Strategic planning is the process through which an organization sets out plans that depict an intended future (Bryson, 2011). It presents the necessary procedures and techniques required to achieve the set goals. Furthermore, strategic planning helps an organization to identify its values, purpose, vision, mission, goals, and objectives (Andrews, Boyne, & Walker, 2006). As a result, it can identify and control the anticipated outcome in the long run. This paper details a strategic plan for a competitive global presence of the Hilton hotels that will help it increase its operations and capability to compete against the other leading companies in the global market. The success of any hotel or resort is linked to its ability to analyze and merge its environment and future operational plans. The analysis delves into the environmental and economic factors and market conditions. It is also important to consider the trends in world traveling and tourism (Al-Turki, 2011).
Hotels that aim at achieving success undertake long-term strategic planning. They also establish a clear five-year strategic plan that is reviewed and updated each year. According to Anderson and Alston (2011), considering that the market changes annually, there is a necessity to update the marketing strategy annually. As such, successful companies would have to produce annual operating and marketing plans that address tactical initiatives. A strategic plan, therefore, is created as an effective decision-making tool that helps guarantee a hotel’s future financial health and profitability. The Hilton hotel is an example of a company that has established itself as a leader in the market, through strategic planning.
The hotel industry is built on customer satisfaction. As a result, the Hilton hotel has a dedicated clientele that insists on its services wherever they travel. The company is dedicated to providing services and products as such providing a feeling of homeliness for their clients across the world so that they feel at home. Hilton hotels have maintained a class in quality in terms of services that also has helped boost the standard of the hotel in terms of the quality of the services offered to customers. The company has standardized this and other hotel and hospitality services that it provides so that customers access the authentic Hilton Hotel irrespective of the branch they visit. A culture that also touches on the location the hotel is operating. The company is dedicated to providing quality services both in terms of bookings and reservations with the integration of the online platform that helps reduce the complexity in booking for the different services. The website is accessible globally, which makes it efficient in terms of selection of the region a customer of the company wants to visit.
Hilton Hotel’s Strategic Plan
The Hilton hotel’s strategic planning structure is set such that the organization can compare the current operations and future goals. The company’s goals are inclusive of corporate responsibility. There is a need for the plans to also be dynamic and flexible since they will be applied in a vibrant environment. Additionally, it is important to revise the plans annually to accommodate changes in a given environment of operation. Upon the completion of the implementation process, there is need to ensure a monitory strategy is also implemented to ensure the process flows smoothly. The hotel’s strategic plan is divided into two phases.
A vision refers to the outline of what a company strives to become in the long run. According to Anderson and Alston (2011), the vision of an organization presents the emotional and visual perspective of a firm driving the employees and the organization’s structures. The employees need to identify with the organization’s vision to provide a focus for the projected future. Furthermore, an organization’s vision enables it to push and monitor its progress to determine if it is headed in the right direction. Hilton hotels aim to ensure that the world is filled with the warmth of hospitality through the delivery of the one-of-a-kind experiences by every branch for every guest.
The mission statement is also referred to as a strategic intent. The strategic intent is a broad definition of the goals that are set to guide a firm’s direction (Bryson, Ackermann, & Eden, 2007). The goals are derived from a common understanding of success and culture, which helps in the provision of the firm’s framework for the development and measurement of its processes and actions. Hilton’s mission is to ensure that the brand is considered as the most hospitable in the world (Hilton, 2017). To achieve this goal, it would require the creation of heartfelt experiences for its guests. It also intends to provide meaningful opportunities for team members, high value for owners, and a positive impact on the communities in which it has set up operations.
Research and Collection of Information
The Hilton hotel franchise is made up of more than 3900 hotels and approximately 650 000 rooms spread across 90 countries in the world (Andrews, Boyne, & Walker, 2006). The company’s strategic competitive advantage makes them distinct from all other players in the market (Andrews, Boyne, & Walker, 2006). Moreover, the firm aims to increase its customer base through product differentiation. While the hotel endeavors to ensure that a visit to one hotel grants customers an ideal quality hospitality that is similar to other hotels in the franchise, the hotel attempts to incorporate the cultures of the communities served by its branches into its services to make them as culture oriented as possible (Bryson & Alston, 2011). The corporate strategic choice for the organization is the expansion of luxurious and mid-priced hotels in emerging countries.
