Assignment Sample for Strategy Plan

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Introduction

This business report is more of a strategy plan that consists of both short- and long-term strategy for launching the MVP in the organisational operations of Flight Centre. It will talk about the missions, aims, objectives, and tactics of the organisation. To introduce the technology in the organisation, various hypothesis and case studies will be discussed in order to validate the same. In addition to this, the cost-benefit analysis of the short-term strategies will be done. In the long-term strategies, enhanced emphasise on the product development will be given. It will also comprise the mission, vision, objectives, and tactics regarding the updated product. Moreover, the cost-benefit analysis will also be done in this case too. In the latter part of the report, a roadmap and the process for voice recognition will be given. Along with this, the issues related to voice recognition technology will be enlisted. The report will end with some recommendations and conclusion regarding the same.  

Strategy

Short-term Strategy

The Flight Centre Travel Group is one of the largest hospitality organisation in Australia and it focuses on contributing to the internal and external communities and is highly devoted towards the social responsibility (Basyal, et.al, 2018).

Mission

“To make travel easy for everyone by helping them at every stage of travelling”.

Vision

To make each and every customer interaction and authentication effortless by making use of “Voice Recognition.”

Goals

  • To make management and oversight hassle-free tasks by making use of biometrics
  • To promote the responsible and ethical process of decision-making.
  • To enhance the organisational performance by implementing voice recognition.

Objectives

  • Use voice recognition to safeguard the self-service applications.
  • Use voice recognition to enhance organisational performance.

Case Study

According to Murphy, et.al, (2012), Marriott International recently tested Amazon's and Apple's voice assistants in its hotels. These voice-controlled devices were installed in order to enhance the guest's experience. The management deployed Amazon Dots in all the hotel rooms in order to allow guests to play music, set alarms, play music, get the weather information, and most importantly set the reminders of the important task that is there in their to-do list with a few voice commands (Murphy, et.al, 2012). Actually, the company is currently testing which voice assistant device is best for the hotel and the guest. Apart from the aforementioned usage of these devices, they are also used for controlling the room drapes, lights, and temperature. The big hotel chains are turning out to be the major customers for smart home devices creators and ecosystems providers. In recent years, the hotel organisations have remarkably increased their spending on technological advancement and IT. In one of the surveys done by Hospitality Technology, it was determined that 57% of the big hospitality organisation, such as Marriott International, TUI Australia, Thomas and Cook, Flight Centre, etc., are planning to increase the fraction of their spending on IT and other technological advancements in 2017 (Junqua, et.al, 2012). In addition to this, nearly 52% of them believe that digital customer engagement should be promoted in their strategic planning as this can be really advantageous for the organisation in gaining an edge over the rivals in the competing market.

Marriott International has collaborated with a software company called “Runtiz” to create the program for the organisation that would link all the voice recognition devices with the management system. The main aim is to transform the customer experience completely and increase the customer satisfaction. The company believes that by installing voice controlled speakers in the hotel room, it would be able to improve the customer experience by providing them a control of the hotel room environment. With this advanced digital technology, they can change and make the environment adaptive as per their need. The management of Marriott International believes that this technology should be implemented in its properties and premises world-wide (Junqua, et.al, 2012).

(Figure 1: Voice Recognition Process)

(Source: TechTarget, 2018)

In one of his interviews, David Kong, CEO of Marriott groups said that the hotel industry can have numerous benefits with the installation of these advance tech-savvy devices. The first one is the enhanced inclination of the guest towards the hotel as they are exposed to such voice-controlled devices while lodging for the first time. They might be very happy and satisfied and will definitely want to come and stay in the same hotel in future. This increases the customer base and loyalty which ultimately leads to enhanced market share and revenue. In addition to this, using the voice controlled devices, the organisation can have the access to more consumer data (Ko, et.al, 2014). Hotels can collect and evaluate the data usage of these digital devices. Moreover, the organisation can make use of the collected data in order to target the clients and guests. In other words, after installing these devices, the collection of the data is just a matter of a few seconds. This means a long-term cost saving for the hospitality providers.

