Lean Philosophy: A step towards improving the management of hotel supply chain

Mahmoud Abou Kamar

Abstract


Effective hotel supply chain management has burgeoned as a potentially valuable means for achieving competitive advantage and improving organizational performance. Competition between hotels has recently expanded to include competition between supply chains. Major businesses around the world have realized the value that lean management philosophy can bring to their supply chains. Lean is a systematic approach that is presently argued to be adopted to optimize the entire supply chain management by eliminating wasteful activities (time, effort and materials), increasing product flow efficiency, reducing inventories, and enhancing customer fulfillment and satisfaction. The aim of the current study is two-fold. Firstly, it aims to assess the current level of awareness about lean management within the hotel sector in Egypt, as a point of reference to evaluate the readiness of this sector to implement the lean concept in the management of their supply chains. Secondly, it further attempts to propose a framework to facilitate the implementation of lean in the management of hotel supply chain. A quantitative methodological approach of a questionnaire has been conducted with senior managers in five-star and four-star hotels in Egypt. Findings indicated that hotels in Egypt are somewhat aware of the terms like, for example, lean management, lean thinking, or lean principles, though more emphasis is needed on how to effectively implement lean tools in the management of hotel supply chains. Lean awareness status differed between five-star and four-star sub-segments. Overall, the results indicated that the hotel sector in Egypt has an adequate level of readiness to implement lean supply chain management (LSCM). It was shown that hotels already have in place certain practices that support this philosophy. Finally, a four-phase framework for effective LSCM implementation has been proposed.


Keywords


Lean management, lean thinking, supply chain management, hotel sector, Egypt.

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