Ginger Hotels is an example of an outstanding supply chain in the service sector.
Ginger Hotels is a new concept in India. It is a budget hotel with a help-yourself concept.
Ginger Hotels is a subsidiary of Indian Hotels , which runs the Taj group of hotels. The service concept has been designed in association with the legendary Prof CK Prahalad.
It is clear that the Ginger Hotel concept would have been designed using the ‘target cost’ concept.
As with all target costing exercises- be it the Rs 100000 car, trucks, houses, shampoo in sachets- the consumer’s requirement and needs would have been determined first.
Then the target cost for each of the services- room capital cost, room maintenance cost, hotel’s common area capital cost, hotel’s common area maintenance costs, security, kitchen, housekeeping front office- would have been allocated This is an iterative process requiring a multi-functional team. It requires a very strong finance support – data, analysis, ABC [ Activity Based Costing].
Once the cost for each service [ or you could call it cost element or cost head] is allocated different teams would have worked to develop a service/ product at the target cost.
Self Service Concept right from the entrance
Right from the time you enter the gate of the Ginger hotel, you cannot help notice the self-service and budget concept.
There are no valets to park your car. Only parking lots marked, where you go and park your car.
There is no porter to lug your luggage to the room. There are airport style trolleys to help you transport your luggage to your room.
There are no durwans to open the door; only an automatic sliding glass door.
The lobby is functional with attractive marbonite tiles. No grand high ceilings with chandeliers. The staff is dressed in black jeans and T-shirt; very different from the formal coat and tie that front office team wears at a star hotel.
Rooms and room service
There is no room service!
There are coffee and tea making kits with a electric kettle in the room. There is a vending machine in the lobby which dispenses snacks, drinks, soap, toothpaste. For water, there is an Aquaguard in the restaurant where you can fill your water bottle, yourself.
There is no iron in the room. There is a common iron on each floor for those who want to press their clothes.
The room size is just about right. The lights and fans are functional and part of the building. There are no brass and fancy table lamps and lights.No brass and fancy lights means no polishing the brass, cleaning and dusting them The intent is to keep maintenance costs low and save on manpower costs.
Similarly, the bathroom is functional. It has a bathing area with a shower curtain. It has liquid soap dispensers. The intent is to save on cost of soaps which never get utilized fully and consequently get wasted. The bathroom does not have all the paraphernalia- moisturizer, shaving kit, toothpaste, comb- one expects of a full service hotel.
Restaurant and food
The restaurant serves only buffets. They serve a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The food is simple, tasty and affordable. The coffee and tea at breakfast are served from a vending machine and the ice cream is branded [ in the hotel I stayed in, it was Joy Ice Cream].
If you do not want to eat from the buffet, they have the menu from the take-away restaurants nearby.
Impeccable 5 star quality hotel staff
One thing which was 5 star quality was the service. Impeccable, Taj standard service. The staff was courteous, helpful, cheerful, efficient and prompt. We wanted directions to a bookshop and a few places to visit and the staff was very helpful.
Supply Chain and Ginger
Supply chain concepts applied successfully in Ginger are;
- Target costing: Understanding the need of the target consumer and giving the right service at the right price.
- Service delivery process: The processes were very detailed and thorough. For example, there were road signs with directions to the hotel. The TV volume was just right and all the small details which differentiate between good and great service delivery.
- Training: The staff at the hotel was trained very well. A self-service hotel is a new concept in India. Training the team to acheive the fine balance between enforcing the self-service concept and being helpful is a difficult task. Ginger seems to done that very well.
Who says there is no money at the bottom of the pyramid??!!!!