Consumer Behaviour: The Issue of Illegal downloading

illegal

The central theme of this literature review is to critically analyse consumer behaviour theory and clearly justify the reason for dubious, criminal, deceptive or fraudulent behaviour of individuals aged under 30. The literature review also centers on critical thinking using industry examples and provides other supporting evidence based on different authors viewpoints. In this paper, the comprehensive discussion focuses on illegal downloads issue and demonstrates the application of theory to the chosen topic area.

Illegal downloading issue and statistics

There always has been a lot of discussions amongst different writers, authors and journalists about illegal downloading, also known as copyright theft or piracy of video, audio, games and other electronic products. The report, supported by the Intellectual Property Office, found out that almost one in six (18%) of internet users aged 12 or over accessed digital entertainment media using an illegal service. (The Guardian, 2013) The popular perception of those hurt by piracy is large companies and pop stars whose personal wealth is legendary, firstly noticed by Gursey (1995). In 2013, Philip Pullman stated that illegal downloading is ‘moral squalor’ and theft, similarly as reaching in to someone’s pocket and stealing the wallet. He also claimed that authors and musicians with a low budget still put a lot of effort and time doing their job in order to financially support themselves and, meanwhile, satisfy their audience. This argument was earlier supported by Rob and Waldfogel (2004) who found out that each downloaded album reduces purchases by approximately 20 per cent but raises individual consumer welfare. In contrast, Gurnsey (1995) stated that ‘piracy is not the only form of copyright theft’. (p.1) He suggested that while piracy represents the systematic and large scale abuse of copyright, at another level there is the casual everyday abuse of copyright which occurs in millions of homes, schools or universities and business enterprises across every country in the world. The Economic Times defined piracy as the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted content that is sold at significantly lower prices in the ‘grey’ market. Thus, for too many, both politicians and consumers, audio piracy is still perceived as a largely victimless crime. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, amended by the Copyright and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002, currently protects copyrighted materials. People who distribute and download copyrighted recordings without permission face civil actions for potentially thousands of pounds of damages. (The Independent, 2009) Yet it 1995, Gursey claimed that ‘the sad fact is that the market for piracy is largely based on greed’, and if people accept this situation as inevitable part of human life, there always would be a low-cost market with illegal materials like audio, software, video in the next ten years. In fact, software firms frequently spend thousands or even millions of dollars in creating the programs, however many people illegally download it from unauthorised sources what has become a key issue for the computer industry. Evidence for in support of this assumption was found by five firms: Atari, Reality Rump, Top Ware Interactive, Techland and Codemaster in 2008. These computer game companies have suspected thousands of internet users who shared illegal downloads and sent warning notices to pay £300 fine in order to avoid the court. According to Daily Mail, a number of people had to pay approximately £16,000 after being taken to court by TopWare computer game manufacturer. (Revoir, 2008) Another unpleasant example, published by The Guardian in 2012, illustrates woman who was accused by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for downloading and distribution of 1,700 music files and she had to pay $9,250 for each illegal downloaded material. Today, due to the technical change and innovation in hardware and broadcasting, there is a continuous battle as rights owners seek to control and remuneration for the use of their work. Piracy, or illegal downloading, still remains a significant issue in every industry. (Lee, 2012)

 

