. Decisions and recommendations
    5. Mentions


    Many concern administrations in today ‘s information age have holistic, wide positions of concern operations, and orient them to suit the different types of single concern units or operations within their portfolio. In the past, companies were comparatively self-contained and information direction was straightforward, but the diverse concern demands of the modern environment, including scheme preparation, procedure definition, merchandise portfolio definition and building, capital equipment ownership, engineering, substructure and operations can no longer be kept on such a tight rein as many companies held them a decennary ago. ( Olson, 2005 ) The manner enterprises manage their operations has been changed, in cardinal ways, by the information age, and these new attacks are applied by corporations to strategically pull off operations and diverse portfolios with virtually every new enterprise, whether it is internal transmutation, where direct control of hazard factors is really high but engineering is new ; with spouses, where direct control over hazard factors is shared ; or with other stakeholders where direct control over hazard factors is frequently really low. As such, it is of import that diverse, transnational operators, such as Marriott International, have solid, manageable information systems in topographic point, to better enable them to pull off their diverse operations and investings. As such, this piece aims to utilize assorted beginnings of secondary research to analyze some of the systems Marriott International uses to pull off its hotel and providing operations information across its planetary hotel retentions.

    Procedure / Research

    My primary method of research has been to utilize on-line databases, such as EBSCO host, MINTEL and Euromonitor, to happen relevant articles, both on the usage of information systems in concern operations in general, and more specifically on the usage of information systems within Marriott International’s concern theoretical account. One of the chief, and most good known, uses of information systems by Marriott International is its focal point on engineering enterprises to hike the company ‘s gross revenues. In order to carry through this, the company has implemented a elaborate customer-relationship direction bundle from Siebel Systems Inc. , and engaged in a program to upgrade its cardinal reserves, gross and belongings direction systems, leting clients to see and book suites online. ( Rosen, 2001 )

    Another, less good cognize and less obvious country where Marriott International uses information systems is across its many in house catering sections. To assistance with this, the company has completed a rollout of the ChefTec formula direction, nutrient costing and stock list system, a Windows-based platform developed by Culinary Software Services Inc. Marriott International corporate executive chef Peter D’Andrea expressed enthusiasm with the new system and discussed the operator ‘s old bill of fare direction procedure. ( Nation ‘s Restaurant News, 1999 )

    For illustration, the system means that formulas can be converted automatically from domestic, to metric graduated tables, to imperial sums in the United Kingdom, where Marriott has many belongingss. The operator besides has versions of package in several linguistic communications, including English, Spanish and German, and is working on one in Mandarin Chinese. Marriott besides added its ain glossary of culinary footings, optimal cookery times for off-used nutrients and a year-around planning characteristic, which helps chefs with seasonal bill of fares ; for illustration it informs them that March is the peak month for Asparagus officinales. Denver-based Culinary Software Services besides worked closely with Marriott to cull about 2,500 of its formulas and 500 images and retroflex them onto CD-ROMs, which were be distributed to more than 400 of Marriott ‘s full-service hotels in the United States and abroad. ( Nation ‘s Restaurant News, 1999 ) Taking advantage of ChefTec ‘s nucleus and advanced characteristics, Marriott International besides will be able to make the followers: form stock lists based on commands from multiple sellers ; hunt for formulas by ingredients, classs and names ; attach exposure and picture files to formulas ; and salvage formulas in the hypertext markup linguistic communication, which will let chefs to administer them over the Internet.

    Findingss / Analysis

    “In the context of the hotel industry, computing machines and information systems do three things really good, all of which are of import in the hotel and catering industry. One, they handle big sums of informations. Two, they communicate at the velocity of visible radiation. And three, they follow rules.” ( Hamstra, 1997 ) These factors are enormously of import when pull offing a 3,000 hotel portfolio across 70 states around the universe. Not merely must information, including engagement and reserve informations, be shared rapidly with all other belongingss, but it must besides be accurate, and in line with the company’s overall scheme. Toward that terminal, the company has late tested an Intranet paradigm called Oasis, which is designed to give unit-level directors instant entree to the information they need to run their locations, and pull off relationships with their clients. ( Rosen, 2001 )

    Accounting is one of the more obvious countries in which engineering has an impact on Marriott operations, as although most units have typically been equipped with basic package plans, much like little concerns, over 80 per centum of period-end minutess are now handled electronically by year-end. ( Rosen, 2001 ) The company is about midway through its rollout of the Xcellenet system, which allows operators at the unit degree to download package from corporate central offices and to digitally convey accounting studies via phone lines.

    However, the company keeps a wary oculus on its engineering outgos, frequently utilizing bing engineerings longer than other concerns would. Although the full Marriott organisation spent $ 100 million on engineering in 1997 ( Hamstra, 1997 ) , the lodging side of the company by and large has the greatest demand for the most advanced systems in its planetary hotel web. Often systems are tested and implemented in the lodging division before being adopted by the catering and other sections. In human resources, Marriott is seting advanced engineering to utilize both in recruiting and preparation, including the company ‘s Alexus system, which uses laser-scanning engineering for the electronic storage of sketchs, which can be accessed via the Internet by human resources forces. When a place needs to be filled, Alexus automatically sorts through the sketchs in its database to expose those that represent the most qualified appliers.

