Author Archives: hammjustsaying

About hammjustsaying

An IT Consultant for 15 years and also a Social Commentator

Good Hotel: Doing Good, Doing Well?

Good Hotel was taken over by a San Francisco based Hotel Management Company owned by Joie de Vivre in 2008 and was rebranded, modeled after the triple bottom line framework that focuses on Social, Environmental and Financial. A concept that is adopted, in evaluating performance from a broader perspective to create greater business value. Good Hotel became known “as the first to be branded as a “hotel with a conscience” – encompassing a positive attitude, environmental sensitivity and philanthropy” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013).

 

The Vision and Mission behind the Good Hotel concept

The mission and vision statements behind the Good Hotel concept are as follows: –

Mission

Good Hotel as a hotel is focused on enriching the quality of life for its host communities, with a positive approach that inspires the “good in us all” ideology being the most eco-friendly hotel.

Part of its mission statement states – “As we practice philanthropy and believe in doing good for the planet, we are committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the interest of diverse stakeholders, promoting sustainable lifestyle and differentiating our guests personal experience”.

Good Hotel endeavors to make a difference in the lives of its guests and associates through a shared passion for life, work and personalized experiences

Vision

Good Hotel, being customer focused, endeavor to be a leader in hospitality industry that intends to exceed customer’s expectation, have passionate employees and owners while striving to be a responsible steward of the environment and sustainable development of society.

 

Reflect on the pros and cons of the alternatives Pam Janusz is considering for her recommendation to the new ownership of Good Hotel.

“During 2007-2009 economic downturns, occupancy levels dropped because of declines in the demand for lodging accommodation. As a result, it led to declining in both revenue and profits, and dramatically led to decreasing in net income. Hotel management team were able to reduce operating expenses in response to declining levels of occupancy and revenue” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013).

Pam Janusz ran a SWOT analysis on the business and was considering recommending to the new Good Hotel management between continuation and expansion of the business or suspending the current business model that Good Hotel is currently using for its management style. Continuing the concept would mean not to introduce new variables in the hotel’s operations, as the staff are trained and happier, the guests were giving positive reviews more often, and the financial gains have surpassed the goals.

According to the considerations to continue, Good Hotel had good customer service. · High customer satisfaction and loyalty. · Unique hotel design to attract customer · Caters to a wide variety of customer’s needs and wants. · High employee commitment and satisfaction. · Employees are well trained and aware of the hotel’s safety and green program · Strong Online customer review

Another argument to continue with the business model is, San Francisco tourism were mostly influenced by Caucasian. “As of 75 % of Caucasian, 62% were green consumers. Responding to green consumers, Good Hotel can get consumers to think of the products as their needs and wants” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013). Also, the consumers can feel that by staying in such eco-friendly hotel like Good Hotel, they are doing their part to make life more sustainable. Also, Good Hotel can focus on Caucasian as targeted customers.

However, there were cons in continuing the business model. “During the period 2008 – 2010, the industry experienced the longest downturn which was expected to drop occupancy level about 55%―the worst since the Great Depression” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013). Continuing the business model would mean Good Hotel will be susceptible to a high level of uncertainty in the ever-changing business atmosphere, and this could change and hurt the business. In addition, Good Hotel was considered as not aggressive enough in marketing, rely heavily on internet booking, with a potential for staff turnover after the change in management. The new management could also disband current concept and identity of Good Hotel entirely.

 

The impact of ‘sustainability’ on businesses in general and the U.S. lodging industry in particular. Is it high, medium, or low? Analyze and explain the reasons.

As of October 2009, the U.S. lodging suffered from chronic overcapacity with about 4.8 million rooms―approximately one room per 64 U.S. residents. This has since been improved on.

First, the threat for a potential new entrant is considered weak in this lodging industries. If there are new entrants to the lodging industries, there are some hurdles that they must overcome. “The barriers to new entrant are due to the high capital investments that are required to start and operate a hotel. They also need many efforts to differentiate themselves from those who are already existing, recognized by customers and accomplish customers” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013). Due to these factors, the threat of new entrants is weak for the lodging industry.