Fraudulent behaviour of individuals aged under 30

In 2008, more than 40 billion music files were illegally downloaded although state, federal and international laws restricting these actions (IFPI, 2009). According to WARC research (2014), almost 50 per cent of children between 8 to 15 years old admitted that they were able to download or access any content for free from the internet. This age group also showed an above-average propensity to agree that using file-sharing websites was easy (6%) and a usual thing to do (7%). It has also been mentioned, that a similar amount of people 16 to 24 years old stated that online content should be free and the report noted that ad-supported services, such as Spotify, YouTube and Blink box, tended to be the most popular with this age group. A number of authors (Summers, Schwarzenegger, Ege and Young, 2014) noticed that particularly in the music and TV industries, user behaviour has been influenced by the opportunity to download material for free. However, Ulsperger, Hodges and Paul (2010) claimed that college students in the U.S. tended to be more critical and serious about CDs shoplifting from the store comparing with illegal music downloading online. In turn, Levin et al. (2004) further identified that college students who illegally downloaded music and other files for free had lower ethics ratings than students who had never downloaded illegally. According to James McCoy, YouGov Research Director, children and teenagers in this generation grew up with digital material and now have an access to what they want, when they want it and sometimes not paying for it. (WARC, 2014) Similarly, Plowman and Goode (2009) agreed that concerns about price factor were one the strongest predictors of future desire to illegally download music, even amongst students and pupils who had never done this earlier. Consequently, all these research showed that students with more favourable attitudes and higher perceived behavioural control were more likely to download illegally than those who had less favourable attitudes and lower perceived control. Additionally, Cronan and Al-Rafee believed that moral obligations influenced digital piracy intentions.
Ethics, or moral philosophy, has been defined as a system of what is good and what is bad, however, people might still continue to engage in dishonest, criminal or dubious behaviour when trying to make a decision between right and wrong. People engage in an action that is admitted unethical or harmful and usually do not believe that what they are doing is right because “everybody does it”. (Ethics Alarms, 2015) From a psychological perspective, the more people are involved in illegal downloading or any other issue, the sense of responsibility and fear decreases noticeably. According to the authors’ viewpoints above, people between 16 to 24 years old believe that those companies or websites which provide illegal content should be severely punished rather than those who access the content. Such thoughts make people not feeling guilty or bad when downloading free music, movies or software from the internet as they believe they do not break the law and do not go against social and personal moral values. Solomon, et al. (2013) propose that ‘humans are social animals’ and look at others’ behaviour for signs about what to do in publics. They also suggested that people desire to ‘fit in’ or to identity with desirable individuals or groups is the primary motivation for many of consumption behaviour. Sometimes, however, many reference groups are involved in negative influence on consumption behaviours, e.g. illegal downloading.
Interestingly, educational levels also play a massive role in the likelihood that somebody pirates content. According to The Telegraph survey, it has been revealed that 3% of pupils who left school at the age of 15 had illegally downloaded material in the previous 12 months, rising to 6% of those who studied to between 16 and 19 years old, 10% of students who continued their education until they were around 20 years, and 27% of those students who were still studying beyond that age. (Sparkes, 2013) This has been more discussed by Solomon et al. (2013): people learn that every actions they take, result in rewards and punishments, and this response influences the way they respond in analogous situations in the future. Similarly, Blythe (2013) agrees and continues that illegal downloading shows how punishment fits into the learning process. So, the idea of sending a warning letter to internet users who illegally download or distribute materials, is based around operant conditioning (concept of reinforcement). Moreover, the ABC model of attitudes and hierarchies of effects best describes different behaviour and intentions to do something towards the particular product or service. The low-involvement hierarchy (Do, Feel, Think), properly illustrates a typical consumer who download stuff illegally but do put too much effort into evaluation of his/her decisions and potential issues it may cause. (Solomon, et al., 2013) Consumers does not have a strong preference for the brand over another, but instead acts on the basis of limited knowledge and then forms an evaluation only after the audio or video has been illegally used. Internet let individuals stay anonymous users, what makes it harder to detect the deviant behaviour. There is no face to face contact so internet users do not feel guilty for downloading illegal material and they are more likely to stay unpunished. In 1999, Albers-Miller highlighted the point that ‘when there is a lack of fear of punishment, people do engage in inappropriate behaviour.’ (Inderbitzin, Bates, Gainey, 2012) It is further discussed, that consumers are naturally want to minimise risk (Blythe, 2013), however, the perception of risk can be “traumatic” (Chaudhuri,2006) For example, in 2014, Mirror newspaper released an article about two teenagers Robinson and Graham who ran a website that allowed users to download music tracks for free before the official release. Despite the fact that website creators have tried to hide their identity online, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), police and Homeland security have found and taken them to court. Both teenagers were jailed from one to two years. (Kennedy, 2014) It may also be a case that people perceive risk differently (Blythe, 2013), based on their age, confidence and other factors. A number of authors (Byongook, McCluskey, McCluskey, Perez) proposed that youths with low self-control are more likely to engage in the illegal downloading in any form. According to a general theory of crime, generation Y spends more time using computers what creates strong addiction and may cause criminal behaviour. (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990)
The above mentioned examples illustrate Freudian theory, where person’s selfish and illogical id is entirely oriented towards immediate satisfaction. It operates according to the pleasure principle that behaviour is led by the primary desire to maximise pleasure and avoid pain (Solomon, et al., 2013), what mostly describes people behaviour under age of 30 who illegally download internet content without thinking of potential negative consequences.
Worldwide solutions to an issue over time and parental influence