    The company besides sees a bright hereafter for its CD-ROM synergistic preparation plan, which was developed in-house ( Rosen, 2001 ) . The merchandise, which is used in concurrence with workbooks, gives unit-level directors an orientation to Marriott International, and subsequent sections in the series provide developing in such countries as carry oning pre-shift meetings, be aftering a bill of fare and set uping reserves. Although Marriott is still in the early phases of the rollout of this engineering: as of 2001, the 2nd Cadmium in the series was in a 40-unit trial and the 3rd was in a five-unit trial, the company had already achieved important clip nest eggs in developing through usage of the plan, harmonizing to Fran Szabo, manager of synergistic preparation at MMS. ( Rosen, 2001 )

    The company’s information systems and engineering are besides making the phase when they can be used to heighten the services the company provides to its concern clients. The same employees who eat in the company cafeteria may someday be able to snap on an icon on their computing machine screen that allows them to order nutrient to take place or to derive entree to other services, such as auto particularization, and concern clients who like the formulas served in the eating house may be able to make similarly. Technology besides plays a function in nutrient production, with about 20 per centum of the company ‘s units utilizing some signifier of mechanization in the production procedure, chiefly in bill of fare control. Here, nevertheless, the cardinal stumbling block will be in following regulations: “If person says, ‘My ma ‘s apple pie is better than the standard formula, ’ so the following thing you know, you ‘ve got 120 different formulas for apple pie and you lose your procurance leverage.” ( Hamstra, 1997 )

    Another monolithic impact of information systems on Marriotts concern is the impact of supplying ‘free-to-guest’ internet entree engineering on the hoteliers’ gross. When this engineering foremost came on the scene, hotelkeepers saw it as an chance for gross coevals, nevertheless as clip progressed, it became a necessity for invitees, every bit good as portion of the scheme to make exceeding value. For case, at Marriott International Inc. ‘s Courtyard and SpringHill Suites trade names, invitees are taking advantage of the high-velocity Internet entree service for more than merely electronic-mail. They are accessing digital music and other types of digital content, and Marriott is presently responsible for the costs of this. ( Shaw, 2005 ) However, as dependable, free to guest internet entree becomes more and more of a demand for invitees, Marriott is being forced to construct these costs into its concern theoretical account, and therefore is able to take a more holistic attack to client information engineering and systems across its concern. This enables Marriott to derive supply concatenation purchase in this country, therefore cut downing the costs of information systems and Internet entree across the group as a whole.

    Decisions and recommendations

    By alining the IT scheme with the concern scheme over the past three old ages, Marriott ‘s senior direction has grown to see engineering as an investing instead than an disbursal. The construct of delegating a concern lead and an IT lead to all major undertakings that are technology-enabled starts at the executive degree ( Computerworld, 2001 ) , and executive decision-making meetings, such as Marriott ‘s Business Strategy Review, e-Business Council and Digital Business Strategy, are all cross-functional and co-led. As a consequence, IT better understands and supports Marriott ‘s concern scheme, and concern executives have a much better apprehension of what engineering can and ca n’t make. This provides Marriott with a sustainable competitory advantage.

    CIO Magazine named Marriott International to its Top 100 list for the 5th clip. Marriott is the lone hotel on the list, which recognizes organisations for excellence in information engineering. ( Lodging Hospitality, 2004 ) Marriott’s presence on this list clearly demonstrates the company’s committedness to developing its information systems, and utilizing them to back up its concern. Given that Marriott’s gross grew by 44 % between 1999 and 2004, and net incomes grew by 49 % over the same period ( Global Market Information Database, 2005 ) at the clip of the company’s latest investings in information systems, it is clear from this that information systems are critical to the smooth running of a major transnational hotel operation and, so, this provides grounds that information systems are critical for any major concern operation. Besides, in order to farther growing, Marriott is likely to concentrate strongly on international enlargement, which is important, as Marriott’s portfolio is presently extremely reliant on US hotel gross revenues. As a consequence, Marriott must concentrate on developing the velocity and truth of its information systems to ease this growing, and remain in its current, market leading, place.


    1. Computerworld ( 2001 ) In their ain voices. Vol. 35, Issue 13, p. 42.
    2. Global Market Information Database ( 2005 )Marriott International Inc.Euromonitor International.
    3. Hamstra, M. ( 1997 )Marriott finds no cookie-cutter solutions for engineering.State ‘s Restaurant News ; Vol. 31, Issue 10, p. 110.
    4. Lodging Hospitality. ( 2004 )Tech Bytes.Vol. 60, Issue 13, p. 54.
    5. State ‘s Restaurant News ( 1999 )Marriott International ‘s ChefTec makes formula registering a ‘snap’ .Vol. 33, Issue 20, p. 86.
    6. Olson, E. G. ( 2005 )Strategically pull offing hazard in the information age: a holistic attack.Journal of Business Strategy ; Vol. 26, Issue 6, p. 45.
    7. Rosen, C. ( 2001 )Marriott Uses CRM Application To Hike Gross saless.InformationWeek ; Issue 843, p. 73.
    8. Shaw, R. ( 2005 )Free-to-guest services migrate from gross watercourses.Hotel & A ; Motel Management ; Vol. 220, Issue 18, p. 26.

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