The management of Marriott had many options regarding the type of voice-controlled devices that to be installed in the hotel rooms. One of such devices was Alexa which the management was planning to install in the common areas. The purpose of that device was solely to recommend the hotel facilities to the guests. For instance, if any guest seeks assistance for the type of food available in the restaurants, then this would recommend the food variety according to the need of the customers. This would have two-way benefit as the organisation could eliminate the concierge hospitality service in the premises and it could save a long-term labour cost. On the other hand, all this information is available to the guest just outside the lobby or in the corridor. So there is no need of visiting the restaurant to check what’s there in the menu.

The management of Marriott International believes that the adoption of these voice-operated devices in current time depends on the consumer behaviour and awareness regarding the digital technology and its benefits. As these devices have enhanced the overall experience of the guests, these are highly welcomed and appreciated by most of the young customers. However, every organisation should also know about the demerits of using them. The CEO also highlighted many issues regarding the use of these AI operated devices in the hospitality business. The voice recognition devices are highly criticised for their privacy and security concerns. It is one the greatest concerns of the hospitality organisation due to which the majority of them are reluctant to implement such technology in their business operations.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

In order to analyse the economic feasibility of the decision made by the organisation, there are many tools and strategies available. The most widely used technique is a cost-benefit analysis. In this method, the management or the analyst compare the benefits of an alternative to the cost associated with that particular option (Schofield, 2018). It the benefits are more than the cost, then the decision is economically feasible, otherwise, it would be straightaway.

In the context of the Flight Centre, there are two costs of implementing the voice recognition systems in the hospitality and tourism sector. First is a direct cost that incurred due to expenses of purchasing the license of the software, devices, installation cost, etc. Indirect costs refer to the opportunity cost which is the interest amount that Flight Centre could have earned if it hadn’t invested in the voice-recognition devices (De Ascaniis, et.al, 2015).

Table 1: Cost Structure of Single Premise of Flight Centre (Short-term)

Particulars

Cost (AUD)

Cost of Instrument and License

$12000

Installation Cost

$2500

Training and Manual Cost

$2000

Operation and Maintenance

$2000

Miscellaneous

$500

Total

$19000

Benefits can also be of two types i.e., social benefits and private benefit. Private benefits are increasing the customer base, generating revenue, increasing the occupancy rate, etc. Social benefits are indirect benefits i.e., increase in the tax return and local economy of the region. Since the benefits are higher than the cost (Ko, et.al, 2015). The project is economically feasible.

Long-Term Strategy

Mission

The Flight Centre aims at implementing the voice-operating devices in every business aspect in order to provide the best services to the patrons.

Vision

To provide fast and hassle-free services to the customer by making use of voice-recognized software and devices.

Goals

  • To use voice recognition software in data analytics.
  • To save customers' time during different stages of their stay at the hotel.
  • To assist the guests in adjusting with in-room technology ((Basyal, et.al, 2018).
  • To improve the reliability in resolving the problems of the customers.
  • To provide the organisation with a greater mobility.

Objectives

  • Use voice-operated software like Volara can be brought into use for data analytics.
  • Save consumers' time through complete voice-recognizing automation.
  • Creating a personalised greeting for guests at the time of arrival.

Case study

Voice recognition is the technique of the computer analysis that helps to interpret the phrases and voices to determine the voice of individuals. This method comes under the biometric technology that helps to increase the synergy among the different organizations. This technology can be used by the different group of hotels, restaurants, tourist agencies. Through this technique, they can create the more forms of methods or systems that help them to execute the plans. With the technology of speed recognition, the agency of travel and tourism come a long way from the automated technology. This technology helps to perceive the call of customers or the reservations agent (Doshi, 2018).

(Figure 2: Voice Recognition Devices Operation)

(Source: Sanjeev, 2017)

Through the method of voice-recognition organization can access the number of clients and travelers even if they are using the devices. For example, the online agency announces the contract of partnership with Chevrolet to provide the services for visitors in the car. These services can be provided by connecting with the agency through the tool or they can create it by downloading the applications for those organizations. There is a number of advantages of voice recognition and devices and is recognized as the important and best part but visitors are not unwilling to use it. It can be stated that the visitors are more curious to accept the new technology during the stay in a hotel. This report also emphasis on the execution of technology that is the device of voice recognition in the sector of hospitality. As it can be determined that the sector of hospitality ensures the services for clients and also provides the benefits to visitors. Through this, they can improve the efficiency and revenue and also minimize the level of cost (Gmelch and Kaul, 2018).