In 2011, audio, movie and other software companies started to work on a detailed proposal for a voluntary system whereby broadband providers (such as BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media) block hundreds of websites promoting online piracy (Bradshaw, 2011) as the UK’s creative industries contribute £71bn to the UK economy and support about 1.68 million jobs. (BBC, 2014) According to Gibbs (2014), the launch of Vcap (the voluntary copyright alert programme) in 2015 will help to identify the IP addresses of users who download illegal material for free. Further actions involve sending a warning letter about the suspected infringement to the registered subscriber of particular broadband connection. Similarly, the identical scheme has been already developed in the United Stated. Hill (2013) claims that Mark Monitor, the United States anti-piracy group with 100 employees, automatically catch the IP addresses of those who use AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon and other internet providers. Another earlier example by Gurnsey (1995) claims that Russia has been made a significant progress in curbing piracy. Russia had introduced laws which included the hardest penalties seen anywhere in the world for large copyright theft: to close servers located in their territory and websites that promote illegal distribution. (Kim, 2012) Each of these industry examples and solutions make an important contribution to the understanding of the role of learning and memory. Some authors (Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard, Hogg) claim that memory involves a process of gaining information and keeping it for a long period of time so that it will be available when required. So, once an internet user faced with a problem of illegal downloading and received a large sum of money to be paid for this act, he is more likely to remember this unpleasant experience and tend not to repeat such situations in the future. It is a very useful method of educating people not to infringe copyright.
A British study suggests that there are four main types of “pirates”, the serious ones actively and very often seeking out occasions to pirate (‘Devils’), the opportunistic ones that will rarely take a chance on pirating but not very often (‘Chancers’), pirates who are not actively pirating but accept receiving pirated material (‘Receivers’), and the ‘Angels’ who ignore any sort of pirating. (Cockrill and Goode, 2012) According to these classifications, different penalties in various forms reach internet users worldwide. A number of authors claim that parents play a huge role in the education process and are the key source of their children behaviour. 85 per cent of children in Australia have admitted that they never had a conversation with their parents about this issue. (source: news.com.au) The same viewpoint has been investigated by Solomon et.al. (2013) that children learn by watching their parents’ behaviour and imitating it. At a very early stage children see how their relatives obtain the things they need, so parents who pirate content are more likely to have children who do the same. In turn, Humphries (2011) provides an example of a 15 year old boy who faced up to two years in prison for downloading 24 films from BitTorrent at school. As long as parents and teachers are not clear about what is moral behaviour in the internet sphere and are not enough active in their children’s life, it will be quite difficult for adults to convey normative behaviour to children and teenagers.
According to the U.S. Guardian newspaper, piracy is most acute on college and university campuses where students have high speed internet as well as have more free time than money. Only a couple of universities have responded to the complaints of illegal downloading, while most of them stayed neutral to this issue as they believe that piracy issue must be dealt by police. (MacAskill and Conor, 2007)
Individual factors

Blythe (2013) claims that one of the problems with understanding consumer motivation is that people are usually unable to be specific what has driven them to a particular action. Solomon et al. (2013) add that personal and cultural factors combine to create a want which can be satisfied in any number of ways. According to the online survey by Australian news (2010), it has been revealed that convenience was as much of a motivating factor as money for people who illegally downloaded or streamed media. Later, a similar view has been published in WARC article (2014) which claimed that price is still the major motivator in the decision to use file sharing sites. Moreover, 50 per cent of adults and 50 per cent children who download free content from internet admitted that the main reason for such behaviour are cost saving factor, convenience and easy accessibility. Blythe (2013) further believes that sometimes people make wrong decisions, and rationalise their real motives afterwards rather than admit their mistake. Equally, people who are motivated by illegal and immoral needs, are extremely likely to keep it only to themselves. Gottfredson and Hirschi concludes that low self-control is the cause of crime and criminal activities and that an individual with low self-control is less likely to resist the easy, immediate gratification that crime and deviant behaviours provide.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, more than 20 years ago illegal downloading, or piracy, has become a starting point to a massive issue by 2015. It has become one of the major threat to the music, movie and software industry. Many authors agreed that illegal downloads of audio, video or software material and peer-to-peer (P2P) content sharing problem are more likely to happen with people under 30. Children and teenagers usually have no clue about what is personal moral values, risk and do not think of potential negative consequences in the future. The above studies also discussed the point that educational level and parents’ behaviour has a significant impact on how likely the individual will be involved in criminal, dubious, deceptive and fraudulent act. A number of different industry examples prove the fact that copyright theft, or illegal downloading, can lead to severe punishments such as prison sentence or monetary fine, depending on how serious the problem is and the type of piracy. A lot of literature concludes that illegal downloading and distribution of pirated materials in any form still remains one the most significant issues due to its complexity in technological sense and consumer individual behaviour.

