It seems like we have been on Holidays since December 24th 2013. Although Christmas and western New Year are not Chinese Holidays, work started to slow down during that time.
As January came with the traditional and family oriented Chinese New Year festival, many workers were off to their hometown by January 15th 2014. All Hard Hat workers will only return February 17th some on the 24th, slowly re-starting the onsite work.
Additionally, kids were off school for their winter break starting January 10th 2014. They will return end of February 2014.
So is the mood of China at the beginning of every year. As many of you know, Chinese New Year moves every year according to the lunar Calendar. When closer to the western holidays such as this year, the entire month of January until mid-February are affected. Next year, celebration will start Mid-February impacting both January and February.
In short, Year 2014 has finally arrived and with it brings new hope, excitement and goals. We will now see our objective of opening this new property coming to fruition. The New Year also saw the arrival of key Associates both operational and non-operational.
It was nice to see new faces and their desire to shape their future with a new and challenging experience in a new environment and with new colleagues for the coming months.
I most enjoyed that they, like me, are willing to take risk to achieve and be part of a common goal.
In the next few weeks
In the next few weeks, the team will start to bring structure to the table and shape the face of the new property. Much needs to be done with selection of equipments for Rooms and Food & Beverage as well as reviewing salary structure, manning, sales & marketing structure and pricing amongst the many other items on our critical path.
We will review Back of the House (BOH) Offices, Front Office desk layout, kitchen equipment lists and adjust our product accordingly to make it more efficient and easier to use.
Together with my Chief Engineer and Hotel Manager, I will also concentrate on the application of Safety & Security systems as well as ensuring that we are complaint with all our company's Brand Standards both of which are critical in successfully opening our property.
At a later stage, extra attention will be place on Hygiene features and standards.
First steps - Purchasing
Now that the team is on board, together with Purchasing, each supporting and operational departments will review their layout and corresponding equipment lists and provide adjustment if any.
Based on their review, layout and schematics will be adjusted, samples will be collected, technical issues will be shared with Owning Company, bidding will be issued.
The coming weeks will be more structured and the team will focus on their respective areas. Critical path for each is implemented with specific tasks and deadline completion. Now our "engine" is warming and will lead to the opening.
Along the way, being that we have a diversified group of Associates, each will bring their own identity to the product as well as placing their own experience to the table. As I have mentioned to them already, I expect that tempers will flare yet I also expect that they each listen to one another's arguments in a constructive and forward way.
I will over the next few articles become more specific and address each department progress so you can, in some ways, participate in our quest and adventure.
"You can never make the same mistake twice. Because the second time, it is not a mistake, it's a choice." Steven Denn
About the author
Yoland Perras is the General Manager at the Sheraton Wuhan Hankou Hotel. His series of articles brings ehotelier readers a first-hand account of what it's like opening a hotel in China.