Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi

By | May 2, 2014

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Executive Summary

There are four major parts of this assignment: the first part is the relevant background introduction; the second part is the current status of the project; and the third major part is the analysis of the business project which is the Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel); and the final part of the assignment is the concluding remarks as well as the suggestions given to assist to cope with some of the issues identified during the discussion.  
Table of contents

Executive Summary 2
Table of contents 3
Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel) 5
1. Introduction 5
2. Project status 5
3. The business case 5
3.1 In what ways does this project conform (or not) to the definition of a project in the literature? 5
3.2 The stakeholders (Management from Furniture Manufacturer, Design firm, Hotel owner & Management from Marriott, Local labor team) 7
3.2.1 Management from Furniture Manufacturer 8
3.2.2 Design firm 8
3.2.3 Hotel owner 9
3.2.4 Management from Marriott 9
3.2.5 Local labor team 10
3.3 Who is the sponsor of the project 10
3.3.1 Visa, accommodation and travel related issues handling 11
3.3.2 Budgeting 11
3.4 In what ways are the benefits, cost and risk evaluated as part of the business case? 12
3.5 In what way/s is the preferred solution justified 13
3.5.1 Preferred solutions 13
3.5.2 Justification of the solutions 13
4. Conclusions 13
5. Recommendations 14
Two major recommendations are given here:- 14
List of references 15

List of figure

Figure 1 Relationship chart of the relevant stakeholders 6


Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel)

1. Introduction

Marriott Court in Kochi is an airport hotel graded as four stars and located in Kochi, India. This project will be written and prepared in the perspective of the manufacturer to assist the company with the aims to: (a) estimate the cost of the transactional furniture installation assignment; (b) estimate the time duration; (c) better coordinate the project with the stakeholders, e.g. design company and hotel owner; (d) better prepare the installation assignment and human resource allocation (from the company as well as from local labor).

2. Project status

The hotel is scheduled to open in 1 Aug 2013. All the furniture involved is ready in two big warehouses which are in Kochi though far away from the site. The company is given the deadline of 1 June 2013 to settle all the furniture installation, placement and checking job to ensure the smooth handover of the hotel to the management side, i.e. Marriott. The company is about to plan and send out installation team to India to carry out the project in due course.

3. The business case

3.1 In what ways does this project conform (or not) to the definition of a project in the literature?

There are various definitions of the term “project” with abundant literatures. According to Kathy Schwalbe (2011, p. 35), a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. And also there are several major features describing the basic elements of a project.

a. Incremental development
b. Resource requirement
c. Sponsor
d. Involves uncertainty
e. Constrains of project management

Here we discuss several major features of a typical project as well as how the project of furniture installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel) could fit into these features making it being in line with the definition of the term of project. First of all, though a project tend to be temporary in nature with the target to obtain a result reaching which the project would tend to come to an end, therefore a typical project tend to be developed incrementally rather than happening in a sudden. In another word, a project is planned (Abrahamsson 2008). As for the project of furniture installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel), the furniture manufacturer obviously has planned long for the installation as furniture installation is the integrated condition of the purchasing order from the client, i.e. the design firm (the relations between the relevant stakeholders would be elaborated in the next paragraph). Secondly, for all project work, preliminary resource planning is fundamental in order to support the project from beginning to the end including taking into consideration of unexpected situations that may happen (Kendrick 2009, p. 108). Thirdly, the project sponsor is usually the one that is responsible for the continual management representing the project owner to make sure that the desired project objectives are achieved (Fox & Waldt 2007, p. 91). As in the case of project of furniture installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel), the sponsor of the project belongs to the site supervisor who not only manages the project budget but also play other major functions such as arranging the relevant resource inputs to ensure that the project would be on the track of smooth operation. Therefore we can see that the project of furniture installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel) fits well into the definition of the term “project” by matching well several key features of the same. Fourthly, uncertainty is usually considered as one major condition that the project sponsor must deal with during the project (Smith 2003, p. 8). In the early stage of project planning the company had listed out three major forms of uncertainties for the project: a. Visa issue could be a kind of uncertainty as Indian is considered as a country that has strict supervision over the approval of various kind of visa in particular with business visa (Kontrimas 2006, p. 239); b. Uncertainty could also be from the installation team sent to carry out the international assignment; c. Uncertainty could also be from the local installation team hired in India as supervision as well as coordination of the Indian locals could also be a major uncertainty; c. Business relationship between the furniture manufacturer and its clients as well with the stakeholders could be another uncertainty.