Coca-Cola: Coming Together campaign

 

coke

This essay will describe and analyse the Coca-Cola Coming Together campaign launched in 2013. The different  approaches between the UK and the USA are also discussed with the help of Chaffey’s 6 steps campaign plan version:

  1. Goal setting and tracking for interactive marketing communications
  2. Campaign Insight
  3. Segmentation and Targeting
  4. Offer, message development and creative
  5. Budgeting and selecting the digital media mix
  6. Integration into overall media schedule or plan

Goal setting and tracking for interactive marketing communications include SMART and annual marketing objectives and campaign specific objectives:

Specific

Coca-Cola has launched a new campaign initiative ‘Coming Together’ on 14th January 2013. The main objective is to beat one of the most worldwide serious health problems – obesity. Besides, they wanted to create awareness towards diabetes sick people. The company provided all packages with calorie counts information on the front of its products, and made their low and no-calorie drinks more available in each market in 200 countries where Coca-Cola is sold.

Measurable

Coca-Cola points out in the first two-minute commercial video “Coming Together” that it offers 180 low- and no-calorie beverages out of more than 650 beverage products. When appearing on CNN’s in October, Michael Jacobson (executive director of the CSPI) agreed that sugar and soda consumption are indeed on the decline.

The Coca Cola Campaign has changed the visual packaging of the coke bottles and named “Diet Coke” which is more feminine and “Coca-Cola Zero” suitable for men.

Attainable

In its new campaign, Coca-Cola states that “beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple, common-sense fact: All calories count, no matter where they come from. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”

Realistic

Coca Cola has not only increased the number of low and no-calorie beverages that they produce, but also decreased calories consumed per serving by 22%, and decreased the number of calories consumed by school-aged children in school by 90%.

But perhaps most important is a move Coca-Cola has already made: the decision to add the calorie counts to the front of their bottles and cans, to make it even easier for consumers to make informed decisions.

 Timebound

Coca-Cola spokesman Ben Scheidler said in an e-mail that “2013 is going to be a landmark year in terms of expanding partnerships and efforts to educate consumers about energy balance.”

Campaign insight

Dahlen, et al.(2010) states that it is important to visualise the contexts within which marketing communications strategy is set in order to provide a realistic impression of which audiences must be targeted, and what objectives and strategy are required to bring about effective communications.

Campaign insight has four context analysis:

  • Customer context:
    Includes attitudes, motivations, perceptions and behaviour; involvement level and potential risk
  • Business (Global) context:
    It is all about core values, attitudes and company culture in general.
  • Internal context:
    Employees, management and staff are the key target audience for communications and have to deliver he brand promise expressed in any marketing campaigns. It includes attitudes, core values and company cultural backgrounds.
  • External context:
    External context includes intermediaries, media, societal influences and conditions.

Segmentation and Targeting     

According to Dahlen (2010) in marketing, market ‘potential’ can often be segmented by using various demarcation criteria: demographics, socio-geographics, psychographics and so on. The Coming Together campaign was mostly designed for middle-income young people aged 12 to 25 (demographic and psychographic consumer markets). At this year stage people are more likely to suffer from obesity illness and are more dependent on different brands. The Coming Together commercial shows a wide range of faces of various ages, races, and genders e.g. children, parents, physicians, and even business professionals. This campaign, and Coca Cola Corporation in general, also covers around 200 countries all over the world which describes geographic segment.

Targeting of specific segments of a market helps reduce the wastage of resources associated with mass marketing and is likely to increase sales as it is the potentially better customers who are focused upon. (Egan, 2007) Targeting is a variety of profitable segments and a decision on how these clients can be reached.

 

Offers, message, creative

To support the campaign, Coca-Cola created a website, http://www.comingtogether.com, providing further details of the worldwide program and a 60-second version of its Coming Together commercial video, a two minutes video is released early this year. “Work It Out Calculator” helps to balance the calories in your favourite Coca-Cola drink by doing popular exercises, pastimes and household tasks. Also, “BMI Calculator” helps to identify if person is in a healthy weight range, underweight, overweight or obese. They also supporting vital physical activity programs like America is Your Park, Triple Play and many others. In addition, Coke industry is now implementing the Calories Count™ Vending Program and their Foundation will expand the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitnessprogram to big cities across the country in 2013. They always associated themselves with healthy activities.