This report also recognized that the sector of hospitality is the accurate and suitable industry to develop the technology of voice recognition. In the today eras, the clients are seeking for the convenience and the technology that becomes the promise for the today generation. With the technology of biometrics, the installation prices are decreases. Through this system, the guests in the hotel can make in/outs and also make the transactions for payments automatically. It can be identified that to develop the system of biometrics in the hotel they manager has to incur more money and it takes time to develop the system. If they did not recognize this technology then there will less profit as according to their goals. It also estimated that there will be less return on investments that are not good for the organization (Ko, et.al, 2014).

Cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis is the methods that can be used by the Flight Centre to analyze the decisions. In this method, the firm can evaluate the total sum from the different benefits that can be received by the organizations. After evaluating the sum subtracts the cost from it. The cost-benefit analysis can be known as the benefits costs analysis that can be stated as the systematic approach. This method helps to analyse the weakness and strengths of alternatives. The main aim of cost-benefit analysis is to identify the decision for investments and also to verify it advantages that are based on the cost (Basyal, et. al., 2018). For example, by using this method the Flight Centre can easily evaluate the total cost that can be required by them in executing the activities. Through this, they can easily take the decisions in relation to the investments. It can also help to compare the projects that involve the cost of the benefits.

The cost-benefit includes the certain items that can be used by the Flight Centre such as they use the devices and the equipment for all this they require the license that includes in the direct cost. Apart from this, they involve the indirect cost that includes the various activities and it does not assign to the objects of cost. It can be in form of clients, regions, products, and services that can be offered by the Flight Centre. By combining both direct and indirect cost they obtained the net cost of the voice-recognition devices. In the process of cost-benefit analyses, the costs and benefits are represented in the monetary terms and that can be adjusted according to the money.

Table 1: Cost Structure of Single Premise of Flight Centre (Long Term)

Particulars

Cost (AUD)

Cost of Equipment

$10000

Cost of Software

$8000

Installation Cost

$3000

Training Cost

$2000

Operation and Maintenance

$12000

Miscellaneous

$500

Total

$35500

With the help of technology, the Flight Centre can easily manage and coordinate the activities. If they execute the technology then the can easily control the financial accounts of the organization. As through this, the organization can easily analyse the account and depicts the cost and expenses of the project (Schofield, 2018). In the process of long-run, this method helps to save the time of employees and also save the funds by creating the different technology. The Flight Centre hires the less number of employees for the data analytics so that they can perform the work in an efficient manner. By appointing the experts the organizations can complete their target easily as the experts perform the work in the better manner and achieve the goals.

This method can be used by the Flight Centre to appraise the desirability of the policy. In this, the balance of costs and benefits are evaluated and that consists of the foregone alternatives. It is essential for the Flight Centre to include the steps to recognize of cost-benefit analysis. These are discussed below:

  • They have to identify the objectives and goals for the activities.
  • Create a list of alternative programs.
  • create a list for shareholders
  • evaluate the elements of benefits and cost
  • The result can be predicted by the benefits and cost within the specific period of time.
  • The costs and benefits are converted into
  • The recommendation can be adopted according to the organization.

Product/services roadmap and minimal viable product/services/process for “Voice Recognition”

Voice recognition is the biometric technology that has numerous practical application and can serve as the helping hand for both employees and guests in the hospitality and tourism sector. It can be used for attendance purposes and access to information. These voice controlled devices can serve as a newfound opportunity for a luxury hospitality service provider like Flight Centre. Voice recognition devices are comparatively easy to integrate and operate for hotels, especially for organisations that are already automated. These devices and services can have many benefits that are explained below:

  • Increases Productivity: While recording the client data, dictating things can make the process easier and increase the speed of the work. The organisation can save a large fraction of time which can later be used in drafting, editing, and revising the information recorded (Brülle-Drews, et.al, 2018).
  • Reduces chances of mistakes: These voice-commanded devices comes with an outstanding vocabulary and spell-check features. This reduces the spelling or writing errors. Many of these devices are up to 98% accurate in terms of word recognition. The best part is that these devices have an editable database. Therefore, one can edit and store information according to their needs.
  • Provides higher mobility: These devices often comes with the feature of recording notes. Therefore, tourist can make their own records while visiting any historical place or museum. Flight Centre can implement this feature while handling the customer care support centre. Many a time it happens that customer's query remains unheard. But, with these devices, they can be handled with the utmost care (Evermann, et.al, 2016).
  • Saves time: While seeking information, people have to type what they are looking for. But, dictating is 3 times faster than writing down the things. This saves a large amount of time and speeds up the processes in the organisation. Voicing the thoughts is quite useful when people are travelling on roads (Mardani, et.al, 2016).

