Many major gaming and hospitality organizations have been utilizing Strategic Lean Operations Management with great success. Starwood Resorts was the first in the industry to launch their Global Lean Operations Management, but leaders from Harrah’s Casinos, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Grand, and more, have demonstrated the importance of organizational alignment. Leadership that aligns their organization from top to bottom in order to expand, grow, and sustain excellence, drives the overall improvement of the workforce while increasing guest value.
Now, Tribal councils and their gaming and hospitality, commercial, education, governance and other strategic infrastructure entities are successfully applying Lean methods to identify challenges and opportunities to create systems and long-term solutions across the organization.
To successfully uncover and accomplish long-term transformation and sustainability, leadership must embrace and fully own the vision, and develop their strategic roadmap and the defined IFR (Ideal Final Result) with targets and measures. This is a complete “paradigm shift” for many Tribal leaders, internal business, and governance organizations that support the enterprise.
This is not difficult or time-consuming to achieve, or something that only works for other types of businesses. Sovereign nations own the end-to-end infrastructure and operations. This means a “rapid approach” to realizing ROI on training and bottom-line benefits can be seen within a very short timeframe, usually within a month or two, when supported by leaders and implemented correctly throughout every strategic business line.
First, leadership needs to assess the current challenges facing the organization and identify the financial impacts, risks and resources that can systematically prioritize and permanently eliminate such obstacles. Everyone in the industry focuses on the same KPIs driving revenue and profits. Rarely, do they focus on what is driving operating costs, capital expenses and low margins. This is the little-known secret that Tribal leaders are now beginning to embrace and are learning how to manage more efficiently and effectively. This is known as the “do more with what you have” approach.
By doing more with what you currently have, you can look inward and ask questions like: what is working well, where are there opportunities to be better hidden within the business, are resources (supply chain, machines, equipment, technology, etc.) and the workforce being fully utilized and optimized, etc. Where are you spending most of your operating expenses? Is management’s time adding value or tackling re-occurring systematic problems over and over?
By looking within the current business structure, opportunities are identified, solutions are implemented, and ROI is realized immediately with little to no effort. For example, a major Tribal casino resort in Washington State did just that. They focused on what the newly trained workforce could address and saw over $6,000,000 in regained revenue by addressing issues in check-in, “Door to Floor” maintenance, call to resolution, compliance, housekeeping, attracting, onboarding and retention, food and beverage, marketing, security, events, and technology.
In order for Tribal entities to stay relevant, competitive, and profitable, they must embrace these globally-proven, multi-industry methods, and build a solid foundation and infrastructure for long-term gains within their markets, regions, and commercial industries.
Jeff Gray is a Raving Business Optimization Partner and CEO of Lean Revisions. Jeff’s Project Management and Lean Six Sigma process improvement skills have been successfully applied within commercial construction, technology, gaming and hospitality, finance and many more. Catch Jeff’s sessions on Leadership, Business Optimization, and more at Raving NEXT: Indian Gaming Strategic Operations & Leadership Development Conference this January.