Budgeting & selecting the digital media mix

The setting of marketing communications budgets is always a source of debate in organisations, and exposes differing perspectives on whether marketing communications is a cost or an investment, and on whether there is cause-and-effect input/output objectivity to its deployment. (Dahlen, 2010) Unfortunately, Coca-Cola cannot publicly provide the exact budget list for any campaign they launch in each country, region or how much they spend on advertising, radio, print, television advertising and other media. The total worldwide amount per 2006 year was approximately $2.6 billion (source: http://www.coca-colacompany.com)

Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital marketing and its associated channels such as web, social media, mobile, direct mail, etc. are important in order to deepen the organisation’s insight into customer behaviour and preferences. For example, Coke website provide the idea of sharing photos or video with personal stories of customers; this includes fitness initiatives or a good start of a balanced life.

Integration into overall media schedule or plan

Pickton and Broderick suggest 4Cs of Integrated Marketing Communications:

  • Coherence: all information should have logical connections via different channels.
    Coca Cola Coming Together campaign focused on delivering the same message all across different countries by using social networks and other online applications. It helped to raise interest amongst customers by giving them opportunity to share information and experience, in other words, Coca Cola let their customers to have a dialogue between each other.
  • Consistency: reinforce not contradict, sending the same message to the audience.
    Coming Together campaign had the same message for everyone: being health, active and do sports exercises.
  • Continuity: every channel needs to be connected/consisted over time.
    Coca Cola always updated their website based on upcoming information from their customers.
  • Complementary: synergistic, being able to combine communication efforts together.
    All the information, messages and promotions helped Coming Together campaign’s target audience to fight with obesity and have a healthy and balanced lifestyle,

Different approaches between the UK and the US

The first anti-obesity ad was released on 17th January 2013 in U.S.A. This version, which uses the same images as the original but absolutely different voiceover, lists the serious health risks of diet sodas, including kidney problems, obesity and much more. Then, it just gets even more depressing. “Imagine if cigarette companies said they were doing something responsible to protect you.” The last line brings it home, with absolutely no sugar coating. “Don’t drink Coke. It is killing you and your family.” By now, it has collected over 475,000 views.

According to AdAge magazine (2013), the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority banned Coca-Cola ad for misleading exercise claims as consumers were confused about what it takes to burn the 139 calories in a can. In response to that, Coca-Cola launched a “Be OK” ad which clearly shows that by doing extra physical exercises and have fun, it is possible to burn 139 calories. (The U.S. version uses 140 calories, instead of 139.)

Operations Management: Lean management. A wedding party at the Green Hotel.

1.0 Introduction
The report provides a literature review with a thorough research about the philosophy of the lean management and its common concepts by providing a number of well-known companies’ examples. It also discusses and analyses how the Green Hotel organization implements the concepts within a lean management system in practice by organising a wedding occasion. Some calculations and other appendixes are provided in order to determine the extra resources and the scheduling of the work.