.

In the hospitality industry, there are four stages to guest cycle and these devices can be employed at each stage of the guest cycle. Point to be noted here is that the front desk staff should be well-informed and trained in these devices in order to serve the guest in the best way possible (Wang, et.al, 2016). The service provider should provide them with a comprehensive information manual. The guest cycle is a part of a systematic approach followed by the front desk staff. These stages are elaborated below:-

  • Pre-arrival: During the pre-arrival stage, the voice-commanded software can be used in storing exchanging data and information, making financial information available to the service provider. This information can be stored in the organisation’s data management system until the arrival of the guest (Wang, et.al, 2016). The customer’s buying behaviour in this stage is affected by many factors, such as ease of booking and the quality of information provided to the customer at the time of booking, such as recreational facilities, room prices, room type, etc. With the use of digital technology, especially the voice-operated software and devices, all this process becomes hassle-free and smooth. This makes the customer satisfied.
  • Arrival: This stage is characterised by the arrival of the guest and the service assignment procedure. In addition to this, it also involves recording the information, such as billing instructions, address and nationality proofs, personal details, and payment details. Once the guest arrives, the software or devices can be used in making the guest folios and assigning the guest rooms. Once this is done, the payment process can be initiated using these devices.
  • Occupancy: During this stage, the overall interaction and experience of the guest depend on the front desk activity. They have to take care of the queries and issues of the guests. During the occupancy stage, these devices can help guest in availing the hospitality services and organisation in making them available to the guest. One of the important tasks of the front desk is to keep a record of the charged services avail by the guests. The financial tasks of the front desk staff can be effectively handled by the voice-recognised devices installed.
  • Departure: During this stage, the devices can be used in managing and settling the accounts. The customer empties the room, hand over the keys to the front desk staff and settle the account and leaves the hotel. This may take time and guests may have to wait. The voice recognised devices can be very helpful in this area.

 

Issues with the use of Voice recognition technology

Even though voice recognition technology is used for the hospitality sector, there are many serious issues that come with it. As the voice recognition devices are equipped with microphones, these devices can be used for illicit purposes. Somebody may use them to record the conversation of the guests (Junqua, et.al, 2012). This comes under the provisions of the anti-wrapping laws. The voice recognition devices are highly criticised for their privacy and security concerns. It is one the greatest concerns of the hospitality organisation due to which the majority of them are reluctant to implement such technology in their business operations. Many experts have given their view on how to make voice recognition suitable for hotels and other hospitality industry. Another issue with the current speech recognition are the disturbances in the audio input due to the surrounding noise. This reduces the accuracy and reliability of the speech recognition system. The outputs are highly affected by the low-quality input and as a result of which the systems are showing abrupt results.

Apart from this, user responsiveness is turning out to be one of the issues. This usually takes place when the resources are not available and the user starts giving the command. In such cases, the systems start hanging due to the synchronisation problem of the data with multiple applications (Junqua, et.al, 2012). In addition to this, these devices have a large number of commands and to remember them for a customer is not so easy, especially when the stay is only for a short duration. In addition to this, the organisation has to provide the training to the employees in order to make them familiar with the new technology. The whole organisational structure has to be restructured that would affect the current operations. All this will lead to an increase in the operation and maintenance cost for the organisation. Furthermore, if these devices are used in management operation, then the data of the customers and organisation would be stored on online storage. This makes the data vulnerable as it can be stolen from the online storage by hackers.