Hotel business has the advantage of controlling suppliers in their hands. As business is being hospitality and tourism industry, there are many suppliers that are able to supply hotels with the essentials needed to operate the business. For example, hotel face low switching if they want to change the suppliers such as the suppliers of hotel’s furniture and fixtures, and the suppliers of food and beverages.

Furthermore, In lodging and hotel industry, buyers have a strong bargaining power. First, the cost of switching to a competing hotel is low. In addition, the buyers’ power is strong because the buyers demand for using hotel rooms have decreased while there are greater number of rooms are offered. Another thing that makes the buyers’ power strong is that hotels rely on unpredictable travelers.

On the flip, the threat of substitutes in the lodging industry seem to be strong. This is because there are always good substitutes that are available to be used by consumers. “For instance, there are always the availability of cheaper priced lodging places. If substitutes offer consumer comparable features that they would receive at hotel, consumers are more likely to change. Also, the switching costs to use the substitutes are very low for buyers” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013).

In addition, continuing the business model without a variation of change also meant that in the lodging industry, hotels are open to rivalry among competitors. This force seems to be strong because the customers’ switching cost is low. They can change their mind to stay at a different hotel at any time. “Due to economic downturn, hotels began to notice a declining RevPAR rate. The RevPAR rate offers a convenient way for a company to see how well the fill its rooms as well as how much they are able to charge for using them” (Pierce and Robinson, 2013).

Based on analysis using SWOT on the lodging industry, I believe the impact on sustainability of businesses in the lodging industry is medium and very sustainable.

 

If you were the new the new owner, would your team discontinue, continue or expand the Good Hotel concept? Why?

If I were the new owner, I would recommend that Good Hotel should continue and expand by maintaining and further developing the hotel concept, and also adhere to the strategic formula recommendation. The strategic formula include

  • Create different activities and services to please the customers and make them feel that it is worth choosing Good Hotel.
  • Good Hotel should focus on developing their green programs and their energy-saving activities in order to reach LEED certification
  • Create a membership system that allows customers to accumulate points in exchange for special gifts, services, or a discount.
  • Use effective marketing as a tool to alternate solution to increase occupancy rate within a targeted budgeting.
  • Advance and update the hotel’s website to attract more customers because most customers plan their trip using internet.
  • Employ other low-cost method of marketing

 

Adebola Oyinloye

California Miramar University

References

Strategic Management: Planning for Domestic & Global Competition. 13th ed.

by John Pearce & Richard Robinson. McGraw-Hill Irwin. 2013

ISBN:  978-0078029295

Paige Baltzan M: Information Systems. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill 2015

ISBN:  978-0073376912

Schroeder, R. G., & Goldstein, S. M. (2018). Operations management in the supply chain: Decisions and cases. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Operational strategy and business strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.simply-strategic-planning.com/operational-strategy.html

 

Time On Site

Time On Site

 

We often delude ourselves into believing we have control over the use of our mobile technologies

 

What you do not realize is, behind the screen, there are over a thousand Engineers and Developers whose jobs is to keep you addicted to that screen

 

It’s called Time On Site

 

Time On Site is the currency with which the performance of web and application Platforms – mobile app, app, websites etc are being rated on. It measures how long a visitor stays on the user interface of the site, which further translates into how successful that site interests and involves you, and every other user.

 

Web platforms don’t just want you to cursorily browse through their sites, they want you to spend a great amount of your time resources, not just once, but repeatedly.

 

So, think YouTube, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat & Twitter.

 

These Tech companies most likely have a Chief Psychology Officer or some social scientists, whose job is to tell Engineers and Developers how to build persuasive algorithms into these platforms. Persuasive algorithms that can alter your habit and behavior.

 

The more you stay glued to a site, the more successful the platform provider is expected to be, in terms of campaign and site visitation to the site. Web analytics calculate this ToS almost accurately.

 

Web analytics do not calculate the period you have a page open but dozed off on your seat. Neither does it consider the time you are downloading a movie file or reading a site content

 

Time on Site record all requests and engagement on the site.

 

You think you’re in control?

Someone somewhere is making a decision that will affect your life.

 

You think you can get rid of your habits?

There are people more intelligent behind the screen whose job is to keep you persuaded and distracted

 

Have you noticed on your Facebook mobile app, that when you click the back button to exit the app – believing you’re done gossiping on family & friends’ pictures and timeline stories – the app doesn’t close, but instead scrolls up to display timelines of other friends you may have missed?