3.2 The stakeholders (Management from Furniture Manufacturer, Design firm, Hotel owner & Management from Marriott, Local labor team)

Figure 1 Relationship chart of the relevant stakeholders

The term of stakeholder could be referred as persons and organizations that affect or being affected by a company’s practices (Andriof 2002, p. 185). There are five major stakeholders in the project, i.e. Management from Furniture Manufacturer, Design firm, Hotel owner & Management from Marriott, Local labor team.

3.2.1 Management from Furniture Manufacturer

The management from the furniture manufacturer is considered the internal stakeholder which is a term defined as the stakeholders who are directly linked to the organization and who often have formal powers to hold the company to account (Jordan & Tuijl 2006). The management from the furniture manufacturer has four major effects / relationship with the project: a. the management would be responsible to have the project successfully implemented according to the company owner’s desires in a cost effective way; b. the management would be responsible to send out part of the management team to handle to project in India; c. the implementation of the project would directly affect the performance of the relevant management; fourthly, the management team is supposed to provide necessary support and empowerment to the site supervisor to carry out the tasks.

3.2.2 Design firm

The design firm is the direct client of the furniture supplier / manufacturer. In another word, the design firm offers the furniture supplier with the purchasing order of the hotel furniture but with the precondition the furniture supplier would be responsible for the onsite installation of the furniture provided by the furniture supplier. The design firm plays three major roles relating to the project of Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel). First of all, the design firm coordinates the hotel owner and the installation team; secondly, the design firm would offer requests to be fulfilled by the installation team on behalf of the owner of the hotel; thirdly, under any circumstances the manufacturer / installation team is supposed to work for the design firm under its supervision and meeting its particular requirement and instruction though constrained by the pre-designed agreements between the furniture supplier and the design firm; thirdly, the design firm has an office as well as several project staffs working on the project and to provide local / onsite assistance to the installation team from the furniture supplier to contribute to the final success of the project implementation.

3.2.3 Hotel owner

Though as mentioned above, the hotel is not the one that directly hires the furniture supplier to work in this project, it stills have its role in influencing the development of the project. On one hand, the hotel owner could have a number of key decisions making that affect the project development. For example, the owner of the hotel needs to provide lighting and water supply to the installation team in order for them to work in normal conditions; on the other hand, the hotel owners would a say over how the furniture should be installed as well as how the installation work should be carried out. For instance, the hotel owner may design that no installation work should be allowed during Sunday as it is the time for praying for everyone. And beside these, it seems that the hotel owner could also facilitate the project by giving more support therein.

3.2.4 Management from Marriott

In a typical Marriott hotel, the strategy of separating ownership of properties from management of operations is strictly adhered (Garbade 2001, p. 344). Management from Marriott though has not taken over the management role of the hotel before the official handover of the hotel from the hotel owner which is supposed to take place one month before the opening of the hotel approximately which means that Management from Marriott could be considered as a less powerful stakeholder in this project as it is not authorized fully to supervise the installation of the furniture. But it could affect the project development in two major ways: a. the Management from Marriott would be able to assist to evaluate the performance of the installation work as Management from Marriott would be one of the key users of the furniture of the hotel; b. the Management from Marriott would have its voice heard by the design which further press the installation team to carry out particular tasks as desired by the Management from Marriott in their perspective.

3.2.5 Local labor team

The local labor team is assumed to be hired by the furniture supplier with contractual binding. It seems that there should be minimized risks as there are mutual agreements stated in the contracts. And the local labor team could have effects over the implementation of the project by several major ways: a. the English literacy level would have great impact over the effective communication between the installation team from the furniture supplier and the local team as English is the only common verbal language that might exist between these two parties; b. the local labor team might have different working methods compared to those shared by the Chinese installation team sent to carry out the project from the furniture supplier; b. the working efficiency of the local labor team would also contribute / detract the efficiency of the jobs done; c. the local labor team could also be a kind of uncertainty to the project as the labor hired by the local team could changes during different stages resulting in a lot of possible costs such as training new locals to use the specific machines.

3.3 Who is the sponsor of the project

Based on the definition that the project sponsor is usually the one that is responsible for the continual management representing the project owner to make sure that the desired project objectives are achieved (Fox & Waldt 2007, p. 91), the project sponsor regarding the Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel) is the company assigned site supervisor who is also the head of the installation team sent to carry out the transactional assignment. There are four major roles of this sponsor of the project in this particular project:

3.3.1 Visa, accommodation and travel related issues handling

One major role that the site supervisor has to play at the very beginning of the project is not work related but travel relevant such as visa application, ticket booking and passport keeping. For instance, the nos. of the installation team staffs would reach about 40 during the phrase one installation and with so many people going out to a foreign country at the first time probably, the passport keeping could be a critical issue as people may lose their passport in the airport resulting in a lot of unnecessary troubles. Another major type of issue is the accommodation problem. With the long stay over the hotel, probably two month each time, there could be various problems to be handled by the site supervisor.

