Dusit International woos MICE with TQM initiatives

Thai group hones operations to win world-class management certification and impress event planners, writes Angela Leal




MOST MICE organizers and solo travelers will only book a hotel if it can show clear proof of management systems addressing the environment, hygiene levels, and safety and security. So, Bangkok-based Dusit International is working for certification that shows event planners that its 29 hotels and 45 new projects are world-standard.

On Thursday, (26 January) Dusit International revealed it had rolled out Total Quality Management (TQM) systems across its entire portfolio of properties. As a result, the group is one of the first Thai-owned hospitality companies to meet the criteria of the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9000 series and to commit to continuous improvement in all aspects of its operations. Such a policy could be emulated by Philippine hotels wishing to stand out above mounting competition for lucrative business meetings and international associations events business.

TQM is a comprehensive and structured approach to organisational management that seeks to improve the quality of products and services through ongoing refinements. Dusit International began implementing its TQM systems three years ago. The group reached its first milestone in Thailand in December 2016 when, with generous funding from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), several of its properties in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket, and Chiang Mai were all certified for IS0 9001:2015, the world’s most commonly used standard for quality management systems within an organisation. The properties were assessed by SGS Thailand, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company based in Bangkok.

With continued support from TCEB, this year Dusit International says it will continue to hone its operations in the kingdom. It will apply to be certified for ISO 14001, which covers environmental management systems; ISO 22000, which covers food safety management systems; and ISO 20121, which covers event sustainability management systems. Following its mission to enhance Thailand’s appeal as a destination for MICE tourism, TCEB will subsidize a substantial portion of the assessment funds.

Dusit International says it hopes that “being certified in all of these areas will further cement its position as a preferred choice for business and leisure travellers”, and attract even more MICE and high-spending tourists to the country.

“The TQM systems we have implemented at our hotels have helped to improve overall efficiency which has led to an increase in employee satisfaction and, in turn, high levels of guest satisfaction,” says Tan Eng Leong, Dusit International’s senior vice-president, total quality management. “With TQM systems now rolled out across our entire portfolio of hotels and resorts, we look forward to similar results at our international properties.”

As part of its TQM systems at each property, Dusit International has established quality improvement teams that are tasked with streamlining operations and enhancing service delivery. Staff have been empowered to take the initiative, and are encouraged to suggest ways to improve products and facilities. All processes are mapped to ease training, with detailed descriptions of best practices, as well as to identify areas for improvement. This has resulted in increased employee engagement, and improved services across the board.

Lim Boon Kwee, Dusit International’s chief operating officer, says the implementation of TQM systems offer several advantages. Its benefits range from “saving energy and reducing energy costs” to “cutting food wastage, and being able to leverage the increased customer confidence that TQM systems afford”, Lim explains. Such measures are especially important to MICE clientele, “who use them as a benchmark for standards of safety and service”, he adds.
With TCEB’s gracious support, Lim says, “we now look forward to having our hard work in Thailand further validated by the respected ISO 9000 series, and to welcoming even more MICE and leisure travellers from all corners of the globe. Our international properties will all be certified in due course.”

That’s good news for Dusit International’s Philippine hotels: the Dusit Thani Manila (pictured above), dusitD2 Davao, the DusitPrincess Cebu City resort and DusitPrincess NAIA Gardens Manila. The group’s upcoming properties here also include Dusit Thani Lubi Island; Dusit Thani Residence Davao; dusitD2 The Fort, Manila and dusitD2 Waves San Juan, in La Union.

In 2018 Dusit will open the Dusit Hospitality Management College, a hospitality school that will be integrated with the upmarket hotel, dusitD2 The Fort, Manila. Its degree programs will be certified by the École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and its professional advancement and culinary programmes will be introduced in collaboration with the Institut Paul Bocuse.

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