 

Have you noticed that when you’re done watching an episode on Netflix, the next episode shows in a small box and a timer starts to count down – persuading you to stay on watching?

Or a new related movie is suggested, based on your movie choice?

 

Think about how YouTube automatically plays the next music video – trying to persuade you to stay on the app.

 

Think about all the notifications from Twitter, Netflix and Snapchat, you wake up to see on your mobile device, in the morning.

 

These social platforms wake you up in the morning, to divide your daily time resource into time slots, each taking a block of your time, away.

 

Don’t you just love it when these Platforms do exactly what you desire or do things on your behalf that you didn’t even think of?

Yup! Those are deliberate designs and persuasive algorithms built into our technologies

#TimeOnSite is all #Hammjustsaying

The Characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure – Adebola Oyinloye

Agile MIS Infrastructure is the combination of an organization’s hardware, software and telecommunication equipment, all working together as a system to support the goals of that organization. The system must be scalable such that, if an organization demand for resources grow by a percentage, the existing infrastructure must be able to handle the percentage growth without having any adverse effect on the functionality of the company’s operation.

The following are characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure that can ensure a system meet and perform under any unexpected or unplanned changes

  1. Accessibility – The operation of the system must be easily accessible at any time without restriction by all users of the system, according to their authorization or access level.
  2. Availability – In today’s world where Ebusiness mean the operation of a system must be 24/7/365, availability means the period within which the system must be operational. When the system is unavailable, then it cannot be used. A system that is tagged High Availability, like the type used by Internet Service Providers, mean the system is continuously operational at all times
  3. Maintainability – The system must be flexible enough to meet all types of company changes and business changes, without a complete system failure. For example, some businesses fail to plan for global customers. Soon as the first order comes from a global customer, it may cause a business process issue. Systems must be built with flexibility to meet business change.
  4. Portability – This is the ability of an application to operate on any device or software platforms. These days, applications are built to run on any device like PC, mobile phones and tablets. They are also able to run on operating systems like Windows, Mac or Linux.
  5. Reliability – This is the ability for a system to function accurately and provide reliable information to the users.
  6. Scalability – This describes how well a system can scale up or adapt to growing demands. If a company grows fast, it may find it difficult to function properly if it has to rely on limited resources from an existing system. For example, a SOHO router built for 50 users will have operational difficulty, and may eventually break down, if users on the network increases to 100.
  7. Usability – This describes the user friendliness of a system. The system must be easy to use while also being efficient. Windows Operating Systems are always perceived to be more user friendly than Apple Mac’s IOS

 

References

 

  1. Paige Baiztan. (2016). Business Driven Information Systems: Fifth Edition. New York NY. 10121 McGraw-Hill Education

HOW NETFLIX DISRUPTED THE VIDEO INDUSTRY Through Organizational Development (Research Paper)

Abstract

This paper is a research on how Netflix went through organizational development from a DVD post-to-mail rental business back in 1997 to an online video streaming platform, during a period when Blockbuster was the biggest DVD rental business and very little people in America had access to DVD players. The research also explores the role Netflix played in changing the entire video streaming industry. This study utilized various articles and opinion piece from select experts within the industry and video streaming users of various platforms other than Netflix.

Today, Netflix is a foremost Worldwide Online Streaming, Video and TV Production business.

According to Statista, video streaming online is one of the most widely used internet activities in the world. As at 2015, internet video viewers surpassed 200 million in the United States where most users viewed funny videos, movie trailers and music videos. And with the inclusion of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, video streaming over the internet is set to consume about 1.46 million TB per month with mobile device users reaching 137 million in 2019, in the United States alone.

“More than a few video-on-demand companies have made their name in the area of paid streaming content, with Netflix being the most widely known example” having a 37 percent of peak period downstream traffic. Netflix made revenue of $5.5 billion, in 2014. (Statista, 2016)

Netflix Inc, is an entertainment company which was founded 1997 in California by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. It began by shipping DVD via US mail to customers who will watch it and mail the disc back. However, Netflix had two major challenges that it faced as a startup that would operate in an already established industry.