Recommendations

The hospitality industry is one of the major customer-centric sectors. The organisation associated with it are always looking for opportunities to develop differentiation by making use of technology. The voice recognition can make a difference by providing them an edge over their rivals. As already discussed in the above sections that voice recognition can lead to better lodging experience and customer satisfaction (Doshi, 2018). However, there are many issues associated with this technology as discussed above. To resolve them, certain recommendations have been given below:-

  • Even if it takes time to completely implement the voice-based technology, the organisation should develop some guidelines for the same.
  • To make the guest feel comfortable with the newly installed technology, the Flight Centre should provide guest education.
  • Hospitality providers should make sure that there is no privacy breach while using the voice recognition devices. In addition, they must have some sort of reference materials for customers’ frequently asked question available with the staff in order to answer their queries effectively and timely (Gmelch and Kaul, 2018).
  • In order to provide protection to these devices, physical access to these devices for normal people other than staff should be made prohibited. These devices must be employed in a way that they should be almost inaccessible for the guests. In addition to this, hospitality providers should bifurcate the network and make it separate for guest’s use and corporate use.
  • These devices and software should be updated with time in order to update the security features. The more updated a voice recognition device is, more secure it becomes due to its updated firewall.
  • Devices which are not related to data storage and which are only used to guide the customers, such as AI assistance, should be installed at the easy-to-access location. The best way of doing this is to build concierge stations.
  • Since these devices are based on the internet, the organisation should make use of the reliable and robust network in order to avoid any data theft or illicit use of the client's personal information.

Conclusion

Technology can be really useful for the business organisation, whereas if it is not used properly, then it can be disastrous. This report reflected both sides of the technology in a very detailed way. For the purpose, Flight Centre was chosen to discuss various points of voice-controlled devices in the hospitality industry. This report talked about the missions, aims, objectives, and tactics of the organisation. To introduce the technology in the organisation, various hypothesis and case studies were discussed in order to validate the same. In addition to this, the cost-benefit analysis of the short-term strategies was done. In the long-term strategies, enhanced emphasise on the product development was given. It consisted of the mission, vision, objectives, and tactics regarding the updated product. Moreover, the cost-benefit analysis was also done in this case too. In the latter part of the report, a roadmap and the process for voice recognition were given. Along with this, the issues related to voice recognition technology were outlined and enlisted. The report ended with some recommendations and conclusion regarding the same.  

References

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  • Doshi, P.S., 2018. Home Automation System Based on Voice Recognition.
  • Gmelch, S.B. and Kaul, A., 2018.  Tourists and tourism: A reader. Waveland Press.
  • Schofield, J.A., 2018.  Cost-benefit analysis in urban & regional planning(Vol. 20). Routledge.
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  • Ko, C.H., Tsai, Y.H., Chen, S.L. and Wang, L.H., 2014. Exploring Biometric Technology Adopted in the Hotel Processes.  Biotechnology,  13(4), pp.165-170.
  • Mardani, A., Zavadskas, E.K., Streimikiene, D., Jusoh, A., Nor, K.M. and Khoshnoudi, M., 2016. Using fuzzy multiple criteria decision making approaches for evaluating energy-saving technologies and solutions in five-star hotels: A new hierarchical framework. Energy,  117, pp.131-148.
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  • Basir, O.A., Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc, 2015.  Location-based event reminder for mobile device. U.S. Patent 9,100,776
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  • Evermann, G., Roth, D.L., Gillick, L.S. and Coughlin, J., Voice Signal Technologies Inc, 2016.  Local storage and use of search results for voice-enabled mobile communications devices. U.S. Patent Application 11/673,997.
  • Geilhufe, M., MacMillan, D., Barel, A., Brown, A., Bootsma, K.L., Gaddy, L.K. and Pyo, P.P., Winbond Electronics Corp, 2013.  Method and apparatus for controlling voice controlled devices. U.S. Patent 6,584,439.
  • Junqua, J.C. and Contolini, M., Panasonic Corp, 2012.  Automated hotel attendant using speech recognition. U.S. Patent 6,314,165.
  • Kennewick, R.A., Locke, D., Kennewick, M.R., Kennewick, R. and Freeman, T., VoiceBox Tech Corp, 2012.  System and method for filtering and eliminating noise from natural language utterances to improve speech recognition and parsing. U.S. Patent 8,140,327.
  • Kennewick, R.A., Locke, D., Kennewick, M.R., Kennewick, R., Freeman, T. and Elston, S.F., Nuance Communications Inc, 2015.  Mobile systems and methods for responding to natural language speech utterance. U.S. Patent 9,031,845
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