Hilton’s SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a business analysis tool that organizations use to understand their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. The reason for doing this is to gain a better understanding of the internal and external environment in which the company is operating.
The strengths of the Hilton Hotels include the extensive experience that has been developed over the years for the scope of the business. Additionally, the company has over the years developed effective customer retention schemes. It has a loyal clientele base that is dedicated to enjoying the services of the hotel whenever they travel to any of the 90 countries that host the hotels (Chan, Lau, Ip, Chan, & Kong, 2005). The firm also enjoys a strong property portfolio that acts as security for the assets of the organization. Furthermore, enjoys a strong and effective leadership strategy. The high-level customization of services that are linked through technology is another strength that the company enjoys.
The Hilton Hotel is over-dependent on the U.S. market. Most of the Hilton hotels that are outside the U.S. are not as highly aggressive on the local market as the Hotels based on the US. The reason for this is the dedication of the American clientele on travel and tourism unlike of the clientele of the other countries that in which the hotel’s branches are based worldwide. The company has failed to increase its operations in terms of targeting specific markets in the regions it already has operational facilities, which also gives opportunities for the other companies in the same industry to surpass Hilton Hotel’s ability to remain in the lead. Additionally, Hilton Hotel has a huge debt that continues to increase annually from its operations; this poses a great weakness on the side of management and operations, which could affect the ability of the facility to continue operations in all the regions effectively (Bryson & Alston, 2011). Another weakness lies in the fact that global market shares are minimal regardless of the company’s large portfolio brand. Despite the global presence of the company, it lacks enough personnel to ensure that all the branches are operational, which also affects the level of service quality guaranteed to customers.
The opportunities include expansion into the international market that is yet to exploit exhaustively. The company can also form strategic alliances with stakeholders across the world, to tap into the different markets in different countries and profit from them. The firm can also on research to develop its brand and profitability in the long run (Bryson & Alston, 2011). Although the company has been occupied a enjoying a significant market for a long time, there is an opportunity of investing in the mid-level sector within the different markets it already has established operations.
Terrorism is one of the major factors that discourage tourism. Terrorism discourages people from touring, which translates to the loss of revenue in the hotel industry. Cases of political instability, especially in developing countries, are some of the major threat facing the industry. Some countries experience political instability, especially during elections, which significantly reduces the number of tourists. As a result, the hotels only serve a handful of visitors. The changes in the macroeconomic climate also threaten the firm’s operations (Dudovskiy, 2016). Finally, ethical-related issues in the Hilton hotels have been rampant, which may result in the loss of its customers. Additionally, the firm’s competitors poach its employees, which leads to the loss of trained and talented employees, and expenditure on the training of new staff.
After coming up with the right information about the firm, there is the identification of the major issues that must be addressed by the strategic plan. These issues include the expansion of the firm’s reach in the international market. There is also the need for the formation of international alliances. The firm must also conduct research and development projects that are aimed at improving the firm’s services and increasing profitability (Hehir, 2017). Should all the four be handled, the firm stands to keep improving its reach and performance in the international market.
Membership, Development, and Revenue Growth
After developing a strong portfolio within a short period in the international market, an improvement of the revenues of the Hilton hotel is a priority for the management. The firm introduced the use of technology to streamline operations and offer similar services across their global franchises, which entails entering into the right partnerships as it grows and develops its hold in the hospitality industry. There is also the need for attracting new customers and retaining them. While it is true that the company has a dedicated clientele, there is need to revisit their strategies that seem to be mostly focused on the U.S. markets (Kornberger, 2010). For example, would entail entering into partnerships with different players in the international markets.
Research and Development
In the strategic decision of the company to invest in a new market, market research is critical in getting to understand the market, the culture of the customers, preferences, and even common delicacies that the company would have to invest in to attract customers. Market research is critical in ensuring that a company has a positive market entry strategy and that all the possible issues that might affect effective operations within these markets have been pointed out and the necessary actions were taken. For instance, some of the concerns are terrorism, which is a threat to supply chain considering that some of the products and resources will have to be shipped from other markets. With an accurate data about the possible factors that might affect the supply chain system, the company can invest in effective communication and transportation approaches that help eliminate possible barriers to the movement of goods and delivery of effective service in its market regions (Poister, 2010).