2.0 The Philosophy of Lean Management
Lean management system is one of the most innovative and popular management techniques, which many firms are using today. According to Plenert (2007), lean is a systematic approach that focuses the entire enterprise on continuously improving quality, cost, delivery, and safety by seeking to eliminate waste, create flow, and increase the velocity of the system’s ability to meet customer demand. It also means that the flow of products or services always delivers exactly what customers want, in exact quantities and exactly when needed at the lowest possible price.
The basic concepts of lean management are: value stream mapping, 5S’s, continuous improvement, flow, just-in-time (JIT), total quality management (TQM), waste minimisation and, in some applications, 6 sigma methodology. Pascal (2007) states that value stream mapping is an invaluable tool that helps organisations to grasp the current condition and identify improvement opportunities. In other words, it is a technique for dramatically representing a process, to aid critical analysis of the process by a team of knowledgeable people. According to Bicheno (2009) the main purpose of mapping is to design the future. This is done by establishing priorities for lean implementation, short and medium term. It is also a great tool for ideas generation in general. 5S is perhaps the most popular tool in lean. The typical Japanese 5Ss are generally translated into sort, simplify, scan, standardise and Sustain steps. The objectives of a 5S are to reduce waste and variation as well as to improve productivity. By implementing 5S concept, places are clean and clear, highly motivated employees are working according to an order without any stress or pressure. Chambers and Johnston et al (2009) argue that continuous improvement adopts an approach to improving performance that assumes a never-ending series of small incremental improvement steps. Goetsch (2013) agrees that continual improvement seeks to eliminate waste in all forms, improve quality of products or services, and improve customer reaction- and do all of this while at the same time reducing costs. With JIT concept, a business holds no stock and instead relies upon deliveries of raw materials and other resources to arrive exactly when they are needed. (BBC, 2014) Dell Inc. successfully applied JIM principles in order to be able to provide an exceptionally short lead times to their customers with quickly assembly and shipping. Many principles of flow are linked with JIT. According to Goetsch (2013) flow production means production that runs easily and steadily without disruption. Boddy (2014) describes TQM as a philosophy of management that is driven by customer needs and expectations and focuses on continually improving work processes. This concept also includes every person in organisation who develop the idea of continuous and incremental improvement. Six sigma also plays a significant role in the overall process. It is a strategy within the context of total quality that moves the target to a far higher level of quality than organisations have succeed in the past. The objective of lean six sigma is to make the organisation better in its routine work and processes, its products or services, and its business outcomes.
It is believed that the most significant part of the lean philosophy is its focus on the elimination of all forms of waste which does not add value. According to Slack et al. (2011) there are seven types of waste: over-production, waiting time, transport, process, inventory, motion and defectives. Bicheno et al. (2009) believe that the waste of overproduction is the most serious of all the wastes because it is the source of many issues and other wastes. Overproduction is all about producing more than needed by the next process in any operation. For instance, to print documents or process items before they are required by the next person in the process. The waste of waiting is probably the second most important waste. It usually appears due to broken machinery, lack of skilled staff and discipline or inefficient planning. For example, in a factory business, any time that an item is seen to be not moving is a sign of waste. Transporting waste cannot be fully eliminated but it is also a waste that should be reduced over time. This particularly includes pointless transfers or distance travelled by materials, information or people. Movement or process itself may be a source of waste as moving customers or products around the operation often does not add value. (Slack et al, 2011) The waste of unnecessary inventory (such as raw materials, work in progress and end items) also exists. Next in importance is the waste of unnecessary motions which refer to both human and layout. For instance, an operation may look busy but sometimes no value is being added by the work. The waste of defects also cost money, for example, Toyota philosophy is that a defect should be regarded as a challenge rather than something to be tradeoff against what is ultimately poor management.
Nowadays, many companies such as Nike, Intel, Ford, Toyota, Textron, Caterpillar Inc. and many others use lean management principles. For example, Nike worked with Fair Labor Association in order to create performance indicators and maintainable sourcing and launched the Sustainable Apparel Coalition with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other manufacturers, and in the process saved money on energy and waste materials. (Wilkes, 2013) Intel, the world’s largest computer chip maker company, had to spend 14 weeks to introduce a new chip to the factory, however, after using lean principles it takes only 10 days. The US Caterpillar machinery manufacturer admitted that pace is a critical characteristic of lean integration, and if project takes too long to complete, the business will fail. In order to be successful, projects must be quickly implemented.
The main benefit of the lean management system is that the work which is under execution is reduced. Lean management system increases the production level to a higher level. It also focuses on customer satisfaction. E.g. when the products or services are good quality and delivered on time, the company receives a positive feedback from the client. This feedback improves the sales of the product and also builds a strong trust relationship and a sense of need between the company and its customers. Leadership is an important part of lean management system; leadership helps to increase income of the company. A well-qualified and skilled professional who manages the company can provide a better development to the business. The lean management system is especially effective and productive when a task is performed by a group of members rather than individually. It is also useful for both small and large scale industry.

