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The study examined the use of facilities management as a potent management tool in hotel asset management within selected hotels in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. The aim of the study is to investigate the degree of beneficial application of facilities management principles in the management of hotel organizations in the study area with a view to curtail widespread disinvestment. The population of the study comprised of five selected hotels within the study area. The sample frame consisted of hotels that are registered with Nigeria Tourism Board and located within the State Capital namely Crest Hotels, Quarler Apartments & Hotels, Hill Station Hotels, Country Homes Hotels and Sharna Hotels. Stratified sampling technique was used. Stratification of hotels that formed the study area focused on the State capital, which generally harbors the different categories of hotels under study. Data collection instruments included two questionnaires targeted at hotel organizations’ management/personnel and the hotel customers. These were implemented by personal interview and discussion with hotel stakeholders as identified and the study of system operations of selected hotels. The findings of the study were that facilities provision in the hotel industry within the study area was not totally in conformity with national recommendation of Tourism Board of Nigeria especially in quality and wholeness. The degree of application of facilities management in the hotel industry in the study area is low. There were traces of facilities management features perhaps due to overlapping of maintenance management, property management and facilities management. There appeared to be a correlation between hotel management style and hotel effectiveness in service delivery while there was strong evidence indicating that facilities management, as a style of management, aids hotel effectiveness generally. Identified traits of effective facilities management driven hotel organization included a flat organization structure, process team as work units, absolute workers’ empowerments, and
a multi-dimensional process team, job preparations anchored to education and training with customer based performance measurement. Finally, accommodation and services were discovered to be customer dictated. Some benefits were derived with extensive responsibilities and authorities for facilities managers coming first, followed by improved quality of services and then national stock of hotels worthy of presentation. Twenty challenges were also identified with the first three being that the concern for immediate return on investment generally among the investing public, religious sentimentalism which views hotel as promoting immorality and social misbehavior; and un-conducive business environment in Jos with regards to poor infrastructure, epileptic power supply, policy inconsistencies and high level of corruption. Based on the findings from the study, the following conclusions were made. While the world at large has accepted facilities management for what it is, Jos’s responsiveness to it is slow. Having proved its efficacy in aiding hotel effectiveness in operation and service delivery in developed countries, the time is ripe for its accelerated adoption and implementation not only within hotel sector but other sectors of the economy.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Becker (2000) states that a building is like a living organism and, like any living thing, it needs to be nurtured, understood and its full potential developed. This statement moves away from the premise that buildings are merely ordinary structures, regarded as costs to an organization, rather than investments. Best (2003) [In Cowan (2007)] defined facilities management as “being responsible for coordinating all efforts relating to planning, designing and managing buildings and their systems, equipment and furniture to enhance the functionality of the building and organization’s ability to compete in a rapidly changing world”. Integration of facilities management (FM) in the development process is always a challenge to professionals in the construction industry and property development due to the complexity and multi-disciplinary professions in the construction project (Felten, 2009).
A number of studies have been carried out to harmonise multidisciplinary knowledge and various experts in the early stage of development process (Jensen, 2006; 2008; 2009; Macomber, 2001). However, there is a lack of understanding and no real consensus on the importance of the integration of facilities management, to which there is a limited role of facilities management in the full development process. It is argued that the integration of facilities management in the full development of a building will have a huge impact to the longevity of the building lifecycle, and have a positive influence on its sustainable development planning (Tucker & Pitt, 2009).
Hodges (2005) opined that facilities management integration during construction stage will extend its lifetime as well as solicit perceived satisfaction of users, increase productivity and reduce the damaging effects on the environment. On the contrary, Chodasova (2004) consider
that the domain of the activities of facilities management is pertinent during the conceptual stage and utilization of the buildings. Moreover, Shah (2007) contended that whole building life cycle needs for facilities management elements as early development process have a huge impact to end-users operation and organization culture. In the case of existing buildings that were designed and constructed without facilities management consideration, FM is Perceived to be the alternative to minimize the buildings vulnerability by complying with building regulation and shall be proven with end-users satisfaction (Wood, 2006). This takes cognizance of the three main variables of facilities management (people, business processes, and physical infrastructure) all of which are integrated to achieve the objectives of the organization and functionality of the building.
Previous research on integration of facilities management in hotels is very limited. For instance, Parry and collins (2003) tried to outline the major advantages of adopting the techniques of facilities management within hotel organizations and to indicate areas of potential sector growth. Losekoot (2001) examined conceptual links between facilities and hotels management in the context of customers satisfaction by investigating both the hard and soft dimensions of facilities management through customers complaints in hotels.
De Bruijn (2001) explored some issues in the definition of facilities management while drawing parallels with similar debates in the other fields of vocational education, specifically hotel management. The constant pressure of serving an international clientele, increasing global competitions has compelled hotels to re-invent and integrate facility management services among their core strategies.
