When you have global reach, how do you keep your processes consistent without slowing things down?


For one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, the 2000s have seen unprecedented growth with hundreds of new hotel openings per year and a global presence for their multiple brands. But such rapid expansion left them with an opening and onboarding process that was inconsistent; even haphazard. With a majority of their properties franchise-owned, the ensuing confusion cost them time and money during openings and impacted their ability to attract franchisees.

The company already had a detailed, multi-phased approach to hotel openings, documented in hundreds of diagrams, but it was so hard to follow that every opening seemed to interpret it differently. XPLANE’s task was to take in the entire scope of properties and procedures--from planning and construction through the arrival of the first guests--then devise a more intuitive way to communicate them to both franchisees and the managers responsible for overseeing the entire process.

Creating a set of visually rich Opening Process Maps took two months of collaborative work between XPLANE, the client’s project team, and subject matter experts. During this time, both teams saw the potential for something much bigger and more impactful: an onboarding tool kit, specific to each of the client’s brands.

In a new, expanded role, XPLANE created a series of kits designed to give any franchisee, anywhere in the world, all the materials they’d need to oversee construction and opening of a new hotel. Each comprises a process map, a quick start guide for getting managers up to speed, and booklets that delve deep into each phase of opening. More than just showing what to expect, these tool kits prepare key decision makers to deal with the questions and challenges that arise as a new hotel prepares for opening, eliminating delays and confusion. Over the next 18 months, XPLANE and the client worked together to successfully create kits for each of the brands, and then deployed them in preparation for openings throughout the world.

As a result, the client’s opening process has gone from a liability to a competitive advantage. New openings have accelerated, and revenue increased by over $11 million per month in the first year, due largely to an increased ability to pre-sell rooms. More important, the client is now seen as a standard bearer in the hospitality industry, in the eyes of both competitors and potential franchisees.