 3.0 Application of concepts
The successful implementation of lean management philosophy to any organisation requires a thorough analysis and understanding of the current situation and possible valuable outcome. There are three concepts which are the most likely to be implemented in hospitality industry, particularly for the Green Hotel Company: value stream mapping, 5S and TQM.
Value stream mapping (VSM), the Japanese concept of Kaizen, is a tool that uses symbols to describe a value stream. Good mapping practice has four maps: current state, future state, ideal state, and action plan. It provides an opportunity to visualise a horizontal process view through organisational and functional structures in order to form a better understanding of the true value of each activity. (Aitken, 2014) One of the main advantage of VSM is that it provides a very clear focus to where the lean tools must be applied and ensures that the end to end process is optimised. Danaher Corporation have been using VSM as a tool in order to focus on activities in the pursuit of a lean organisation over the 5 years. It is not uncommon for processes with lead times in excess of 20 days to be completely restructured to less than 5 days over a period of 3-6 months, in addition to major decreases in inventory and batch sizes. (Source: http://www.oeeuk.com) VSM can help the Green Hotel organisation to guide creative thinking around process redesign and improvement options. For instance, the process of cleaning a hotel room can be easily analysed and planned with the help of value stream mapping. By implementing the VSM, the organisation can easily detect waste in a business process. Having a visual image may help the Green Hotel business to see the story of how the product or service makes its way to customers’ hands.
The 5S process is one of the most central and widely applied component of lean management. Five-S is considered as essential to continual improvement. (Goetsch, 2013) It is a method of doing things that eliminates waste and reduces faults, defects, and other damages. Benefits to the business from using the 5S methodology include improving quality, lowering costs, promoting security, building buyer confidence, increasing factory up-time, and lowering repair prices. A proper sortation of stock equipment such as spare tools, documentation and other items can help the hotel to identify the useless things and dispose it in order to save time searching around the work area. The useful items must be stored safe and kept in its place so that they are visible and immediately available to the workforce. This storage manner can comfort the hotel’s staff to access the needed equipment (extra chairs, bed clothes, detergents) by having it easily at hand every time it is needed. All of these lead to a cleaning work area around as the act of keeping everything clean becomes a form of inspection of machines, tools and environmental conditions. Standardize and sustain state for selecting the best practice and make sure that rules are followed and functioning well in organisation. The implementation of 5S can make hotel employees feel better about their work environment as well as improve productivity and reduce possible waste.
It is believed that TQM is a key concept of lean management and plays an essential role in improving the quality of products and services based on customers’ feedback. The Four Season Hotel is a good example of successfully implementing TQM methodology. Their golden rule is all about treating their guests with politeness and intelligence. They focus on listening carefully to the guests and meeting their expectations and needs. All Four Seasons hotels use a ‘guest history system’ to track guests’ preferences in order to prevent possible mistakes in the future. (Slack, N & Chambers, S; 2009) Ryanair, on the other hand, does not offer luxury service as they position themselves as a low-cost airline. Both companies describe quality as ‘getting the service you expect, given what you are paying’ by seeing things from a customer’s standpoint. The implementation of TQM methodology to the Green Hotel organisation can help to raise profitability, improve and increase customer satisfaction/loyalty, enhance market image as well as straighten competitive position. TQM covers all parts of the organisation and includes every person in the organisation as well as across the supply chain; it has clear systems and procedures to support quality and developing the idea of continuous improvement, implemented by teams; also, it tracks all costs affecting quality, especially those of failures and of getting things right first time. (Boddy, 2014)

4.0 Challenge Plan
This section describes the Green Hotel and provides a solution to the problem and a plan for running a wedding party for 120 guests in 8 weeks’ time. Some calculations, extra resources and scheduling of entertainment activities are analysed and prepared in clear details. Boddy (2014) states that planning sets out the overall direction of work which includes forecasting future trends, assessing resources and developing performance objectives.
It is obvious that the wedding party is usually celebrated on Friday-Sunday week days. According to the information produced, the average bedroom occupancy is 60% Friday to Sunday what makes it easy to locate 120 guests in 30 bedrooms hotel:

30 bedrooms – 100%
x bedrooms – 60%
30*60/100=18 (bedrooms) – It means that 60% of occupancy takes 18 bedrooms.

30 bedrooms – 100%
12 bedrooms – x %
12*100/30=40 – It means that the rest 12 bedrooms (out of 30) takes 40%.

Besides, most rooms are refundable if someone cancel it 48h ahead of check-in process.
All produce is sourced from suppliers within a 50 miles area. This supports their “Green ambitions” and helps to minimise their carbon footprint. Delivering smaller quantities more frequently can reduce inventory levels and shorten lead times. It will take approximately 2 hours for a vehicle driving 50mph in both ways, stuff loading may take around 1.5-2 hours as well as unloading:

2+ (2*2) =6 (hours) – All the stuff delivery takes maximum 6 hours in a day.