First, only 2% of the United States household had DVD players in their homes and secondly, there was Blockbuster, a provider of VHS home movie and video games that run video rental shops across the US, which was the “undeniable video rental leader, having over 2,800 stores in the US (Phillips, Ferdman 2013) and eventually 8,000 worldwide with about 60,000 employees”.

This research explores the external environmental pressure for change at Netflix which with a handful startup of 30 employees, was able to take on a big organization such as Blockbuster. It will also explain the following key organizational development process that made Netflix a success: The difference between Netflix organizational model and its other competitors – The organizational strategy used at Netflix for its development, how the use of technology revolution was responsible for Netflix success and how Netflix present structure with its disruptive innovation is sustaining change within the organization.

 

Netflix Organizational Structure and Strategy

October 19 1985, the founder of Blockbuster, David Cook opened the first store in Dallas, Texas. Cook had a creative background experience in the management of large databases, so after opening a few stores, he built a $6 million warehouse that could serve as a logistic center to many stores in one day. Then he came up with a strategy that allows him to customize each store according to the neighborhood in which the store is opened, stocking up the store with movies that fit the demographic profile of people who live in that neighborhood. Using this organizational model, at its prime in 2004, Blockbuster opened about 8,000 store nationwide. This business strategy included having customers to pay a large flat fee of about $65 to offer unlimited movie rentals for the lifetime of the membership. Blockbuster would charge customer, a first day rental of $2.99 for new released movies and $1.99 for older movies. A late fee charge of 99 cents per day for up to 10 days was also applied, capping fees at $10 (Laura 2010). “In 2000, Blockbuster had collected an approximately $800 million in late, representing 16% of its revenue”, AP published in 2010. Blockbuster business model and strategy was so successful that it started acquiring many other businesses to expand.

The most defining moment for Blockbuster was however when customer Reed Hasting was charged $40 on late fee for the return of a VHS movie, Apollo 13, in 1997 (Harress, 2013). Hasting, out of anger on the high cost of fee, started up Netflix. In view of the Blockbuster organizational model, Netflix understood it could not immediately match the capacity of Blockbuster multi stores structure, so it remodeled the Blockbuster’s organizational structure. The concept of Netflix started in the early days of DVD where only about 2% of the US households had DVD players. But Netflix saw that if the market grew to about 20% of the households, it will become a successful company.

The key to its strategy was that few movie stores had DVD for rent. So, Netflix leveraged on the light weight of the discs by shipping DVDs directly to people’s home at an affordable rate – VHS was heavy. People did not have to leave their homes to rent and watch videos. This also saved Netflix the huge capital cost of setting up video stores across the US. Netflix also offered DVD rental for $4, plus $2 shipping for a seven-day period and it did away with late fee policy. Multiple options were offered the customers. Disc could be kept longer for additional fee, new movies on DVD copies were sold at 30% discount and customers could decide to buy the copy, at a favorable cost, if they did not want to return the DVD copy. In addition to these, Netflix was one of the first few companies to rent DVD by mail.

 

Netflix Technology Innovation to sustain Development and Change

First, the pricing model. Hastings was a tech entrepreneur with a Masters in Computer Science from the Stanford University. Within two years after startup, Hastings leveraged on technology innovations at the time, the internet, to create a pricing model of – using the service for as long as you want, for a fixed monthly fee. Customers could now also browse a large collections of movie titles online and receive in their mailboxes. In addition, because of the low-cost production of the DVD and the compactness, Netflix could eventually do away with the late payment policy.

Netflix also tapped on another technology trend – streaming. Broadband internet and WiFi service was on the rise. Portable mobile devices were getting cheaper and widely in use. By 2007, Netflix launched a service to stream video contents directly to user’s portable devices and home TVs. Netflix bet heavily on the use of technology to drive its business that it kept on spending to entice customers to its website, on the assumption that it would become more profitable after the brand has established itself better. Netflix used technology to develop an extensive custom-made video-recommendation system based on customer’s reviews. This made it easier for customers to pick a very good movie without having to, first, view it. In 2003, Netflix crossed the 1 million subscriber mark, opening additional 5 shipping centers. By 2005, it was shipping 1 million DVDs by mail every day with over 35,000 titles to choose from its web services.