Leveraging the Value of Partnership
Considering that the Hilton hotel brand has a good reputation, associations with other franchises would mean that the franchises would benefit from the brand and satisfaction accorded to the Hilton products. However, such associations are not one-sided. Associations with other franchises would mean that the firm would identify with a new set of clients that are unique from the clients that it already has; consequently, this offers the company a new platform and challenge in terms of associating with the clients. Forming a partnership comes with the benefit of getting an increase in revenue, returns, and a bigger platform for meeting with more clients within the market. In addition, the company will get a new approach in terms of marketing in this new operational relationship developed (Kornberger, 2010).
The marketing strategy of the firm is drawn from the firm’s research and development strategy. The development of marketing strategies, in most cases, is dependent on the monitoring of the market trends and the expected changes, in the long run. The market currently embraces the use of technology and different social avenues. The partners that the firm has acquired are part of the marketing strategies (Kornberger, 2010). The firm is, thus, able to penetrate the different markets that it was yet to exploit and establish a clientele base. Furthermore, through partnerships and the use of technology, it is better suited to control the market and improve its profitability.
Professional Development and Training
An organization can decide to form partnerships while maintaining its name and reputation. For the Hilton hotel, it would mean offering training and education to the staff of the partnering hotels. The training and education would not only be offered to partnering hotels but also the Hilton hotel staff. The move would ensure that the workforce is accorded with skills that would enable them to offer exceptional service to customers (Poister, 2010). The firm is also required to develop relationships with national training institutions, to enable it to acquire recruits as well as professional trainers for its staff, regularly.
There is a need to develop incentives that can be offered to customers visiting the hotels. Such incentives may include rewarding loyal customers. It is also important to provide safety, security, and disaster management preparedness services to the clients visiting its premises and enjoying its services. This way it avoids incidents such as accidents that would tarnish the business name (Al-Turki, 2011). In addition, there is shared responsibility in dealing with any rising concerns that are a threat to the operations of the organization. Any decision reached by the companies will be a responsibility of all those involved making it a concern for both of them if the approach considered does not go as planned and there are consequences in terms of financial obligations that have to be offset. This ensures that they both are involved in their objective to offer quality services to the clients.
Establishing Strategic Goals
Through the establishment of good working relationships, the organization stands to benefit and remain operational in the long-run. A positive working relationship established with partners increases the financial capacity of the organization and its ability to meet its obligations to its customers, which also works in favor of the company in terms of revenue growth (Al-Turki, 2011). The time frame for achieving this would be within two years before an evaluation of the relationships benefits is measured and established. The first year of the new partnership is critical in determining the way the connection between the two organizations works in their favor. In the first year, the organizations can commit to dealing with previous concerns including financial capabilities of each of the firms before proper operations commence. The second year is a prime time for the organization to start evaluating its progress for the duration of the operations and to consider if the relationship can be upheld or another financial approach can be considered instead.
The biggest concern in terms of resources is the staff assigned to the various operations of the organization in this new trend it will be assuming. Among the various roles that more staff and personnel are needed include the research and development department, who are to offer strategic decisions and options for the organization in its operations. However, there is the option of considering outsourcing services if the timeframe and expenses in recruiting new personnel and training them in this field become expensive (Bryson J. A., 2011). Another resource that has to be considered is the funding needed in facilitating this new approach and strategy; all through the different stages, there are financial needs both in terms of attaining the materials needed and ensuring effective communication with the customers and stakeholders.
Therefore, having come up with the right strategic management plan, there is a need for a proper monitoring of operations, and this encompasses the activities and assessment of the desired goals that can be reached by the organization in the long run. The process would include the duration of the process, the costs for such operations, and the revenues realized throughout the process. It is also important to identify the number of those trained and the costs involved in the training process. Consequently, the firm would be in a position to identify the drawbacks and the advantages that arise during the implementation of the strategic plan.
The Hilton hotel has been able to compete favorably in the hotel industry for some time. The development of a strategic plan is the best way to keep any business afloat through different financial constraints. Developing the strategic plan is the first step in the strategic planning process. However implementing all the goals, vision, and mission of the organization plays a significant role in the determination of the longevity of the organization in terms of operations in its established market regions. Upon implementation, there is a need for the monitoring and revision of the plan. This is dependent on the market trends and the rate of which it keeps changing. Hilton hotel has been able to utilize its strategic plan effectively and also benefit from its research in the trends in the market.
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