According to the fact that the busiest days are Fridays-Sundays, it is more advisable to do any delivery processes on Mondays-Thursdays as it is more convenient for the working staff to meet their time management and set priorities correctly. However, food must be delivered as close to the wedding party day so that it will stay fresh.

The main resources list includes:
Food and Beverages (hot and cold) (480 portions of dishes- three course lunch & buffet, 108 alcoholic bottles for cocktails and etc., 240 bottles of soft drinks)
Extra furniture (chairs x 120, tables x 30, outdoor seats x 10)
Extra kitchen dishes and table clothes (plates x 120, glasses x 290, knives & forks x 290, napkins etc.)
Extra bedclothes x 120
Large TV screens x 2
Music and sound equipment (microphones, loudspeakers) x 1 set
Other (fireworks, flowers, grill etc.) x quantity by request
The following graph below illustrates the delivery dates during the 8 weeks’ time.

Image

Every wedding occasion requires a variety of entertainments for adult and their children. The Green Hotel can provide an outdoor ceremony for newlyweds and their guests as well as an outside party with different snacks, beverages and buffet facilities. There is a need to hire more bartenders and runners who can serve food and cocktails as well as do cleaning at night. Another activity for adults is a large TV screen with photo collage showing the bride’s and groom’s life. Different musicians, DJs or showgirls may cover the background and make the event especially memorable and lively. The Green Hotel also provides a large dance floor with disco ball and other decorations. Activities for children are also included, for example, a game room and an outdoor swings. Any other entertainments or decorations facilities can be booked outside of the Green Hotel. The graph below shows the supposed entertainments timescale during the wedding event.

Image

ISO 9000’s operating principle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) will help to guarantee that the products or services provided by organisations are regularly fit for the intended purposes. Plan-Do-Check-Ant cycle result in continual improvement for products/services, processes and systems of processes. (Goetsch, 2013) By establishing objectives and developing the future plans, and putting it into action, it is easier to measure the result of action or were the objectives met? It will help to learn from the results and make any necessary changes to the plan and repeat the cycle. The implementation ISO 9000 to the Green Hotel’s wedding occasion will help to set priorities and improve client satisfaction as well as achieve continual improvement of organisational performance and competitiveness. The cycle below illustrates the implementation of ISO 9000 to the wedding party at the Green Hotel.

Image

5.0 Conclusion

The main aim of the lean system is to eliminate waste so as to improve productivity – the only effective strategy under the new economics. Lean activities are interrelated and mutually supportive and are informed by the same way of thinking. The positive goals of lean production include creating flow so that the customer can pull and involving the workers in improvement activities. (Pascal, 2007) This report also produced a solution to a planning problem at the Green Hotel by providing a list of needed resources and its quantities, schedule of delivery dates and wedding entertainment activities.

6.0 References

Aitken, A. (2014). Lean: Concepts and Realities. Available: http://www.lanner.com/en/pdf/lean_and_lanner.pdf.%5B Last accessed 14th Apr 2014.]

BBC. (2014). Business studies: Just in Time. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/business/production/organisingproductionrev3.shtml.%5B Last accessed 10th Apr 2014.]

Boddy, D (2014). Management Production. 6th ed. London: Pearson Education Ltd. p.656,586, 20

Bicheno, J & Holweg, M (2009). The Lean Toolbox: The Essential Guide to Lean Transformation. 4th ed. Buckingham: PICSIE Books. p.22-24

Chambers,S & Johnston,R et al (2009). Operations and Process Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic Impact. 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. p.440,386-387

Goetsch,D & Davis,S (2013). Quality Management for Organisational Excellence. 7th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education. p.396-397,38,266,233

Oeeuk. (2012). Value Stream Mapping. Available: http://www.oeeuk.com/five-min-briefing/value-stream-mapping/#success.%5B Last accessed 14th Apr 2014.]

Pascal, D (2007). Lean Production. 2nd ed. New York: Productivity Press. p.25-26,87

Plenet, G (2007). Reinventing Lean: introducing lean management into the supply chain. Oxford: Elsevier. p.146

Slack, N & Lewis, M (2011). Operations Strategy. 3rd ed. Essex: Pearson Education. p.91,92

Slack, N et al. (2011). Essentials of Operations Management. London: Pearson Education. p.89

Wilkes, J. (2013). Top Ten Lean Manufacturers. Available: http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/top_ten/the-top-ten-lean-manufacturers. [Last accessed 8th Apr 2014.]