So these past 2 weeks were "Meeting weeks". Review of each Budget with more clarifications provided. Review of Floor plans, connecting room and Accessible rooms, emergency staircases and more.
So let's again list the Budgets:
IT no changes and moving forward with Timeline updated and issued.
HOE add-ons, adjustments and discussion. HOE is defined as a MUST HAVE item list. This week we talked about NICE TO HAVE add-ons so you can set yourself apart from the competition. I provided a wish list to consider and for further discussion. In today's fast pace and connected world, "Nice to have" features are necessary so you can meet guests expectations.
POB justification and certifications required. By this I mean my Company needs to certify that expenses are in conformity with industry practices. Said certification letter will help support and facilitate the approval process to the Owning Company.
In addition, I express my concerns regarding the overall lengthy approval cycle and that it must be shortened. We need to creatively find ways to rationalize our approval methods to alleviate undue pressure in the near future.
A final window for re-design and adjustment phase was given. After the deadline, decoration work of the Hotel must go ahead to meet up with the Opening date.
Preparation for Grand opening
I suggested the creation of an Opening Ceremony Committee so that the wishes of the Owner are expressed and executed accordingly.
In China, Opening ceremonies can be either very elaborate or subtle. Main driver in this case, is the Chairman or Owner of the property. I know some that will not spend the money and others that will go the extra mile to ensure a successful and glittering opening. In either case, it is not the sole decision of the General Manager. The decision on scale and theme will be driven by Owner and executed by an inclusive team of Ownership and Company. It is extremely important to get the right feeling from Owner if not it can lead to disaster.
My non-operational or supporting XCOM will arrive soon and I am now looking forward to receiving them. Office is being prepared, computer, internet lines, introduction to the Company and orientation from my part on what I am looking for.
It is important to share your philosophy, your expectations and way of working. This will set the tone for things to come.
Some details to be ironed out
On any projects, whether small or big, it is unavoidable, provided you have an eye for it. Look for what can be added, unused space, elements that can make a difference, touches in the bathroom, desk comfort in the room and more.
Even if the space is under construction, you can visualize what may come. As example, today I was in my future Hotel Lobby entrance as they are doing the driveway, the fountains, planting the trees and I started to visualize the cars, the VIPs, buses coming. Many questions raised. Can guest drive in and around the fountain easily? Can they drop guest smoothly? Do I have a minimum of two lanes out? How can a Bus drive in? How about Luggage ramp? Is signage enough?
I then glance, by the street curbside, at the parking stone that have been chosen. While I look at them from far, seems like cobblestone. Getting closer and when walking on it, the feeling was wrong, extremely unpractical to clean and maintain and most importantly it felt unsafe for the feet. I can foresee twisted ankles and fall of older people because of the uneven shape of each 10cm x 10cm squares. As I said looks good but not practical and unsafe. As a result of my comments to Owning Company, they have agreed to change them.
Anyone in their respective area of expertise can do the same as each Key manager can contribute to the maximum efficiency of the property. Many of us will go to that motion as experience and knowledge sets in and quickly takes over an empty space.
As a result, your onsite professional comments and observations will influence Ownership to make adjustments as work is in progress. It does, however, require patience as what you wish for need further approval, comprehensive explanations, conceptualization, re-design in some cases and financial support.
This week a friend send me this quote by Confucius and must admit that it is entirely true.
"If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life."
Yoland Perras General Manager Sheraton Wuhan Hankou Hotel