The Facilities Management concept has had only limited impact on hotels (Jones, 2004; Ransley and Ingram, 2006). In Plateau State for example which coincidentally is known to be
home of tourism in Nigeria, As many hotels organizations have yet to develop the internal competencies required for the effective management of such relationships, a developing subject but one where evident applications and benefits to the facilities are yet to be fully developed and demonstrated. For this reason at least, hotel managers should maintain an awareness of developments in the facilities management field. Undoubtedly, facilities management has come to stay as a profession in Europe and other developed nations of the world. However, in Nigeria particularly Plateau State, its existence and even its practice are not sufficiently documented.
According to Durodola, Ajayi and Oloyede (2011), there are indicative reasons why a professional facilities management service is essential to hotel operations, these includes keeping up with the competition, maintain or increase market share by satisfying current or potential customers, to improve the operational efficiency of the hotel that will lead to an increase in both productivity and long-term savings in operational expenses, maintain corporate image and standards, to upgrade the hotel to a higher category (e.g. from four-star to five-star), to comply with the new innovations, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and technology in the market (e.g. the green movement), to cope with the governmental requirements (e.g. laws for the disabled etc).
‘The next time customers or tourists walk into a glitzy hotels and step onto its serene exterior landscape and receptive polished floor, one can simply whisper who is responsible for the mirror finish, the smart security personnel and the impeccable arrangement of facilities” (Jensen, 2009). All of these come under the broad term of facility management which has undergone a sea change from its original concept.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, a good number of facts and incidents aid and abet the development of hotels. First is the public sector involvement, which had been predominant at least up to the late nineties. Hotels were established for providing accommodation for government visitors and patrons. Despite the non-proactive nature of facilities maintenance in some of these hotels, particularly in Jos, Plateau State are not left behind in the adoption of facilities management as strategic management principle to get hold of the market going by what are being published in the daily newspapers; for instance Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja Lagos, Le Meridien Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos and Nicon Hilton Hotel, Abuja (Bode-Thomas, 2003). If these colossal investments are to be retained, sustained and accelerated, there is the need to investigate what the hotels in the study area can integrate to sustain themselves in business with particular regards to the management of their facilities and property assets.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Facility management as an industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing sector over the decade. However, the scope and identity of facility management is still lacking in clarity or definition as evidenced by the definitions and issues which attempt to describe its scope. In fact, facility management is a multi-disciplinary kind of work that covers wide range of various activities, responsibilities and knowledge. Moreover every aspect of an organization seems to be drawn into facility management. It is only recently that facilities management has come to be applied to specific sectors of the economy usually education and health sectors. Most of earlier studies have taken place in South Africa [Kotze and Nkado (2003)] and United Kingdom [Amaratunga and Baldry (2009), Amaratunga (2000).
The seeming survival of the privately owned hotel in Plateau State might be due to so many reasons amongst which are applications of facilities management principles. Among the major players which are promptly chosen as case study include Crest Hotels, Quarler Apartments &Hotels, Hill Station Hotels, Country Homes Hotels and Sharna Hotels. The industry is a porous
one and the business of owning hotels remains an all comers’ affair. Commendably, more wealthy people, local and foreign, including State Governments are still investing huge sums of money building great structural edifices in a bid to buy into the market, which potentials, experts said remained largely untapped. Probing the extent of applications of facilities management principles and establishing the benefits, probable challenges against holistic adoption of facilities management principles should contribute a great deal to the resolution of this level of uncertainty and information obscurity. It will also provide research result from which upcoming hoteliers and investors can adopt to guide them on successful operation of hotels and resorts in Plateau State. Thus, in order for business to be conducted in any hotel organization, it is essential for constructed assets to be appropriately managed if the investment is to maintain and enhance its value and sustain reasonable returns. If Nigeria, particularly Plateau State, the home of tourism is to project quickly to the tourism sector of the economy as a veritable and dependable source of foreign exchange, the backbone of which is the hotel organizations, then the study is considered as highly justified.
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
The aim of the study is to investigate the integration of facilities management principles in the management of hotel organizations in selected hotels in Jos, Plateau State.
In order to achieve the above stated aim the following objectives are set to: -
i. Examine the extent of application of facilities management in hospitality industry.
ii. Examine the perceptions of potential benefits of facilities management among various hotel industries’ stake holder.
iii. Identify the challenges militating against holistic adoption of facilities management principles in hotel organizations.
iv. Derive indicators for effective facilities management implementation in the hotel industry.
1.5 THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
It is against this background that this study is designed to examine the management of hotel assets from facilities management perspectives.
The research is thus aimed at providing answers to the following research questions:
i. Are the hotels within the study area fully equipped in terms of facilities for effectiveness?
ii. What is the extent of implementation of facilities management in hotel organizations?
iii. What indicators can best be derived for effective facilities management implementation
in hotel organizations?
iv. What are the challenges militating against effective application of facilities management in hotel operations?
v. Are there benefits derivable from the adoption of facilities management, from which other hotels can learn from for their effective operations?
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