Sustaining Development through Vision and Internal Change Drivers

Netflix Vision and Mission statement states that “Our core strategy is to grow our streaming subscription business domestically and globally. We are continuously improving the customer experience, with a focus on expanding our content, enhancing our user interface and extending our streaming services to even more interconnected devices”. This was a clear vision statement from the CEO, Reed Hastings for the future of Netflix

Netflix continued to innovate and sustain its development. It started to develop its own content called Netflix Originals. These were contents that are distributed exclusively on their services. A success story of the use of technology to create content is “House of Cards”.

House of Cards is a show that was created from data-driven programming. Netflix with 27 million subscribers in the US and 33 million worldwide, collected data – like when you pause, rewind, fast forward, reviews, ratings; from its customers to create a bespoke show. With this strategy, Netflix was able to connect more with its customers and further increase customer’s satisfaction. Many industry experts believe Netflix has affected the way audience watch TV content. Neil Hunt, Netflix CPO, believes that Netflix strategy has created a model on how television will be viewed in 2025, that is, watching shows and TV content at their own pace. People will no longer be forced into a 30 or 60-minute slot once a week.

In conclusion, Netflix was able to remodel Blockbuster’s organizational structure by taking advantage of the many flaws from its big size and multi stores model, using disruptive technology innovations and continuous technology improvement to sustain its development and self-changing strategy by linking selection to objectives and measuring progress, as it grows. Blockbuster, on the other side, failed to adapt and change.

Finally, Netflix understood that making timely modifications in the light of experience will normally be more effective than attempting not to deviate from plan (Palmer, Dunford and Buchanan (2016). Netflix did a lot of fine-tuning as it expands its business, “building the plane as it flies”. By 2011, Netflix had become an American success story for an organization with well-paid, well-managed employees and happy customers. It had overtaken a big competitor using technology, or as Harvard Business Review called it “big bang disruption.” Netflix shares hit $299 a share in 2011 from a 2003 $22 per share, becoming the first platform one will think of, when it comes to Online Video Streaming.

 

Oyinloye Adebola

California Miramar University

 

 

References

Pouge, David. (January 25, 2007). “A Stream of Movies, Sort of Free”. The New York Times

Stellar, Brian. (October 21, 2013). “Netflix hits Milestone and Raises Its Sights”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/media/netflix-hits-subscriber-milestone-as-shares-soar.html

BBC News. (December 2013). “Blockbuster to close more stores as 427 more jobs to go”. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25232069

Wired. (May 2014). “What Television will look like in 2025, according to Netflix”. https://www.wired.com/2014/05/neil-hunt/ .

Staistics Portal. (January 2016). “Statistics and Facts about online video usage”. https://www.statista.com/topics/1137/online-video/

Laura Heller (Mar 3rd, 2010). “Late fees are back at Blockbuster; goodluck with that”. AOL Finance https://www.aol.com/article/2010/03/03/late-fees-are-back-at-blockbuster-good-luck-with-that/19380683/

Associated Press (September 2010). “Blockbuster tries to rewrite script in bankruptcy” http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/09/blockbuster_tries_to_rewrite_s.html

Paul Holland (June 2015). “The netflix startup story”. Venture Beat. http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/26/the-netflix-startup-story-video/

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., Buchanan, D.A. (2016). “Managing Organizational Change”: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York NY. McGraw-Hill Education

David Carr (Feburary 2013). “Giving Viewers What They Want”. NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/for-house-of-cards-using-big-data-to-guarantee-its-popularity.html

 

Your Phone Photo shot better than iPhone 7?

If you live in a larger city, chances are you’ve seen the ‘Shot on iPhone’ billboards that have been dotted around for a few years now.The award-winning campaign has long been an impressive way to highlight the quality of images that can be captured on Apple’s phones, with the photos showcasing various different subject matters…

via Can photos from your phone look like they were ‘Shot on iPhone 7’? — TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Top 5 Best Online Communication Tools in 2017

With the rise of the internet, computers and mobile technology, so much has changed in the business world over the decades. And of course, it’s critical to implement the right devices and applications into your everyday operations, not just to boost productivity, but to keep up with – or stay ahead of – the competition.If…

via Top 5 best online collaboration and communication tools in 2017 — TechRadar – All the latest technology news