3.3.2 Budgeting

Budgeting is a critical topic to be carried out by the project / site supervisor as money is so important that without money, usually cash, the operation could be stopped. For example, if the team has not sufficient money to buy the necessary equipments, the work could be delay. Budgeting could involve two kinds of expenses to be taken into consideration: business relevant expense and personal expense. In the first case, it is related to the usual expense because of the project such as hotel rental charge; in the later scenario, the personal expense could be linked to the personal demand of money from each member of the installation team. For example, the installation team members may request to have some local currency / cash to buy souvenirs before heading back to China for which the site supervisor has to plan well how much should be carried out to India before departure.

3.4 In what ways are the benefits, cost and risk evaluated as part of the business case?

In term of benefits, no doubt the project has assisted the company to fulfill its business contract with the design firm which is the direct benefit of the project of Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel); secondly, the project would increase the furniture supplier’s experience in handling the international installation jobs; thirdly, the successful of the project would obviously enhances the relationship between the furniture supplier and the design firm, the client of the project.

In term of costs, obviously there are monetary costs as well non-monetary costs. The major monetary costs include:-

a. Ticket cost (varied depending on the timing of booking and nos. of staffs in the installation team);
b. Board and lodging expenses;
c. Transportation costs (other than air tickets);
d. Daily expense;
e. Salary and allowances to the staffs in the installation team;
f. Amount of money to be paid to the local contractor (local labor team);
g. Visa costs;
h. Insurance costs;
i. Accidental costs &
j. Other costs (to be identified further upon the confirmation of the detailed project plan)

And regarding the non-monetary cost, the company would have to pay the relevant opportunity cost by sending out some of its best staffs.

In the term of risks, they have been well covered in the earlier discussions, such as risk / uncertainty could also be from the local installation team hired in India as supervision as well as coordination of the Indian locals could also be a major uncertainty.

3.5 In what way/s is the preferred solution justified

3.5.1 Preferred solutions

A preferred solution to some issues / uncertainties discussed above is to send out a small team of management as well as installers to get familiar with all the procedures and working environment in Kochi before sending out all the team staffs.

3.5.2 Justification of the solutions

An actual onsite check has two major benefits: first of all, some issues may not be able to be identified on paper which is considered as a common knowledge; secondly, the actual experience could assist the site supervisor to identify the needed material and resources which is not obtainable in the local market to be arranged to be delivered from China direct.

4. Conclusions

With the analysis above, two major conclusions could be made. First of all, the Furniture Installation for Marriott Courtyard in Kochi (Airport Hotel) is typical project according to the relevant literatures; secondly, this project has benefits as well as risks and uncertainties which should receive necessary attention from the company.

5. Recommendations

Two major recommendations are given here:-

 The company, i.e. the furniture supplier, should be careful in picking up a site supervisor in handling the project;
 Various contingencies should be identified together with relevant proposed solutions to be prepared mentally and practically to cope with the issues.

List of references

Abrahamsson, P. 2008 Agile Processes in Software Engineering and EXtreme Programming. Germany: Springer Science and Business Media.

Andriof, J. 2002, Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking: Theory, Responsibility and Engagement. Midsomer Norton: Greenleaf Publishing. p. 185

Barnes, D. 2008. Operations management. New York: Cengage Learning EMEA

Clarke,A & Chen, W. 2007. International hospitality management. London: Routledge.

Fox, W. & Waldt, G. V. D. 2007, A Guide to Project Management. Cape Town: Juta and Company Ltd. p. 91

Garbade, K. D. 2001, Pricing Corporate Securities As Contingent Claims. Hong Kong: MIT Press. p. 344

Jordan, L. & Tuijl, P. V. V. 2006. NGO Accountability: “Politics, Principles and Innovations”. London: Routledge.

Kendrick, T. 2009, Identifying and Managing Project Risk. New York: AMACOM. p. 108

Kontrimas, A. 2006, International Expatriate Employment Handbook. New York: Kluwer Law International. p. 239

Larkan, K. 2009. The Talent War: How to Find and Retain the Best People for Your Company. New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Lockyer, T. L. G. 2007. The International Hotel Industry: Sustainable Management. London: Routledge

Lowe, R. & Marriott, S. 2006. Enterprise: Entrepreneurship And Innovation. London: Routledge

Schwalbe, K. 2011, Information Technology: Project Management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. p. 35

Smith, N. J.2003, Appraisal, Risk And Uncertainty. London: Tomas Telford. p. 8

Wood, R. C. & Brotherton, B. The SAGE Handbook of Hospitality Management. London: Sage Publications.